When my former husband, Robert, came across the news last night, just about an hour after the attack by ISIS in Paris yesterday, I felt a bit numb. It didn’t seem real–that multiple, almost simultaneous attacks where so many people were killed in a western European city.I encourage you to watch this teaching by Bruxy Cavey where he shares how we can non-violently and lovingly respond to ISIS. I found it comforting to revisit this at this time.
When I let my self feel the feelings, I allowed myself to cry for the victims, their families, and the perpetrators. I put myself in their shoes. After all, this could happen in our city, Fayetteville, Arkansas. My children, two former husbands, friends, acquaintances and I could potentially be those who are hostages, wounded, or killed. Or, we could be the grieving families and friends who have to deal with their loss, or the unknown possibilities of what their loved ones might be experiencing as hostages. I can empathize with all who are closely connected to this situation.
It was only a few weeks ago that I wrote the intention that I could be so connected to Jesus, that even if I was crucified I could, like him, say “forgive them for they know not what they do.” I would add now that I would want to be like John, his beloved disciple and Mary, his mother, who were there with him as he suffered and then died. They courageously endured the pain of watching him as he endured his torture. I would want to have that kind of courage.
I believe it is more important than ever that I live ever more simply and focus on what is really important to me, and that I help others do the same. My path is to follow the non-violent teachings of Jesus, and to increasingly deepen my practice of the spiritual practices like fasting, solitude, meditating on scripture and practicing a healing modality called the Immanuel Approach with the foundation of completely surrendering to Jesus. I want to live in community with people dedicated to living simply and encouraging each other to draw closer to God.
I yearn to, in addition to helping people downsize, simplify, and de-clutter, start a school that teaches people healthy community building skills. I believe that the more that people can live in healthy communities, the better we will be equipped to deal with the terrible challenges that are facing our world today. As we join together in unconditional love, and learn skills that can help us to do so successfully, there will be more peace in the world. As there is more peace, and people have time and energy to spread the message of peace and non-violence, there will be a growing possibility of over-coming the evil of ISIS, and the evil that comes from within ourselves at times, with good.
I hope that my words give you comfort at this difficult time. It is not easy for me to write them, but I felt compelled to share my heart. Whatever your spiritual path is–if you are committed to non-violent resolution to ISIS–I would appreciate your encouragement. And of course, if you disagree, I am willing to hear your words as long as they are civil.