Let there be light ~Baquer Namazi

Last week, I told a friend I would add joy to my next Advent post because it has been noticeably absent from my journey towards Christmas. Well, I searched for joy ~ I really did ~ but the closest I could get to it, for this fourth Sunday in Advent, was:

‘ Let there be light, let there be understanding,
let all the nations gather, let them be face to face.

Open our lips, open our minds to ponder,
open the door of concord opening into grace.’

Let there be light

Let there be light

The quote comes from a hymn for peace,  written and composed in 1968 by two Canadians, Frances Wheeler Davis and Robert Fleming https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-let-there-be-light  It is one of my favourite hymns to sing at any time of the year but it seems particularly appropriate for this Christmas season.

May you all be blessed with some measure of peace, hope, and joy, now and always.

And, in closing……

I would like to dedicate this  post to Baquer Namazi and his family. Baquer Namazi was my husband’s colleague for many years.  He was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison in Iran.  As he is 80 years old, and in poor health,  this sentence is tantamount to life imprisonment.  Bacquer’s former employer, UNICEF, has issued several statements about his plight, all of which I endorse.

Here is one of them.

UNICEF Statement on detention of Baquer Namazi

NEW YORK, 6 September 2016 – “It has now been over six months since Baquer Namazi, a respected former employee of UNICEF, was detained in Iran. His colleagues at UNICEF, and especially those who once worked with him, are deeply concerned about his health and well-being – as we stated on 3 March. Our concern has grown ever since.

“Mr. Namazi served at UNICEF as Representative for Somalia, Kenya and Egypt, among other positions. He worked tirelessly on behalf of the children in all those positions, often in highly difficult circumstances. He deserves a peaceful retirement.

“UNICEF does not engage in politics. We hope that Mr. Namazi will be treated as the humanitarian that he is, and that a humane perspective can be brought to his plight.

“Our thoughts remain with him and all his many friends and loved ones.”

The US State Department has also issued statements, one of which can be read here. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2016/10/263245.htm

And President-in-waiting, Donald Trump, has, of course, issued a tweet:  “Well, Iran has done it again. Taken two of our people and asking for a fortune for their release. This doesn’t happen if I’m president!” (Note: I don’t know what fortune, Donald Trump, is talking about.)

Our family’s  thoughts and love are with Baquer Namazi and his family. We hope that humanity and justice will prevail, and that a good man will be released.

“Let there be light, let there be understanding.”

© silkannthreades

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146 thoughts on “Let there be light ~Baquer Namazi

      1. Marisa @missmarzipan.com

        I watched the video. Wow. Things like this make me so anxious about the world my children will be a part of 😦 I truly hope that some change of heart/mind/circumstance will end this and that they will be released.

        Reply
  1. Robbie

    I have been gone from blogging for a bit + have been playing catch-up. I enjoy your blog with such thoughtful posts:-) You make me think and you inspire:-)

    I am sorry to see this happen to another good soul in this world….my prayers are with his family:-)

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      The whale beaching was horrible, Z. And the fires were bad, too. Fortunately, for me, I was away at the time of the fires. All calm for the moment. 🙂

      Reply
      1. Playamart - Zeebra Designs

        Fires are so scary – no one wants to spend final moments in flames, but maybe even worse would be to survive… a friend is in the hospital now from a cooking gas explosion in his home… nice nice man who lost his wife several years ago…

        As for the whales, I think I’d want to be with each one and offer silent compassion – surely they have the power to know our moods and thoughts, and if they’re dying, to be comforted… I hope all’s OK on your side of the ocean this week.

        Reply
  2. Nath @ BEAUTYCALYPSE

    Shitty shit of shits, why have I missed this post?! I was missing you, dear Gallivanta, so I went looking and… just saw it, and started reading comments all the lovely people have written, and one of your replies stroke me like a knife “Peace, quiet, civil and human rights don’t come easily, unfortunately.” No they most certainly don’t. So many wrongs are happening in the moment. The only silver lining is that it’s become easier to spot decent people. Sending love to you, in the hopes that you are well! ❤

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Well, that is certainly a silver lining! I am going to be missing for a little while longer as I am off to see my parents again (and my daughter, too.) I am so glad my parents don’t/can’t follow world events anymore. They would be appalled.

      Reply
  3. valeriedavies

    I read your reply to Eileen, and my heart went out to you. I wonder if you would find comfort, enlightenment and peace as I do, in the wonderful trilogy, ‘Conversations with God’ by Neale Donald Walsch. I’ve begun re-reading them and have been so inspired and affirmed by the practical spirituality, joy and answers to the sort of questions you and Eileen posed.
    With love,
    Valerie

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Valerie, thank you for suggesting “Conversations with God”. They do sound comforting. I have found that a little time away from the internet has been soothing, too. 🙂

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, somehow we have to find a way through all the turmoil. We usually do but, when in the midst of troubles, we often think we are completely stuck with no way out. 🙂 Thanks for the hugs and kind words.

      Reply
  4. lisadorenfest

    The state department link no longer works but I did google the NY Times article on the arrest of Baquer Namazi and his son and it is just heartbreaking. The Wheeler-Davis | Fleming quote “Let there be light, let there be understanding.” will now be my daily prayer, not only for the Namazi family but for all of us for the world seems a very dark, divided place to me right now.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It’s a prayer of great importance, isn’t it, Lisa! I am sorry the link doesn’t work. It may have been quite an old link. At the moment, with all the confusion and mess of the latest executive order, I feel very pessimistic about the current administration’s potential interest in the Namazi case. But one never knows. 🙂 🙂 Hope Singapore continues to treat you well.

      Reply
  5. Virginia Duran

    This was hard to read. It seems everyone is going through a lot these current days. I hope there is light for your husband’s colleague. At any case, let’s stay strong and do what’s right to do.

    Reply
  6. Miss Lou

    Beautifully written. Feels a bit like trying to find a beam of sunlight through the cracks in steel box lately. (Situations seem impossible & so unfair).

    Reply
      1. Miss Lou

        and you 🙂 I see you aren’t posting as much as you once were. How was your Christmas and New Year?
        How did you fare during the latest earthquake over your way?

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Definitely slowed down with posting. 😦 Considering my pre-Christmas doldrums, the festive season went very well. We were fine physically during the last big earthquake, but it was scary. But I have reverted to experiencing a few phantom/orphan quakes, which makes one doubt one’s mind! http://www.indiatimes.com/lifestyle/self/why-we-feel-like-an-earthquake-is-happening-even-when-it-isn-t-250337.html But, all in all, life is moving along reasonably well. 🙂

        2. Miss Lou

          ‘Earthquake Sickness’, they call it. Almost like a form of PTSD. Quite common apparently, so try not to doubt your saneness too much!

          I need to catch up on your posts. I;m not sure if I’ll be able to make up for tow years of mostly absence, but I can give it a try! lol

          ML
          x

  7. Sheri de Grom

    I felt peaceful as I read the beginning of your blog and am in awe of your ability to photograph the lovely roses. You have a special gift. They are indeed exquisite. Then as I read further about your friend Baquer Namazi, my stomach tightened and I felt the anger settle in that our world has become so brutal as to take a good man who in his name has only contributed to peace and never war. It drives me a little crazy that a body of people believe it’s okay to take this elderly man and put him behind bars when he’s done nothing but promote peace and helping others his entire life.
    I’ve never agreed with the US policy of not negotiating with money for the salvation of prisoners. Other countries do it and then say they don’t. Other prisoners go free and the US prisoners and the British are left behind to take whatever punishment a foreign government wants to perform. To me, this is no better than what the enemy is doing in the first place. In my opinion, prisoners will always be taken but that doesn’t mean we, as in the US, must let them know of a fate of life in prison or death.
    I do have hope for the coming year. Last year was a terrible year for our country and for Tom and me personally. I’m eager to see the changes to come with the Trump administration and hope to participate in writing parts of the Administrative Law Change within healthcare and Mental Healthcare. My prayers and warm thoughts go out to the Namazi family and their loved ones. This has to be hell on earth for them.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Dear Sheri, you have waited a long time for my response. Blogging has been on hold as I helped my sister with the care of our elderly parents. I am home again now and starting to take up where I left off. Thank you for your prayers for the Namazi family. I am praying that you and Tom will have a good year.

      Reply
      1. Sheri de Grom

        I must confess, I’ve had no regularity to blogging this past year or so. It seems most of my time goes to caring for Tom but he is my number 1 priority. When I do get a spare bit of time, I’m usually too tired to sit in front of the computer. My ride appeared just as I was leaving a comment on your blog for your blogs are so much more than just beautiful. They are educational, inspirational, uplifting and so much more. Reading your blogs often bring me a sense of grace and peace. Thank you for being there.

        Reply
  8. lensandpensbysally

    Your commentary is apt for a world that bridges on the constant unknown. I’m in the USA, and every morning I awake on edge. Joy is a companion to hope, and I want them so much for all of us. For me the crucial concerns are civil and human rights and the health of the planet. And, yes, light is another way to interpret our way forward. Happy days ahead, and light to shine on everyone equally.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      To be on edge all the time is exhausting, as well as detrimental to our well-being. My husband and I both have personal experience of political turmoil in our birth countries. We also lived for years in countries on the edge of political turmoil, places where riots, strikes, terrorism, etc were not uncommon. We had a safe(r) room in some of our homes, and, from time to time, an evacuation plan. It’s a hard way to live, so I am now happy to live in the peace and quiet of New Zealand (when there are no earthquakes!). Peace, quiet, civil and human rights don’t come easily, unfortunately. I hope we can hold onto all the goodness which has been gained in the world, and build on it. Happy New Year, Sally. Your camera continues to shine a light on the beauty in the world.

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Let’s hope the questionable continues to be questioned and that, in time, good answers come forth. As long as there are questions, and the right to question, all will be well.

  9. Tiny

    I am so sorry to hear about his imprisonment, and I hope he will be freed to enjoy the rest of his life in peace. I also wish you & yours a year filled with light and peace.

    Reply
  10. Mél@nie

    bonne année et surtout bonne santé, Lady-Ann! 🙂 mille merci-thanx for your constant presence @ my playground, my very best for 2017: health, joy, hope and love… tons of inspiration, too! 🙂 friendly thoughts & respectful regards, Mélanie Bedos-Nicolas

    Reply
  11. Sheila

    That’s such a beautiful hymn – thank you for introducing it to us. I’m so sorry to hear about your friend and will keep hoping for more understanding, light, and love in the world.

    Reply
      1. Sheila

        Thank you for that! I hadn’t seen this list. There’s another one floating around that includes sports victories of all things so I like this list much better. I love seeing all the environmental victories!

        Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      We did have a good Christmas, Sheryl. I made my 70 year old (possibly older) family Christmas cake recipe, and I got roped into playing Santa Claus, complete with fake beard! New Year was quiet and sedate. Hope 2017 will be all that you wish for.

      Reply
  12. melodylowes

    Oh dear. I am so sorry to hear about your husband’s colleague. How awful to be so misunderstood and undervalued at an age when he deserves to be made comfortable and happy. Sigh. Our world is filled with things that don’t make sense to me, and that are harsh and scary and so out of anyone’s control. My prayers go with him this night.
    Just read an article about your latest earthquake changing the coastline. That too is sad. I’m sorry that I wasn’t aware of yet another chapter in your precious island’s history. I hope that the rebuilding progresses and that the displaced critters have a chance to rebuild their numbers. One link missing out of the chain has such far-reaching effects, doesn’t it? A belated Merry Christmas to you – and prayers for resilience and hope in the midst of global uncertainty!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you for your prayers and concern, Melody. Given that nothing stays the same forever, I am hoping that 2017 will bring us a good measure of peace and goodwill. Is that too much to ask for ? 🙂

      Reply
      1. melodylowes

        We can only do our part. I am barely in control of my own self, let alone others. But if enough of us live peace and goodwill, we can make a wee dent in the darkness out there. I’m willing to give it a shot! 🙂

        Reply
  13. Karen

    I too like the hymn and think it very apropos. I do hop that your friend is safely returned to his family. I hope you and your family are enjoying this Christmas day.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      We certainly had a very filling Christmas! I expect there will be no need to cook until next year. We had a happy day. We hope it was like wise for you.

      Reply
  14. Born To Organize

    “Let there be light, let there be understanding.” Such simply words to live by, yet the world is fraught with darkness and lack of understanding. My heart aches for you and for Namazi’s family. What a horrible thing to spend one’s final years in such a place.

    Wishing you peace and light as you go about your days. Sending love as well. xo Alys

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Alys, the first few days of 2017 have been so peaceful and gentle. Surely all the good wishes from everyone are working their magic. 🙂 It also helps that I am learning how to turn my Trump rage into eloquent eye-rolling. 😀 I hope you are feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever is ahead in 2017.

      Reply
      1. Born To Organize

        That is wonderful to hear. I’m happy for you. Eye-rolling is a wonderful tool. Whatever gets you through the turmoil of things you can’t control.

        I am feeling refreshed from the family time with my boys home from school and Mike off of work, but now that we’re into January I’m already missing the Obama family and feeling a great deal of angst. I’ve got to work on meditating on a regular basis. Sending love across the miles. xo

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Yes, apart from anything else, living through 4 years of Trump tweets, will require the rest of us to behave with great restraint…..so meditation to the rescue.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you, Andrea. After the last minute shopping rush of yesterday, I am enjoying a quiet day at home. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, no traffic on our road….bliss. Peace to you, too.

      Reply
  15. Letizia

    We will keep Baquer Namazi and his family in our thoughts. How heartbreaking. And how frustrating when it feels that we can’t help in any way.

    Wishing you a peaceful and loving holiday season, my friend.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Indeed, it is not always possible to be at home for Christmas or other special celebrations. But at least there should be hope of being with family sooner rather than later.

      Reply
  16. Mrs. P

    Wow…I am so terribly sorry to hear of this news and I do understand how distressing this has been for you and your family, friends and their families. One always hopes the troubles of the world never land on one’s own doorstep…but here they are…my love and prayers are with you all.

    Your hymn is beautiful and most appropriate…as is the photo. I will think of this and thoughts of your friend as I go about my daily duties. If there is anything we can do, please let us know.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you for your concern, Mrs P. I think the most important thing is to make sure people, like Mr Namazi, are not forgotten. It’s so easy to slip out of the public (and the politician’s) eye these days. And he is certainly not the only one is this sort of situation. 😦

      Reply
  17. Steve Schwartzman

    You’re the first person I’ve ever encountered who has personally known someone in a situation like this. I’m sorry for the addition of one more thing to un-Christmas your Christmas, and sorry of course for the plight of those two men.

    Dictators are dictators. Sometimes they understand force, other times money. The fortune that you wondered about in your text might be of the type mentioned in the last line of this excerpt from the CBS News article at

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/iran-american-businessman-siamak-namazi-father-baquer-namazi-prison/

    “Siamak’s arrest was the first such action against an American national in Iran after the January prisoner swap between the two countries. The Namazis were not released as part of a January deal that freed detained Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian and three other Iranian-Americans in exchange for pardons or charges being dropped against seven Iranians.

    “That deal also saw the U.S. make a $400 million cash delivery to Iran.”

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Steve for that link. It helps me make a bit more sense out of Trump’s tweet. As I mentioned to Linda, this case is complex but my main concern is that there should be compassion for an elderly man who, in his earlier days, worked tirelessly for the well-being of children.
      And, you may like to know that, in 1996, a dear Peruvian friend was held hostage (only for a short time) in http://www.peruthisweek.com/blogs-japanese-embassy-hostage-crisis-16-years-later-60126. And in 2000 another very dear friend was held hostage during a coup in Fiji. Do you think it’s safe to know me? 😀

      Reply
      1. Mrs. P

        OMG…what business/activity are you involved in that makes it so that friends of yours become captive?

        And…that does not deter me from wanting to visit you! 😉

        Reply
      2. Steve Schwartzman

        Wow, not one but three personal connections to people held captive. But yes, I still think it’s safe to know you.

        I read the article you linked to and vaguely remembered the incident in Peru. Even at the time I don’t think I knew all those details about how the rescue was planned and carried out. I wondered whether anyone had made a movie about it. I found one with terrible reviews, but I also found a CNN documentary: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUksuT3fTV8].

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          When I was looking up a link for you, I was surprised to realize how long ago it happened. And I was surprised to see a documentary on the hostage taking. Because of media attention, 24 hour coverage etc, we sometimes assume terrorism is something new to our world. I was here for this, too. http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/books-magazines/books/startling-book-unpicks-story-behind-australias-first-major-terrorist-attack/news-story/1e602043ab42bd65c1f63e37a315390c I have a fear of rubbish bins on side walks to this day. Long story, but I still get the chills thinking about it.

  18. Playamart - Zeebra Designs

    it’s hard to have a light heart when things like this touch close to ‘home.’

    i have been on the coast at the earthquake ‘zone’ – people are doing better, though we had another strong one a few nights ago which did a lot of damage on up the coast toward colombia… thank you for sharing this story, as it’s important that the world knows when there’s an imbalance, especialy when bad things happen to good people…

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      The Ring of Fire seems to be burning brightly at the moment ~ although I have read reports that it is no more active than usual! Yes, it is important to speak out (hopefully someone will hear!). I was thinking today about the great prison reformer Elizabeth Fry. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Fry She spoke, and people listened. She spoke and she took action. What an amazing woman.

      Reply
      1. Playamart - Zeebra Designs

        Thanks for the link; wow, she was a very special woman who touched the hearts of many people. She also set a great example – one can be a wife and mother yet still be selfless for those who have so much less.

        Let’s hope that the Ring of Fire has released its tension and has no more tantrums…

        Reply
  19. Steve Gingold

    Lovely words and a very lovely photograph, Ann. Such a shame about Baquer Namazi. Such treatment of anyone, but especially the elderly, is abominable. Totalitarian regimes are terrible and I am sad to think that it seems more are on the rise.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Here I am at long last responding to your comment. 🙂 I have been slowing catching up with blogs and comments since Christmas. I hope the holiday season went well for you, and Bentley didn’t indulge in any more chocolates. I am hoping that 2017 will be a better year for the world and its governance but it doesn’t look promising.

      Reply
      1. Steve Gingold

        I was feeling a bit “persona non grata”. 🙂 I have been terrible at responding to comments and commenting in general. I’ll catch up one of these days.

        Bentley has been behaving although he will still steal whatever he can get…we are just doing a better job of anticipating his desires.

        I hope your holidays were joyous and that the new year brings you naught but pleasures. A lot to hope for but one never knows. Does seem a bit of a stretch though.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Ha! You’re definitely not persona non grata. Today, at least, was joyous. We had much needed rain, and we went to a friend’s birthday lunch. 🙂

        2. Steve Gingold

          🙂

          We have been getting some of that much needed rain as well although not in the form of snow which could be a big deal in Spring when the snow melt is important as a gradual recharge source.

  20. Clanmother

    We live in difficult times; humanity has never had easy choices. Thank you for your profoundly moving words. My song for this festive season is: “Let peace begin with me, Let this be the moment now. With every step I take, Let this be my solemn vow. To take each moment, And live each moment With peace eternally. Let there be peace on earth, And let it begin with me.” Many hugs and love coming your way.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you, Clanmother, for reminding me of this lovely song. I researched its history. http://www.jan-leemusic.com/Site/History.html I can imagine the impact of this song in a world still fresh from war. When I was young I remember my parents great concern over the Berlin Wall, the Cuban crisis, the Cold War……they had experienced a world without peace; they didn’t want to experience it again. They knew peace could not be taken for granted.

      Reply
  21. Su Leslie

    Like you I am struggling to find joy, or much else positive, in the Advent period. I am saddened and appalled by the terrible injustice and inhumanity of Baquer Namaz’s imprisonment. Thank you for the link to that beautiful hymn; it has provided more comfort than I could imagine. Wishing you joy and peace, and hope for a brighter new year. Cheers, Su.

    Reply
  22. restlessjo

    What has this man done to incur the sentence, Ann? Or is that what everybody is asking? Light, and open minds seem a bit hard to come by right now, yet we know the world is full of good hearted people. Hoping for peace and sending you Christmas love.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I think most people are puzzled. This interview explains the situation a little more from the family’s point of view. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04lvbt1 And, yes, there are so many good-hearted people. I can’t think of the last time I came across a bad-hearted person….unless I count the angry driver behind me at the traffic lights! (And in truth I was a bit slow to realize the lights had changed to green.)

      Reply
  23. shoreacres

    I remember the discussion about remaining prisoners, including Siamak Namazi, when the nuclear deal with Iran was concluded. Some heralded the deal as a triumph of diplomacy; others suggested that the payment made to Iran would function as a ransom that could encourage more hostage-taking, or an increasing reluctance to release prisoners still held by the regime.
    Although I have my own convictions about the matter, I’m in no position to judge either position on its merits. Still, I grieve with you that a father whose only purpose seems to have been to free his son has been caught up in this.

    It occurs to me that one way to distinguish real news from fake news might be to ask: is there a real person involved in this story? At the Coptic Cathedral in Cairo; at a Berlin Christmas market; in the drug-lord overrun Mexican town; among the disappearing first nation women in Canada, it is not a “group” that’s bombed, run over, beheaded, or kidnapped. Naming names of both victims and perpetrators is necessary, and important. Thank you for naming your friend.

    I don’t expect the Iranian regime will make a Christmas gesture of goodwill by releasing Baquer Namazi and the others still imprisoned, but I will pray that it be so.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      As you rightly understand, Linda, this is a very complex issue. I do not know all the facts or complexities but there are those who will know more, and, hopefully, they will act with kindness and compassion, and wisdom. I like your idea for distinguishing fake news from real news. It’s almost impossible to sort it all out these days. This was real news, and another source of hope http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/homa-hoodfar-released-evin-prison-1.3778874

      Reply
      1. shoreacres

        Indeed. There’s nothing humorous about the situation, but I did smile to see one of the charges: “dabbling in feminism.” Who among us couldn’t be so charged?

        Reply
  24. Diane Taylor

    Beautiful thought, beautiful hymn. Let there be light and understanding. I tried to find an Amnesty petition for Baquer Namazi to sign, but did not. I listened to two Youtube versions of the hymn sung by church choirs, and am glad to know about it. Let us keep our candles burning brightly.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I haven’t found an Amnesty petition either, although there is some mention of Amnesty on the Free the Namazis Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FreeTheNamazis/ I am glad you enjoyed listening to the hymn on YouTube. It’s good to know that lovely hymns are still being written for the church. I love old hymns but I also love singing hymns which are relevant to my time. One of our best hymn writers is Shirley Murray http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/local-papers/kapiti-observer/3548509/Writing-hymns-for-all-the-world You may have heard some of her work. Interestingly, she mentions that she is inspired by the founder of Amnesty International.

      Reply
  25. Kate Johnston

    What a beautiful hymn, I can see why it moves you, why it brings you some measure of joy during such uncertain times. My thoughts and prayers go out to your friend who is being unjustly held. I sincerely hope that those who are able will choose to do the right thing and set him free. May we all find peace, hope, and good will towards humans this season.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Kate for your kind words of support. I hope 2017 is off to a good start for you. I am trying to take life as quietly as possible, and as slowly as I can. There will be busy times and too much activity soon enough. 🙂

      Reply
  26. KerryCan

    This all leaves me pretty much speechless–and mortified that Trump is our next president. I hope somehow this turns out right for Baquer Namazi, although that hope seems faint. Your hymn for peace says it all, in a season where joy is elusive . . .

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      We can hope for compassion from the Iranian Government for an elderly man. We can hope that President-elect Trump understands his responsibility for American citizens abroad. And we can hope the State Department will continue to do what it usually does, which is to provide support for US citizens in difficulty. 🙂

      Reply
  27. cindy knoke

    Oh my God.
    I have been singing a hymn from my childhood too today, over and over. It brings such amazing grace, it just makes me cry. I will post it soon, before Christmas. I hope you listen. You will know it.
    No words for our world now, and for what we as humanity are doing.

    Reply
  28. Eileen

    The innocent and the good suffering is one of our most troublesome mysteries. But, God’s love in the flesh, Jesus, showed that suffering can be redeeming, not just for ourselves, but for others.
    I am seeing teens who at seventeen had been only concerned with their own shallow first world problems, now waking up to the horrors of Aleppo and seeking ways to try to help the people who are suffering. They may not be able to do much now, but it can be a turning point in lives that can make a difference.
    I pray that we do not run from suffering, but ask for grace to bear it, be transformed by it, and to be used to open others’ eyes to what is important.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Eileen, I rarely have trouble responding to comments but yours has got me stumped. Mainly because suffering is troublesome, most of it is a mystery, and I would love to run from it. From time to time, I have been known to start a prayer with “God, enough already! How much more do you want me to bear?” The only transformation that seems to happen is from reasonably nice me to very grumpy,gloomy me. 😦 I guess I am needing a lot more grace, like so many others. 😉 Grace and strength to be a better person.

      Reply
  29. womanseyeview

    I followed your link to the hymn and can see why it’s a favourite of yours…and now mine too. It’s so strange that I’m unfamiliar with it both as a Canadian and as someone who considers myself a peace activist – thanks so much for sharing it. It’s often hard to find light in this world where men like your friend Baquer Namazi is a political prisoner – injustice seem legion right now. No good can come from the tweeting President in waiting either – consider yourself lucky to be so geographically removed from this craziness…although the whole world may suffer through his carelessness in the future. In spite of it all, may we all be blessed with peace and social justice. Your lovely bouquet is a wonderful reminder of how much beauty there is around us – may you find more light on your journey towards Christmas.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I can’t remember when I became familiar with this hymn, but I think it was long after my active protesting days were over. I didn’t realise its Canadian heritage until this week! I may be struggling with joy this season but I am holding fast to the fact that I am surrounded by a community of friends of different faiths and widely different backgrounds who are strong supporters of peace and social justice.

      Reply

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