Day 3: In a Quiet Courtroom

Good Morning Friends,

I’ve just walked down to the Union Station Courthouse from Jean’s House of Prayer with Disarm Now Plowshares and company on a cool, damp Tacoma morning. Disarm Now Plowshares supporters were assembled in front of the courthouse, and they will continue to vigil for a couple of hours.

When we arrived James Morgan called us into a circle where we offered up prayers for peace, for justice, for all who struggle, for all who are in need – prayers going out to encircle the world with love and compassion for all of creation.

I entered the courthouse and made my way down to Courtroom E where today’s trial will continue. The massive space was quiet and the only other person in the room was Susan Crane who sat alone at the defendant’s table preparing for the day. It was an opportunity for me to meditate on the past two days and the (at least) two to come.

Steve & Bix entering the courthouse

It is the season of Advent, perhaps a fitting time for this case to go to trial. It is a time of expectation, a time of waiting for the Prince of Peace who came as a tiny, innocent, fragile baby – a human being capable of so many possibilities. Of course this whole story we tell Advent after Advent has special meaning at a time when we as human beings have not only created weapons that could be the end of life as we know it, but continue to make VIOLENCE the cornerstone of our relations.

This case (in which the government has accused the defendants of trespassing and destroying property) is in reality about the tap-root of violence – TRIDENT and ALL NUCLEAR WEAPONS!

It is now nearly 9:00AM, and people – witnesses, attorneys, the other defendants, and court personnel – are coming in. We are all here in expectation of the day’s events; testimony will be given and witnesses cross-examined in order to inform the jury as to what is at stake here.

We all need to wake up and open our eyes to the reality that nuclear weapons are an abomination, and in every church this Advent clergy should implore their congregations to actively work for peace, for justice and for the abolition of nuclear weapons. It does happen, but in far too few churches.

As this third day of the Disarm Now Plowshares trial is about to begin I humbly pray that each of us will purge the violence that burdens our hearts to make room at the proverbial inn. May we learn to drive out the fear that precludes our being in relationship with others. May we all become instruments of Peace.

May it be so in this desperate Advent,

Peace,

Leonard

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