Thursday, December 21, 2006


That their garb is different than ours is incidental. That their language has more gutterals and more aspirants is an accident of history. That their skin or their features might have a different quality is meaningless.

That their laws forbid the free practice of any faith but their own is a choice they have made, arising from their character. That their own faith demands that the whole of the rest of humanity be converted, subjugated or slain arises from the nature of their hearts.

That they crossed over many lands and the long waters of seas and oceans, to attack us unawares as the brigand sets upon the wayfarer ... well, this more than anything else tells us who they are.

In so far as it is possible, live in peace with all men. But when peace is made to be impossible, what shall we do? First, we must not forget. Peace has only one end -- war. War has many ends. Only victory will be acceptable. It will be achieved only with sufficient resolve.

Where is courage to be found?



Anonymous said...

Abigale Adams quoting poet Edward Young wrote, "Affliction is the good man's shinning time."

Jack H said...

Whatever affliction is, it is not romantic. Let's not court it, and let's not give it praise. The travail of childbirth is no good thing, for all that it accompanies birth. Yes, it is true that God answers prayers for patience by sending affliction. Yes, it is true that iron is shaped by blows. Such wisdom is full of advice, but suffering has no ears. Compassion is silent. It takes all our compassion, sometimes, just to hear.

Take grief. It is a betrayal, to forget grief. How else can we be true to those who are lost? The only bond that remains is in keeping open the wound. What bird was it the ancients thought fed its young with its own blood? – plucked out at its breast? Birds, too, are warm blooded. It was the stork. Storge, in Greek, means that ideal love for family.

That's where we best learn love, and grief, and affliction. From such valleys, it is said, God builds up his armies. Bound to Him, no doubt, in pain and iron, like a branding.

Look upon mine affliction and my pain, and forgive all my sins.