Yesterday I saluted the quiet courage of the man in China simply, humbly standing in front of the tanks, appealing to the soldiers humanity; refusing to be ignored. We all know what followed. I saluted the woman in the red dress, in Turkey, simply, humbly standing in front of the armed police, being sprayed so forcibly with tear gas or pepper spray that her hair stood up on end. Countless people have done the same. Countless people will continue to do so. Does it change anything? Well sometimes the answer is yes. More often in this world the answer is no, not in the way we expect. Should that stop us? Should we ever give up on the ideal that humanity can and must live in peace with each other, respect others opinions and differences and value all human life? It would be easy to despair, yet we are all children of God and the children of God do not despair and give up. They continue to pour out their love onto troubled waters, to nurture, to heal, to support, to nurture all that is life affirming. It takes courage, to stand quietly in the face of violence. It takes courage to remain humble and serve. It takes courage to be the very best that you can be. Its unlikely to gain you a great career, a big pension, and a super yacht lifestyle. But you will live, and see life and your riches will be beyond anything that money can buy. You will sleep easy with untroubled consciences at night and wake refreshed and eager for a new day. You will laugh from the belly and cry from the heart. You will not know the curse of falseness. You will know great gratitude for the simplest things, which are the hidden gold in life. The cold metal does not keep us warm at night, nor hug us when we are lonely. Your friends will be your friends, they will not be calculating what you can do for them in terms of promotion or money. You will have friends who care if you are sick, or troubles cross your path. These are riches indeed. And when our hearts are full to overflowing with the abundance of God’s kingdom, His treasure store for us…we humbly, easily extend our riches to all others, for we are eager to share.
A great inspiration for many of us is Martin Luther King. Here is an early photo of him with his son, retrieving a burnt cross from his front garden. He did not give up. They killed him. But his words and the changes he helped bring about stayed and are alive.
I do not need you to be of my religion to share with you. I do not need you to be of my nationality. I wish to share that which I am given…for I have much more than I can need…and thus I ask the tank driver to think again, to choose again. I ask the armed police to put down their arms, to choose again. I ask the riot mob who slaughtered a young French student in Paris two nights ago because he was ‘left wing’ and they were ‘right wing’, not to batter him around the head with knuckle dusters…but to put them down, and to choose again. I ask the soldier and the rebel fighter in Syria to lay down their arms and talk. I ask the big industries not to destroy this Earth but to use their organisational skills and power to help save it instead. I ask all those who destroy and kill to lay down their fear, and instead to rejoice in their shared humanity, all children of God. What amazing achievements could we make if we put our efforts into solving issues rather than antagonising them? What Eden could we return to? What would this world look like with everyone loving and nurturing it? What world could we bring our children into then?
Some say I am a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…the John Lennon song Imagine of course comes to mind for most of us. Another man who humbly, simply stood and proclaimed love. He was murdered. But his message and his love live on. We remember him. 2000+ years ago another man, named Jesus who spoke of love simply and humbly, was dragged to the cross beaten, tortured, bleeding, mocked and humiliated. We remember him. He lives on. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. Luke 23:34
Its your choice
And you choose every day.