Today’s my birthday; I am now 65. And while it’s sobering to realize I only have 20 or so more years left on this precious earth—if I’m lucky—you know what’s really sobering? Call me naive, call me immature (!?), but in my heart, I think I’d always believed that by the time I reached this venerable age, war would be ancient history.
Yup. I really did.
So: Do I take comfort from that wonderful quote from John 14:27? “Peace is my parting gift to you, my own peace, such as the world cannot give. Set your troubled hearts at rest, and banish your fears.” * Is this what a serene, wise old woman should do? Set my troubled heart at rest? (I’ve only been legally old for a few hours, now, so am still finding my way.)
Well, yeah, there is comfort in that “such as the world cannot give” reminder, that what-can- you-expect? /violence-is-fundamental message from You Know Who.
Even so, dear Jesus, in this month of celebration for your birth, I remain sad and angry and deeply disappointed. Pissed, actually.
I do draw some small comfort from gatherings such as I attended last week, sponsored by Somerville Medford United for Justice and Peace (SMUJP.), when twenty or so people watched a devastatingly depressing documentary re Afghanistan.(No, no, not that part.) During the discussion that followed, to hear others express their confusion and disappointment re Obama was somewhat consoling. As was the fact that there were peace activists there even older than me! Still at it. Still waging peace. Yeah!
So, here we go again. Another war.
* This quote, which always makes me cry, is part of the 12th query from New England Yearly Meeting’s Faith and Practice. One query is read aloud each month at Friends Meeting at Cambridge.