Tuesday, November 28, 2006

There Is A Light That Never Goes Out


Last night I went to hear Eliyahu McLean and Sheikh Abdel Aziz Bukhari speak about their work with Jerusalem Peacemakers, an organisation whose name should speak for itself if ‘peacemaking’ didn’t sometimes mean ‘killing’ in the strange times we live in. But no, these ones were on the side of peace and you could tell that as much from the way they spoke to one another as from anything they said.

Towards the end of evening someone in the audience asked a question I had heard earlier this year at Greenbelt (that time directed at Jim Wallis); how do we keep hopeful? How can we avoid discouragement? I knew what those questioners meant. Somewhere in that question is another; is this pointless? It seems like this is pointless… When governments don’t listen to their people and good people get bulldozed without thought…. Could there be hope?

Eliyahu’s response was the same as that Jim Wallis gave. Something I had never considered before this year. He said that we have to stop being results-driven in our hope; that he considered himself one who paves the way for peace to come rather than one who brings peace himself. That he sows seeds in faith; faith that the future for generations to come will see the fruit of this labour. When I heard Jim Wallis say the same thing I have to say my heart fell a little. I wanted him to tell me the secret of hope, of how to keep believing, of how to have faith. Instead he told me that faith is all there is. That, as David Gray sang, ‘for all of the talk it’s only true to say that if you have no hope, there is none’.

This time, hearing these men speak with such conviction something clicked. If they, living in their mess can hope and live and act on that hope… maybe….

Driving home from Belfast the other night the Christmas lights on City Hall were flashing, not off and on, but light and dim, and my ipod played this refrain, defiant, over and over;

There is a light and it never goes out
There is a light and it never goes out

5 comments:

The Father said...

Amen ..... even for a jaded cynical journalist like meself they were very inspiring. Losing my certitudes .

m

mister tumnus said...

yes. some people have eyes that make everything they're saying seem alive and hopeful. it is really refreshing.

Rainbow dreams said...

Thank God for lights that never go out and for seeds, and for those inspiring people who share those messages with others and so spread the seeds further, thank you for this post

mister tumnus said...

you're welcome RD. i am looking forward to any relfections mark and paul might have on the event too.

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

hey cs
i plan to try and put something coherent over the next couple of days...they were quite the morcambe and wise of peacemaking