Two days ago I sat with a new friend - Geoffrey Ames. Geoff is a Bishop for a small evangelical Orthodox Church group here in America. Geoff is a Franciscan monk, and spent a few years developing a Franciscan mission community in a town nearby. Geoff is also a weekend warrior. He is in the Army Reserves, and has been called to Iraq. This will be Geoff's second tour of duty.
Yes, Geoff is a Franciscan soldier - hmmmmmm. That must blow your mind. I know that it certainly does that for many other people. Geoffrey will be a chaplain's assistant. He will carry a gun. He spoke of his first tour of duty, and is excited to go back. Recently he has been teaching school, but wanted to have more freedom to share his faith. Being called to Iraq offers that opportunity.
Geoff told me stories about helping children in Iraq, and how the soldiers he knew really cared to help the Iraqi people. He told of times the Iraqi people expressed their appreciation for the American presence.
Geoff left his car with us, and we will have it in our care for the year (perhaps more) while he is away.
I am deeply impressed with the devotion of my new friend Bishop Ames the Franciscan monk. I will be praying for him, and shoring his stories with our church. I am not sure how his story informs my thoughts about the war, and my concerns for justice and human rights. I am convinced that Franciscans devoted to peace placing themselves in the heart of the war zone is a Gospel thing. I am also convinced that war is a serious transgression against the rights of those who are touched by that war.
I drove brother Geoff's car today, and considered these issues. War is wrong, but brother Geoff is one of my heroes. I am glad God is sending Franciscan monks to Iraq.
Other SynchroBloggers on this subject:
- Phil Wyman on href="http://squarenomore.blogspot.com/2008/05/monks-to-iraq.html" target="_blank">Monks to Iraq.
- Adam Gonnerman on href="http://igneousquill.blogspot.com/2008/05/may-synchroblogbloggers-
unite.html" target="_blank">Guantanamo Bay in the eyes of God.
- Julie Clawson on Human rights and Christian
- Steve Hayes on Human rights and Christian faith.
- Steve Hayes (again!) on href="http://khanya.wordpress.com/2008/05/15/human-rights-and-amnesty-
international/" target="_blank">Human Rights and Amnesty
- Alan Knox on My charade is the event of the
- Sally Coleman on href="http://sallysjourney.typepad.com/sallys_journey/2008/05/if--bloggers-
- Sonja Andrews on target="_blank">Human wrongs.
- Cobus van Wyngaard on href="http://mycontemplations.wordpress.com/2008/05/15/christianization-and-
and Humanization and our task in Zimbabwe.
- Janice Fowler on href="http://gracexpectations.blogspot.com/2008/05/voice-overs-needed-or-wake-
up-speak-up.html" target="_blank">"Voice overs needed" (oe "Wake up --
- Bryan Riley on href="http://charisshalom.fjministries.com/2008/05/15/bloggers-unite-for-
human-rights/" target="_blank">Bloggers unite for human