Sunday, May 8, 2011

Will the world be a safer place for my children's children?

A few nights ago I sat and watched the evening news with my husband and son.  And it was big news.  Osama bin Laden had been killed by US Special Forces at his compound in Pakistan.  Americans surrounded the White House shouting "USA!  USA!" with red, white and blue in full force, celebrating that one of the world's most elusive criminals was arrested, tried and executed within moments.  Social media was buzzing with folks rejoicing that 'justice has been served'.  The villain is dead.  Now we can live happily ever after?

I stared at my baby's face as he sat on my lap, completely oblivious to disturbing footage playing in the background.  Did Osama bin Laden's death make the world a safer place for my children?  Can military violence bring peace to the planet for my children's children? 

These are the questions I ask, the questions that trouble me as I'm falling asleep.  These are the questions I want my leaders to ask.  We use violence to secure resources, take revenge, appease and please, to guarantee re-election, to seem strong and capable and formidable and maintain an extravagant lifestyle.  What if we instead sowed seeds of justice in nations that are hurting and weak?  What if we stopped consuming and wasting the majority fo the world's resources and sought sustainable living for all?  What if we put our trillions of military dollars into our nation's healthcare, education and employment opportunities - or even to alleviate debt and suffering in developing nations? 

Righteousness and peace will kiss each other.  (Psalm 85v. 10b)  Our consistent right actions will be met with peace.  So many brave women and men throughout history and the world can testify to this truth that is truer than our swords and guns and drones.  These are simple ideas.  But I'm just a mother, thinking about the future of my children.  And I'm not so different from mothers with children in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Righteousness and peace will kiss each other.  Because of our generation's blood-soaked hands and horrific history, this will take time.  The way of peace, the way of the cross, will always be slower, more costly and more demanding than the way of empire.  We may not see it in our own lifetime even.  But we can see it in our children's.


  1. I liked this. I agree with everything you said here. I have to say I am often more pessimistic and find it hard to think that things could get better in this world and fear what it will be like for my children. But it's just so important at least to teach them a different way of justice and love to not conform with the way of this world.

  2. i know - chris and i get excited with how pure saf's imagination is and how much further he'll be able to go in his thinking if we teach him history through people power movements and non-violent movements than through war and violence. i think the only reason i have hope for the world is because of God and his mustard-seed kingdom that is taking over the world, slowly, but surely.