Last Sunday, David Little spoke to the students about his book, Peacemakers in Action. He compiled this book about people of faith who work everyday for peace.
In his presentation, David began with the words of Jesus, and then reminded us of the violent death that ended Jesus’ life. He lifted up Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi and evoked the truth, over and over again, that peacemaking has to be wedded with seeking justice, and so it can be extremely dangerous.
King often preached about having the “strength to love.” He said that it was easy to resort to violence as a response to violence, but it took a very strong person to respond in love.
Looking back on last Sunday, and then seeing the events unfold this week, it was if David stood, forewarning us of the dark clouds that would come.
Many organizers of the protests were Buddhist monks. They’re described as young students, in the midst of their religious training in the monasteries. They have been spurred by their deep religious convictions to seek peace, justice, and to make change in the world.
They are like us.
Although they were certainly braver than I could be. The government didn’t seem to respond to their initial protests. Then, in the dark of the night, they raided the monasteries. About 150 of these young, religious men–the leaders–were rounded up and taken into custody for their demonstrations. It’s happened before in Burma’s history. The monks knew what the repercussions would be. They were acting as incredibly brave peacemakers.
I wish there was something that we could do. Some way to let them know that they are not alone in those cells. Some light that I could lend in their valley of death. Some way that I could communicate how many of us are thinking about them. Something….
In this important hour, may we keep watching and waiting. And may we pray for peace.
photo’s by CharlesFred