A Prayer for the road ahead

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The third cycle of Seed Colombia has officially come to a close. After two years of learning, processing, loving, struggling and celebrating, the inevitable end is here.

This blog has been one of the primary mediums used to share about our experiences over the course of the last two years. We thank all of you who have taken the time to follow along. What ensues in this final round of blogs are some of the Seeders’ closing reflections.

In the form of final prayers, Carolina and I offer a few of our own parting reflections…

It has been Carolina’s and my charge to facilitate the Seed 3 experience here in Colombia. Having now finished our work, it is easy to look back and wonder if we could have done better, or done more. Surely the Seeders will ask these questions too. However, fundamental to this kind of work is to accept our limitations as finite beings, and so we pray that all of us turn to the virtue of humility, and trust that God has and will continue to cover over with grace our multitude of errors and shortcomings.

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Long before and long after our stay in different regions around Colombia, the communities and partners that we having been living and working alongside have been engaged in struggles for peace and justice. Recognizing this, we pray that the contribution made by each Seeder to the processes they have accompanied the last two years will bare much fruit.

Those in power are often those who have the least awareness and/or concern about how their decisions affect large groups of people, especially those at the margins of society. It is likely that many of our Seeders will find themselves in positions of greater power and influence as they continue on in their professional careers. We pray that these two years of working and living with communities on the periphery of Colombian society will serve as a principal lens with which they interpret reality and live out their conviction to the Gospel.

One of my favorite poems is Wendell Berry’s “A Vision”. Reminiscent of Isaiah’s vision of peace in Isaiah 65:17-25, he paints a magnificent picture of life flourishing on earth. Some of us read these “visions” of peace and justice as something otherworldly and futuresque. However, for many of the individuals and communities our Seeders have been walking with these last two years – the marginalized, the suffering, the invisible – they are urgent, and as Wendell Berry asserts in the last line of his poem, “they are not paradisal dreams. Their hardship is their reality.”

A change of heart or values without practice is only one more pointless luxury of the privilege that many of us come from. Peace as a result of justice will become increasingly tangible, only when we recognize that the crises that Colombia and the world face are actually the result of the thousands of small decisions we make on a day-to-day basis as individuals and community members. We pray that the realities of an acquisitive and violent society that our Seeders have been exposed to – the disintegration and displacement of communities, ecological destruction, and the loss of meaning – lead them to further reflection and practical and difficult changes in their own lives.

We bless each of our Seeders as they go forward into a new season of life. We pray that they put their hand to the plow and not look back. We pray that they continue to seek their own transformation and in doing so transform reality.

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