Someone had shot a bullet and this bit of brass landed here.
On the doorstep of my church. Where we worship the Prince of Peace. Where we learn that those who make peace are blessed.
I put my foot on it — didn’t want the boy to see it.
I stuck it in my pocket.
Later I Googled the words inscribed by the manufacturer. It turns out that this is cheap ammunition for automatic weapons of some kind. You buy them in large numbers — apparently one needs to shoot off quite a few.
Anyway, if you do the math the thing cost somebody 43¢.
I don’t know which disturbed me more: finding it, or knowing you could get two of them for less than a buck.
O that instead we were more like St. Francis of Assisi (d. 1226) — a man of peace even in places of conflict.
Francis had been a warrior, before Christ took hold of him. But ever after he tried to do what Jesus said, to live as simply, lovingly, joyfully, as Christ in the Gospels. To him that looked like pure poverty, living on what he could get by begging, and caring for lepers, society’s outcasts.
His simple and pure discipleship made him fearless. There were wars on, so Francis went out to the Crusades. But Francis went not to fight, but to talk about Jesus with those Europe’s armies called enemies.
He went, unarmed, onto the fields of battle.
The story is told that the Muslim soldiers found him there, with one of his “little brothers,” wandering in their rags. Instead of killing them, they took them to safety. Their faith inspired mercy on the mentally ill or delayed.
Eventually the soldiers took Francis to their sultan, where he spoke very persuasively indeed about salvation in Christ.
I wonder if I can live as a peacemaker in a world where people are shooting cheap bullets. There are conflicts global, local, and domestic. Peace is needed everywhere. I wonder if our Christian communities can live as witnesses to the peace Christ brings in and among us.
The police dispatcher sent an officer by my house to pick up the remnant of a cheap bullet later that day. I wish that Jesus would come by and pick up all the fear and hatred that inspires people to use them.