“They shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.”
Decaying AK-47 shells littered the Liberian landscape following the end of the civil war there in 2003. However, rather than allowing these bullet casings to remain as ongoing reminders of the destruction of war, Liberian artisan, Benjamin Somah, transforms these symbols of pain into symbols of hope. Empty bullets become empty crosses. The violence of Good Friday is transformed into the promise of Easter morning.
If Benjamin Somah can take these modern day swords and turn them into plowshares, might we do the same? Might we be able see the places of pain and destruction in our own lives with the eyes of our hearts enlightened - to take the ugly green bullet casings and create something beautiful?
God, grant us the wisdom of your sacred vision so that we may see a creative way to move from our past of suffering into a future of healing; from a culture of fear to a culture of hope. Open our eyes and our hearts so that we shall learn war no more.