I have been listening to BigSis and LittleSis discussing world events and am frustrated by my inability to tell them what I think, so I’ll tell you instead.
Many big human problems are, in essence, little ones, but you complicate matters with your pride and your long memories of injustice and your inability to forgive. You think you are being brave when you make lots of noise and brandish guns and grenades. You congratulate yourselves when you kill someone. Worst of all, you try to drag God into it. Whether you call him God or Allah doesn’t matter, you blaspheme when you destroy his children, but you don’t seem to recognize that. I’m not sure what sort of heaven or paradise you think you will earn, but I suspect it may be too hot for comfort. Think, for a moment, of all the tears you have caused to stream down the cheeks of people just like yourselves, who love their families and want them to live long and happily. Think of all the pain, and ask yourselves, does it have to be like this?
I have been thinking about all the dogs in France waiting for a Special Someone to come home who won’t be coming home after the terrible attacks on Friday. I don’t think there will be many dogs in Raqqa doing the same after the bombing last night, but I expect there will be lots of cats waiting for their staff to turn up and being disappointed. We dogs and cats are united in this: in our condemnation of violence and the glee with which you humans greet your mutual destruction. BigSis was telling me about all the angry words she has been reading and how people accuse each other of being ‘wet’ and ‘naive’ if they don’t subscribe to the current orthodoxy, and how Muslims are living in fear of retaliation and Christians are worried about further attacks on them and everyone is going round blaming everyone else; and I just want to shout, ‘Stop!’ And I think God wants to shout ‘Stop!’ too, only you humans aren’t listening to him.
I’m not a very clever dog and I don’t do politics or stuff like that but living with Them I have learned something important about Christianity. You can’t stop being Christian when you are under attack. That’s when you really learn what it means to live by the mercy of God, when you learn what it means to forgive and make peace with your enemy. No one ever said it would be easy. When you come to the monastery, the first thing you see is a big cross with the figure of Christ hanging on it. That is the price of mercy and forgiveness. We dogs instinctively understand that; so why don’t you?