Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Trespassers W....

"Christopher Robin said you couldn't be called Trespassers W, and Piglet said yes you could , because his grandfather was, and it was short for Trespassers Will, which was short for Trespassers William. And his grandfather had two names in case he lost one - Trespassers after an uncle, and William after Trespassers."
(from Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne)

Ever played word association games? Well the quote above barged into my head whilst thinking about a sign that used to be (and probably still is) outside the Salvation Army Hall down the road from where I lived in Edinburgh - Trespassers will be prayed for.

Tangental thinking it may be, as we discussed at Young Friends on Sunday night when looking at Meeting for Worship, ministry and eldership. However that is a tangent and not what this post is about.

The Trespassers bit is.

As is the will be prayed for.

The events in the Middle East have lead to some considerable discussion here - letters and emails have been written not just to the Quakers in Lebanon and heads of State there and in Palestine, but also in Israel letting them know they are being (to use Quaker speak) 'held in the light' whilst a peaceful solution is looked for. After all if you are hoping for a peaceful resolution it needs both sides to come to a place where that is what they want and seek. The 'aggressors' need held in the light as much as the 'victims' as they have to overcome a monumental shift of perspective to drop their current methods and find the courage to put their faith in an alternative which may not produce such instant effects or self gratification.

Invasion of space at any level is very emotive. It is very easy to want to put the shutters up and haul up the drawbridge. It isn't easy to trust that those who have violated your space can be capable of dialogue. It is hard to risk innocent others getting hurt along the way - the stories that have captured the hearts of many around the world and have helped boost public calls for a solution in Lebanon have been those of children bombed and caught in the crossfire, similarly it took children being shot in Britain to bring about enough public pressure to change the gun licencing laws.

But sometimes there isn't anything you can do other than pray for, hold in the light or whatever, those whose determination to achieve their own ends takes little heed of the damage and resentment they may be causing along the way that is likely to backfire on them. Lebanon had been rebuilt after the last round of wars, it had worked hard towards achieving an integrated multifaith community - now a new generation of dissenters has probably been created. Buildings can be replaced, trust is harder to regain.

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