Six years ago I was in a new pastorate inside the Beltway. I was walking through our decrepid building with our property committee chair feeling overwhelmed by all the repairs needed on it when news starting coming in. By mid-morning people were stopping in to pray. By mid-afternoon shell-shocked neighbors were walking home from their capitol hill jobs-- the metro system having been shut down, the evacuation routes jammed with cars-- making the long walk through the city to the Maryland suburbs in stunned silence. I remember the eerie silence broken by the mad rushing of military planes and helicopters flying over and over and over the skies. I will never forget that week.
One hundred and one years ago a young Indian lawyer in South Africa led his first non-violent civic action, fighting against discrimination in that land. Gandhi went on to be the last century's leading proponent of non-violence.
Two anniversaries on the same day. Violence. Non-violence.
"I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life, that you and your descendents may live."