When I feed the poor they call me a saint, when I ask, ‘Why are they poor?’ they call me a communist. – Dom Helder Camara
It is true. In the midst of all our charity we sometimes forget to ask the question, ‘why?’ (for another post on this, click here)
Shalom activists pursue the ‘why?’ question relentlessly. Often times it is messy. Here is are some good words from Noel Moules that move us into the practicalities of being a shalom activist.
Radical political engagement involves devising plans and schemes that confront concentrations of power in societies that stifle spirituality and humanity; strategies, which are creatively imagined and fearlessly executed and beautiful in their outcome.
- Politics for the ‘Shalom Activist’ is spiritual work leading to practical outcomes.
- Politics is about structuring, enabling and empowering community.
- Politics must involve building cultures of shalom.
- Politics requires a ferocious love that endeavours to draw difference into dialogue.
This work is costly. The Quakers call it a ‘Testimony to the Truth’ which leads hem to ‘speak truth to power’. This creative confrontation has its background in the stories of Hebrew prophets who stood before kings and challenged them, exampling the principle: ‘The one who rebukes boldly makes shalom.’
Noel Moules, “Fingerprints of fire… Footsteps of Peace: A Spiritual Manifesto from a Jesus Perspective” page 54.
How can we be creatively practical in our pursuit of shalom?
In partnership with Forge Canada, Noel Moules will be doing 2 sessions at Emmanuel Mennonite Church here in Abbotsford on Monday June 10th. If you are in area be sure to check it out! Click here for more details.