01 Dec Peace or Hate

December is just around the corner and winter has officially arrived. Christmas will soon be here, a season whose true message is peace. As many reflect on the world events, in particular the recent terrorist attacks, many react with fear and respond with intolerance, lashing out at innocent people of eastern descent who are of the Muslim faith.

There are those who have chosen to embrace the message of peace and those who have chosen to use the events as an excuse to turn to violence. I pray that we safeguard our hearts so that peace reigns supreme.

I share the following letter, written by Antoine Leiris on November 17th, 2015; so profound that it was aired on news channels.  It is hoped that Antoine’s choice in response to his wife’s murder will cause reflection on our part; that peace and toleration reigns in the heart of our great country and throughout the world.

“Friday night you took an exceptional life – the love of my life, the mother of my son – but you will not have my hatred. I don’t know who you are and I don’t want to know. You are dead souls. If this God, for whom you kill blindly made us in his image, every bullet in the body of my wife would have been one more wound in his heart.      

So, no, I will not grant you the gift of my hatred.  You’re asking for it, but responding to hatred with anger is falling victim to the same ignorance that has made you what you are. You want me to be scared, to view my countrymen with mistrust, to sacrifice my liberty for my security. You lost. I saw her this morning, finally after nights and days of waiting. She was just as beautiful as when she left on Friday night, just as beautiful as when I fell hopelessly in love over 12 years ago. Of course I am devastated by the pain. I give you that victory, but the pain will be short lived. I know that she will be with us every day and that we will find ourselves again in this paradise of free love to which you have no access.

We are just two, my son and me, but we are stronger than all the armies in the world. I don’t have any more time to devote to you. I have to join Melvil who is waking up from his nap. He is barely 17 months old. He will eat his meals as usual, and then we are going to play as usual, and for his whole life this little boy will threaten you by being happy and free, because no, you will not have his hatred either!”

Please do not let winter settle into your heart. I ask you to share this message of peace.