Jarrod McKenna’s Wednesday’s with Gandhi:
“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall — think of it, always.” –Mohandas Gandhi
I’m off to Indonesia this Friday (forgive me my carbon debts) to the Historic Peace Church Gathering on behalf of AAANZ and Quakers (It will be a bunch of very respectable, intelegent and impressive people from around the world… and this dreadlocked kid from Perth!). So this will be my last ‘Wednesday with Gandhi’ for the year. It’s funny I set out to write about a bunch of stuff that I didn’t get round to but I trust the Spirit will take what I have done and use it to invite and inspire people to know in deeper ways for themselves this Jesus that Gandhi said was the greatest practitioner of nonviolence in history, central to his revolution in India, and the one through whom, I believe, God’s dream for creation has broken into history.
I thought I’d end by letting you in on a little of the life of our community. Us Peace Tree mob can say with our hero Dorothy Day “We have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.” As a community we seek to ‘serve in silence’ and not make a big deal of what we do but since the gang fights and the subsequent killing in the street behind ours was so public and made the news overseas, we thought we’d let our light shine in the hope that it doesn’t glorify us but the God who is transforming our world not through force but through a love seen fully in Jesus.
As Eastern Orthodox bishop Kallistos Ware writes (I love this quote);
“The Cross, understood as victory, sets before us the paradox of love’s omnipotence. Dostoevsky comes near to the true meaning of Christ’s victory in some statements which he puts into the mouth of Starets Zosmia:
“At some thoughts a man stands perplexed, above all at the sight of human sin, and he wonders whether to combat it by force or by humble love. Always decide: “I will combat it by humble love.” If you resolve on that once and for all, you can conquer the whole world. Loving humility is a terrible force: it is the strongest of all things, and there is nothing else like it.” “
We witnessed something of this humble love and healing on Saturday with our ‘Peace and Pizza’ event in response to the gang killing in our streets. As Nick Cave might put it “God was in the house” (well… garden). The family of the 18 year old kid who was killed bravely join us as well as many indigenous people and white fellas like me. We had yummy wood fired pizzas, great music, and Maori, Noogar and Wajalla (as well as people from Malaysia, Iran, Indonesia, Kenya and elsewhere) came together for a time of silence to honour the life of John[ston] the young man who was killed and tree planting and prayer for an end to violence in our neighbourhood and our world. Thanks for all who have supported us Peace Tree crew over this time. Please keep the families involved, and our neighbourhood in your prayers.
the guy with the dog in this photo is classic 🙂
Prayer with the family that have lost their loved one on our streets.
This was one of the most moving parts of the day when Noogar elders, parents and children helped to plant a tree to honour the life of a Maori boy killed by a Noogar gang. It was truly beautiful and touched the family and the community gathered deeply.
Youth Worker, Community gardener, co-chaplain at Hampton High and Peace Tree brother Josh Hobby, helps plant the tree with one of the family members.
Thanks to all who have journeyed with me and Gandhi this year. I can still be found at http://paceebene.org/blog/jarrod-mckenna. Thanks more so to all who don’t put out PR releases but quietly go about living the decision “I will combat it by humble love.”
You inspire me to know Christ more, to walk in the resurrection more. You witness to the reality that in Jesus love has won… and not even violence’s ultimate threat of death can stop resurrection power.
Grace and peace of the new world breaking in be with you,