Welcome to Life in 361˚. This blog is an 'open journal' - a space where I keep notes on bits & pieces I come across day-to-day - including books and articles I've read that I feel are worth sharing, interesting pictures and photos (I'm a visual learner, you see), random musings - and anything else that happens to catch my eye or ear. It also acts as a kind of 'open experiment' in terms of developing my views and writing skills - and networking with other people of a like-mind.

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05/02/2012

Peace yet No Peace

I visited a Quaker meeting this morning and once again encountered some deeply powerful Christian ministry and prayer. The theme that arose came from Holocaust Memorial Week and the question of evil. The reflections provided through a series of contributions looked at how humankind is capable of both evil and good, in terms of how we view and subsequently treat others - and ourselves. We have to accept ourselves and others for who we are by seeing both the Humanity and the Divine within each of us, breaking down the boundaries built up by fear,  midjudgement and anger - by our sinning - and also, by the hurt from being sinned against (I use the term 'sin' both hesitantly and deliberately here). 

After a difficult few weeks, in which I have been rocked by doubts about myself and others, this meeting for worship spoke directly to my currect condition - it  actually stunned me to tears in its relevance, especially given that on my way there I had considered giving it a miss. 

You could say it gave me a measure of peace, yet left no peace. A homeless man stood at the end of the meeting and asked for a room to stay in a short fumbling speech, contrasting starkly with the eloquence of the previous contributors and raising up those very boundaries - a stark reminder of the need to not judge, to simply love. And that we do have to work at it but we can find inspiration by looking at that great teacher, that great example, that great ideal; Jesus of Nazareth.

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