photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell
Saw the movie Fury last night. Really powerful film. Great acting. Beyond gritty. If ever a war movie was an anti-war movie, this one is it.
I woke up this morning with scenes from the movie playing through my head – scenes of death and destruction, blood and cruelty, courage and war-honor. And, as I processed it all, two trains of thought emerged from the smoke.
One of the trains took me to a place of compassion and empathy for the soldiers in every time and every nation who have felt voluntarily compelled, or been drafted, to take up weapons and kill their fellow human beings. It occurred to me that if I had been a soldier watching that movie I might feel a kind of relief in the knowledge that I wasn’t alone – that the “reality” of war is a shared burden of responsibility, memories, and pain by all who’ve lived it.
The other train of thought took me to this place: There are no more lessons to be learned from war. Mankind has been fighting wars for thousands of years, and I’m thinking we’ve learned everything we needed to learn from that course, and it’s time for us to be done with it now. It is time, my friends, to graduate and move on to more productive and constructive Life-courses.
Some may say that the cycle of War is never-ending and unstoppable, but I do not agree. Cycles DO stop. There’s no law that says cycles have to go on for eternity. I believe there IS a natural law, though – a law of God (Love, Truth, Life) – that pushes mankind towards progress. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (the textbook for Christian Science) Mary Baker Eddy writes: “Every day makes its demands upon us for higher proofs rather than professions of Christian power. These proofs consist solely in the destruction of sin, sickness, and death by the power of Spirit, as Jesus destroyed them. This is an element of progress, and progress is the law of God, whose law demands of us only what we can certainly fulfil.”
We’re surrounded by signs of progress, aren’t we? For all that we are bombarded with news of bigotry, sexism, racism, carelessness, greed, thievery, and murder – there is good going on all around us, signs of a mental stirring, or what Mary Baker Eddy would call a “chemicalization of thought” that is moving mankind towards decency. When we hear about slavery, racism, sexism, and bigotry – most of us in the United States no longer find these things acceptable – huge progress from just 150 years ago when slavery was still a part of our world, or just 94 years ago (in my dad’s lifetime!) when women didn’t have the right to vote or run for public office. This is progress, my friends, progress!
And I believe that progress will bring an end to the cycle of War, too. I believe that our world will find peace.
“What I term chemicalization is the upheaval produced when immortal Truth is destroying erroneous mortal belief. Mental chemicalization brings sin and sickness to the surface, forcing impurities to pass away, as is the case with a fermenting fluid… The muddy river-bed must be stirred in order to purify the stream. In moral chemicalization, when the symptoms of evil, illusion, are aggravated, we may think in our ignorance that the Lord hath wrought an evil; but we ought to know that God’s law uncovers so-called sin and its effects, only that Truth may annihilate all sense of evil and all power to sin.” – Mary Baker Eddy