Twitter has a character limit – by which I do not mean the 160 maximum characters allowed in a Twitter bio nor the 280 maximum characters allowed in a tweet.
Of course I mean to highlight the limits we find in bio blurbs and tweets when it comes to revealing anything substantive about a person’s actual character from a moral standpoint.
However, it is not the circumscribed brevity that leads to the omission of character.
The case in point for this for me came from reading Martin Mosebach’s The 21: Journey into the Land of Coptic Martyrs.
In the chapter titled, “With the Martyrs’ Families”, Mosebach recounts travelling to visit the homes of the families of the Coptic Christians who were martyred by Islamists on the coast of Libya in 2015.
These poor Egyptian Christian martyrs did not have Twitter accounts. In fact, Mosebach gives us a sense of their lifestyle by indicating that these men didn’t sleep on sheets, didn’t have bathtubs, and were likely acquainted with fleas and lice.
“So teach us to number our days
that we may gain a wise heart.”
– Psalm 90:12
I remember seeing the news of Palm Sunday church bombings in Egypt on my phone while I was in Poland.
I had not been to Egypt before but of course the photos gripped me.
That was a year that the Western and Orthodox calendars synced up and so Christians worldwide were commemorating on the same day Jesus’ triumphal entrance into Jerusalem before his Passion.
That suicide bombers charged into two Alexandria churches on this date and in this way indicates that their intent was to wreak not only destruction but desecration.
What was the impact of looking at the those photos on my phone in a small Polish church?
It was on this date six years ago that Islamists beheaded 21 Coptic Christians along the beach in Libya.
I have been thinking about this all day and remembering the video footage that is seared in my memory.
What difference is it making?
What does the martyrdom of these Copts have to do with us today?
To this question, I found an extraordinary piece published today by Lord David Alton.