This month in the Northwest Yearly Meeting is Peace Month – a time to remember, ponder and inspire peace. Ask what’s at the core of being Quaker and somewhere in the answer you’ll get wind of a “peace testimony” or a “witness to peace”.
What does that mean? We’re against war? We’re passive? Or pacifists? Is there a difference?
Today was freezing, outside and in. So I did what any normal person would do – put more clothes on. Then I got a blanket. And tea. And put my hood up. Then I snuggled up in my pile of warmness to continue with my day. All the while I was inside the house. I wasn’t about to just freeze my butt off, that just seems silly.
That’s how I feel about living a life of peace. I deeply believe that our God desires peace, and has called us to be peacemakers. When I look at the violence, and feel the pain and brokenness in the world, I’m not just going to sit there. Do nothing. Watch destruction happen.
No. I’m going to do the most natural, sensible thing – love people. Speak peace. In conflict I’m going to try and be non-violence. When my friends are abused, broken, and filled with sorrow, I’m going to bring words of comfort, hugs, smiles, tea. Instead of glorying in the violence of war and injustice, I’m going to stand up for those who are marginalized, oppressed, and hurt. Perhaps in big ways, but also everyday, by talking to them, showing them I value and love them.
How could I sit in the cold and do nothing to be warm? How could I profess peace and do nothing to live it out?