"The Christian must discover in contemplation, and in the giving of his life, those symbolic actions which will ignite the people's faith to resist injustice with their whole lives, lives coming together as a united force of truth and thus releasing the liberating power of the God within them." - James Douglass, Contemplation and Resistance.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
The battle for peace is seemingly intractable. We fight, protest, make speeches that drive politicians to tears (see James Spader in Boston Legal), but the world has yet to shake its dumb indifference to the crucifixion of the least of these. Tom Fox is one who shows us the way and demonstrates with his own life that peace workers cannot measure themselves by the world's yardstick. To set worldly success as the chief aim of our movement, as we are constantly exhorted to do by "realists", "tough thinkers", and others whose hearts have been dulled to the stirrings of the Spirit, is to shift our attention away from the human prize. It was a prize that Tom Fox never took his eyes off of. And as he looked, the world failed to change him, to make him despair, lose his grip on the spirit that lives. The Spirit of God is not a booming voice announcing a continuous string of astonishing successes. Often, it is as weak as an aging man being beaten in the middle of the Iraqi desert, but the beating did not refute his mission or validate the philosophy of the beaters, and did not force him to surrender to the darkness which inhabits the hearts of the violent. Many of us step near the undertow of despair until we see that it is only the flip side of worship of success which is the true national religion. And then we know that Tom will one day walk among us again, full of the grace and truth, rejoicing.