And the LORD will judge between the nations, and will decide concerning many peoples; and 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. -Isaiah 2:4
Years ago our dear friends working for an airline needed someone to come along with them on their Hawaii trip to keep their infant daughter. So Joe and I volunteered for this very cushy job! We flew in on December 7. As we took in the beauty of the Big Island from the sky, it hit me: it was Pearl Harbor Day, and here we were. We visited the shrine there and paid our respects to those buried at sea, very young men, victims of an act of war and terror that shook the nation.
What was especially powerful was being on the tour with a boat full of people who were American, about half Euro-American and half Japanese-American, and people who were Japanese. The audio guide for the tour was in English and Japanese. The facts of the bombing atrocity were given thoroughly. They also included Americans’ fearful response that resulted in the unlawful interment of Japanese-Americans. The mood was somber. Then the audio guide said something like, “Now the country of Japan and its people are among the United States’ greatest allies.” Small smiles passed between people. An Anglo-American man began to clap. Others joined in. We were celebrating together the overcoming of a barrier no one could have fathomed overcoming at that time.
Recently, my family and I were decorating our Christmas tree and listening to some oldies Christmas music. “O Come, All Ye Faithful” came on, the version sung by Bing Crosby. “Mom,” our son said, “This album is from 1942. Do you know what that means? They created this during World War 2!” I was proud of his grasp of history. But more than that, during this present moment of responding to our nation’s enemies, I was grateful that we can “Come, All Ye Faithful” and take the long view. The Lord is leading us. Peace is on its way.