A prayer for the war dead

For those killed in battle, Lord— mercy.
For those wounded, maimed or haunted,
minds and hearts broken by mayhem
and the doing of mayhem— mercy.

For those whose spirits died to pull the trigger,
whose souls withered to do what they had to,
their hearts and faces held in the horror— mercy.

For those, now broken, for whom there are flags
but not food, shelter, health or sanity—mercy.

For those of other nations, who also served,
who also were taught to make enemies
of those who had been taught to make them enemies,
who suffered our terror—mercy.

For those who suffer without choosing:
the innocent, the families, the land, the cities— mercy.

For those who suffer for peace nonviolently,
who sacrifice and die protesting, healing, teaching,
for all of gentle hearts—mercy.

For us who call others to kill for us,
who continually offer our little ones in child sacrifice,
who find no better way, and who glorify
the killing and the dying rather than repent—mercy.

Lord of Gentleness, we confess our violence;
we confess our fear and self-centeredness;
we repent of our cold-heartedness and beg you:
forgive us, heal us, and bless those whom we have harmed;
in the name of Christ, who died loving,
who received and did not pass on our evil. Amen.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

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write to me at unfoldinglight8(at)hotmail.com

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