I’ve had this church song in my head for awhile. It’s a psalm, and the refrain goes, “Come, let us go rejoicing, to the house of the Lord.”
I ignore it until I can’t anymore, this war in Gaza. I let it drift around with the song until I get to the third verse: “Peace in Jerusalem, peace in our homes, and peace within us forever.”
So I look, at the pictures and the articles. The thing that splits me to the core—it’s not the images of broken bodies. To those I react, suddenly covering the picture with my hand, but the horror keeps my center frozen.
I watch a video of anti-war protesters in Israel, and the counter-protesters are chanting “Traitor” at the peaceniks, and they’re thrusting their hands out in front of them in this way, out in front high up near their faces—
Before I’ve finished seeing, I’m making a noise of awful grief, a high noise, without tears really, and my hand covers my face. I don’t want to see this, these young Jewish men, looking like Nazis.
Please understand. I’m not saying this horror is on the level of the Holocaust. But what I see is a circle of hate, and I see it closing, spinning on itself.
This war is unjust, and the lives it tears may stretch or be pulled, to add to the circle, to enclose us all further.
I pray for peace in the world. I pray for the courage that engenders peace, in Jerusalem, our homes, within us—the courage to fear each other less, even when the threat is real.
Without this grace, we will always be ready to cause harm, and the trap will close. With this grace… well, let us try it, and see.
Rebecca Fullan has faith, seeks understanding. And sometimes vice versa.
Photo from: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/middle_east_and_asia/gaza_strip_may_2005.jpg