It’s often hard to sustain hope these days. How can you watch Islamic State terrorists killing thousands of “non-believers”, abducting women and girls and beheading prisoners, and still believe that there is that of God in all people? It takes a stubborn faith in the goodness of humanity, or the benevolence of God, or both. But then when you see the video clip of the silly young 17-year-old from Sydney (and many of us are a bit silly at that age) shouting threats to the world in a voice that should be used to encourge his local football team, our main emotion is sorrow – sorrow for a now irretrievably wasted life, sorrow for his family and friends on their loss, and sorrow for a great religion further debased.
William Penn, who also lived in turbulent times, said “Let us go and see what love can do.” In this issue we hear from Friends who have found meaning for their lives in treading this path. They tell us how they found hope in finding they could make a difference – Sally Herzfeld and Valerie Joy in the Alternative to Violence Programme, Abel Siboniyo in working with fellow refugees, and in the past, Joice Loch’s work with the victims of war in Europe.
We are also reminded that strength comes from the support of like-minded people, and from a life grounded in the wisdom of our spiritual tradition. Alone or in our Meetings, Worshipping Groups and gatherings, we can draw on this tradition to fill our cup and sense what we are called to do.
In this issue we also look forward to our Yearly Meeting in Melbourne in January. Here again we will ask “What does Love require of us?” and hopefully our cup will run over in sustaining hope in difficult times.