Tales from the Great Adventure

a journal of living-like-we-mean-it, by Derek Maul

London is a great city!

photos from my last London visit

London is one of the great cities of this world! And Westminster represents more than the iconic images and timeless photo-ops that catch our eye, it is the beating heart of this world’s most enduring democracy, and one of its most faithful commitments to freedom.

What makes London so amazing, and contributes so much to the vitality of its pulse, is the cosmopolitan flavor of the culture, one that has been shaped by a powerful amalgam of its pure English heart and its crossroads of the world soul over hundreds of years of history.

London has a pure English heart and a crossroads-of the-world soul.

London would not be London without the unique history of Roman occupation, Viking raiders, Norman conquest, Protestant reformation, exploration, royal liaisons throughout Europe, world trade, Empire, Commonwealth, the missionary movement, two world wars, or European Union.

Looking back to WestminsterHistory is always a long, circuitous, learning curve for every great power, and it’s only been at the modern end of the story that any of us have learned – and are still learning – to treat the world’s peoples with equal respect. And it is that more modern movement – not one of tepid tolerance so much as enthusiastic embracing – that has helped transform London into the truly international city it is today.

Terror Attack!

In other words – and the reason for all this preamble – yesterday’s terrorist attack on Westminster bridge was an attack against a place and a people who stand at the forefront of what it means to move beyond the sins of the past, and to move forward as citizens of a world community.

An attack on London – and especially the vicinity of the Houses of Parliament – is an attack on the birthright of all free people. The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution did not materialize out of thin air, but were distilled from hundreds of years of struggle – even preceding Runnymede in AD 1215.

DSC_0345However hurt and angry we are, we cannot allow ourselves to be distracted from our commitment to living together as a world community without mutual fear, and we must also commit ourselves to a path forward that interrupts the cycle of responding to violence with more violence, fear with retribution, and terrorism with restrictions to the very freedoms so many have given so much to ensure.

However hurt and angry we are, we cannot allow ourselves to be distracted from our commitment to living together as a world community without mutual fear, and we must also commit ourselves to a path forward that interrupts the cycle of responding to violence with more violence, fear with retribution, and terrorism with restrictions to the very freedoms so many have given so much to ensure.

The Principles of Faith Do Apply to Nations:

I’ve always been a huge advocate for the application of love as opposed to war. Someone once responded that faith is a private affair, and great for individuals, but it has no business involving itself the work of governments and international relations. The principles advanced by Jesus, he said, do not apply… cannot apply… to nations.

But I have to ask this question – “How is war working for us?” “How effective has our intervention in the Middle East been over the past couple of decades?” “What has the gain been from all the destruction we visited on places like Iraq? What about the cost?”

DSC_0624

In London

London has, once again, given me pause. I’d like to think that any such event, any new day, can be the day where we determine to move forward differently, some kind of a new beginning.

That’s why I’ve always loved this reference to the Hebrew hero Caleb. “This is my servant Caleb,” God said; “he thinks differently” (Numbers 14:24).

Let us be a people who think differently; building where others have destroyed; giving where so many have taken; sowing love where the world knows nothing but hate; taking the risk to be defined by something other than our past.

– DEREK

 

2 thoughts on “the London attack at Westminster – it’s time to think differently…

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