It Will Not Be Easy

It will not be easy
to pray for our enemies,
to love those who hate us
as this nation hurtles to retaliate
for Tuesday's horror.

But yesterday, a Wednesday,
as workers stumbled through debris of those two towers,
monuments to this nation's wealth,
as workers stumbled through debris of one fifth of the Pentagon,
that symbol of our nation's might,
I thought of Helen Caldicott saying years ago
she thought she would die of grief if she survived a nuclear war.

The war our president girds to win may not be nuclear,
but surely it will leave this planet
scarred, grieving, the Earth herself bleeding.
It will not be easy to say out loud this is not the way.

But a priest in a small town in New Mexico
after examining his first response to retaliate to hate with hate,
pondered the Scripture reading for the day: Luke: 26-38
such a reading on such a day.

The priest, and it was not easy to speak softly to the parents, grandparents
of some who serve their nation by bearing arms,
this priest asked us to ponder the Divine Wisdom
which reminds us again
an eye for an eye,
a tower for a tower
breeds a festering Jerusalem,
a wounded Bosnia, Croatia,
a wounding Northern Ireland
and the hate grows as other workers stumble through debris in all the other places.

But, this priest in a small town in New Mexico said it
as others priests, pastors, rabbis, gurus have gained the wisdom and the strength
to say what is not easy to say in nations hurrying to buy guns and flags,
violence begets violence,
it is forgiveness that will bring the Peace.

Justine Merritt, September 14, 2001

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