“We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.” –2 Corinthians 10:4
I appreciate Pope Francis calling people of all faiths to fast and pray last weekend for the crisis in Syria, the Middle East and the rest of the world. I thank everyone who participated in that call to whatever extent. Those of us who identify with our spiritual selves believe that as we practice some ancient traditions like prayer and fasting, God can affect change in our world. In the Bible, Paul and others equate the use of these traditions with military weapons. As those of us who fasted and prayed with others across our world, we hoped that God would bring a non-military solution to Syria’s use of chemical weapons. Monday morning, hope sprang where there had only been dry, dusty hopelessness just days before. The change started with a religious man using his public platform to humbly pray for peace and ask the rest of the world to join in.
Not all who read this post will agree that worldwide prayer and fasting had anything to do with the change of heart in Assad or throw-away comment by Secretary of State Kerry that perhaps if Syria agreed to give up all their chemical weapons, the United States might abort a military strike. Whatever your beliefs, I hope you can take a moment to breathe a thought of gratitude that we are not facing imminent war. I know I have said, ‘Thank you, Jesus, for your peace. For your hope. For your humility. For breathing your spirit’s humility into Assad, Putin, Kerry and Lavrov–even if it’s just for this moment on the chemical weapons.” Truly, we saw a miracle in having the leaders agree to do what they can to avoid war. Once again, my heart is humbled by the knowledge that our human reasoning and political posturing failed; but when Pope Francis offered the humility of asking God what He could do and people responded, within 48 hours hope lived.
Thank You, my God, for opening hearts to hear alternatives to force. Thank You, my God for giving humility to negotiate acceptable terms for all. I trust You, my God, to continue working in our world leaders’ hearts. Let ‘Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’ (Matthew 6:10).
If you don’t have a view of God working in our world, I ask you to be grateful nonetheless with those of us who do. Our world is not at war. While our world still lies on tenuous agreements, at least today there is hope that this crisis may not become bloodier than we have seen already. Today, all players can save face. Today, each side has heroes, and no side needs to make an example of the other.
Today, I rejoice that my God gave us weapons that do not propagate bloodbaths, but that engender life.
What are your weapons of choice?