attack on christians

They search from door to door.

Asking questions shaped by hate and suspicion.

They want to know how Christ entered those homes.

Did he enter brandishing weapons that struck terror?

Or did he wheedle his way into those homes?

Using guile and deceit.

They are brokers in the market place where power is sold to those,

Who can pay the price in violence and brutality.

How will they understand

That Christ entered the everyday routines of life

Through the gentleness of love.

 

They break the cross

And ravage the church.

They shatter the synchrony of voices raised in prayer,

With their chants,

Harsh with the savagery of bigotry and hate.

They crumble bricks and shatter windows,

Thinking that Christ is confined within the enclosure of walls.

They strike again and again,

Trying to reduce Christ to a rubble.

They do not know,

That Christ is an indestructible yearning

For the perfection of love.

 

They label faith,

List out Gods,

And bracket life into compartments.

They pattern intricate continuities,

Between Gods and religions and nations.

They draw boundaries through classifying the rituals of worship.

They do not know

That love smudges boundaries,

And makes divisions porous.

How will they erase that kinship patterned by the radical equality of love?

That love,

Which Christ proclaimed to the world.

 

They will kill and attack

And raise their voices in hate.

They will mark the altar

With finger prints of blood,

As an insignia of their power.

They will search for imagined crossings,

Where they seek for imagined people,

Who cross from one religion to another

As neatly and quickly as crossing a road.

And they will prop up regimes of mindless hate and terror.

 

They do not know that the God that we cradle in our faith

Is the shape of our longing for love and perfection.

They do not know that the God shaped by our imagination and desire

Is boundless and formless.

They do not know that Christ is the tenderness

That will sprout in them at a careless moment of forgetfulness,

When they forget to keep their vigil over hate.

When they experience that epiphany of love

They too will be converted to Christ.

 

Parinitha teaches in the Department of English, Mangalore University.


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One Comment

  1. Gary Corseri says:

    It is a powerfully thought, and powerfully rendered poem. I would alter the last 2 words. Just leave it: “They too will be converted….” and then it will be a poem that could be widely applicable to divisions based on religion, politics…without labeling. The most important thing is to keep an open mind and a loving spirit, open to differences of perception and understanding. This is a sensible, sensitive beginning for a dialogue. Let us keep the doors and windows of perception open to variegated opinions and shades of meaning….