“Sending prayers and songs on conflict’s toxic winds”

The following is an excerpt from Terry Marotta’s column in the Holland Sentinel (Aug. 26,  2013.)  Terry’s blog No Exit is found at http://terrymarrota.wordpress.com.  Terry is usually a very funny writer, but this piece is deadly serious:

Mohandas K. Gandhi

Mohandas K. Gandhi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“There is a scene in the wonderful 1990 film “Gandhi” that takes place near the end of that good man’s life, when all he has worked for to bring peace and justice to his native India seems imperiled. Suddenly everywhere, Muslims are fighting Hindus.  The blood flows

So Gandhi begins a fast; he will take neither meat nor drink, he announces, until the violence stops.  The days pass and his small frame shrinks.  His lips crack.  He can scarcely open an eye.

Then, nearly at death’s edge, he receives the message; across the country the killing has stopped. Hindu and Muslim together; they have stopped.  Some are even uniting to march for peace.  Just then, a wild-faced Hindu man approaches his cot.  “I am in hell!” he screams.  “I killed a child!” Gandhi asks why.

“They killed my son – my baby!” he weeps.  “The Muslims killed my son!”

With great effort, looking into the wild father’s eyes, the weakened Gandhi speaks.  “I know a way out of hell,” he whispers.  “Find a child whose other and father have been killed – a little boy this high (he gestures) – and raise him as your own.  Only be sure he is a Muslim child and you raise him as one.”

. . . . It is not enough to care for and delight in our own children.  Somewhere, children unknown to us send prayers and songs on conflict’s toxic winds.  They are our children too.  God help us if we never learn this.”

Do you hear  a child sending “prayers and songs on conflict’s toxic winds?” Go to www.compassion.com and choose a child (or children) to sponsor or scroll to the bottom of this blog to Compassion International and click on “sponsor a child.”

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