China 2015 - vkelim
20150809_1211_1355 Dancing with the MiG-15. Park in Guangzhou

20150809_1211_1355 Dancing with the MiG-15. Park in Guangzhou

At the end of the summer break, new college and university students in China are engaged in compulsory military training. From my apartment, the sounds of the training, marching, drills and chanting fill the night-time air, and are heard again at the crack of dawn the next morning! Of late, the excitement and fervour of the young college graduates at training appears to have upped a notch, perhaps inspired by tales of the past, or territorial troubles of the present.

For the all the excitement of the youth, I earnestly hope for the day when 'swords will be hammered into plough-blades, and spears into pruning knives.' Yet sometimes in my own life I am too eager to take up arms, sensing that the other party has a weaker position, and feeling that I have a 'righteous' cause to fight for.

Even more so if I feel slighted by the 'other', having endured a night-time visit in my apartment by the boys-in-blue thanks to some self-seeking informant.

But to be a child of God is not to demonstrate power at every opportunity, but to be a peacemaker. To be a full bearer and conduit of God's blessing requires a measure of patience and compassion for the 'other' which I fear will not come naturally, but can only come by being in heart-felt communion with God and the children of His creation.