Saturday, November 28, 2009

Being There; Being Light

Weekend Post By Belinda

I'm picking up the baton from Susan, who posted on Friday about the gala we both attended on Tuesday evening. It was such an incredibly wonderful evening that I wanted to a little of it here.

Susan described journalist Brian Stewart's speech brilliantly. He is such a gifted writer that to listen to him speak was a treat. What he had to say was profound; how he said it was to the ears, what a Tom Thompson painting is to the eyes.

Brian spoke of a faith rediscovered; that began to grow out of the truth he was witnessing that for all the evil and darkness in the world, there was human altruism, "Quite simply the most stunning thing I have seen as a journalist," he said.

"Surprisingly, Christian faith was more powerful than anything else; mysterious and strong; the greatest mystery on earth."

His journey of faith, he said, was "a continuum over years." He came reluctantly, moving from outsider and cynic, to admirer and "wannabe Christian."

"I was inching my way," he said.

"Moments of grandeur didn't move me. What did were moments of courage and compassion; the two most powerful single things on earth."

Brian told us of El Salvador in the 1980's when peasants were driven off their lands and gunned down by death squads. He said, "I went out into the jungle looking for the peasants, who were obviously terrified. Dusk came on and we were deciding whether to go or not to go. They begged us not to go. The death squads were gathering; you could hear them. But we would have also been killed and we had to get the story out."

"I was paralysed; when at that point, roaring down the road came three young Christians. They said, 'Let the media go; we'll stay with you. We hope we can prevent a massacre, but if we don't, at least we'll be with you.' There was no massacre--the Christians prevented it."

"Somewhere in all the dark places there are Christians, standing against oppression. Often we begged pastors, nuns and priests to leave, but they wouldn't."

He spoke of the journalistic vanity that said, "We're going to be there first," and then getting out on the landing strip, and "out comes a Christian pastor with some tea and cookies and says, 'You're going to stay with us tonight.'"

Brian shared a verse from Hebrews at the conclusion of his talk, which had moved, inspired and humbled us.

Hebrews 10:24 (Amplified Bible)
24And let us consider and give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities,


violet said...

Belinda, I had no idea Mr. Stewart was a Christian. (Maybe that's not surprising, as I pretty much boycott the CBC.) Thanks to you and Susan for sharing this interesting evening!

Belinda said...

Dear Violet,
So lovely to hear from you!

Both Susan and I thought how wonderful a speaker he would be for a TWG event. We were truly spellbound by his talk as well as being inspired and blessed.