Tear gas containers litter the gardens near the separation wall between Israel and the West Bank Palestinians know that every Friday they can expect tear gas to be lobbed into the refugee camps outside of Bethlehem. (Photo by Brandi Friesen Thorpe)
The separation wall in Bethlehem, in the West Bank. (Photo by Brandi Friesen Thorpe)
‘How you experience holy is different than you expect it to be.’ -Rev. Carrie Ballenger Smith
After a year of travel, seeking faith and justice on four continents, there are lessons that I am still unpacking. Between the busy schedules of church, master’s thesis work, travel and work with the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF), it takes a moment of pause to catch up with my experiences. And so, I pause. I look back to remember.
Photo by Brandi Friesen Thorpe
Once again, we have lived through a moment that will continue to define our century. The wake of the triad of terror that has happened in the last days in Paris and Beirut and Baghdad will create rhetoric similar to 9/11, the attacks in New York and Washington. Our mindsets and attitudes will bend, our politics and apologies will twist, all to address this day.
The logo of the #ReclaimHolyWeek campaign, organized by Holy Week of Resistance www.holyweekofresistance.net
After a recent experience in New York comes this reflection on racism and the social context of our faith.
I can't breathe. At this moment, this is one of the most politically charged statements you can say in the United States. It drudges up a social context where racism and state brutality are killing innocent people. It evokes a memory that causes resistance to injustice. It is a call to action. It is conviction.
What does cross-cultural learning have to do with our faith?
I believe it's at the heart of the good news that Jesus taught and lived: Reconciliation with God and reconciliation with each other. These are not mutual exclusive concepts. When we reconcile with each other, we have a more full sense of who God is and how God works in the world.
More stories of the past at Kumomoto. Stories that complex-ify. Japan not as a cohesive, evil, military power all seeking destruction of neighbouring nations, but as a land of people in various societies with each their own different story of life and love and suffering, dominance and loss.
Over the last year or so, I've appreciated the paintings, poetry, and musings of Jan Richardson on her blog, paintedprayerbook.com. Recently, one post caught my attention, "Salted with Fire." In a space of transition and waiting in my life, with many uncertainties as to what life will look like even a year from now, her description of salt in a potters' fire resonated with me.