#HelloBrother

Freesia
Freesia symbolizes grace under pressure.

“The grace or love of God, whence cometh our salvation,
is free in all, and free for all.”
[John Wesley]

Grace comes in many forms.  On the live stream video of the New Zealand mosque attacks, a Muslim gentleman is heard saying “Hello, brother!” as the murderer walked into the entrance of Al Noor, his place of worship.

Hello, brother!  Simple, gentle words.  Amity.  Goodwill. Clearly the practice of loving-kindness (Metta) is routine for this gentleman that he was able to display such generosity of spirit in such an intense moment.  Grace, simply given.

An article on the Buzzfeed site about the victims of this barbarous attack reads: You should learn everything you can about them, because their lives mattered. A poignant and appropriate reminder amongst all the blame-laying, finger-pointing  and political posturing posts and essays assaulting our senses.  If, like me, you’d like to learn about the victims, here is the link:  Buzzfeed

Sit lux perpetua luceat Dei in vobis.
May God shine perpetual light upon you.

Regardless of what you read, I hope you’ll fact-check some of the quotes and statements.  Contrary to what Mr. Trump and other zealots and fanatics of his ilk are saying, academic experts, data collectors and police forces alike confirm that violent white extremism and bigotry are on the rise, especially here in North America.

During the past month I’ve enjoyed being able to spend some more time reading my social media feeds.  These have become an important part of my life; connecting me with old school friends, friends from my old neighbourhoods, and cousins far-flung across the globe.  Yet the Internet, the very thing that enriches my life so, was – on Friday – the conduit for the hate-filled massacre that shocked, saddened and angered us all.

How on earth did the Internet explode this far out of control?  It has become an incubator for fledgling racists, nurturing them, encouraging them until they mature into violent, radical agitators themselves. A small group of individuals, to be sure, yet social media seems unable to stop them from perpetuating cyclical hatred and brutality.

Where we stand determines what we see.
Changing what we see changes our perspective.
Altered perspectives change what we choose to capture with our lens.
[Prof. G. Barratt]

Social change requires inclusion and that everybody focus on the same goal.  Perhaps we might all reposition ourselves, alter our perspectives,  become more aware of the pain in our communities and of how it is perpetuated and spread.  Imagine the impact of changing what we stand for and who we stand with.  Everyone wants to be safe, to have ample food, to enjoy good health and to be free to worship, but even more, all people want respect for who they are.  It is time to refocus.

 Hello, Brother.

Grace comes in many forms.  The core value of any meaningful life is grace.  Let’s always remember “Hello, Brother!” and the fifty souls who perished in this evil attack.  Sit lux perpetua luceat Dei in vobis.  May Allah shine perpetual light upon you!

‘Til next time, y’all…

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