It is devastating to see the images and hear the stories of the Russian invasion into Ukraine. It is disheartening to feel helpless. Good to see the efforts many governments are attempting for nonviolent means to end the war.
I’ve been praying about the statements below from early Friends admonishing us to look at ourselves, to explore what in our lives might contain the seeds of war.
I don’t say this to call attention to myself because my carbon footprint is many times greater than that of those who live in less industrialized countries. But it was a crystal-clear spiritual message that led me to live without owning a car. This was in 1975. Think of what might have been if all Friends had done so then. Such an example by thousands of Friends would have influenced others to do the same, I believe.
- Would have resulted in good mass transit systems.
- Would have dramatically slowed fossil fuel emissions and at least slowed the accelerating environmental catastrophe.
- Might have prevented multiple wars for oil.
- Might have meant the Dakota Access and other pipelines would not have been built.
- Might have meant our children would have a livable future.
I can’t believe the Spirit did not say this to everyone. Did Friends not hear the message? Or if they did hear it, they must have decided to ignore it. On further reflection, I don’t know what the Spirit is saying to anyone else. Again, I’m not saying I’m blameless.
This time of war is an opportunity to listen to the Spirit, to that still small voice. To support each other. During our meetings for worship. To hold worship sharing meetings. And act on that spiritual guidance. Either individually and/or together as a meeting. To make a “commitment to active peace making” as Sidney Bailey says below.