COLOMBIA REFLECTION: Walking with God in a fragile world


10 September 2011
REFLECTION:  Walking with God in a
fragile world

by Carol Tyx

 In the summer of 2007, I traveled to Colombia for a reservist stint with
Christian Peacemaker Teams.  On the
flight, I was reading a book of essays about 9-11 titled Walking with God in a Fragile World.  At first it seemed strange to be reading about this act of
violence committed in the United States when I was on my way to confront
violence in Colombia.  But the more
I read, the more relevant the essays seemed.   While violence in Colombia appears in many
forms—fumigations, threats against community leaders, displacement—it is no
less catastrophic than the attack on the Twin Towers in its impact on human

As part of my route, I flew into Newark, passing the skyline of New
York.  Somewhere in the midst of
the skyscrapers lay Ground Zero.  
I wanted to make a pilgrimage there, but it was too much to navigate in
a few hours, so I had to make do with knowing how close it was, this marker of
human vulnerability.  One of the
essays spoke about Ground Zero as holy ground if it can connect us with
suffering everywhere.  As we
descended, the image of the burning towers that I had seen repeated on
television replayed itself side by side with images of fumigations I had witnessed
last year—charred hillsides, chunks of the landscape reduced to rubble.

The morning after I arrived in Colombia, the vulnerability of our world
broke into an ordinary day in Barrancabermeja.   The five people on team had just gathered for morning
worship when a call came in—combat between guerrilla forces and the Colombian
army had broken out in La Ciénaga, one of the rural communities we
accompany.  Throughout the next few
hours the team kept in close touch with our contacts among campesinos in the area,
checking on their safety and trying to determine if we should send someone out.  I overheard a conversation between a
team member and one of the Ciénaga women. 
Her sons were working in a field away from home and she was concerned
for their safety.  Suddenly, Ground
Zero seemed very close as we walked with our Colombian brothers and sisters in
a fragile world.







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