Kimberly Rivera is my friend and one who came to refer to me as sister (and I her). She fled to Canada as a War Resister, or “Conscientious Objector” five years ago. Today she was separated from her husband and four children having been ordered deported. She will more than likely spend time in jail.

Tonight the tears are flowing.

My plan this afternoon was to attend the peaceful demonstration in support of Kim in downtown Toronto. Instead I found myself gathered with a small group in the yard of a school where Kim said goodbye. I crawled under a play structure where her eldest was hiding to tell him I loved him. He had on a home-made cape and looked every bit a 10-year-old. One sad, amazingly stoic boy.

Tonight I want to set aside the politics of this.

Instead I want to re-imagine the day when all will be made right in this world. The day when people will “hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore.” (Isaiah). I want to cling to my faith that God’s kingdom is going to be fully ushered in and every tear will be dried.

Tonight I want to ask for peace. And mercy.

We are invited to be a people of forgiveness. The plank in my own eye is far bigger than the speck in yours. I want us to dare to choose a way that doesn’t involve picking up arms (using rifles or harsh words) to settle our disputes. I inwardly groan for something different.

Tonight I pray:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. Where there is sadness, joy. (St. Francis)

Oh, my friends, pray for Kim and everyone close to her. And if you don’t pray, send healing thoughts. I know this situation incites strong feelings on all sides and is deeply complicated. Tonight though think of the woman whose longing is for peace, her husband, and the community she leaves behind.

Tonight think of the boy in the cape and his three siblings.

5 thoughts on “War Resister

  1. Erin I will definately think of Kim and will even talk of her message. This Friday ( Sept. 21st) is International Day of Peace and this week in my Kindergarten class we are talking about Peace and Equality. We are talking about seeing each others as equals and also seeing that not everyone around us or in the world has peace in there home, city, or country and we are talking about what we can do to help – even if all that is is to pray for them that peace will come and that until them that God will grant them peace within them.

  2. Although I do not know these people, I am in tears. A Mom should not be seperated from her family like this. this is avoidable. Oh Lord, bring her back HOME!

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