Here’s to a weekend of hope, when hoping is hard
In my religious tradition, tomorrow is a day filled with images of hope and new possibilities. I’m especially looking forward to it this year because so much in the world right now seems hopeless.A delegation from my congregation just returned from Palestine with sobering stories of injustice and oppression. The wall that Israel is building was a constant reminder to them of the failure of reason. It cast a dark and long shadow over hopes for a peaceful future. I was in Washington D.C. last week for the cherry blossoms, but I also encountered endless gossip that was anything but pretty. The anecdotal evidence I was listening to was codified by Seymour Hersh in this week’s New Yorker magazine. Entitled “The Iran Plans,” Hersh makes a horrifying case that has the White House making even more horrifying plans to nuke Iran. Not recommended Easter reading.
Hope diminished as I read a nasty e-mail from a good friend that utilized cheap stereotypes to describe the problems of immigration. So strange that a nation of immigrants now turns a cold shoulder to those just behind them. One can better understand, I suppose, the ultimate response of America’s native population as they watched the illegals arriving at Plymouth Rock.It appears that Iraq is in the midst of a civil war that has Shiites hating Sunnis and visa versa – both, of course, hating Americans even more. The hope for a lasting democracy dims with each headline. All the more reason, I am convinced, to celebrate a day for hoping. This Sunday should be a time of resurrecting our vision of a world formed by justice and peace, a world that can find solutions outside the boxes of violence and intimidation. A wise man once wrote, “Without a vision, the people perish.” My D.C. time last week included a visit to a place of vision. PEACEXPEACE (pronounced “peace by peace”) is a relatively new organization headquartered in our nation’s capital and dedicated to forming alliances between women around the world.
Internet-based and idealistically charged, PEACEXPEACE is operating under the primary premise that it is time to think outside the box. Or to put it in the words of our daughter Molly who works for PEACEXPEACE: “Women have been left out of the dialogue long enough. It’s time to have all the voices at the table.” The website for PEACEXPEACE (www.peacexpeace.org) is filled with hope-filled vision: “Together we will create a world where women are central to building sustainable peace and where, through balanced partnerships, women and men will transform fear and hostility into actions that build cultures of harmony. Person by person, connection by connection, peace by peace.” No question such envisioning can be dismissed as altruistic fantasizing but in light of what we read each morning this is surely an alternative worth pursuing. (Incidentally, there is a PEACEXPEACE circle here in Summit County. If you are interested in learning more give Pauline Child a call at (970) 468-8554.
The gifted author Barbara Kingsolver once mused, “The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.” This, it seems to me, is precisely what groups like PEACEXPEACE are doing and it is a welcome antidote to our world’s malaise. Here’s hoping.Rich Mayfield is a Saturday columnist. Visit his website at http://www.christianagnostic.com.
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