Tag Archives: peace

united as one

as much as i enjoy blogging, i love reading other people’s blogs and seeing their creative ways with words.  there are some very talented writers who fly under the radar without many readers or pub.  it’s a shame.

one talented writer i enjoy reading goes by the name Earthy Monk.  his about section reads as follows:

‘The Earthy Monk is a space for musing on God, messy grace, lavish mercy, authentic healing, wild hope, deep compassion, and social justice.’

check him out here if these things tickle your fancy.

this isn’t intended to be a plug my fellow writer as much as a segue to what i want to share with you.

Earthy Monk recently posted a quote found on the back of a t-shirt worn by a youth in washington, dc.

so far i can’t find the t-shirt online.  drats!  i might have to end making one myself.

*****

I am a Hero…no tights, no funny cape, just a Power greater than this world knows.

I was born with a Purpose.

My mission is before me: to seek Justice, to strive for Peace, to stand for Truth, to comfort the Afflicted, to defend the Powerless.  I strive for wholeness. I thirst for righteousness. I walk through darkness but I fear no evil for my glory is not my own and my strength comes from One Who is greater than me.

The world’s powers may be against me, but I am not alone. I am one among many, we are united as one!

Will YOU join us?

*****

want me to make you one too?

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waiting for what?

‘time heals all wounds’.

how many times have you heard that said?

its one of those timeless clichés that gets repeated so often little thought is actually spent considering the veracity of it.

i, for one, dont believe time has the healing properties this old adage so proudly claims. in fact, i would go so far as to say that this old saying can cause much more harm than good.

martin luther king jr. day just passed a few days ago. like most of you who also live part of your life in the social media realm, i was taken in by a few good quotes and articles about mr. king and the battle he and many others like him fought for equality. it was after reading through a few of these articles dedicated to mr. king that this idea of time healing all wounds came to the surface.

let me explain.

martin luther king was an exceptional man who trumpeted an exceptional cause – racial equality. unwilling to simply stand on the sidelines, him and others forced their way into the public spotlight demanding something be done. marches, protests, civil disobedience.

the establishment wasnt happy.

so voices from the government officials, church leaders and even leaders within their own camp pushed back and said – just wait. they were told to ‘be patient’ and allow the courts to decide what would be best for society. the courts would come to the right decision. the courts always come to the right decision, right?

right..??

‘never forget that everything hitler did in germany was legal.’ – martin luther king

theres much that can be said about this statement that i have not the time nor the desire to write at this moment. quotes by or about hitler always have the ability to open a bigger can of worms than intended so ill tread lightly here. what i believe mr. king was implying here, which speaks so relevantly to his situation then (and ours today?), was that courts have not always been a friend of the people. in fact, as mr. king points out, the courts have, at times, been responsible for the peoples basic human rights being taken and held away from them.

just wait. allow for more time. time heals all wounds.

they told him and others that they shouldnt march and protest in the streets. that was bad manners. disobeying the government is not what good citizens do. fall in line, repeat the creed and shut up.

thankfully for all of us, mlk and others didnt shut up and kept right on protesting and marching, government be damned. thankfully, mr. king and other freedom fighters didnt buy into the old adage ‘time heals all wounds’, and kept pushing for the justice they and others rightfully deserved.

time is neutral. it doesnt innately possess the powers to heal wounds. its what we do with that time that matters. if we use it for good, good things can come from it. if we use it for bad, bad things can come from it. if we blindly accept that time can heal our wounds, we are giving up our choice and right to do something about it. time will not bring about justice. WE will bring about justice.

let us not forget that.

timeheals

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something for saturday

BEEP BEEP BEEP!

815am. ugh.. snooze.

BEEP BEEP BEEP!

845am. how did 30 minutes just go by that fast? i just closed my eyes. this doesnt feel fair. when i push my snooze button i expect to feel like a rest a bit longer. some times (today included) i feel like i lost sleep. how the heck does that work?

coffee will fix this.

quick grocery excursion to grab bananas, oranges, milk and secret items for luke’s famous french toast. walk home is too cold for my liking. felt like -20. why does the wind only come out in the winter time when i most dont want to feel it, but when its summer and humid as all heck the breeze is no where to be found? i could do a top ten list of reasons why i hate the wind but i think that would tangent too far away from the point of this post.

calm meadows.

im going to stop complaining now.

there. done.

kat is almost done with the hash browns as i get home and start the french toast. i usher her out of my way so i can commence cuisine making (aka french toast fantasticness). my kitchen is on the small size so sharing the kitchen with someone else gets rather tight. friends start showing up just as the first piece of toast begins to be frenched. by the time we all have coffee and sitting in the living room, breakfast is served.

mm, french toast.

breakfast in the morning with brothers and sisters is as good as a saturday can get, in my opinion. pretty awesome to come together to dig into the word and push each other spiritually when we could be sleeping in. sets the tone for the rest of the weekend for me.

reconciliation.

peace.

hope.

i live in a society that promises me that consuming and more consuming will fill that hole inside of me. consume tv, booze, music, cell phones, internet, etc, etc, ad nauseum.. many people buy into it because they feel they have to place their hope in something. the promises are almost too much to ignore. we want more so we consume more. gimme, gimme gimme. what are we left with? hope hangover. the buzz doesnt last. the high isnt high enough.

of course its not!

hope cant be found in cars, cribs and cash. we were made for much deeper things. when will we realize that? we werent meant to wade in the shallow end all our lives, and yet some of us are content to sit there with our intertube around our waists and water wings fastened snug around our arms, dreaming of the day when we will go swimming in the deep end. stop sitting in the end where everyone pees and splash your way out to the open waters.

forget the rat race. if you dont compete, you win. sounds backwards, i know, but trust me on this one – stop running. ‘seek the things that are above’, said paul from tarsus. he was a man who knew a few things about true hope and where it is found. good man to take advice from.

seriously, stop running. look up. our redemption draws near.

thats something to place our hope in, over and over again.

marantha!

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we teach life, sir

after 65 years living in purgatory, the people of Palestine await their bid for statement to be voted on by the UN.  today could be an historic day and alter the politics of the middle east forever.  time will tell.

in light of this, i wanted to share a video i found.  i havent posted many videoes on my blog but this one was too powerful not to share.

click on the title to watch.

 

We teach life, sir.

 

Today, my body was a TV’d massacre.

Today, my body was a TV’d massacre that had to fit into sound-bites and word limits.

Today, my body was a TV’d massacre that had to fit into sound-bites and word limits filled enough with statistics to counter measured response.

And I perfected my English and I learned my UN resolutions.

But still, he asked me, Ms. Ziadah, don’t you think that everything would be resolved if you would just stop teaching so much hatred to your children?

Pause.

I look inside of me for strength to be patient but patience is not at the tip of my tongue as the bombs drop over Gaza.

Patience has just escaped me.

Pause. Smile.

We teach life, sir.

Rafeef, remember to smile.

Pause.

We teach life, sir.

We Palestinians teach life after they have occupied the last sky.

We teach life after they have built their settlements and apartheid walls, after the last skies.

We teach life, sir.

But today, my body was a TV’d massacre made to fit into sound-bites and word limits.

And just give us a story, a human story.

You see, this is not political.

We just want to tell people about you and your people so give us a human story.

Don’t mention that word “apartheid” and “occupation”.

This is not political.

You have to help me as a journalist to help you tell your story which is not a political story.

Today, my body was a TV’d massacre.

How about you give us a story of a woman in Gaza who needs medication?

How about you?

Do you have enough bone-broken limbs to cover the sun?

Hand me over your dead and give me the list of their names in one thousand two hundred word limits.

Today, my body was a TV’d massacre that had to fit into sound-bites and word limits and move those that are desensitized to terrorist blood.

But they felt sorry.

They felt sorry for the cattle over Gaza.

So, I give them UN resolutions and statistics and we condemn and we deplore and we reject.

And these are not two equal sides: occupier and occupied.

And a hundred dead, two hundred dead, and a thousand dead.

And between that, war crime and massacre, I vent out words and smile “not exotic”, “not terrorist”.

And I recount, I recount a hundred dead, a thousand dead.

Is anyone out there?

Will anyone listen?

I wish I could wail over their bodies.

I wish I could just run barefoot in every refugee camp and hold every child, cover their ears so they wouldn’t have to hear the sound of bombing for the rest of their life the way I do.

Today, my body was a TV’d massacre

And let me just tell you, there’s nothing your UN resolutions have ever done about this.

And no sound-bite, no sound-bite I come up with, no matter how good my English gets, no sound-bite, no sound-bite, no sound-bite, no sound-bite will bring them back to life.

No sound-bite will fix this.

We teach life, sir.

We teach life, sir.

We Palestinians wake up every morning to teach the rest of the world life, sir.

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im told

im told im supposed to support israel.

when there is good reason to support a cause im usually pretty open to the idea.  today i signed a petition going around my city for an investigation into possible illegal happenings in one of the long-running orphanages.  i think its good to closely look at how things have been and are currently being done and evaluate the results.  i feel the same about the on-again, off-again wars between the israelis and their arab neighbours.

im told by my mainstream media that supporting israel is the only decision i could possibly make as a canadian citizen.  my government supports israel and so should i.  im told that the poor israelis have been surrounded by angry terrorists who want nothing but to blow them off the face of the planet.  the israelis simply fight back out of necessity.  people who dont agree are labeled anti-semite, racist and other slanderous words.  ad hominem arguments (attack the person not the argument) seem to be the norm not the exception.  that rubs me the wrong way.  shouldnt it?

im still looking for a good reason.

im told that i should support israel because i am a christian.  im told that i should support israel unquestioningly because of their supposed special spiritual status.  im told that it is anti-semitic to speak any ill words against the tiny jewish state.  im told by people who know very little actual history of the modern middle east that to speak harshly about the jewish state is akin to supporting terrorism.

hogwash.

i feel as though im drowning in a sea of ignorance and arrogance.   my mind remembers past arguments and online diatribes from arm-chair internet generals.  it seems that everyone knows exactly who is at fault, what the problems are and the solutions to fix them.  my patience is thin and thinning and my sharp tongue wants to bite back.  i breath deeply and resist the urge.

maybe this is what they call maturity.

i dont support the state of israel.  there!  ive said it in print.  that makes it final now, right?  no going back.  im one of ‘those people’ now.

im ok with that.  im comfortable in my own skin.

at the same time i dont support the side using terrorism against israel.  praying upon weak, damaged people to wage an asymmetrical war against the bully on the block makes you as deplorable and disgusting as the bully himself.  islamic terrorism belongs in the trash heap of world history  along with the other repugnant ideologies.  the sooner its placed there for good the better.

so who does that leave to support?  am i neutral in all this?

no.

i support the people of palestine as well as the people of israel.  i believe that the problem lies more with the zionist and islamic governments, war mongers and racists than with the people themselves.  i support the israeli people who have to run to bomb shelters when the sirens go off in their towns because of incoming rockets.  i support the palestinian people in gaza whose lives are lived in a prison for a country, starved and abused by their oppressive neighbours.  i support the people on both sides of the separation walls who just want to live in peace without prejudice, without racism and without violence.  i support the jews, muslims, christians, men, women and children (especially the children) who are forced to live amongst bombings, vitriolic propaganda, guns shots, separation walls, land seizures, permanent detainment,  more bombings, more gun shots, power outages,  poverty, disease, death, more bombings, more bombings,more bombings..

when will it stop..?

or to ask as bertrand russell once did: “How much longer is the world willing to endure this spectacle of wanton cruelty?”

tick tock, tick tock..

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God is weak

ive heard that statement from some people. ive heard all the questions that go along with it. 

 

isnt God supposed to be all-powerful?  isnt he’s supposed to be all-good? he loves us, right? so why is there so much crap in this world?

why is there lying, stealing and cheating? why does it turn from stealing things to stealing lives? why are perfectly good lives wasted fighting wars? 

why are there serial killers, pedophiles, terrorists, tyrants and dictators that commit genocides? 

if God existed and he cared about us, wouldnt He put a stop to all these terrible things in our world? 

or is He just weak…? 

ive been wrestled with this idea quite a lot lately, especially while im at first united or doing outreach on the streets. 

wheres your power, God?! why dont you help these people on the streets?

as much as i love the work i do, it has its rough side. in the last twelve months first united has seen 50+ people leave their ranks through resignation or pink slip. im warned constantly by people: dont get too close. it just makes it harder. harder? how the heck does that make it harder? i think itd be harder to “keep a safe distance” than the alternative. how is it humanly possible to work with and help people while remaining detached and distant? how are we supposed to build community with that mentality? im a relational person and i cant imagine being any other way. not only does it make me tick but i strongly believe that thats whats missing in our society – true community. sure, if theres no relationship then theres less hurt when bad things inevitably happen. so what? if we took that approach strictly, we’d all live on our own isolated island, in our minds at the very least. bad things happen. friends leave, relationships end and people die. 

but why do bad things happen? why do they HAVE to happen? 

a native friend of mine is in the hospital right now. hes going to die and it breaks my heart. his addiction finally stole his life. 

i had the fortunate chance to talk with tom the day before he had a fall that lead to an aneurysm rupturing in his brain. i listened as we talked in-depth about him. where he was from, his family, his friends, his old life. he missed it. he told me how badly he wanted to stop drinking but he didnt have the willpower. all his friends drank and the temptation was always in his face. we talked about getting him into a treatment program further away from the downtown eastside. he liked that idea. he told me he was fed up with living like he was. i believed him. i could see it in his eyes. then he went to sleep and i havent see him again… and i probably wont. 

in his letters and papers from the prison, dietrich bonhoeffer (german theologian) spoke of the need to think of God in terms of his powerlessness rather than almightness. God has power, but this is paradoxically the power of the powerlessness (weakness) of his love. “God allows himself to be edged out of the world and on to the cross. God becomes weak and powerless in the world, and that is exactly the way, the only way, in which he can be with us and help us.” bonhoeffer explains here that God essentially conquers death in the world precisely by his weakness. in his attempt to reconcile the world back to him, God sends his son to be the go-between. “there is one mediator between God and men – the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all.” (1 tim 2:5-6) He turns something as barbaric and humiliating as torture on a cross into the rescue of everyone. he does the opposite from what we want or think is best. he uses his weakness to bring peace. 

and what about our accountability? whats to say about our role in the bad things that happen? dare we question God and not turn attention as keenly to ourselves? 

we make decisions. sometimes theyre good and sometimes theyre not so good. sometimes theyre really, really bad. sometimes they lead us down a path that we never intended to go down. we hurt other people. we wonder why God allows bad things to happen (a product of our freedom to choose!) and remain willfully ignorant that hes given us the ability to do something about it! we dont offer our helping hand unless it benefits us. we dont love on our neighbour the way we should. we certainly dont treat God the way he should be treated. is it any real wonder why our world looks the way it does?  we need only look as far as the mirror. 

had someone reached out to him sooner… 

while his real name is tom most of us down at first united called him doc. 

hes another human being to fall through the cracks of our society and into the obituaries. hes another drunk on the side of the road. another native man to see his demise at the end of a bottle of booze. hes going to be just another statistic. 

far, far beyond any of those descriptors, he was my friend. 

 im going to miss him a lot… 

rip tom. 

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