Monday, May 08, 2006

May 8 - The Anniversary of V.E. Day

We spend so much time defending our views and making other people wrong instead of honoring them.Yet, when we build up an idea of another person as having wrong ideas, it's easy to start thinking of them as inferior. Pretty soon we can be thinking of them as people we can live without, and then as people we shouldn't have to put up with, and then as people who shouldn't even exist.

This is how the justification for genocide builds.

The list of genocides is long, reaching into the 21st century with Dafur. The only way we can end them is to develop empathy and tolerance for others. It is not too extreme to say that this world would be a safer and better home for us if we each took it upon ourselves to ask God to teach us to honor each person as a sacred creation. And we have a very good reason to do this: each of us contains God. To kill another is to kill a piece of God.

Today is the anniversary of V.E. Day. I can think of no better way to honor my mother - who was born on this day - than to offer a prayer in remembrance of the millions of mothers (and their children and husbands and parents) put to death by the Nazis. May their souls be at peace. May we never forget what resentments, blaming and hating lead to and may we continually strive to love and forgive.

I Honor Those Lost In The Holocaust

Dear God,

May 8, 1945 marked V.E. Day - "Victory In Europe" Day - when:

--Europe was freed from the clutches of Nazism
--World War II in Europe ceased
--The Holocaust came to an end.

V.E. Day was not just an end. It was a beginning of revelations about:

--loved ones heartlessly torn from each other
--concentration camps
--piles of spectacles
--mounds of shoes
--bodies beyond counting
--and starving survivors, nearly insane from what they had endured.

Stripped of everything and everyone held dear
Returned to a lonely world
Holocaust survivors told stories of breathtaking brutality
That made the world weep.

O God, their only sin was belief in You.
They prospered through faith and were hated for it.

The hateful, the jealous and the spiritually disconnected
Wishing to usurp Your power
And refusing to hear Your voice
Vowed to kill those who do.
But death was denied victory
And Your Spirit lives on.

O Lord, in honor of those we lost,
Make me a vehicle of compassion so You rule the earth.

Fill me with profound understanding of what creates such hate
And fill me, instead, with even greater love.


Judge not, and ye shall not be judged. Luke 6:37

Wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. Romans 2:1

He that hateth his brother is in darkness. 1 John 2:11

He hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth. Acts 17:26

Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Romans 13:9

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear. 1 John 4:18

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Matthew 5:9


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