Tag Archives: Belfast

A song, a poem and a quote as we wait for ‘peace on earth’

As a son of Belfast, now living ‘across the border’ in Dublin it pains me to read of the violence scarring my hometown these past few days. The sadness I feel is offset by the hope I experienced today with a bunch of young leaders, full of passion and potential, committed to making their worlds, and the world a better place. Committed to seeing God’s kingdom fleshed out. Prepared for the waiting that involves.

Yesterday I met two Welsh tourists, gutted that their trip to Belfast had been called off due to safety concerns. I then tried to explain to a friend some of the reasons behind what was happening without making it sound too crazy.

In advent we wait for the hope that is to come. Tonight we decorated our Christmas tree. Near the top hangs the word ‘peace’. Tonight I feel sadness as I wait and pray for peace in my hometown. The song, poem and quote were posted by 3 different friends. All seemed to resonate tonight…

 A song – Stephen (David Ford)

 

A poem – Christmas Bells (Henry Wadsworth)

And in despair I bowed my head;

‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said;

‘For hate is strong,

And mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!’

 

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

‘God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!

The Wrong shall fail,

The Right prevail,

With peace on earth, good-will to men!’

The full poem can be found here.

 

A quote – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.

From this blog, written about a different context but that seems to apply, whose writer goes on to add:

Just because you didn’t get what you want doesn’t mean that you are “persecuted”. It means you can’t have everything.

Just because you got outvoted by a majority in a democratic election does not mean you are “persecuted”. It means you got outvoted.

Just because you can no longer rely on a previously enjoyed advantage does not mean that you are “persecuted”. It simply means that existing laws are now being enforced and you can no longer pretend they don’t apply to you because you are part of a previously privileged group.

The soapbox has been on the move and will be back soon

Samson and GoliathThe last few months have been a whirlwind of constant movement and excitement. After 30ish years in the glorious east, I’ve had to say goodbye to the iconic cranes that remind me I’m home as I’ve packed up and moved to Dublin. Despite having spent half of the last year or two in and around Dublin’s fair city, and becoming practised in moving, leaving the city that has watched me grow up and has changed round me as I’ve grown up has been more difficult than I imagined. I’ve come to appreciate just how blessed I am in terms of the friendships I have and the people around me who I love, respect and have had the privilege of sharing life with over the past years. I know those friendships remain, but there is a wrench when you realise the possibility of nipping across Belfast to see someone is no longer there, and has to be prearranged into two/three day trips north. Moving (and going long periods of not spending more than 5 consecutive nights in one bed) certainly helps with decluttering lots of the stuff that I’ve accumulated, and giving a sense a freedom from the slavery of possessions.

The last months have taken in a wild variety of things – the encounter summer team, a holiday in Spain, Leading for Life in Vienna, leadership training with Cuban youth leaders, Summer Madness, U2 at Croke, Greenbelt and trying to write a dissertation on leadership development, never mind moving city and country. Oh and leaving the organisation I’ve worked with for the last 9 years. Apart from being ridiculously expensive I’m loving Dublin, the future is bright as I look forward to finishing my MDiv after 5 years, Innovista Ireland begins to come online, and a trip to Hong Kong provides space and celebration of all this change. Come 15 September I’m sure many of those musings and a wee review of Greenbelt will come to light, but for now the thesis takes over…