Thursday, April 12, 2007

A New Journey Begins - Violence to Nonviolence

The 12th of March marked for me what has been a new journey beginning. Yesterday was a ‘turning around’ in my life. I am on the journey from someone being trained in violence to someone being trained in nonviolence.

For several years this has been building, lifting in intensity over the past few months and a workshop on Jesus nonviolence teachings with Father John Dear a Jesuit Priest and nonviolent activist moved me into readiness to pursue further a nonviolent life.

I am now reading Gandhi, King, Dorothy Day, Walter Wink, Nelson Mandela and others – and only just beginning to grasp how deep nonviolence goes. I can already see nonviolence is going to be a life-long pursuit of learning, experiences, actions, reflections and contemplative meditations. And it is already shaping up to shake up my already alternative lifestyle even further (June 2007 – Peace convergence in Shoalwater bay). I don’t know where this road is headed but I’ve got that anticipation feeling in my gut. There is a long way to go…I can only encourage others to also begin the journey from violence to nonviolence.

I have never seen a Mountain moved until now...

These reflections come in the light of an ongoing struggle our community has recently experienced in assisting a family living in a caravan park obtain long-term affordable housing in a suburb they could only dream of living. In this struggle which reached political heights, the family fought all the way and we supported, providing extra strength necessary, solidarity and friendship. After 12 years waiting for social housing. After 1.5 years living in sub-standard and unsafe conditions. After being told to wait 3 more years on the state’s ‘priority’ list. A house was given. Jesus said mountains can be thrown into the sea – I have never seen a mountain moved until now – and its only the beginning. The lack of social housing is an incredible Mountain in Victoria and it will be moved. And so yesterday we celebrated with the family and it was good.

Can you see the lives of those around you getting better?

In the Economy of God people will not sleep rough – they will have dwellings

In the Economy of God people will not hunger or thirst – they will be filled

In the Economy of God people will not be alone – they will have friends

Have you considered that when you feed someone, provide a room for someone or befriend someone – that you are making this world a better place, that you are participating in God’s ongoing creation, that you are providing people with glimpses of the reign of God?

And its not about needing a superman to save the world. Its not about finding the cure for cancer or solving world hunger. Its not about doing everything. Its about doing small things with great love (that’s what Mother Theresa said). Its about helping improve the experience of life for those around you. Its about good news.

Can you see the lives of those around you getting better? How is your life building up others and allowing creation to continue. It is so simple to see the economy of God breaking in. The more it breaks in, the more people experience it, the more it breaks in, the more we start to live in it, the more it breaks in the more we feel its life giving force upon us rather than the darkness.

Who around you needs to experience some of God’s economy? What around you needs transforming to a Godly economy? How can you help God’s economy break in? Locally, nationally, global – what can you do. Do these small things in great love. For if you do it, then your neighbour may begin to do it, and then follows the world…