Today a photograph appeared on my Facebook timeline. It shows an object ominously hovering in the sky. There is a man on a scooter and a man casually walking along. It's a frozen moment that belies the chaos that is about to unfold.
That object is a bomb; that bomb is about wreak havoc and possibly kill many caught in its vicinity.
I spoke about this photo with my husband who has worked in electronics and we chatted about the manufacturers that make these weapons.
Honestly I had never thought about this before, never imagined a place where brilliant minds invented and developed technology to kill people.
I then had this scenario playing out in my mind about the person/people working on that bomb hanging there in the sky that day.
I know they are just people like you and I. They have family, children, lives. They have names like Bev, Al, Tracy, Daniel and so on (insert names from your country in here). After all weapons are manufactured all over our globe.
Today is august Saturday 2nd of August 2014 the death toll in Gaza is 1,500. Bombs made by people just like you and I landed on their homes, in their neighbourhoods on their loved ones on them. They are now dead and others are terribly maimed. Some are now orphaned or childless. Their lives don't look like they did a mere few hours earlier. Their lives are now irrevocably changed.
Tomorrow all over all world people will get up and go to work in the multi-billion dollar arms industry: there are lots of different kinds of weapons that can cause terrible devastation to our very frail human bodies. Some genius worked out ways to be able that we could be more deadly and devastating in our capabilities to injure and kill.
They might not know if it was the bomb that they made that is caught in this particular picture: it could have come from any factory.
I don't want to lay the blame at the feet of the people who work in these factories. We are all culpable. The need for arms is created because we are all capable of waging war with each other. We can all find it easy to blame one another for the problems in our world. We hear it all the time on the news, in our newspapers. Whatever the problems it's 'their' fault. The 'their' are those who typically don't look like us or vote like us, or share our beliefs.
Look around the world is at war: many blame religion, and I understand why, but honestly I think more often than not we really are fighting 'for a cause that is long forgotten'.
The commonwealth games are on at the moment and what we could so easily forget is this group of nations exists because at one time or another the 'British' conquered each of these places.
The French, Portuguese, Spanish and so on, all conquered various corners of our world and made their mark one way or another to this day.
There are many conflicts at the moment: 39 areas are categorised as having conflict and many more smaller internal battles. Coming from the West our biggest culpability is not only the manufacturing of these arms but that we sell them to all of these countries we may be in conflict with right now - how insane is that???
Alan wrote a great blog about how those with most power are the ones who are those with the greatest responsibility to create peace: in reality we are the ones who tend to sell and buy most of the arms.
I think our so called advanced society still has much to learn. When I look at this photo and I think of the so called lesson after the Second World War 'The war to end all wars', I am filled with sadness that this has not been true. In fact the decision by most western nations was to keep producing these weapons and bombs and for some bizarre reason selling them to anyone who could pay. Even if those nations could one day use said weapons on them. It truly makes no sense to me, the madness of all this.
For the people in this photo, frozen for this moment, it is worse than madness, it's is life and death. If we could ask them what would they like for our world right then, I think their answers would be different than a few seconds earlier. Because at that moment when your life is going to be snuffed out by a bomb whose last screw was put in by a worker called Beverley at the factory in the UK or elsewhere in the world, the wastefulness of your destruction and your absolute desire to live out your life in peace would seem the most sensible option.
I pray, rather than waiting, we would all be those who strive, and call, and march, and protest: whatever it takes to stop war.
There are no winners not even for those who manufacturer these weapons. After all one day you may be the one caught in a photograph with a bomb that you invented or made hovering over the place where you are; ready to cause mayhem and destruction in your life and the ones of those you love.
Praying for all involved in conflict across our world