If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. Blessed Mother Teresa
These words spoken by Mother Teresa have been near to my heart and in my prayers during these last few days. Today I am once again heartbroken as I watch the streets of Yemen fill with anger and fire – while a barren airplane hangar becomes sacred space as America brings home the remains of 4 men who died while seeking peace in Libya. Our airwaves are filled with sound bites–angry and compassionate, uncaring and in solidarity, disrespectful and filled with honor, unjust and seeking justice. The messages are mixed and self-serving.
What will it take for us to belong to one another? I have lived my life trying to share the good news of peace. There have been moments when doing so has required risk. And as I watch the brief, compassionate ceremony for those four men who knew the risk of spreading peace to their death, I question our ability to negotiate respect and teach ‘belonging’. There is no simple resolution for the conflict that permeates our world.
This is not a comfortable place for me. Questioning our ability to bring peace is not something I want to consider. I have lived believing in the promise of peace and the healing of hope. This has been part of my walk in faith – a walk that has allowed me the honor to meet amazing people along the path. And as we have met, we have known what it means to belong to one another.
This has been my walk of faith. Yet on a day like today I am reminded that faith does not exclude doubt. Even though I wonder whether peace can be obtained, I still carry that promise of hope and healing. It may be better to reflect on Mother Teresa’s words remembering that part of belonging to one another means at times we struggle (which doesn’t always feel peaceful). The work is hard and today I grieve for the loss of life in the explosion of anger witnessed this week.