Fly Kites, Not Killer Drones (follow up to August 11 blog)
By Lu Mountenay of Independence, MO, USA
The effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places . —Isaiah 32:17–18 NRSV, emphasis added
A few weeks ago I shared with readers about our peace rally last year at an Air Force base. Drivers of noisy trucks and motorcycles purposely drowned out our speeches. We had prepared for their return at this year’s rally, but they didn’t show. I guess we didn’t react enough last time—too peaceful for them?
We did, however, have a successful event this year. Gathered to protest the Predator drones “piloted” from the base, we broke bread together, sang peace songs, and learned more about the drones and the destruction they wreak. We asked to present our case for grounding the drones to the commander of the base. However, they relegated us to speaking with the military police standing guard.
Our theme for the event was “Fly Kites, Not Drones.” And fly kites we did. We kept the strings short so they wouldn’t enter the base’s air space. We flew them close to the three flags flying at the entrance. Beautiful. We enjoyed watching the kite shadows playing on the grass and on a brick wall.
But the urgency of our cause never left our minds. We could imagine too well, while the kites and their shadows bring us joy, the shadows of drones bring fear to those who live or work near their targets. While we hear songs of peace, they hear the dreaded threat of death flying overhead and then the frightening screech of missiles.
While we protesters only face the possibility of arrest for trespass with a legal trial, the people of Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan, Syria, and elsewhere face the possibility of execution without any trial. We have the freedom to choose protest, but they have no choice. We are “civil resisters.” They are “collateral damage.”
Reread today’s scripture passage. “My [God’s] people abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” Some have no place to lay their head without fear. Are they not God’s people as well?
Prayer for Peace
Allah, Tender Shepherd, Creative Spirit, let us think and act with compassion. Help us examine the barriers to justice and peace and always remember Christ’s teachings.
Spiritual Practice: Pursue Peace on Earth
Read and reflect on Doctrine and Covenants 161:2a. Reflect on how you can “see violence but proclaim peace…feel conflict, yet extend the hand of reconciliation…encounter broken spirits and find pathways for healing.” What does the peace of Christ mean to you? Begin by prayerfully listening to your longing for peace. Prayerfully open yourself to God’s yearning for peace and the divine vision of shalom. What act of justice or peacemaking does God invite you to pursue this day? Dwell on these words of pursuit: see, proclaim, feel, extend, encounter, find.
Today, God, if I see fear and suffering, I will speak up for justice and peace.