Over the weekend, I watched with horror the terrorist attack on Israel. As I drank my coffee and prepared our breakfast this morning the news portrayed bombings destroying homes and businesses and the horrific display of victims lying in the street not to mention the video clips of hostages being dragged away. My heart is heavy with grief and sadness. I am at a loss for words and understanding.
By extension, I have family in Israel. Thankfully they are okay, at least as of this morning. As Christians, we all have family in Israel as the Israelites are our brothers and sisters by faith. And, to be even more basic, by nature of our humanity we are one human family. Sometimes I think if I turn off the television and don’t read the headlines, I can relieve myself of the suffering going on all around us. But this is a lie. Their suffering is our suffering; there is no way around it. Their pain is our pain and it cannot be ignored.
And so I stand with the victims of this horrific war and with the victims of all the violence around the world. I will not take sides in the conflict nor defend anyone’s right to inflict such horror. I stand with the countless mothers, fathers, children, brothers and sisters who cry out in mourning and pain begging for peace, regardless of which side of fence they live on.
I stand in solidarity with our inter-spiritual brothers and sisters in Southeastern Wisconsin and renew APTB’s commitment to being a part of and furthering the dialogue among us to break down barriers and build understanding. I call out to governments and leaders around the world to set aside personal and private agendas in order to work diligently at building peace. Most of all, I pray to the Holy One to be a felt presence among the grieving, have compassion on the broken, and break down walls of division in our hearts and souls.
I believe peace is possible. Peace-building can be done in intentional communities of compassion and faith; and I trust in the all-compassionate, all-merciful Holy One to show us the way. Amen.