As we prepare for our Good Friday Streetfest against Violence, a poem from Victor Fein reminds us of the ways that violence of many kinds affects us individually and collectively.
I was born while World War II was raging.
I saw my father hit my mother when I was 6 yrs old.
It led to divorce which has affected my life to this day.
I remember like it was yesterday watching newscasts of
I remember well Martin Luther King’s killing.
After serving in the Army for 3 yrs I came to the U of I
where soon I participated in the reading
of the names of those kids killed in the Vietnam war
I was shocked when word came of the students killed at Kent State
What of all the violence in Afghanistan
Watching the first plane fly into the towers thinking it was an accident
until moments later the second plane tore my heart apart.
Of all the black men and women shot by police
Young children in schools killed over and over
Women raped daily
Today the radio told me a truck was driven into a crowd of people on
All this violence… It is hard to look at. Hard to let come in and hold it
in our hearts.
We are here to bring the opposite to this earth. We are here to bring love,
compassion, open armed reception to those in need.
Jesus is our example. He modeled for us to reach to those in need. To love
our neighbor. To treat others as we would like to be treated.
I am honored to be here with each of you as I know you all strive to
help this world. To live as Jesus asks us to live.