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A Reflection and Prayer after Sarin Gas

All violence is framed by blood.
Our scars are the red line reminders—
for the survivors, and all who follow later.

See them, and do not turn away from the violence that drew them.
Feel the scars you know, and hear the ones whispered about—
They are guides.
They are pathways, as much as they are boundaries.
They call us to remember the depths of human failure, human evil.
And they refuse to be ignored: we face them again, today.

As we trace them,
We pray they make us mindful of the scars our own land has inflicted.
We pray that these red lines will guide the hands of our national leaders
As they tremble on the edge of action:
Will their choices lead to healing, or to deeper scars?
These red lines will not excuse them from confronting Sarin, or any crime against the innocent.
But, these red lines are also boundaries against haste and purposeless violence.

There is a place between the lines that is honest beyond naïveté.
We pray our leaders will seek that place, will stand there,
That they will listen well and deeply for the voice of wisdom.

May they be humble, in spite of their immense power.
May they be courageous, in spite of their fear.
May they provide a salve, a balm, for our scarred world.


About the Authors

Eric Cherry

Kathleen McTigue

Kathleen McTigue

The Rev. Kathleen McTigue is minister of the Unitarian Society of New Haven, in Hamden, Conn. She and her husband, political organizer Nicholas Nyhart, have three children. She is a contributor to Bless This Child: A Treasury of Poems, Quotations and Readings to Celebrate Birth, edited by Edward Searl (Skinner...

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