Of Peace, Place and Shalom Activists

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My wife and I were sick to our stomach as we watched a newscast report the horror of the Boston Marathon bombings.  Our hearts are heavy. We knew 2 people who were present at the marathon itself.  Thankfully, they are both ok. 

But it reminded me that violence is always happening.  It’s as if this full scale, big impact violent event reminded me that bad stuff happens all the time.  Seemingly violence has been happening forever.

It’s two competing narratives.  One of violence.  One of peace.  One seeking revenge.  One seeking to love the enemy.  Each telling a radically different story.  The grand call of God is that hope and peace is always there, subverting the story of violence. 

That narrative calls for shalom activists. 

Boston needs prayer and the presence of peace.  It needs shalom activists. 

Palestine needs prayer and the presence of peace.  It needs shalom activists.

Northern Ireland needs prayer and the presence of peace.  It needs shalom activists.  

Africa needs prayer and the presence of peace.  It needs shalom activists.  

Your neighbourhood needs prayer and the presence of peace.  It needs shalom activists. 

Peacemaking is not a picture of a dove, or a 70’s peace symbol.  It is good ol’ fashion hard work.  That is what a shalom activist does.  I have met a few of them.  And they all have three very specific things in common. 

A love for God, a love for their particular place, and they work hard.  Damn hard.  Everyday.

The shalom activists are there, participating with God, and working damn hard.

As large scale violent acts trend on twitter from time to time, lest we forget that the grand narrative of violence remains, day after day, in the worlds most ignored places too.  Pray for Boston.  Pray for the families who have suffered loss and the devastation of the subsequent ripple of pain.  Pray for those who no nothing other than violence in their own backyards.  Pray for your place too.  Seek peace.  Navigate the subversive story of peace.  God’s peace.  Pursue it! 

Start with the little things.

Has the Boston Marathon bombings prompted you to think about peace in your particular place?  Where do you see opportunities for peacemaking both locally and globally? 

pay attention to non-violence

Watch this video.  Julia Bacha tells the stories of non-violent resistance happening within the heart of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict.  In the process she poses some wonderful food for thought regarding the mainstream media and others about their lack of coverage on stories that display rugged non-violent resistance.  Watch this video.   It’s 10 minutes.

Non-violence is deeply engrained within the Anabaptist faith tradition. As such, and as a bit of a response to this video, I would like to connect with people who have or are currently participating in some non-violent resistance. It would be a honour and a privilege to interview them for this blog.