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Outside the Box

Dear Friends,       Outside the Box
I am here to share about making peace with Isis nonviolently. I came to this in my quiet time when I first heard of Isis. My response was, “I’m a pacifist so I prayed, “Lord, they are such bad people the only thing I know to do is get rid of them. Bomb them.” I suppose Jesus’ disciples, and many people today like me, might have had a similar response.
So I prayed, “Lord, I’m a pacifist. Show me Jesus’ way, there must be a better way.”  Lo and behold I just happened to be reading pages in the book The Powers that Be where Walter Wink says “for every conflict there is a nonviolent answer” I prayed, “Lord, I don’t believe it, show me.” Then what came to me was we need first to understand what creates Isis support, why they hate us, what makes people join these terrorists, and to find a good solution.
What if you went home tonight and your house looked like this?

(I pass out this picture of homes bombed by drones) And your family was killed by a US drone? Would you be angry? Might you join a group to stop that bombing? That is exactly what is happening daily in Syria. Are we not just swelling Isis’ ranks with our bombing? Are not clusters just springing up everywhere? Even in some of the bombings here in the US.
We spend 1.8 million dollars a minute for the military: how much has been spent in just the time we have been here. According to the UN we have killed over 100,000 Iraqis, and we wonder why they hate us?
We need to think outside the box to find a way to love our Isis enemies and thus turn them into friends. Today, driven by fear, and without us realizing it, military force and hate is once again on the rise, believing the lie that bombing can bring peace. Is it?
Several years ago our US military provided health care, shelter, food, and jobs for the Iraqi people. It was successful in winning the support of the Iraqis. Should we try something similar in response to Isis? 
What if we said to Isis that we want to talk to resolve our differences; and to show we are really serious we will stop bombing and start dropping medical supplies, food, tents?  What might they do? As children of God too might they surprise us? Can we not always go back to ineffective bombing? Should our “Think Tanks” work on how to kill efficiently or how to make peace?
 Recently I shared this in Goshen, Elkhart, Huntington, and North Manchester all in Indiana; asking people to think outside the box, write their representatives; and pray.
Shalom, Jim

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