On a nearby island, a boat ride away from my home on Kodiak Island, is a “village” of Quonset huts. These buildings once served as barracks for soldiers fighting the Aleutian Campaign during World War II. But today their corrugated metal shells succumb not to enemy fire but to falling trees, heavy snow loads, and perpetual moss.
One summer day, I stood in the middle of the village, surrounded by Sitka spruce trees and Quonset huts in various stages of decay. Other than an occasional chickadee’s chirrup, no manmade sounds reached my ears. Everywhere was moss: Evergreen, lush, and patiently muffling the clamors of war.
War is not someone else’s fault. We are all responsible for creating the misunderstandings that lead to conflict. An angry thought, ill will, fear, worry, jealousy, restlessness… it’s a long grocery list.
If I had a prayer to end all wars, it might go something like this:
Beloved God, who reminds us to live in harmony with our neighbors, help us to replace the age-old habit of war with compassion, empathy, and love. Keep us mindful that we are united, each by an equal measure, of the divine spark that flows through and binds all things. May we, by our actions each day, strive to become instruments of peace so that present and future generations may be blessed with relationships governed by faith, kindness, respect, and trust. Amen.