taking the words of Jesus seriously

This is a poem that I wrote regarding the violence in Gaza.  I feel helpless to do anything meaningful from so far away, yet am horrified by the footage I am seeing from the ground.  One of my professors in college always said that, “under anger, there is always sadness.”  I find myself very angry as I see new stories every day about children dying in refugee camps and underneath that anger is heart break that we—humanity—have allowed the world to become this way.  I think of the Sermon on the Mount.  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.  The ER doctors and first responders on the ground in Gaza City are certainly children of God.  The children who pray from hospital beds for their parents who have already died are children of God.  May we do whatever is in our power, from near or far, to be peacemakers.  May we also be children of God.

Another Way
Meagan Ruby Wagner


Right now

There are children in Gaza writing their names on their arms

In shaky print with permanent markers

In the hope that if their bodies are unidentifiable

At least one of their arms will make it and 

And their families will have a piece of them to bury

And it does not have to be this way


There are dead mothers and dead children

Piled in sheet-shrouded rows

On the refugee camp roads

While sons and brothers and fathers

Wail and weep and gnash their teeth

And it does not have to be this way


There is blood in the ground

Blood in the rubble

Blood on the streets

Blood everywhere but in the bodies 

Where it belongs 

And it does not have to be this way


There are generation upon generation

Of sons and daughters who

Grow to be grandfathers and grandmothers

If they are the lucky ones

Who have never known peace for a day in their lives

And it does not have to be this way


Retribution after retribution after retribution

Revenge on revenge on revenge on revenge

Death that leads to death and graves that beget graves

And it will never end

Until someone decides

That it does not have to be this way

About The Author


Meagan Ruby Wagner lives in the Midwest with her husband, their three children, three dogs, and a multitude of barn cats.  She writes about motherhood and faith.  When she is not chasing three small children around, she is usually poking around in the garden. 

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