Last month commemorated the 31st anniversary of the bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut. I was just reading an article about it here:
Although I might have included a spoiler warning, the fact that Ames died in service to his country is made evident in the first pages of the book. He was tragically killed prematurely during the civil war in Lebanon which saw one of the first acts of terrorism against the United States abroad: the bombing of the United States Embassy in Beirut.
Ames would never see the historic handshake between Israeli Prime Minister Iztak Rabin and Yasser Arafat that occurred on the lawn of the White House during President Clinton’s time as President of the United States: many attribute Ames as a key figure in this moment.
As a Christian observing this story, it is important to keep in mind the “ache” that Ames felt for people who lived differently then he did. Colossians 3:12a tells us: “Put on therefore, as God’s elect, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion..” The Jews would have interpreted the word “heart” as “stomach.” In their culture, empathy came from the stomach, much like when you are nervous you get “butterflies” in your stomach. When we see a people group that has been put in a place that is so tragic, such as the Palestinians that were displaced when Israel became a nation, it is easy for us to cast them in a very negative light as terrorists and radicals. This presupposition did not stop Ames from loving them and yearning to be a part of their culture. While Ames was a Roman Catholic, he demonstrated compassion for his fellow man instead of gross overestimations of their situation.