A mother from Iraq spent the weekend in grief, mourning with friends from her new community here in Spokane; a Shiite mother, surrounded by Sunnis, and Christians, offering comfort as she despaired over the death of her son in Iraq. He was murdered 10 days before he was scheduled to resettle in the U.S. He was killed, it appears, by militias who are executing Iraqis who supported American forces.
I heard this story from my Iraqi friend as we sat in one of the offices in our Community Resources Center at East Central Community Center. My heart broke as he shared this tragic story, but one thing emerged that revealed a hope that I cherish in my heart during these war torn, ethnicity and religiously charged days of violence. He said his heart was happy, even though he grieved for the mother. He was happy because in the room of condolences were people representing the parties at war in so many places on this planet but in this room compassion was being shown, irregardless of faith divisions or political ideology.
The dream and vision of peace and goodness is being born out of the nightmare of war and violence. My prayer is that the emerging generation will see the futility of these dead end political policies and extreme sectarian religious bigotries.
Peacemakers are arising who can see suffering for what it is: a chance to bring healing.
As we listen to campaign speeches and talking heads pontificating about endless inconsequential issues, lets not lose sight of the real life repercussions of our country's International foreign policies. Middle East matters are deeply rooted in economics and the quest for answers to our energy and ecological challenges are soaked in blood, that of our sons and daughters, our allies and our enemies.
Let's not be satisfied with peace through war or energy independence through militarism. Lets push our leaders for greater vision and higher values to be at work in these times. May we find leadership that offers more than promises,because the hearts of a world of mothers are desperate for it in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Spokane.