“A little child shall lead them”: Eight-year old victim teaches peace

The biblical prophet Isaiah had a vision of peace: “The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.” (Isaiah 11:6)

Today that little child is 8-year old Martin Richard, killed in the bombing at the Boston Marathon.  A friend of his teacher apparently posted a picture Martin had made that is leading the nation, teaching of peace.

Martin Richard, “No more hurting people. Peace”

“You shall not hurt or harm on all my holy mountain,” Isaiah continues (11:9)

It is breathtaking and heartbreaking that the wisdom of the ages comes through the words of this child, teaching a nation.

This time, we don’t yet know who designed and orchestrated this act of terror.  There is a collective national breath-holding, as we are poised to find someone, blame someone, punish someone, maybe just anyone, so we can relieve the tension and vent.

Martin’s here, teaching peace.  Peace means not hurting people.  Peace means not wanting a scapegoat, a political club with which to beat the other side, and a way to vent our very justifiable rage.

If you honor this little, very brief and wonderfully important life, take a moment and let his words teach you.

Click here to read the whole post in the original at On Faith at the WashingtonPost.com.




About Susan Thistlethwaite

I am President Emerita and Professor Emerita of Chicago Theological Seminary; I write for the public here and in local papers. I am interested in what I call "public theology," or how deeper meaning is made and contested in the public square.
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