May Peaceful Presence: Grief and Hope

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Our May 11, 2024 Peaceful Presence was hosted by the Palo Alto Friends Meeting.

All the contributions were very moving, heart-felt and spoken from deep places of love, especially in the midst of war. Here are links to music and videos and a text of a prayer that we can share.

We began and ended with musical excerpts from Karl Jenkins' "The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace." 

Eric Sabelman, a Friend (Quaker) shared a poem/prayer he had written in 2004. See "read more" for the words.

Other contributions were offered by Amy Ellberg (Jewish), Samina Sundas and Tehmina Zeb (Muslim) and Donna Baranski-Walker (Quaker).

Samina included this short video of an ABC News story about Dr. Mohammad Subeh, a Palestinian American medical doctor from the south bay who traveled to Gaza recently on a medical mission.

We also watch this video of interview clips of children from the Ramallah Friends School in the West Bank, created in March during a visit there by Quakers from the Friends Committee on National Legislation.

With gratitude to all of those who planned and contributed, let us pray and act for peace.



God weeps when His children do not know each other.

His tears are the blood spilled in the sand, when brother strikes brother;

His tears flow when mothers mourn, not hearing their sisters' cries as their own.

No tears fall from the eyes of men who send out God's sons and daughters

  in cars or helicopters filled with death for other sons and daughters, 

  whose names they will never know.

Missiles and bombs and bullets cannot weep; 

  if they could, we would feel their tears fall among us,

  tears bringing tears for years upon years.

If you bind your brother's wounds, you will learn his name;

  if you know your sister's grief, you will share her sorrow.

For every drop of His children's blood, God weeps a thousand tears.

-Eric E. Sabelman, 2004