Friday, December 02, 2005

shooting feet

I can't help but feel the latest kidnappings in Iraq are shooting the people of Iraq in the foot - they are the ones who are losing out by taking away the work of the four peaceworkers.

The small world that is Quakerism means that yet again the 6 degrees of separation theory gets stripped down to 1 or 2 and that there are those I know and love anxiously waiting, hoping and praying for Tom, their Ffriend and mentor. The wonders of technology mean that many of us are aware of this and in turn are holding them in the light.

The quote in the heading of Tom's blog (http://waitinginthelight.blogspot.com/) I guess sums up why he and the others are there, and why many go out into such situations - to be patterns and examples. At the UNICEF meeting I was at on Wednesday again the issue of setting patterns and examples came up, it is all very well telling people what they can't do, we need to show them what they can, and how different life can be, and that actions often speak louder than words.

There is always a risk in living out ones faith, as Oliver Kisaka said when he addressed us at WGYF - you can be acceptable to god or acceptable to man, not both. Being acceptable to god means you will be unacceptable in the eyes of man. Patriarchal langauage aside here (or maybe not, depending on whether you think women would be more understanding!) it is a harsh challenge to face, personally I don't think it makes us unacceptable to all people but recognise that usually living/acting true to your beliefs will make us unacceptable to some, often the majority. But are the kidnappers acting true to their beliefs? Are they being true to their understanding of god? And where does that leave us? It is often said that fundamentalists on opposite extremes are divided by a very thin line. Maybe both sides need to hear why they are each doing what they do, find a common ground for dialogue and work forward from there, no doubt the peaceworkers have the skills for this, if they are but given a chance.

I hope that the faith that took the peaceworkers out there sustains them through this, and those who are anxiously awaiting news.

1 comment:

Lovin' Life Liz said...

"it is all very well telling people what they can't do, we need to show them what they can, and how different life can be, and that actions often speak louder than words."

That was beautifully stated!! It has everything to do with empowering instead of putting another culture/way of life down. Work with what you already have!