I am listening to 9/11 memorial services, reading of all the names of those who died that day, except of course the terrorists. Who mourns for those enemies Jesus tells us to love? What families did they leave behind? What legacy of anger and malice drove them, and how contagious was/is that vengeance in our response. No turning the other cheek here, just promises as recently as last week from President Biden to “hunt you down.” What if we could sit down and break bread instead of breaking heads? Is that a pipe dream, a hopelessly naive fantasy? If it is what hope is there for a world that will ever at peace? And I’m not talking about peace through mutual assured destruction but true peace through unity, through the ties that bind us all together as passengers on spaceship earth.
Has there ever been a time in human history free from conflict and war? Ever since Adam and Eve were evicted from the garden and the following fratricide between their sons the human family has been hell bent on creating more deadly and efficient ways to assert power over one another. What if all that “creative” energy to invent smart bombs, split atoms and destroy one another could be channeled into learning ways to save our planet and all the creatures God has entrusted us with? Even on this day when we relive the horror of 9/11 I still dare to hope for a time when God will “pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” (Joel 2:28, Acts 2:17)
Because like the cockeyed optimist nurse Nellie Forbush sings in the great musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein, “South Pacific,” “I’m stuck like a dope with a thing called hope, and I can’t get it out of my heart – not this heart.”