"Hear it every Christmas time
But hope and history won't rhyme
So what's it worth?
This PEACE ON EARTH"
~U2
September 13, 2001
       What is the concept of Peace on Earth worth? That's the question Bono asks in his song that I quoted, and that song has beein ringing in my head since Tuesday, Sept. 11, when I watched the World Trade Center come tumbling down.   And now what?  What will America do with it's anger?  Every morning since the attack I've woken up and have had to take a few moments to remember that somewhere in the world there are people who would actually take the time to devise an intricate plot that would result in thousands of deaths.   Someone out there doesn't care about killing innocent people, and emotionally damaging the few survivors for the rest of their lives.  And now they sit in anticipation of what America will do with this hate they have awakened.

      While American goverment and military officials bust their brains over how to avenge the death and the fear and corruption of our country's security, and while our president reads about the valley of the shadow of death on national television, there is one word that will not be uttered. A word that buried under 110 stories of symbolic world trade center and pentagon rubble. The word is Mercy. And in my 5 UofM class discussions about the attacks, it never came up. Not surprising.  Who wants to remember Mercy at a time like this? 
      As I think about the days to come, I imagine America avenging the attacks and provoking more anger, and more attacks on us.  And then we will respond in heavier anger and the stakes will be raised and more lives will be lost and more hate will be devised. So here we have war.  And the war will continue until the smaller force gives up and calls it quits.  And anger will still be there, the trauma will still be there, because revenge doesn't heal hurt, it just makes us vulnerable for more pain to come at us in the future.  Revenge doesn't make things easier.  You need good to wipe out evil. So the only answer can be Mercy. But it's not that simple.

      The reason that Mercy is so unthinkable, is because we have it in our heads that Mercy makes us weak.  If we show the enemy Mercy, it's showing them that they can attack again and no harm will come to them--and there you have it "folks," the reason that Peace on Earth is such an impossible achievement for humans.   To have mercy on someone is an act that requires faith and trust in God's justice.  To have Mercy takes the judgement from our hands and puts in into the hands of God.  But it is the only way to heal after such a heavy blow, because acting in hate creates more hate, and acting in love and trust and faith does nothing but make us grow closer to Jesus.  It is His command that we have Mercy, and we grow by obeying Jesus.   So while I don't have expectations for our corrupted country to act according to Jesus' commands (Conservative Republican in the White House or not), I do see this as a time where it's especially important for followers of Christ to respond to Jesus' request that we love our enemies.
      So , just in case you might have forgotten, here I am, Nora Jean Bonner, reminding you that there is no hope in Peace on Earth, or rather, Peace FROM Earth, and that even so, God gives us Mercy to hand out to our enemies and to draw us closer to Him.   As usual, Jesus says it better:

   
"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same... But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the most high; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful men. BE MERCIFUL JUST AS YOUR FATHER IS MERCIFUL"
~Luke 6:32-36

And until George W and his "folks" read that piece of scripture on national television, we can expect the worth of "Peace on Earth" to remain the same, right Bono?
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