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Peace and Compassion

Peace and Compassion

Vicki Garvey, Canon for Christian Formation for the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago speaks on compassion on the program “30 Good Minutes” from Chicago PBS. This was part of a program featuring:

Daniel Pawlus and Eboo Patel in conversation with Jim Wallis, who says, “I am really hopeful by this new generation’s passion and the way they’re not afraid of each other. They don’t compromise their own faith when they have an interfaith dialogue, but they want to learn and they want to find allies.”

… the little boy in the film “The Sixth Sense,” speaking of the dead people he sees says, “they only see what they want to see.” some people see peace as quiet or lack of anxiety or freedom from disturbance or, on a larger scale, the absence of hostility between neighbors here and abroad. as the bible has known for millennia, peace is all of tho things, but not simply all of those things. peace is something more. when my nephew was on the cusp of three, he was given two balloons one day at the shopping mall. as he and his grandparents walked along, they heard the sort of high-pitched screeching that means some little kiddo is having a terribly bad day. her embarrassed parents were shushing away to no avail. onlookers gave the trio a wide berth, disapproval etched in their faces. no peace for anyone in earshot of the tantrum at the mall that day until my nephew disengaged his little hands from his grandparents, went over to the screaming child, knelt, looked into her face said softly, “don’t cry, little girl,” and handed her one of his balloons. some day, god willing, when all of us finally look into the face of another and see not a stranger but another self, then the peace that passes all understanding, the peaceable kingdom promised so long ago, will finally find a home here on earth.

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