A Field Project Promoting Purposeful Conversation – By The Rev. Mike Pennanen Interim Pastors Quarterly Report -Martin Homan

Living peace

We lived near a NATO base and, as elementary and high school students were prepared by drills for possible emergencies, with fire drills and with nuclear bomb drills. Most of us went through the motions, joking and laughing; but at night, in my bed, I would hear planes from the base, occasionally one sounded different in pitch and I wondered if this was the one carrying a bomb. Of course it wasn’t; but I had been taught to think it was an imminent risk and in the daylight hours we went about our lives and didn’t think about it; and at night, alone, in the darkness, fear would seep into me, drifting in with the night shadows. I learned then that fear cannot be allowed to control or dominate; but can be greeted and dismissed. I think I learned to let my mind and my emotions focus or perhaps more accurately, center on being loved, being loved by my family and loved by God, not giving that much thought then; but believing it was so and beginning to develop, before I knew what it was, a center within that invited the mystery, the holy, and found a place that was at peace. While that seems far away and different from our realities today, it was a formative time for me and others of my generation. War and the winds of war have been present throughout my lifetime, and continues today. While this is so, it is shameful that some in public trust, seeking to be president, fuel our fears, flaming hatred to build power. Pray for a country and a world where love conquers fear and compassion dissolves hatred, where we can still welcome the stranger and share resources that bring life. Let’s do it.

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