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Peace Fought, Peace Lost

I met a man who came from away
With no friends, no money, no English
Everything against him

But he was proud
He had two hands, he wanted to work
Not accept help

This man went to Toronto and almost starved
Before he found somewhere to eat and sleep

This man has two degrees, he’s a priest, he risked his life defending human rights
He can’t go to law school because his war-torn country can’t send his degrees
How ludicrous
He could teach the truth that children should not be used as soldiers
That people who defend children should not get shot
That three million dead, mostly women and children, is too much

How insane, now he’s getting his third bachelor’s
To prove himself on paper when he’s lived one thousand lives
Lives that I wouldn’t trade with him
And he has to change churches to preach peace

Lord, have mercy
Christ, have mercy
Lord, have mercy

This is wrong

This poem was inspired by a human rights activist from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Fearing for his life, he fled to Canada, where legalities and practicalities stripped him of all his gifts - education, peacebuilding, and pastoral care. The Congo, Canada, and my friend lost so much.

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