The recent event of the bombing of the Church in Egypt has inspired Steven Attalla to write this letter from a mother to the terrorist who was responsible.
As I was preparing a meal for my child to eat after the liturgy, I heard an explosion coming from a couple of streets away. I ran out of my house and I saw smoke arising from the direction of the Cathedral. As I began dashing towards the misty road, my thoughts camouflaged with the dusty air “please have mercy on my dear child! Lord, please let him be alive!” I prayed as I approached the ruined castle, Pushing and shoving everyone out of the way,
I desperately sought after my son. I desperately sought after for my beloved child. After minutes of torment, there he was… laying besides the altar, slain with nothing covering his torn body but rubble and innocence. I helplessly held his lifeless body in my arms and my tears…my tears he blessed with his martyred blood. I heard the cry of every family echo throughout the room. I saw parents collecting the body parts of their children. I saw the priests and bishops looking at to the heavens and praying. I bowed my head and I looked at my child hanging off my arms. My surroundings silenced.
The first time I held him, he was covered in my blood and was afraid. And now as I held him for the last time, his blood was shed and he was in peace. I am now at peace. Today he was given wings to ascend and join the rest of the angels and saints. You thought you have won by killing the innocent but their souls have now risen to the eternal Kingdom.
The walls of the church are now splattered with the blood of those you martyred. Before you entered, the icons were hazed with aromatic incense and now they’re coated with the blood of the new saints. I am writing to you for one reason only. From the depths of my heart, I want you to know that “I forgive you”. No bomb can ever detonate the love we have for our Savior. Our knees have hit the ground and created an impact that no explosive is ever capable of doing. I want you to know that when you execute these attacks, you widen our pathway to the Heavenly Kingdom.
I thank you with all my heart for sending my child to his Father. Although you’ve left him in pieces on Holy grounds, he is now complete in the eyes of our Lord. Our limbs can be amputated but our love for our God cannot be pulled apart. When Christ was on the wood of the cross, He looked up to heaven and asked His Father to forgive those who tortured and crucified Him for they do not know what they do. I know you’re blinded by darkness and unaware of your actions and that is why I forgive you. In your eyes, you see broken walls and bodies torn apart but in our eyes we see the Soldiers of Christ becoming stronger and the love of God growing in our hearts.
The Coptic Church has not been destroyed but instead has become victorious once again.