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2.16.2007

"Be an Angel..."

It is shocking me more and more how phrases that we causally throw about are such profound key's to Heaven / Peace / Joy.... For example, the pieces posted recently about 'We are "ALL EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY" are extraordinarily meaningful to me.

My mom used to say to folks when she wanted something, "Be an angel. Will you please...."

Well, in the context of stuff I see in my life now that phrase just hit me like a ton of bricks.

Isn't that exactly what we are to do - "Be an angel?" Duh. Look at what Jesus told us: "Thy will be done... as it is in heaven." Jesus is telling us to do "like an Angel" would. Exactly.

"Be an Angel." Pray for me that I "be an Angel." I'll try. :-) No kidding.

Dear Family, heads up!


Hi!

Two "heads ups:"

1. I'll be really surprised if next time you see me I don't have a Cross tattooed on my forehead. [I always wondered what that massive expanse was for! :-) ] There are few nights when I don't dream about this. My life has been so totally possessed by Jesus, I am so possessed by the desire to be His Follower / Disciple / Friend / Brother / Agent. I am always trying to "be" His message; to do the work He was doing; to be His Partner. I just think the Cross makes sense. I think it would help me "be" his message to my brothers and sisters. It would help us stay on point. We'll see. Something like this maybe.

2. Prison. My guess is that I will spend a lot of time in Prison over the course of the rest of my life. Is that my goal? Of course not. But I am becoming so deeply about a different way of being together - Jesus way - One Family - that the current "way," the current system of "war" [capitalism is sanctioned all-0ut-war of a vile sort] / divorce-one-from-another / greed / separation... will find me so in the way, such an irritation, they will not be able to resist putting me in prison a lot. I wonder if I will be killed there; will suffer violence there from the guards, from the inmates. Good chance I think. No matter. It is all part of the "mop-up" operations that need to be done by thousands and millions of us if our Father's Kingdom is to come.

Love, your joyful brother, jay

No Suffering, NO BIRTH

Birthing something new ALWAYS includes suffering.

NO SUFFERING, NO IMPROVEMENT.

NO SUFFERING, NO HOPE.

NO SUFFERING, LIFE COMES TO AN END.

Suffering is not the intent. Life is the intent. Suffering ALWAYS attends life.

No suffering... DEATH.

2.15.2007

"Each ... must choose ... total love or total war."

"Very few people chose war. They chose selfishness and the result was war. Each of us, individually and nationally, must choose: total love or total war. " David Dellinger

Dear Family,

Today I went with a group of 20 or so, mostly Marylanders, to Senator Barbara Mikulski's office as part of the Occupation Project to end the atrocities in Iraq by bringing home the troops. I went not intending to risk arrest but my resolve slipped away as the action got underway. :-)

As it turns out, none of us were arrested during the hour and a half that we peacefully and respectfully occupied her outer office, largely reading the names of people from Iraq and the US that have been killed by your war, and mine. (Our silence is complicity. OUR SILENCE KILLS PEOPLE. We are "ALL EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY.") Upon leaving I gave my commendations to the Senator and her staff for the civility they showed us. Their behavior was more than a tactic I think. Susan from the Jonah house during our preparation meeting spoke very, very highly of the love and support that Jonah House has received from the Senator over the years - support from the Senator for Jonah House and the members that have gone to prison so often Waging Peace.

While with these folks I had time to talk with Mary a with-it, late 60ish woman, well to do I'd guess. She has been arrested 10 times or so for anti-war actions and mentioned in a pensive sort of way that maybe she was getting tired of it, and "is it doing any good?" She was neither discouraged nor worn out. Pensive. Thoughtful. Tired. I told her that when I think of such things I realize that if I knew for certain that my actions would make no difference in the world, I would continue to do what I do. "Yes, we must do what is right," she instantly and cheerfully agreed.

Later, while napping today I thought further about this. :-) Actually, I know that my breathing every few seconds or so really will make no difference - I'm going to die some day. But I want to breathe just the same.

In fact, as I have realized, and realize all the more clearly in the light of David Dellinger's wisdom above, Life, to Live IS to be WAGING "TOTAL LOVE." If we are not WAGING "total love," CLINICALLY we are not fully aLive. I will stake my knowledge of this subject against anyone living or dead in the field of psychology, philosophy, religion, biology.... Further, I challenge anyone, any of you to think about this. I feel certain you will see in your heart that this is true.

I choose "total love" because I choose Life. I choose "total love" because it might spread "total love" and therefore total Life to those I love - you, and everyone else.

This is the ultimate selfish choice. This is the ultimate unselfish choice.

Love forever, your brother, jay

ps: In talking with Mary she also said when only three of us had shown up (we were early), "If it is just a few of us will it make any difference?" Also, "The Senator is only one person!" This stimulated a reply from me that I found quite helpful. I said, "If what we are trying to do is analogous to spreading a virus, then yes, even if we are few and she is just one, who knows, if we can infect her maybe she can carry it to millions."

"Who knows?"

pps: More on this from Dr. King and his miraculous Letter from Birmingham Jail (1963)

"Was not Jesus an extremist for love -- "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you." Was not Amos an extremist for justice -- "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." Was not Paul an extremist for the gospel of Jesus Christ -- "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." Was not Martin Luther an extremist -- "Here I stand; I can do none other so help me God." Was not John Bunyan an extremist -- "I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience." Was not Abraham Lincoln an extremist -- "This nation cannot survive half slave and half free." Was not Thomas Jefferson an extremist -- "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." So the question is not whether we will be extremist but what kind of extremist will we be. Will we be extremists for hate or will we be extremists for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice--or will we be extremists for the cause of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill, three men were crucified. We must not forget that all three were crucified for the same crime--the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thusly fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment.

"There was a time when the church was very powerful. It was during that period when the early Christians rejoiced when they were deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town the power structure got disturbed and immediately sought to convict them for being "disturbers of the peace" and "outside agitators." But they went on with the conviction that they were "a colony of heaven," and had to obey God rather than man. They were small in number but big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be "astronomically intimidated." They brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contest."

2.14.2007

Unsung Evangelical Heroes

Unsung Evangelical Heroes

By Geoff Tunnicliffe
Christian Post Contributor
Tue, Feb. 13 2007 06:47 PM ET

This is less than a brilliant article, but it is evidence of what Dellinger calls "the invisible Church." Dr. King, in a moment of shock and despair in seeing what he then called the Church, "a social club with a thin veneer of religiosity," talked further about needing to turn to the "ecclesia, the Church within the Church."

Funny, with the path I've turned onto fully in these recent months I catch rather frequent glimpses of that "hidden Church," by whatever name. Ahhhhh.

America is Spiritually on its Death Bed

"Christian" Nation? Ha! God save us from such "Christians."

Full Article: Children left in the shadows
Full UN REPORT: An Overview of Child-Wellbeing in Rich Countries

...The United Nations report, published today, reveals that the richest countries in the world are conversely some of the poorest when it comes to their treatment of children.

Joining the UK with the worst child welfare record is the US, the world's only superpower and considered to be the beating heart of the world's economy.

Both Britain and the US found themselves in the bottom third of the rankings for five of six areas of child welfare.

Many social studies experts say the only way to reverse the trend is to solve the root of the problem - public attitudes in Britain to children. Some say the modern way of life leaves little time for children, who are often seen in the rat-race culture as a pest.

2.13.2007

"You have to sacrifice," Connie cheerfully chirped.

I don't know how old Connie is but "spring chicken" would not describe her body which she has punished with 25 years of day and night service to humanity in front of the White House. I am coming to the realization she may be a living Saint.

It is snowing today. As I was sitting in the living room blogging, Connie came in to suit up for her day in front of the White House. Pete, the new Washington Peace Center manager saw her sandals and said, "Connie, you need warm boots!" "These sandals are the only thing that fit my feet," she said. Her feet have paid a huge price. Currently only open sandals fit her due to painful deformations. "Wear warm socks at least," Pete pleaded. "They don't fit either," she said CHEERFULLY.

"You have to sacrifice," she happily and matter-of-factly chirped.

Someone should get her some warm boots that fit her. WARM BOOTS, for God's sake. Could you get ones that fit her? Would she take them if you did? G d knows.

"You have to sacrifice"... to Live, Connie teaches and Jesus taught. Yes, that is correct.

THE BOOK THAT COULD SAVE THE WORLD - Tolstoy's "Gospel in Brief"

The writing of the "Gospel in Brief" Saved Tolstoy's life Spiritually (and that of countless others including Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) and Literally in the case of Tolstoy himself. On the verge of suicide after achieving all the world's wealth and fame, and fiercely distrusting the "Church" teachings, he did his own translation of the original Greek texts of the bible - "The Gospel in Brief."

Tolstoy's "The Gospel in Brief" may be the single book that could save the world. It IS the Gospel, the Good news of G D.

Tolstoy's "The Gospel in Brief" created Gandhi by spawning Tolstoy's "The Kingdom of God is Within You," Gandhi's bible and that of his comrades from his Barrister days onward into South Africa and then India.

This book was a cause of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by spawning "The Law of Love and the Law of Violence," a book that mightily influenced Dr. King when a young man at Crozier Seminary in Chester PA.

This is Jesus as never so clearly seen. This is the Savior.

2.12.2007

David Dellinger, a Saint in our Time

More than Dr. ML King except in his last few years, more than Gandhi, more than Teresa of Calcutta... David Dellinger is the most relevant Saint of our age, our greatest model, I think. His autobiography is one of the three most important books I have ever read: "From Yale to Jail." #1 for me is "The Gospel in Brief," Tolstoy; and #2. "The People's History of the United States," Howard Zinn.

Quotes:

"Very few people chose war. They chose selfishness and the result was war. Each of us, individually and nationally, must choose: total love or total war. "

"Our nonviolent activism would be more positive if we stressed reaching out with love for our fellow human beings--love not only for the victims, but also for those who defend the existing system, including those who think they benefit from it, even toward the police and other security forces. Love for those who defend the system, including the police who harass and arrest us? Is that unrealistic? Let me testify that this kind of love makes a difference. In 1987, twenty of us invaded the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, protesting against U.S. sponsorship of the terrorist Nicaraguan Contras. When we were arrested and taken downstairs to be fingerprinted, an officer recognized me and introduced me to the other officers. He said, "This is Dave Dellinger, who I want you to meet because his actions are based on love for everyone, including us." I also recognized him: The second time he had arrested me he had grabbed the arm of another officer, who was about to hit me on the head with a club, and said, "Stop. This is a good guy who doesn't need to be hit like that." Love for every human being is necessary for our individual growth and fulfillment. Those who practice this love benefit spiritually as they help others. While there are still badly needed changes in our anti-democratic society, I see positive signs that acting with love for other people and their needs does succeed."

"I see the illness when people take pleasure in beating out their fellow humans in the competitive pursuite of private success that produces winners and losers, victors and victims. So it is not just the suffering of the victims that upsets and moves me, but also the illness of the victors."

"There is nothing more fulfilling than to work in a Beloved Community of people who are laboring to cure that illness [striving for domination/exploitation], in ourselves and in the society, and do not demand a sterile conformity of ideology and action among those who share that goal. In such a community, the members are working, each in her or his own way, to create the "proper capability" of living a sisters and brothers in a world in which everyone will be equal - a world in which people are really born equal and will never cease to be treated as equal, whatever their individual diversities and failings; a world that will not make a mockery of the U.S. claims that we live "with liberty and justice for all."

"For a long time, the demonstrations played a crucial role, not just in showing the public, the traditional peace organizations, the government - and the Mobe (Mobilization) - how widespread and serious the oppositon was but also in giving heart to the demonstrators... When [the citizens] became so upset over teh war that they finally set aside this conditioning [that marching was making a spectacle of oneself] and marched in their first demonstration, it frequently led to a psychological breakthrough, one that I observed ina number of people... The main effect of participating was energizing and empowering. They went back to their local communities ready to play a more confident and active role... After a while, though, the demostrations tended less and less to work that way. Periodic demnstrations bagan to take on a life of their own as the be-all and end-all of the movement. The line got bluurred between participating to end the war and participating in order to enjoy the exhilirating experience of experessing one's antiwar views in solidarity with thousands of like-minded people. There were indications that some people were going to a demonstration much as some people go to a church, synagogue or meditation center. For them, the marches and rallies had become periodic self-satisfying rituals that weren't consistent enough in leading to follow-up activities elsewhere. Instead of helping people to gain new insights and energy to go home and express them in new relationships and practices, they [demonstrations] were becoming almost a substitute for doing so."

Dear Family, Wish you were here!

Dear Bev, Cap, Chris, Dave, Emily, Gerry, Jeremy, Laura, Marcia, Mary Rachel, Mohamed, Rosemary, Steve, Sue, et al...,

I don't have any stamps and remain without reliable email access. I've wanted to write you but I have no means (thank God! "The Golden Rule is to steadfastly refuse to have what millions cannot have," Gandhi, the only means of avoiding divorce from our brothers.)

But, I have been writing you and will continue to do so when I have access to the blogs. You can see them all by clicking my complete profile at left. Each post is with you in mind.

I love you and will always. You are my family and always will be in my heart.

Wish you were here! Why? Man, this is Living! No kidding! Imagine the most wonderful vacation you can.
[These are just some of the ones I've taken: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I...]This is better! Perfect? No. There are still distractions and limitations from making the greatest possible contribution to the health of our death-bed human body. But I am freer of obstacles than ever before!

For the first several weeks of January it was 23hrs per day in front of the White House. Was falsely arrested for "camping" (I was not) and that court date is mid March. I face weeks or months in prison if convicted. No matter. However I can best serve. Time will tell.
Thrown in were two 3 day stints with Catholic Workers, risking arrest 3 times and getting arrested twice - one at the Pentagon exposing the workers to the faces of Iraq children, and one at the Federal Court House in DC standing in for Abdel Galib Amed Hakim, 27 of Ta'iz Yemen who has been kept at Guantanimo in illegal detention by the US Goverment that I have been funding. That court date is mid April.

Since Jan 19th, the day of my Pentagon court date (dismissed without prejudice) I have been contributing to two of today's living saints, Thomas and Connie and Ellen. They are renovating the basement of their base of operations so the Washington Peace Center can operate there, and so that there is in-floor heating for the main floor. By donating my time to the construction I thought I might contribute to their Spirit, and I think I have done so. The project has continued long past what I anticipated. Now my guess is that by week's end I will take my leave and return to the Darfur Vigil at the White House. Here I have had unexpected access to the internet and have created this blog - my most important ever. [and ESPECIALLY THIS POST >>>CLICK HERE!!!!]. I pray it is of help to you. It can be your transportation, in part, to this wonderful spot I've found!

Life does not get much better than this. Well, ok, it does. When one learns much more than I have about courage, giving, compassion, humanity... than I have, yes, it IS better. But I'm learning and making a way. The way? :-)

There is a whole world of room here if you ever know anyone that wants to come and visit or stay for a while, or even move in!

I miss you all dearly, but only because I love you so.

Wishing you great Joy and loving you forever, brother jay

2.11.2007

Man must discover fire for the second time.

“The day will come when after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And on that day for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire."
This is a quote of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The notion of "fire" as an element of our Christian quest haunts me, in a very positive way. It will not leave me.

The Christian (always when I say this I mean in Jesus' eyes) may best understand her/himself as a flame, a Sacred bit of fire.
The Christian is charged with:
* Maintaining the flame - protecting it at the cost of one's life if necessary.
* Growing the flame as though the fate of the entire planet depends upon it, which it does.
* Spreading the flame to the soul of others with every bit of speed possible, at every conceivable opportunity, spending every second on this task as the only hope for humankind, which it is.

Spirit is Fire is Spirit is Fire....

Oh, there is much work to be done. Let's get on with it.