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Hope emerges as we help shape and join in movements

In these times, as in all times, we can be engulfed with fear and lose hope.  Our ready access to media and our daily pressures can set us on a path to overload.  It’s understandable why people would turn to easy answers when their lives feel out of control and don’t follow the rules that could give a glint of hope for justice and peace.

One timeless easy answer is hate—the pseudo-justice of striking back blindly. 

Another enduring answer is love and nonviolence, which are not so easy when our lives seem out of control and unfair.

By reading Scriptures, knowing history, accompanying people and joining movements, we realize we are not alone. 

Scriptures filled with lamentations that were read at the ecumenical Good Friday Tenebrae service in Spokane followed a progression into darkness with words about sinking into the mire, being weary with crying out, bearing insult and being outcast.  One candle was left lit, even hidden for a time until those assembled made loud noises in protest.  Then it was returned into the midst of those assembled, shining to point us back into the world, knowing we are loved and connected.

Despite the way history tragically took Izzeldin Abuelaish’s children’s lives in their home in Gaza, the Palestinian physician   did more than resist the hate others invited him to adopt.  He has chosen to love, by working to end senseless killings and to establish peace and justice.  He exemplifies the movement from grief to hope.

Charlene Teters also reminds us of the history of annihilating Native Americans and moving them from their land.  She reminds us how media and sports teams symbolically annihilate, stereotype, trivialize and objectify people, their languages and their cultures, as she formed a movement to end use of Indians as mascots.

The Rev. Kimberly Meinecke stepped briefly out of her life to accompany people in strife that makes the Holy Land seem an unholy place to be.  Walking with people, she learned there’s more than the discord.  There are Palestinians and Israelis who accompany each other every day out of their love for each other.  They, too, organize.

Other articles in this issue tell of the formation and perseverance of movements like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) banding together over the years—since even before the civil rights movement—and risking their lives to win freedom, justice and equality for all.  The NAACP recently turned a threat into an opportunity to draw the community here together in a witness of education and action against racism.

We also read in this issue of people coming together to increase energy efficiency, address public pressures, learn about fair trade, challenge corporate personhood, provide healing arts and communicate with cultural sensitivity.

In the midst of tornadoes, terrorism and turmoil, we can trust that we are accompanied, so we can walk our next steps, speak out, protest, share and care—multiplying each other’s efforts.

Mary Stamp – Editor