Marcelo Schneider's blog from the US Living Letters visit

The Living Letters blogs are written to share about visits to specific countries or regions around the world, organized by the World Council of Churches (WCC) Decade to Overcome Violence initiative along with assistance from local coordinators, churches and other organizations. The Living Letters blogs are personal narratives from members of the "Living Letters" team and do not necessarily represent the opinion or policies of the World Council of Churches.

Lina's living letters approach

Each one of us has been reacting in different ways to this trip. Lina wrote this small article over the last few days and we thought that it would be great if the blog could sometimes work as a collective expression of us all. Much interested in your comments. Here are Lina\'s thoughts, to be shared:


Is Peace Possible?

Fresh from the funerals where they buried their own children, grieving Amish families attended the burial of the 32 year old non-Amish killer, Mr. Roberts, who shot dead 5 Amish school girls before killing himself. Of the 75 in attendance at the funeral, at least half were Amish. The Amish families greeted Mrs. Roberts and her 3 children - on that day, forgiveness was more than just a graveside presence; the Amish helped establish a fund for the assassin's family.

Would it possible for any non-Amish community in the East, West, North and South to hold such an enormous capacity to absorb adversity?

Would it be possible for the Armenians to forgive the Turks?

Would it be possible for the Jews to forgive the Germans?

Would it be possible for the Palestinians to forgive the Israelis?

Would it be possible for the Israelis to forgive the Palestinians?

Would it be possible for the Americans to forgive the Muslims?

Would it be possible for the Iraqis to forgive the Americans?

Would it be possible for the Lebanese to forgive the Israelis?

We all need forgiveness.

Extremists on both sides have destroyed the peace process.

The capacity to absorb adversity is an attitude. Individual and collective pacifistic attitudes are needed in the face of violence. In this sense, we have failed. The world today lacks leaders who are focused on long term peace.

Is it possible to build a society where ALL can belong?

Would it be possible for peoples and nations to have the courage to turn the other cheek, to forgive and to leave vengeance to God?

The Amish answer is yes.

They literally practice the forgiveness called for in our Lord's prayer.

The Christian answer is yes.

As Christians, forgiveness is woven into our faith. Jesus carried his cross without complaining and while on the cross he extended forgiveness "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing."

I come from the biblical land of Lebanon, carrying to you a message of peace. I come to you from a divided and bleeding Middle East to a broken America.

Don't ask whether forgiveness works, simply practice it.

Lina S. Moukheiber
WCC Living Letters
September 2007

Posted By: Marcelo on Sep 19, 2007 04:23PM