Saturday, March 11, 2006

Abiding Peace

Tom Fox is dead. They found his body yesterday in Baghdad. Tom was one of the four members of a Christian Peacemaking Team abducted in Iraq late last year. A recent video broadcast on Al Jazeera showed the other three members, but there was no sign of Tom. Yesterday the worst fears of those praying for his safe release were realized.

It is hard not to be angry when a man who dedicated his life to peace is abducted and murdered by the people he is trying to help. It is hard not to want someone to pay for this.

But this is what Tom himself wrote about his mission:

"We reject violence to punish anyone. We ask that there be no retaliation on relatives or property. We forgive those who consider us their enemies. We hope that in loving both friends and enemies and by intervening nonviolently to aid those who are systematically oppressed, we can contribute in some small way to transforming this volatile situation.”

What a beautiful statement that is. True peacemakers are rare, and one is now lost. I pray for his family, his friends, and his colleagues at Christian Peacemaker Teams. Theirs is the work of abiding peace--the peace which rejects all forms of oppression, violence and tyranny, even in the face of terrible tragedy. The powers and principalities of our world have a lot to learn from Tom Fox.

You can read the last statement Tom made before being abducted here. It is worth reading, and worth prayerful meditation. His words live on, even as his body is no more.

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