“His name is Omran,” reads a powerful headline on CNN.com.
The story is about a boy of approximately five years of age who was bruised and bloodied in the Syrian war. Through a powerful photo and also knowing the child’s name, the Syrian refugee crisis has resonated with many previously distant and unaffected people.
There is something in human nature that responds more acutely to a single person’s tragedy, as we see here. A quote attributed to the evil Soviet dictator, Joseph Stalin, says, “The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic.”
Think about it this way. According the latest research, there have been some 57 million children aborted in America since the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling. For many Americans, even a number like that doesn’t seem real, but more of a statistic. As Christians, however, we know that each one of these boys and girls deserved to live and is precious to God and to us.
I would go one step further and say that it’s not only a single person that makes a tragedy seem more real; it’s knowing a name.
Think back when much of the nation grieved over the death of “Cecil the Lion” and “Harambe the Gorilla.” While these instances were certainly sad and unfortunate, many of the same people who grieved over these animal deaths are stalwart abortion rights proponents.
In the Bible, we see that one of the first things God had Adam do was name the animals. The Bible also promises us that God knows each one of us by name. To borrow a well-worn phrase, what’s in a name? It turns out, there’s a lot.
Today, we grieve Omran’s plight and are moved to prayer and other action. As Christians, let’s be more aware of the power in names and try to put a face on major issues like sanctity of human life. After all, God’s Name is honored when we promote justice and stand up for the defenseless.