wandering in wonder

sharing, on a pilgrims journey

Multi cultural joy/’My Britain’

This is my Britain…. (at it’s best)….

Today I sat reading my beautiful poetry book in Trafalgar Square. Children in school uniform chatted happily whilst sitting on the sides of the fountain. Suddenly there was a commotion and at least 40 children whooped with the joy of recognition and shouted a name.

Trafalgar Square, London

A woman with a lovely smile was beseiged by these lively children. As they rushed towards her – children who are Black, White (blond, brunette), Asian (hair flowing, hair covered) – their joy was united.

How much I loved Britain in that moment – this place where we can enjoy, respect, accept, and certainly expect differences, and yet learn to share our joys and sorrows regardless – not because the differences don’t matter (they do, they’re part of who we each are), but because as we share life together.

I believe it was Moltmann who was among the first to write that effective Interfaith work needed to be undertaken for shared causes and actions, not just for it’s own sake (not ‘we must get on together’, but ‘let’s do this/solve this (whatever) together’); and it was C.S. Lewis who wrote that Friendship had to be ‘about something’ (“…even if it is shared enthusiasm for white mice…”).

It is in sharing life, that we find points of unity, common feeling, connection, purpose…

…and when we share life with each other, we can get to move on to being people who, In the words of Paul McCartney, ‘side by side, hand in hand, we all stand together’.

So thanks to the children and the popular teacher in Trafalgar Square this afternoon – you did my heart good!

(I just re-found this – wrote it in November! so here it is…finally!)

May 4, 2009 Posted by | Beauty, Interfaith, Joy, Life, Light up my life, Peace, People | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Peace and Faith

I saw a film the other day, ‘The Imam and The Pastor’ (more details on the page, ‘a peace initiative on film’). It’s only 40 minutes long, but it really struck at the heart of some of my cynicism.

I love talk of peace, but I find it hard to apply it to reality sometimes, what with the TV blasting pictures of current wars and strife, shootings and stabbings, at me all the time (yes, yes, I just switch it off after a bit!). I find Quaker protests for peace challenging and inspiring, but find it hard to connect with the idea that peace in the world is actually possible. A case of ‘if I was going there, I wouldn’t start from here!’

For me, Pacifism is an ideal that I love, but just can’t see how it could work in a macro way with the world we’re in right now…and sadly, despite believing in pacifism, I turned out not to be a true pacifist when someone I love was under threat… (not that I was strong enough to do damage!) 

This film reminded me in a profound way that peace starts where I am, where we are, and that that witness can be powerful and can make a difference.  

 These guys were literally killing each other’s families, yet found a call from each their own faiths to find a way to forgive. It’s very challenging stuff.

Time to re-read those Quaker calls for peace again… and prepare for the community screening of this film in January…

(there are screening dates on the web site:  http://www.fltfilms.org.uk/imam.html

 the real deal - ‘The Imam and The Pastor’ visiting London photo of ‘The Imam and The Pastor’ visiting London for the London Premier of the documentary film about them and their peace initiatives.

December 13, 2007 Posted by | Interfaith, Pacifism, Peace, People, Quaker | Leave a comment