taking the words of Jesus seriously

With Iraq in chaos, you may be wondering what the heck you can do.  Here’s a really concrete answer.

Support our friends at the Preemptive Love Coalition, as they save the lives of Iraqi children and actively diffuse the hostilities haunting this troubled region.

From Jeremy Courtney/Preemptive Love Coalition

When we started Preemptive Love, it was about being a certain kind of people; about unmaking violence and remaking the world around us; about planning for peace while so many prepared for perpetual war.

So these 7.5 years we have stood our post in Iraq and given ourselves away in the name of Jesus to love our neighbors and enemies alike. There are times we have felt like running away.  But we are followers of Jesus. Love is our job. And love is our joy.

We’ve spent our lives over the last few years in some of the most troubled regions of Iraq, and I can tell you: Bombs may destroy terrorist training camps, but they can’t destroy terrorism.

We have the power to unmake violence – we call it preemptive love. 

The 2, 100+ families here who have had their children seen—or even saved—by our doctors and nurses do not want the prophesied “death to America” or “end to our way of life” that predominates certain pundit circles. They want some breathing room, some justice, and some hope for a better future.

Only light can drive the dark away, and for that kind of heart change in Iraq we need a combination of prayer, imagination, foreign and domestic policy changes in each of our countries, economic development, an end to systemic oppression, alien righteousness, and countless cups of tea.

Pray for our friends and nearby neighbors. Many of them are suffering. But please do more than pray. The destruction of Iraq is not inevitable and children here are not doomed to suffer indefinitely.

To help us:

(1) Click over to our link round-up to explore some of the issues in Iraq right now; 

(2) Love a Muslim neighbor near you — during times like this reductionist headlines can make it seem like nearly all Muslims are violent malcontents. You know better—or at least you will when you love a Muslim neighbor near you! And it may not seem connected, but a little bit of understanding and empathy goes a long way in how we think about “those people” so far away and the foreign policies we promote to support them. 

(3) Give to help us save lives of Sunni, Shia, Kurdish, and Christian children across Iraq and help us build stable institutions with local government partners.

The world has never invested in nonviolent solutions or theories the way we have invested in violent solutions and theories. If you doubt preemptive love can work, I would suggest that compared to the trillions of dollars and thousands of lives spent on terrorism and war in Iraq alone, preemptive love has barely even had a chance.

Don’t give up on Iraq. Don’t give up on preemptive love. There is still only one love big enough to change a nation—a love that strikes first.

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