96 years ago, on the western front during World War 1, Private Cecil Roughton picked a poppy. He sent it to his parents as a,
“Souvenir from a front line trench near Arras, May 1916.”
He survived to old age, as did the carefully pressed poppy. Last year his family gave it to the Royal British Legion. Thanks to that organization, poppies continue to be a symbol of lives given, lost or damaged by war and the need for support for those affected.
Today in the UK is Remembrance Sunday. Today we remember the worst people do to each other and the best people do for each other. We remember that “the war to end all wars” didn’t; that there have been few days of peace since 11th November 1918; that this year more UK service personnel came home from
or dead. And in many places of the world more people will die today as a result of conflicts. More families will grieve. Afghanistan
There’s no war that isn’t horrible. According to UN estimates, around the world today there are about 250,000 child soldiers, some only 9, a 3rd are girls. Most casualties in modern conflicts are civilians, including children.
What a mess the world is in. We could blame people in power. We could blame uneven distribution of resources. We could blame evil individuals or political structures and systems. We could say it's human nature and we can't change that. We could ask, why does God allow dreadful things to happen?
This schoolgirl’s *letter to God says what many feel:
I’m writing to complain about the state of the world. I would like to know what you’re going to do about it. Are you still in charge, or have you left us to our own devices? Peace is what the world needs, no more fighting, no more bloodshed…no racism, no prejudice, and most of all no war. Why do you allow people to feel that you can just take over other countries? Why do people feel that other races and religions are inferior to theirs? This is wrong…Now that I’ve given you something to think about, I hope that you will do something about the state of the world.
Jadie Jones, aged 15, Caerphilly, Glamorgan.”
If you were God, how would you reply to Jadie?
Image Credit: Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, CC License
* schoolgirl letter published in‘Letters of Peace, Pavilion Books 1995 p.77