by Heather-Laura Peters (member of CPT’s July 2007 delegation)
Pastor Peter Stucky from the Teusaquillo Mennonite Church in Bogotá, offered our delegation a gift: a message on hope.
Having lived in war-ravaged countries and having witnessed situations of domestic violence, my hope often falters. How do those immersed in long-term suffering find the strength to struggle on for peace, justice and righteousness?
On this delegation, an additional burden weighed on my soul. Previously, I had been exposed to the suffering of individuals whom I love passionately; in Colombia, I was exposed to a hardness of heart, a structural evil whose insidious power seems omnipotent.
Pastor Stucky compared the miracle of individual transformed lives to yeast that spreads through a batch of dough. He spoke of miracles where God physically protected and rescued individuals from the hands of their enemies. These individual stories were inspiring, yet I still felt a pervasive darkness surrounding them.
Stucky then reminded us of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a statue that symbolized the arrogant power of kingdoms dominating the earth (Daniel 2). The golden-headed statue’s splendor weakened toward its foundation. A rock rolling down from the hills toppled the statue the moment it struck its feet of clay.
Today’s empires have clay feet because they are based on lies. They stand on the lie that vengeance triumphs over mercy, that money and power are stronger than love, and that God does not see corruption nor hear the cries of the oppressed.
Our Rock is Christ who declared himself Truth. “Why,” Stucky asked, “does the army become so agitated at the stand of conscientious objectors? We offer no physical threat. Over and over we see in Colombia that it is Truth which causes oppressors to tremble.”
All the colossal monuments of gold will fall one by one because they have feet of clay. The weak will endure with God’s foundation. With this hope, I can join hands with my brothers and sisters in Colombia and around the world to shout out Truth.