Swords into ploughshares;
Make spears into pruning hooks;
Guns to cooking pots.
I composed this haiku last week after hearing of the shooting at Seattle Pacific University. Since then Moncton (Canada), Las Vegas, and Portland have experienced ‘newsworthy’ gun violence. I do not know of all the other families – nameless and faceless to me – who have had their lives ruptured from other gun violence this past week.
The text from the book of Isaiah that provides basis for this haiku paints a picture of creation restored. The imagery of making instruments of war into tools for cultivation goes beyond general repurposing. This imagery boasts transformation and recreation.
In the beginning, God created humanity for the cultivation of the garden. By transforming weapons into ploughshares and pruning hooks, the restoration of creation envisions and empowers people refraining from violence and returning to gardening.
“Guns to cooking pots” yearns for a time when, from the work of cultivation and the fruits of the harvest, people share a meal together rather than enact violence upon one another. Eating in community together invites people to a have a significant role in peaceful story of love and hospitality, rather than feeling isolated, abandoned and looking for significance in a violent story.
The Psalmist sings and encourages:
“How good and pleasant it is when brothers sit together in unity.”
Loving, Transforming, and Creating God, work in our hearts and work in this world that violence will end and people can eat together in true fellowship, love, and unity made possible by the death and resurrection of Jesus, in whose name we pray. Amen.
I wonder what it would look like for us to engage people so that they would experience hospitality and love and God's presence, and in so doing working to transform guns to into cooking pots.