Tag Archives: Sergio Viera de Mello

The Diplomat and the Bomber

I wrote this a number of years ago. A question about whether we should rejoice at the death of Muammar Qadhafi called it to mind. I wrote shortly after the 2003 Canal Hotel bombing that killed Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General to Iraq Sergio Viera de Mello and over 20 others, including the suicide bomber. The events are dated; the concerns remain real.

working to build a better world,
we readily recognize
diplomat Sergio Viera de Mello
as a child of God.

Known only
by a final act
of evil desperation,
we strain
through our horror, grief, and revulsion
to comprehend that
the unknown bomber
is God’s child too.

In fathomless mystery,
God who made and loved
the bomber,
the diplomat,
and everyone who perished
in deafening roar and blinding flash,
in smoke and rubble,
now holds them all securely in the arms of grace.

And we are left
to weep,
to mourn,
to wonder,
to struggle for some shred of understanding,
and to take up anew
the seemingly endless task
of seeking justice and wholeness
for all God’s children.

August 2003
Shire near the Ohio


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