by Alan Delery

As I reflect on my prayer to build my connection with others throughout my community, I consider the diversity of its citizens. We have racial, ethnic, economic, gender, educational, political diversity. The list goes on. 

This diversity can put a strain on unity but unity even within subsets of our community that strive for unity within their group. This is not easy but the moment we cease to seek to be united I believe our division can widen. More walls of defense go up and weapons of offense are drawn. We become what I’ll call a “Quick draw society.”  We may not draw our guns but whatever weapon of choice is drawn. 

Wars and rumors of war are inevitable when we don’t use weapons of peace, love and understanding. We find ourselves in precarious situations. Situations like the one described in the poem, The Man He Killed by Thomas Hardy. I read this war poem when I was in elementary school and it has lessons for us today.

We can be a part of war or we can commit to being a promoter of peace and supporter of justice. May we become students and practitioners of peace. As you read Hardy’s poem, may you be inspired  to have your life become walking poetry of the love of God for all men. May your life story be the antithesis of this soldier’s experience. May we love our neighbor as ourselves.

The Man He Killed

“Had he and I but met
            By some old ancient inn,
We should have sat us down to wet
            Right many a nipperkin!
            “But ranged as infantry,
            And staring face to face,
I shot at him as he at me,
            And killed him in his place.
            “I shot him dead because —
            Because he was my foe,
Just so: my foe of course he was;
            That’s clear enough; although
            “He thought he’d ‘list, perhaps,
            Off-hand like — just as I —
Was out of work — had sold his traps —
            No other reason why.
            “Yes; quaint and curious war is!
            You shoot a fellow down
You’d treat if met where any bar is,
            Or help to half-a-crown.”

May God bless the United States of America. I respect the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms and I cherish the power of love. May we be quick to draw on the power of love before yielding the power of the gun. It may save our brothers’ lives.

#Stay Peaceful

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