Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Holding on to the hope

Over recent months many of you will know about two things which have happened: one, I have moved into a new Christian Community; two, I have become increasingly politically active and engaged in campaigning.

I am planning to write a separate post about these early days of life in the Carrs Lane Lived Community, but ultimately, I don't think the two are unrelated.

"United with Christ we know that struggle and contemplation have one and the same source: if we pray it is because of love; if we struggle to restore humanity to those mistreated, that too is because of love." 
(Br. Roger of Taize)

The trouble is, every campaign I come into contact with inspires me to find out more about others. Every person I meet who is passionate about peace and justice and the environment and humanity, opens my eyes to other worthwhile concerns. In a complex, intermeshed web of overlapping and interrelated issues and concerns; there is, put simply, too much to do. Too much that I really believe needs to change.

I cannot do all that I would like to do to make the world a better place. And at times, that is discouraging.

Which is why it is important to stay engaged with others who are passionate too: to stand with others in the park in Belfast in the rain even when the G8 leaders probably aren't really listening; to stand outside the ExCeL centre with others (also in the rain, it's a recurring theme!), even though the arms dealers are buying and selling regardless inside.

Which is why I need to be inspired by those that are doing way more than I am, and reminded by those that are doing less, that every little bit counts; every act of non-violent resistance, every letter sent, every conversation had, every banner held high, every Facebook status, every tweet. Every seed planted to grow a better, fairer world.

Most recently, last week, I headed down to London, twice, to campaign against the DSEi, one of the world's biggest arms fairs. We didn't stop the arms fair. Truth be told, I don't think we'll have even made them think twice, sadly, about coming back in two years time. But maybe as a result of a word, a song, an image, an action someone, somewhere, will have had a change of heart. And I know of at least one person who has come away inspired to keep campaigning for the possibility of peace.

(A few photos from last week ... I was only a very, very tiny part of what went on, so you'll have to look very carefully if you want to spot me!)

Because I want to be a pacifist, I really do. I believe it is the only possible response to the non-violent Jesus of the Gospels. But it is very hard. Whoever thought the pacifists and conscientious objectors were cowards was having a laugh. I am not sure I have the strength to be a pacifist; not yet. To face every action of hate with one of loving non-violent resistance. But I am working on it. And working on it means living with the hope of possibility. I am going to keep in touch with those who inspire me. I am going to keep writing letters.

See you on September 29th? (

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