This week I went to a presentation put on by a group of 6 from the Southwestern Washington Synod of the ELCA who just got back from a trip to Namibia. It was a great presentation. The team showed a slideshow of the places that they visited, and talked about their impression of the country. The trips focus was on education, and they visited with schools, hospitals, churches, and bishops of the synods in Namibia.
My biggest take away from the meeting was the discussion around what one of the bishops told the group. He told them that it is through relationship that peace is formed. He is an advocate for peace, and encouraged them to form relationships with others, and fight for the US to not be so quick to go to war. He said that when the US goes to war it makes other small countries uncomfortable and fear the US.
This idea of peace through relationship is really cool, and I know it is important to help with the turmoil that is happening in our country right now. I would like to challenge each of you to get to know someone from a race, gender, or religion you do not understand before you post or talk about the group in a negative way.
It is only through relationship that peace will happen. I am not talking about a superficial friendship where you do not take the time to really get to know the person. This is about finding out what makes them tick without trying to change them. It is about being open to their ideas even if they are different than the way you understand the world. Once you really get to know a person who is truly different than you it helps you to be more compassionate toward all of humanity, so take the challenge!!