Active Peacemaking

In reference and response to recent events reported in the media…

Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal…  We will not build a peaceful world by following a negative path.  It is not enough to say “we must not wage war”.  It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it.  We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war but the positive affirmation of peace…  We must see that peace represents a sweeter music, a cosmic melody, that is far superior to the discords of war.

Somehow, we must transform the dynamics of the world power struggle from the negative nuclear arms race, which no one can win, to a positive contest to harness humanity’s creative genius for the purpose of making peace and prosperity a reality for all the nations of the world.  In short, we must shift the arms race into a “peace race”.  If we have a will and determination to mount such a peace offensive, we will unlock hitherto tightly sealed doors of hope and bring new light into the dark chambers of pessimism.

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become reality.  I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.

— Dr. Martin Luther King

Speaking personally… from an educational background of sociology and law enforcement, coupled with 16 years of active work in the law enforcement community (8 of those as a sworn officer on the streets)…  Dr. King’s words are as true today as they were when he first spoke them during high times of unprecedented civil unrest in this country.  He spoke them in reference to violent protest.

I echo Dr. Kings words today.  But not in response to the actions of the protesters.  I echo them in response to the peacemakers.  I applaud the restraint and non-violent actions of those who stand up to be counted and have their voices heard.

I know how hard it is for the peace keepers to enforce the law when faced with uncertainty and escalating levels of physical resistance.  I also know how easy it is for those same peace keepers to succumb to the ways of violence that they have sworn to protect us from.

I have opinions about how, as a society, we came to be at this place.  Where the roles of the peaceful and the violent seem to have become reversed.  Perhaps I will expound on that in more detail when I have more time.  For now…

Blessed be the peacemakers.  I applaud all who show physical restraint in these times, regardless of their opinions or beliefs.

Joy is not the same as happiness

From Adam Hamilton’s The Journey

Joy, unlike happiness, can come to us independent of our circumstances. It comes not from changing our circumstances but from viewing them through the eyes of faith

Joy is a choice we make when we look at our present circumstances through the eyes of faith, trusting that God is at work and that he will never leave us nor abandon us. And it is often found with the help of another who reassures us that God is with us.