He never left...
I have been doing a lot of thinking about the horrific violence that my relatives and my dear Mexico are experiencing.
To put it in perspective for you - there have been 28,453 executions in Mexico since Dec. 1, 2006 when President Calderon took office.
But there has been progress with 81,128 of the drug trafficers appehended since he took office.
In the past year alone they have made 34,515 drug-related arrests and have confiscated more than 34,000 weapons like M-16, AR-15s, AK-47, even M-79 grenade launchers and assorted hand guns, 2.7 million bullets, 2,500 grenades, 12,000 vehicles, 60 boats, 76 aircraft and $72 million and 133 million pesos in cash.
A few days ago one of Mexico's seven biggest cartel chiefs, a 37 year old US citizen, Edgar "La Barbie" Valdez Villarreal who was born in Laredo, Texas was finally captured by Mexican Marines.
Sadly if one takes the total number of days since the war on drugs was declared by President Calderon, there have been an average of 21 people killed each day or roughly 1 person executed an hour making Juarez twice as dangerous as Baghdad.
In Cd. Juarez alone more then 40% of all busnesses have closed and 150,000 factory works have fled the violence.
The situation is incredibly disturbing and so dire that I don't see any improvement, any time soon.
All I can do is pray and call my relatives there in Juarez each weekend to see how their week went and hope that no one was kidnapped or killed.
Though I wrote a long time ago that I would not be writing any religious or political blogs, I feel the need to share what I have been feeling and my personal thoughts.
Writing has always been emotionally, spiritually and psychologically cleansing for me.
I have to confess that after my cousin's Roberto's murder on the afternoon of July 28th, the situation in Mexico became very personal.
I had always worried about each of my relatives, especially those that lived in the areas where the violence has been on going like Cd. Juarez, Monterrey. Mexico City and Agua Prieta.
I have made it a point to spend more time every morning in reflection and prayer, pleading for peace and tranquility for my dear Mexico.
What was a bit out of character for me was when I began to wonder why God could allow so much evil to thrive?
I even began to question if God was there?
Alot of soul searching along with solace and prayer seemed to be my answer.
I grew up a Catholic and was always taught that God didn’t hurt his people.
I was taught that God's love was all encompassing and that he never punished anyone.
I have no doubt that people living in terror in places like Cd. Juarez or other violent places around the world have questioned God’s will.
Questioning much like I have, how He would allow violent things to happen to innocent people.
Reaching deep into my heart; my Faith tells me that to think this way, may be human but is misguided.
I can only imagine what they are going through - at times doubting His presence and questioning their love for a God that would allow violence to befall them.
Yet I have to believe that there is nothing more important to our Creator than for everyone to enjoy as much happiness and earthly fulfillment as humanly possible.
I have to believe that when bad things happen, God is with us, feeling our pain and working to see us through the worst of all situations.
With all the violence and suffering that is going on in Mexico I have to remind myself that there is an eternal purpose in sight.
That our ultimate purpose isn't temporary but rather one that is permanent and eternal.
I am certain that in these times of crisis it's extremely difficult for anyone under siege to feel God's presence.
It must be troubling to those living in fear, pained by their losses to think that He is working to bring good out of their dire situation.
However, when I take a look back other horrendous tragedies, I am reminded of God's gentle hands at work.
With Sept. 11th soon upon us, I remembered the horrible tragedies of something so unimaginable and so distant from God’s will.
Moreover, God was with there with everyone of those innocent victims...
He was there for us and the main reason that I know this is that I remember the outpouring of love and goodwill that people here at home showed for one another.
I remember all of the goodwill for us from people around the world.
The gestures and outpouring of support changed us as a country forever.
God didn't "will" that devastation and God never abandoned us.
God I believe was there with us and working through the same human freedoms and choices he gave those terrorists.
More importantly he also worked to give us the choice of love and compassion.
He gave us the resolve to work to rid the world of these extremists.
Sadly, in times of tragedy we are not able to see immediately that God is there with us leading us towards peace and comfort.
God is here to continually provide each of us with choices for good.
He is continually lifting us out of our pain and our doubts to giving us the freedom to choose to live and love again.
The harder question is, can we somehow trust again?
I pray that the people of Mexico will one day find the good in this most dire of situation.
That they find it in themselves to allow the force of love and resiliency to lift them up.
TRUST we should, BELIEVE we must.
When we do this we begin to heal and grow.
A type of growth that is steady and eternal.
I have no doubt that God has set us on an invisible course, a current of air that will peacefully carry us to happiness and eternal rest.
A current that flows in our hearts and has always been there.
Are we going to trust, and believe and can we let go?
Even in what might appears as the most tragic and horrific of times, this stream inside us continues to flow and will carry us to an eternally peaceful and tranquil place.
Can we trust that we are indeed being cared for, that our eternal happiness is the most important thing God has in mind for us and that all of creation flows toward this end?
The choice is ours... to believe, to accept and freely choose.
It's a choice we need to take if we are to allow the current to take us.
So as hard as it is to see all these innocent people suffering, we must all continue to have Faith, and show Trust and let Peace be our traveling companion.
Make it a prayer filled día.