Reading, Teaching, Learning

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Spiritual Journey Thursday - MERCIFUL

 I look forward to Thursdays when I can publish thoughts on my spiritual journey and hear the thoughts of others on a weekly basis.  It has become a space for an encouraging and fortifying community to come together.  We welcome anyone who would like to join us!
For the last couple of months we have been writing about each other's One Little Words. We're done after Bobbie Ann Taylor's word today, MERCIFUL.  Thank you to all the participants in this journey, full of wise and wonderful ideas to enhance each OLW.  I hope all of you will continue to contribute to SJT.  I will continue to post each Thursday morning.  At times, I've Tweeted out a topic, and other times I ask bloggers to write about whatever speaks to them that week. 



Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. - Matthew 5:7



I knew I wouldn't be done talking about Salva Dut's visit yet.  I wrote about him last week, and one of these upcoming Saturdays, I will write a celebration post.  When I think of merciful this week, I think of his message of peace.  If you've read A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park, you know that two tribes, Dinka and Nuer, were at war in Sudan.  The Nuer invaded Salva's village when he was 11 years old, forcing he and his fellow schoolmates to flee.  During Salva's dangerous and grueling walk to a refugee camp, a Nuer tribesman shot and killed his uncle.  Devastated, he continued to persevere on this walk and led about 1500 boys to safety.  When he presents, one of his most impactful messages is one of mercy.  He tells his audience that revenge is not the answer.  Doing something positive is more powerful.  Revenge will never bring back the dead or injured; it will never right wrongs; it will never bring about peace.  Only positive actions can do that.

Salva has partnered with Buey Ray Tut of Aqua Africa as part of the United Peace and Development Project (UPDP).  Buey is from the Nuer tribe, and Salva is from the Dinka tribe.  Their organizations (Aqua Africa and Water for South Sudan) have come together to drill wells, showing people how to work together and build a nation of peace.  That's merciful.

6 comments:

  1. Holly, I agree that Salva's action is an amazing journey of merciful love. Thank you so much for the Beatitudes' poster. I was thinking of writing that until other messages came to me. What app did you use to make the poster because it is stunning.

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    1. I wish I could claim it, Carol. I never make my own images/posters. ;-) I should have put a link to the source, but I forgot, and now I can't find it!

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  2. Thank you for sharing my OLW with the SJT community, and for honoring that word by showing it in action, as you describe in your post. Salva's words reminded me of Martin Luther King's. "Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." Though MLK was influenced by Gandhi, as the son of a preacher and a preacher himself, King was influenced by Jesus' tough teaching about loving one's enemies and praying for one's persecutors, too. The kind of forgiveness that follows Jesus' teaching is tough, indeed. Being merciful when everything in our being calls out for revenge is tough. We are blessed to have had amazing witnesses of the power of that kind of mercy; what some misinterpret as wimpiness is holy meekness/not weakness. Blessed are the merciful; thank you for your beautiful graphic reminder of that beatitude.
    Congratulations and every blessing, too, on your new home! May it be a merciful dwelling place for you, your friends and relatives, and the Lord Whom you so faithfully serve! Thank you for all the OLW's you enabled us to explore this year. God bless you!

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  3. Thank you for sharing this very real and gut-wrenching example of MERCY. I can hardly imagine working through mixed emotions to come to the place of forgiveness that Salva did. It reminds me of the story told in The Hiding Place, of how Corrie Ten Boom met one of her former guards (was it a guard--I think so, or at least someone with whom she had had dealing during the war) and struggled to even shake his hand. Such mercy needs deep work!

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  4. This is exactly what mercy is about. I'm so glad you had this amazing experience. One of my students, a second grader watched a video about water shortage on Wonderopolis. He became interested in this issue, so I told him about your project. We cannot do anything this year, but next year we could organize a walk. Can you send me some video suggestions for my young student? Thanks.

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    1. There are some wonderful videos on Water for South Sudan's site. http://www.waterforsouthsudan.org/
      Some other water organizations that feature good resources are:
      http://aqua-africa.net/
      http://water.cc/
      http://ugandanwaterproject.com/media/video/

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