Wrestling with Abu Ghraib


And honestly, there are dark corners of this globe – places where cooks and sons are placed in cells with women’s underwear on their heads – mocked and treated like cattle.

And there are other camps where a little girl, bare bottomed, perpetually looks down the road for her to come back. She never does. Why did she come? And where did she come from? And what does the henna, and sand and smiles mean?

Corners where men’s wasta strangles and overwhelming hospitality of tea shine in the cracks. Lost, lonely but perpetually praying, seeking…smacking against cold, wet prison floors.

The calls from the minarets generate last vespers or embers or shoulders of hope; that one someone, somewhere has some compassion or empathy, anyone – not the divine or the universe, but tingling  humanity- that may see.

Center rise, center rise, all of your intimate insides rise and jump radically out of  your broken clay shards –walk out of the cells, walk out of the tradition.

And in this little girl lies the answer. Always curious, always hoping (despite the same old tent and fading Amman lights) she always can find a reason to squirm and wiggle. She accepts her hunger and her mother’s bawdy laughter – but she’ll never stop finding a place to play.

Maybe, one day, just maybe, she will return.

Let justice rise like a mighty rolling current – wash away the destruction – fulfill the one who’s about to lose the gaze down the path of hope.

Amos 5: 24, “But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!”

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