john heid

Illusions and Miracles

Military forces in the 18th and 19th centuries employed a deceptive tactic called “the Quaker gun trick.” This involved using wooden cannon replicas, sometimes painted black, to trick an adversary into withdrawal or surrender – without a shot being fired. We are not talking Peace Testimony here, but perhaps Friendly Trickery – deception for the greater good of de-escalation.

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Haregewoin’s Wail

For a single moment, time collapsed in the Tucson International Airport. Heads turned abruptly. Passersby stopped dead in their hurried tracks. A soul-deep wail erupted from the throat of a sturdy woman with a mighty set of lungs. Haregewoin’s cry shattered the hubbub and echoed off the sterile walls, like thunder.

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Our Racism

Dear Editor: From cover to cover, the September/October 2018 edition of Western Friend made plain the grievous suffering caused by racism. Our racism.

The “Editor’s Desk” listed seventeen countries with active armed conflicts this year. Every nation listed is made up of people of color who have been invaded, conquered, and colonized by white nation states.

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Seeking

Dear Editor: Seeking is woven tightly, Lightly, into our original vocation as Friends. One does not seek what one already knows, but rather, the unknown. Someplace new. The Light within us is brightened by that in others and way becomes clearer. I believe the journey is as sacred as the destination and asking directions is akin to seeking cairns. Together.

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Practical Mystics

Dear Editor: We Quakers have been called practical mystics. The title of our handbook makes it plain: Faith and Practice. Our prayer and our witness are a tightly woven fabric. Inseparable yet unique. The warp and woof of our witness. We cannot have one without the other. This is our charism. And our challenge.

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