Kin (For William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury and Martyr)

The Lord receive my soul, and have mercy on me, and bless this kingdom with peace and charity, that there may not be this effusion of Christian blood amongst them.
(Bishop Laud’s dying words)

Some battles are fought on abstract grounds,
Brother armed against a brother,
Defending the periphery.

And sometimes hearts within us burn
For the thing that stifles unity
And puts out our true flame,

When unity, a single mind,
Is that most precious gift of His
Whose body was pierced and torn

That we might not be torn apart
But be made one, as He is One,
And be known by our love.

For if we have any comfort or
Unity or fellowship,
Tenderness, compassion, love:

Make my joy complete.
For holy blood was not shed so
That we might shed our own,

And we have not been made one flesh
To tear ourselves and burn our limbs
And turn arm against armed kin.

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