Stephen Henderson, editorial page editor of the Detroit Free Press, today wrote “many people fear criminals more than they trust the police to keep order. That provides the fuel not only for a culture in which people may be reluctant to help each other, but also for the no-snitch mentality that’s so prevalent.” (full editorial)

Detroit, according to Henderson and others, is now undergoing a “catastrophic escalation of violence”.  During the past month

  • A 14-year-old killed his mother while she slept.
  • Miscreants shot up a house, killing a 9-month-old possibly in response to a dispute over a seat at a baby shower.
  • A carjacker beat an 86-year-old man at a gas station while other patrons refused to offer any help.
  • Someone killed a 12-year-old, again shooting into a house, because of a fight over a cell phone.

Henderson says fixing Detroit’s problems is the responsibility of the city’s leadership, particularly the mayor and police, pointing to Baltimore as example of success in reducing murders.  Elected and appointed officials.  And Detroit citizens. 

Citizens of heaven take responsibility to be peacemakers.  The kind of peace making which subverts hopelessness.  Creating community. Restoring value to humans.  Finding and addressing hurts and hopes of Detroiters.

Peacemaking will not make front page news.  Likely missed by editors.  It starts so small, even as a mustard seed or a bit of leaven.

But it is as certain as our prayer that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Even now.