Archive for November 2007

Hope in the Face of…

November 2, 2007

Last night, Debbie and I went to see Whatever Kindles, a play by Tricia Gates Brown. the play was presented by the George Fox University Theatre. This was an engaging experience for me. The story is of several members of the Christian Peacemaker Teams, a group of folks who seek alternatives to violence and intervene around the world in situations where violence is prevalent. The play was very well produced and performed. This is not a happy story and the characters were not portrayed as cardboard heroes. However, the story was moving and somewhat unsettling. Debbie asked me afterwards if I wanted to join CPT as a result. I said, “no, but this is causing me to reflect on my lifestyle and choices”. The play is a great choice to be presented at George Fox. I found it interesting that Rhett Luedtke, the director, in his notes in the program states, “I recognize that some of you may disagree with the characters in this play and their pacifist commitment it nonviolent intervention on behalf of the oppressed…” I wonder if similar statements are made in the programs introducing plays at Fox with other themes?

Debbie pointed out to me that this is not a play with a happy ending. True enough. One could even leave the play with a sense of hopelessness. However, thanks to Debbie, I am reminded that hope is not necessarily something I have. She shared with me a great excerpt from a Friends Committee on National Legislation Washington Newsletter article (April 2007) entitled Time to Talk with Iran. The meaningful paragraph is:

Our faith informs our actions. As followers of the Prince of Peace, we are called to practice hope. Hope is not something that one has; hope is something that one does. Hope rests in the actions that we take to bring God’s love into the world. The practice of hope calls us us into the gap between broken communities. We have to trust that a power greater than we are–grace, the grace of God–may intervene in the world through our and others’ practice of hope to soften hearts, to open eyes, and the unplug ears.

This statement is very compelling. The thoughts and feelings that it brings up in me will cause me to reflect on my life and the life of the communities that I live in. How (un)broken is my community? Am I practicing hope by taking action to bring God’s love into the world? Do I believe that grace exists and intervenes? Am I comfortable in giving over control to someone and something with more power than me?