The world hasn’t changed to my daughter who blows bubbles in her milk and chews her buttery toast this morning. Violence across the ocean means nothing to her.
She doesn’t know that we live in a dangerous world. I could tell her, in fact I have told her, but she doesn’t understand.
She can’t fathom genocide, persecution or slavery. She doesn’t know that while our biggest upset of the day is being late to preschool there are kids, just like her, begging for food, going to bed hungry, or that the very shoes on her feet were likely made by one of these kids, who instead playing lives in a factory and spends her days working with callused hands. She hasn’t realized that if we had been born on the other side of the ocean our family would be a target simply by living the life we live, praying our prayers, making the sign of the cross over our chests before dinner. I can’t explain to her that even here there are no guarantees, that life changes fast and that security can disappear in a night.
She knows affection, peace, and help. And the world she knows is also a true. She is safe, she is loved, violence is not likely to come near. She is surrounded with others who will protect her. Life is beautiful, this world is hers to discover.
I’ll be honest, though I’m ashamed of it. I gave in to fear. Last night I sat up in bed trembling with fright.
It has only recently dawned on me how much my world feels falsely stable. That simply because I have grown up in time and place with little violence it does not mean that violence has disappeared. Stability can only be found in a moment. If we look at every nation, overtime we see patterns of war and exploitation. I shudder realizing that there are ever more places in the world where at this moment my life would be in danger for wearing around my neck the cross I was given at as a baby at my baptism.
My faith isn’t strong enough to quiet my trembling.
I wish I had reason to believe that I will be spared the suffering that wrecks havoc on the world but I can’t find one that gives me assurance. I hope for an end to violence, for an everlasting stability, yet I see that to expect this, in the light of the history of the world, is madness.
I am afraid. Not so much for my own life but for my daughter’s, for the decisions she will have to make and for those choices she will never be allowed to have.
My only hope is that God loved the world enough to come and live with us, to suffer and die with us. That He is alive and will restore all things. If I am wrong I have nothing yet if I forsake Him I live without hope.
This morning we spread our butter on our toast with heavy hearts longing for justice. And we pray to a God that hears us for a hope in Paris, in the middle east and for all the kids in the world who eat in innocence this morning.
Thanks for reading friends,
To learn more about Liturgy of Life click here, or join us in our reading group, where we are currently reading, The Art of The Commonplace by Wendell Berry. Feel free to comment here or join in the discussion on facebook.