Query 20: "Do you observe and teach the Friends testimony against military training and service, making clear that war is incompatible with the spirit and teachings of the Gospel? Do you find appropriate ways to work for peace?" Yes, I observe and teach to who I come in contact with. Yes, I find appropriate ways to to work for peace. Take a look.
Today is the official National Day of Peace. What a great opportunity for us Friends to speak up and tell people, "YES, this is what we're all about!!!"
But is it? Ohhh, don't get me wrong, I had a "War is not the Answer" yard sign up in my drive... for three days. Then someone stole it. We thought it was gone forever but actually it is down my road in someone else's drive. How funny is that?!
Anyway, back to peace.... it should be a journey. Something we strive to live by, promote, protect. This post is in no way war bashing, nor am I a war basher. Anti-war sounds hateful but I am pro-peace. I do not believe that going in with our guns a blazing should be first response of our country, or any country for that matter.
The typical response of the world is an eye for an eye - tooth for a tooth. This is not what Jesus teaches. He instructs us, "Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you." Matthew 5: 38-42 Can we really do this in modern day? I have to say, "yes." I believe in the red letters of the Bible and I will live, to the best of my ability, according to my faith.
Have you heard of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission? It is what came out of South Africa's quest to have forgiveness, not war be their answer. The history behind this commission in miraculous, of course. Forgiveness tends to be.
I am putting my words to work. In Newberg, Oregon, Paco and I stood for peace one lunch hour. It was an amazing experience. So amazing, that I am working with the Peace Coordinator at my church to organize peace standings in our town. There are many peace coalitions, so just do a quick search to find one in your area. Better yet, check out the Friends Committee on National Legislation and see some areas you can get involved.
Today, on the National Day of Peace, I pray for peace. I pray peace for my family. For you. For us. And, I ordered a new yard sign. Actually, I know where you can get one.
As Paco says, "Just be nice." It really is that simple. No matter who we are dealing with or what it is about. Be nice. Thanks, Paco!