Praying for the Peacemakers

Like so many Friends, I've been praying for the safe return of Tom Fox, Norm Kember, Harmeet Sooden, and James Loney, of Christian Peacemaker Teams. I found it hard to concentrate at work today, as I kept checking CPT's website, Google news, and Common Dreams. (See Martin Kelley's "It's Witness Time for updates.)

As a small offering, I quote from Dan Seeger below. I finally got around to reading his essay, Inhabiting Both the Earthly City and the City of God, a message offered at the 1997 Peace Roundtable, sponsored by Pendle Hill at the Arch Street Meetinghouse, Philadelphia.

Dan spent a year as interim regional director of AFSC's Pacific Mountain Region, and I had the privilege of spending some time with him in worship at San Francisco Friends Meeting, in co-presenting a workshop on the peace testimony at SF Friends School a year ago, and in watching one of the Bush-Kerry debates at the house of a Friend. His is an extraordinary witness, and I found his words comforting:

"To be peacemakers in the modern era, as in any time, requires patience, love and endurance. To be peacemakers is to be willing to think broadly and comprehensively, yet to avoid oversimplification and ideology. It is to be willing to undertake political action which is wise and compassionate. It means standing apart from the disorder of the world, but at the same time engaging actively with all those seeking a community which includes all nations and all peoples. It is to recognize that we cannot be absolute masters of our historical circumstances, yet it is to be willing to contemplate the life and suffering of distant peoples, as well as those in our own back yards, and to respond in the circumstances in which we find ourselves to the needs of a universal humanity.

"It is to rely in our own weakness on the strength of God. It is to listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit which allows us to see anew the situation we inhabit, the Holy Spirit which shows us what, in existing circumstances, must unfailingly be done. It is to realize that justice and peace are legitimately the goals both of the city of God and of the earthly political order, and that our life in religion and our life as citizens compliment rather than contradict each other. It is to do work which is neither desperate nor shrill, nor is it a dull and relentless drive toward some narrow ideologic end. Rather, we will become instruments of the Divine Creative Plan, constantly upbuilding that which folly threatens to dissolve, helping the world's people grow together as a community through the reconciling love of the One in whom all things are One."

PS Also, check out the Finding My Religion column on SFGate today, about Ward Powers' documentary film, 'ONE: The Movie,' on oneness and the meaning of life.

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