(The church placed a large banner on public display during the past week bearing the message "PEACE - NOT WAR" in response to the impending invasion of Iraq by US, British and Australian troops. This simple act in a small corner of West Melbourne raised a question....)
Does it make a difference? A single sign hanging on an insignificant building in West Melbourne… is it going to change the course of nations? Does the discussion I have with a person in a café about the relative merits of the declared path of disarming Iraq change anything? Why do we bother?
The sense of powerlessness and futility which is felt when the odds and opposition are stacked against us is the greatest temptation towards inaction. That we may only be one-out against overwhelming opposition is greater reason to speak than to remain silent. One does not have to look far in world history to see the power of one – a single voice raised in defiance, which has caught the attention and imagination of others: Martin Luther, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Theresa…. the list could go on.
And in this case, our voice is not alone. It is part of an increasing chorus of opposition echoing around the world. Our small voice in this small corner adds to that chorus.
And be assured that it is helping. Within hours of the banner being raised, I was encouraged by two people who thanked us for our efforts. We are giving strength and encouragement to others who oppose this madness. I also received a note of thanks from a prominent church leader for the encouragement it gave.
If we do nothing, the voice of war echoes unhindered. Let us continue to speak for a peaceful resolution, and join the chorus which echoes the heart of Jesus. Let us pray that this call will not be bludgeoned or overwhelmed into silence.
March 16, 2003