Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Crowd surfing between windows of a moving train mosh pit

"If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction."Dietrich Bonhoeffer   1906 – 1945
Categorized as a German Lutheran pastor, theologian and martyr, Bonhoeffer [ˈdiːtʁɪç ˈboːnhœfɐ]  became a participant in the German resistance movement against Nazism and a founding member of the Confessing Church. His involvement in plans by members of the Abwehr (the German Military Intelligence Office) to assassinate Adolf Hitler assassinate Adolf Hitler resulted in his arrest in April 1943 and his subsequent execution by hanging in April 1945, 23 days before the Nazis' surrender. His view of Christianity's role in the secular world is a regular diet for current seminarians and students at Christian universities.

This week it felt like I was on a fast moving train--thankfully on a very good and wonderful train. Other leaders whom I respect seem to be riding on similar trains that have are clearly running in parallel to some distant point. Recently I've noticed the subtle change as they appear to me moving toward one specific spot.  I've been filled with anticipation and expectancy, knowing that soon we'd be together at the same station.

This past week two parallel trains were close enough that I could go back and forth between the two -- and by Friday it felt like my friends on each train pushed me up to the ceiling and began passing me on their outstretched raised arms. It felt like they were pushing me through the windows between moving train, like a crowd surfer being passed by a mosh pit.  I would bring warm greetings and share information back and forth and the excitement was growing for everyone.

Then Saturday we all arrived -- two very fast moving trains arrived at the same place as we met for a private dinner in a friend's home for Norwegian peace cake (Kransekake), exchanging gifts and several hours or wonderful dialogue.  And then to the Dalia Lama on the Capitol on Monday...a Diabetes summit on Tuesday and I still haven't processed Saturday yet.  And so I continue being passed between groups but what a ride!!!

Leading up to last weekend, in the "train" on my right I saw leadership of the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights working on the Code for Holy Sites.  On Wednesday night, peace leaders spoke on the role of women as peackeepers.  At the forum it hosted Thursday at the University of Minnesota, Somali community leaders spoke of efforts for creating sustainable peace and a stable emerging government. As former Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, founder of the Oslo Center began to take a stand and move forward, it was like other stood and walked with him on the train and things began accelerating. And then as the week progressed, people began to respond to this compelling leader standing and walking forward on the train with him.

And I've been riding in the same train cabin with Chief Arvol Looking Horse, his family and the leadership team from World Peace and Prayer Day, eagerly working on this international event June 18-21

For months I've sensed that everyone was en route to a destination and we could peak into each others' trains.  Over the course of the past few months it was like one train would stop at a stations and I'd hop to the Oslo Peace Train.

Then I'd hop back to what I'll call the Bdote Peace Train (representing the right to pray at indigenous sacred sites).   For the past 60 days I've been looking toward the time when the two trains would arrive at the same destination-- May 7.

And now that the passengers from both these trains have met, I'm excited to see where we go from here!