peaceful randomness

I’m excited about the election and am highly anticipating the outcome.  Like many folks, I’ll be happy when it’s over, but there’s one thing I’ll miss: personalized e-mails from Barack.

A few months ago I emailed both campaigns to invite representatives to a peace demonstration I was promoting.  Although neither campaign sent anyone, Mr. Obamaquickly swiped my contact info.  I never heard back from Mr. McCain and his friends (I prefer to call him Johnny.)  Since then Barack been emailing me his personal thoughts as if we were old college buddies. Me and a few other million people, I am sure.

I hope whoever is elected will be just as personable as president. I would love it if the next president were to send me emails thanking me for all my hard work.

I also hope that whoever is elected will be able to truly unite the nation, especially after the dividing energy of the campaign has been so fierce.

Speaking of energy and unity, I gotta tell you something I realized the other day.  I prefer marathons to peace marches.  On Sunday I cheered for a friend and 31,000 other people at the Chicago Marathon.  I was greatly moved by the diversity of the crowd all peacefully united for a common cause.  This, ironically, is a drastic change from the cruelty that I’ve found at peace marches I’ve attended. 

The thing I love most about peace marches is a diverse crowd united for a common cause.  Now that I know I can enjoy that by attending marathons (and church for that matter!), I’m not really sure why I should go to peace marches.

I’m not really sure if peace marches are happening anymore anyhow.  This seems to be a difference between my generation and my parents’.  Now we seem to get that peacemaking is bigger than rallies. 

I’ve been absent from this blog for a while because I have been in major transition.  A few months ago I was a somewhat still and quiet Franciscan novice in a small city in Wisconsin, where my community’s motherhouse is located.  I’m still a Franciscan novice but my canonical year is over and I am learning how to be a minister while participating in the community.  Now I live and work in the Chicago area. I live with some sisters. At an inner-city high school I try to teach history and minister. 

In the midst of the hard work, I try to be a peacemaker every day.  I do my best to teach my students how to listen respectfully and remind them to be kind to people who are not like them.  I try to serve as a loving presence who challenges the young people to become the good people God made them to be. I pray with and for the youth. A lot.

Indeed, peacemaking is hard work.  And for most of us, it’s thankless. I’m okay with it being thankless. But I still think it would be nice if the president were to send me a thank you. I don’t even hope for paper, an email would be perfect.

We’ll see. But for now let’s be peacemakers, let’s listen and love.  And let’s unite in our diversity, at peace marches or marathons.

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About Julia Walsh

Originally from Northeast Iowa, Sister Julia is a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, based in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Her love for God and God's good world is manifested in her attempts to be an educator, a youth empower-er, an earth lover, and a peacemaker. She ministers at a Franciscan retreat center in Wisconsin.

One thought on “peaceful randomness

  1. Will you say more about the “cruelty you’ve encountered” at peace marches? Although I’m not sure what your experience has been, I have noticed that “solidarity” can sometimes be fused with a lot of negative energy, and I don’t think that’s the kind of solidarity we want, regardless of the cause. I think the first step toward peace is peace within.

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