Monday, April 18, 2005

My Hero

Marla Ruzicka was killed Saturday in Iraq. I never heard of her before I heard that she was killed. She is now my hero.

28 years old. By herself. Going door to door in Afghanistan and then Iraq, assessing the damage done. A total of $50 to her name. Helping the innocent was her thing, and she was doing it, and had been for a while. She started an organization called CIVIC Worldwide in order to continue to do what needed to be done. Please visit their website. It is remarkable. Watch the Nightline piece done a couple of years ago about CIVIC. If you do not weep openly, something is wrong with you.

Marla Ruzicka is my hero. She wanted the world to change, and went about changing it. Before any relief agency of any kind was organized and operating in Iraq, Marla was there. She was visiting families, playing with orphaned kids, listening to grieving parents lament, confronting military bureaucracy, offering love and compassion from a seemingly inexhaustible well. She said, "No one can heal the wounds that have been inflicted; you just have to recognize that people have been harmed."

I am nothing. My big three story house, my two cars, my enormous salary, my closet full of clothes, my fridge full of food. It's dust in the wind. I can sit here in affluence and comfort and bitch and moan about the problems of the world all I want, but I know I'm not going to actually do anything worthwhile.

Marla Ruzicka did, and she got killed because of it.

What would I die for?

God help me, I don't know if there is anything.

I thank God for Marla Ruzicka. I pray that I can be like her. God give me her strength. Her passion. Her unwavering commitment to what is good and right and peaceful. Marla Ruzicka is my hero.

1 comment:

Larry Epke said...

Here's an article written by Marla concerning the Army's secret tally of civilian deaths:

She set a high standard of integrity.