abraham’s sacrifice

some time afterward
god put abraham
to the test
take your son
the one
for whom you’ve waited
your son the blessing
your son the promise
your son the future
and offer him up
tear him down
just as you shattered your
own father’s idols.

when abraham awoke he
looked down at his son
still sleeping
looking up he saw a
ram caught in the thicket
he walked out into the night
took out his knife
(here i am my son)
and cut the beast

(Genesis 22:1-13)

Abraham Argues With God, Tokyo 1945

"The Flames of Kototoi Bridge—Memories of Losing my Family," painting by Kano Teruo

will you sweep away innocent with
the guilty what if there are
fifty innocent within the city will
you wipe out the place far be it from
you to do such a thing to
bring death upon the innocent the
M-69s which released 100-foot streams of fire upon
detonating sent flames rampaging through
densely packed wooden homes superheated air created
a wind that sucked victims into the flames and
fed the twisting infernos asphalt
boiled in the 1,800-degree heat with much of
the fighting-age male population at the war
front women children and the elderly
struggled in vain to battle the flames or flee
like other survivors nihei who escaped the fire with her
family intact said the bombing showed that war is
never justifiable those images in my mind can never
be erased she said i can see myself there the
flames all around me and i’m running for my
life shall not the judge of all the
earth act justly?

(Genesis 18:23-25 with AP article, “1945 Tokyo Firebombing Left Legacy of Terror, Pain” by Joseph Coleman)