I believe in embracing the power of active nonviolence.
Time stood still for a moment as I gazed up to the heavens after a passage read
on Mount Carmel and felt a profound sense of divine joy. I remember the
piercing blue sky as creation was revealed in a way that I had not felt. What
followed was a uncovering of myself through discernment to a belief that I could
spread to our community.
My journey continued in Baltimore where I was immersed in a weekend retreat in
this approach and was strikingly inspired during a sermon given by Dr. Reverend
Bascome, friend and colleague of Martin Luther King, Jr, that penetrated
me like a rush of wind . I then trekked to Kirkridge Retreat and Study Center where I was
was taught to facilitate peacemaking through an exploration of active nonviolence.
Empowered by my training, I engaged a local pastor for holding up our political
leader as an example of a peacemaker.
I chose to listen when confronted by a person during my witness to mourning violence
in Frederick, Maryland. This approach allowed me to opt for another response rather than
the well rehearsed scripts of reacting. It is like applying a second brake to that initial
Recently this approach was tested as I met with several of my sisters and spoke
from the heart about working through our differences and bringing our families together
during the holidays. It is difficult to lean into conflict and engage my sisters but the
outcome was a greater understanding of our positions and a coming together.
The people of the world are crying out for another way to respond to violence
and I have begun to soften that cry through retreats, workshops and classes.
How can individuals and communities be at peace and work through their
differences unless they are intentional about practicing a different response and building
relationships to foster community.
Yes, I still find myself apologizing for slipping and am reminded this approach is
something that I grow into. I do not have to be completely nonviolent before I try active
nonviolence. It helps me move below the wounds of life to be in touch with who I am so
that I may be in touch with others.
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