PEACE PROBE by Gene Stoltzfus

My Traveling Companions As I go to DC by peaceprobe
December 24, 2005, 9:52 am
Filed under: Afghanistan and Pakistan

Tomorrow I depart from my hideaway in Northwestern Ontario for Washington DC resuming my citizenship in the nation in which I was born. On Sunday we will begin to walk through 14 days of processions to highlight the shadowy and public sources of war that have contributed to our contemporary global culture of violence. Am I confident that we will make any difference? No! Am I confident that this is the right thing to do? Yes.

Its been thirty-eight years since I did my first public witness on the question of war. That occurred in what was then called Saigon. I have never started or joined one of these events without the ghosts of nagging doubt pecking away at me in the back of my head. Maybe I just don’t pray enough. Here are a few of the names of those ghosts.Mr. Ghost Leave Things Alone tells me that we might make things worse because there are sensitive things that governments have to do and I should leave things alone since I don’t know all the facts. Mr. Ghost Arrogance reminds me that using the language, Shine the Light is very arrogant, possibly moralistic, and points a finger of guilt at someone else in such a way that I come off holier than thou. Mr. Bad Manners Ghost hisses to me that I am just one more eccentric, misguided and irrelevant, maybe fanatical do gooder. When will I learn to be nicer?Mr. Image Ghost keeps me awake at night blabbering that unless I have real wide and positive media coverage I will have failed. Well thank you Mr. Image Ghost I have been around long enough to know that the work of peace will not be done in a single public event. And, Mr Media Ghost I know you are looking for a good story and might even be open to some suggestions from our corner.

And then there is the Ghost of Authority, who nibbles away at my confidence. By what authority do you speak of these thing? Good question. I can give you my bio which will help but probably won’t satisfy your bothersome questions. What gives you the confidence to take on this and all shadowy war?

These voices are my companions as I travel to Washington, where I will silently process with my torchlight or flashlight, trying to shine a little light. I know these voices really well. They show up every time. Occasionally they are successful and win their arguments. When they all cooperate and speak at once they can drive me to silence, not the good kind of silence that opens me to the light of God, the bad kind of silence that makes me depressed.

Even though I have witnessed the power of light to overcome real dangerous shadowy stuff for 38 years these little guys still take up a lot of my time.

So what do I want to ask you to do to support me? I know a call for prayer can be transforming and it can be a cop out. We have tried to listen to God in our preparations but I know that even that language can be infected with dishonesty. So I leave your support in your hands. Maybe you don’t have all these crazy voices hanging around to bother you. If you have the gift of prayer and know it down deep, pray that the Glory of God would be revealed. That is a very big prayer, big enough to cover all of us and our ghosts.


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