Skip to main content
Dear friends,                                                 More Verdugo H.S. Conversations
 “I’m a Catholic. We believe we should be tolerant of all religions.” remarked one girl.
One student upon entering the room said, “I can’t wait for your talk. A friend told me about it.”
Here are Mary Ann and Donald Berry, friends who hosted and gave me rides to the school. Here is their yard which they converted to desert plants to save water because of the drought. Half the water in Pasadena is used for lawns. The orange flowers came into bloom while I was there. They grew some of the sweetest tangerines and oranges I ever ate on their two trees. They live very ecological and eat mostly organic.  
Another girl posed the question “But why is there so much violence and evil in the world?” I replied with, “Well something that has been helpful to me recently is to understand that God gives us free will. We can choose to come back with anger when someone does something aggravating to us.  As you know, in personal conflict hostility doesn’t lead to peace.  Caring and kindness often results in peace and reconciliation. I think it is the same in international differences.”
 “But what can we do” asks another? I answer back, “We have to create a peaceful society. When conflicts happen it is good to think about it before you respond. Pray about it if you pray. Tell your friends about this talk. Sent emails to your representatives, tell them to stop using your taxes for 1.2 million dollar a minute for military. You represent 1000’s of people to them. My flyer tells you how to email them.”
Another probed, “Do you think emailing or praying is worth it. Do our representatives ever read our emails? Do our prayers just go into the air? What do you think?” I responded, “I’ve struggled with these same questions. It’s hard to be hopeful.  A story that might be helpful is that in the 1950’s, peace churches sent little bags of wheat the size of a lemon to President Eisenhower asking him to send food instead of arms to Europe. He later said that this really influenced him on what he did.”
“Do you really think dropping humanitarian aid like food and medicine would ever work to lead to dialogue with Isis?” questioned several students.  I answered back, “I don’t know for sure if it would work. But I sense it is a good possibility--it might. Seems it would be worth a try. Has what we have been doing since 2001 worked-- what is it 13 years now? Has if not just gotten worse?” Often the students would just shake their heads to say you’re right.
I added, “We have to think outside the box, to break the cycle of acting like kids: if you hit me then I’ll hit you back.  Just like when Isis bombed Paris, Obama and Holland responded “ok we’re at war; we’re going to bomb Isis even more.” Immediate military manufacturing stocks shot up. Everyone wanted to invest in the “Military Industrial Congressional Complex”. Investor, in many ways, like war, I imagine.
Thanks again for your prayers and donations.
May this day for you be filled with shalom,
Jim

.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Is Justice and Peace com'n?

Jim's Peacemaking NewsletterView this email in your browserDear Friends,

“Do you really believe Justice and Peace are coming, in spite of all the wars, and as we titter on destroying all of creation with climate change?” questioned John Betten.

I answered, “Yes, I believe peace is coming. It is hard to imagine how it is possible. But Jesus told us to pray for the kingdom to come, and that means peace and justice. He wasn’t talking about pie in the sky.”

 “Another thing, what keeps you working for peace and justice?” questioned John. About all I can say is, it is the spirit at work. I just feel impelled: not sure what else to say. Doing it has been the richest time of my life.

“I think it is really important to pray.” As Daniel says, “We need to be praying especially for Colombia. There they are killing many human rights leaders. Such killing undermined the 1980’s peace agreement.”

John questioned, “Why don’t we hear more about Syria in the news? Lots of suffering from the war going on …

Push Back to Nonviolence

Dear Friends,         Push Back to Nonviolence

10/22 thru 11/9 I was in Oregon where I gave 13 talk/discussions in schools and churches, one of them in Spanish. As usual I got pushback each time where people expressed their questions about my proposal: To tell Isis we really want to talk and to show it we will stop bombing and instead drop humanitarian aid like tents, clothing, and medicine. The most common reservations were “I believe we could never talk to Isis. They are not reasonable.” My responses were something like this. “I have the same questions. But we might be very surprised. I think they may say, ‘Let’s see how serious they are.’ They too are created in the image of God. Then there is that within all of us to respond to love. “I don’t know for sure what they would say, but if not this then we need to try something else. We can always go back to bombing, which obviously just makes their support grow.” I always appreciated the pushback response, for it always brought out oth…

“Bells on Christmas Day”

Hello friend,                              Hope  “Bells on Christmas Day”   Here is an old familiar carol written during the civil war, which must had been a turbulent time very similar to the present. A strong message of hope you might find helpful. Pay attention to the words as you sing or read it.  Shalom, Jim 1. I heard the bells on Christmas day Their old familiar carols play                                                                                                                      and sweet the words repeat                                                                                                                         Of peace of  earth, good will to men. 2. I thought how, as the day had come,                                                                                                                   The belfries of all Christendom                                                                                                                                Had r…