Images: Syrian TV, December 2012, after a car bomb in Damascus; Cathy smelling a flower in Melbourne
When I was young, entrants in beauty competitions were asked, “What do you wish for the world?”, and they’d say, “Peace”, and you knew it was glib and rehearsed, yet appropriate. Always appropriate.
Today I pray fervently for peace.
I want people to work for peace, to speak for peace (only for peace). To sleep and dream of peace. To live peace. And to remember how to hold up their fingers for peace.
Peace isn’t easy. It isn’t slick. It isn’t always ‘cool’. Sometimes it’s ugly. You have to share it with ugly people and ugly things can happen.
It’s like a fairy tale with wicked witches, evil kings, and attractive moles. And like a fairy tale, it has heroes and heroines who aren’t always knowing and courageous.
Peace is work that doesn’t have a happy ending; there is another page and another page, and more that is ugly and more that is beautiful…
But there’s grace in peace. I know this from sitting at a bus stop listening to the carolling of magpies and seeing the flight of rainbow lorikeets, never having to hear sirens or bombs or the screams of children; never having to decipher the rhetoric of war. Never knowing the fear of war, of terror.
Peace is Beauty. It isn’t war. In war, you can become ugly.