Tuesday, November 08, 2005

There Are No Words




“The ongoing difficulties faced by Fallujans are so great that words fail to properly express it.” Words from a cleric in Fallujah as he tried to explain the litany of ills that continue to afflict his city one year after the U.S.-led assault took place.

“All the men in the mosque were from my neighborhood. They were not terrorists.” Words from a young man who said he left a room of men either injured or homeless thirty minutes before the raid on his mosque, the same mosque shown in the now-famous videotape of an American soldier shooting unarmed men lying on the mosque floor.

“There haven’t been any funds for home reconstruction available since the change in Iraqi government last January.” The words of a civic leader from Fallujah as he showed CPTers the still-devastated areas of his city.

There are no words. A city that has been demonized by Americans and many Iraqis, using the words “the city of terrorists.” A city that its residents call “the city of mosques.” A city that even its residents have to enter at checkpoints, often taking up to an hour to traverse. A city that is being choked to death economically by those same checkpoints.

CPTers and a member of the Muslim Peacemaker Teams came to Fallujah to meet with friends and contacts to ask them if the city was planning on doing something in remembrance of the tragic events of last November when U.S. forces attacked their city of 300,000 to root out, by U.S. estimates, 1,500 terrorists.

What we heard in response were words of remembrance, resistance and resilience. The cleric said that a number of civic leaders had come to him with a proposal for an action in remembrance of the anniversary. Their proposal was to raise funds to contribute to relief efforts for the victims of the earthquake in Pakistan. He said that a teaching of Islam is to always look to aid others in need before asking for aid yourself.

The cleric said that he recently traveled to another Middle Eastern country and during his visit he met with a cleric from Libya. The Libyan cleric said that in his city, and in other places in Libya, parents are naming newborn girls “Fallujah” in honor of the city. The cleric said that more than 800 girls had been named Fallujah in his city alone.

Words are inadequate, but words are all we have. Words like “collective punishment” and “ghettoize” come to mind for the current state of life in Fallujah.

What words or deeds could undo the massive trauma faced by the people of Fallujah every day? Everywhere we went during the afternoon young boys listened to our words and the words of those with whom we were meeting. I kept wondering what was going on in their minds as they relived the events of a year ago and the ensuing trauma. What effect will these events have on their lives as they grow up?

There are no words.

92 Comments:

At 7:06 PM, Blogger nicolebc said...

Tom
You are our Light. I know you are now in the hands of the insurgents, being held against your will as alleged "spies". I cannot imagine how you must feel. Tonight is November 29 and tomorrow night the Langley Hill Meeting is convening its second meeting for worship just for you. We are holding you and your fellow captors in the light - though we always have.

You are an example to me and to my children. We have followed you and I appreciate all of the postings that you send to me on a regular basis. I forward them to one of my colleagues who is also a Quaker from Austin Texas - though he has not found a meeting home in this area yet, My extended family has also been following you. In honor of my family in Kentucky and Tennessee last year for Christmas I made donations in their names to CPT to support you and your work.

You and what you are doing as part of CPT is the bravest and best way any person could serve God and in this instance serve the US. You are and have changed the minds of many Iraqis about Americans.

I know that you are doing what God called you to do. As such, you are in the right place at the right time. I don't understand it. I am having difficulty with it. But because I know that you made this decision to do this work because it is what you have been called to do by that greater Light it gives me a strange comfort. That knowledge lets me know that you are protected by God. You are doing and I hope continue to do your work/God's work. If you don't, for whatever reason, I rest in the comfort of knowing that God decided that you had done what had been asked of you and was rewarding you by calling you home.

you are an inspiration. I love you and respect you and appreciate having had the oppportunity to get to know you. I can't wait to see you again.

rest in the Light
Nicole Bivens Collinson

 
At 6:39 PM, Blogger LG said...

you are loved so dearlly, dearly loved.

We were so impressed by you. Randomly showing up, braving the world of the intellectual search for peace. We were self rightous grad students, but your coming journey to Iraq humbled us. We admired you so much. You weren't going to sit semester after semester making plans, you were going. We all knew you were our "warrior," the brave one.

I know that, even now, your bravery and compassion have not failed.

I keep thinking back to very funny classroom skits, the thought of driving so far to get to class (whereas I lived a three minute walk away), and where you sat each day in class . . .

You are the epitome of alphabet soup a CPT CTPer.

I can't wait to see you again.

 
At 5:16 AM, Blogger Frederick said...

I just heard about you site on NPR,I hope you and your collegues are all returned to safty and allowed to continue your good work.

Peace

 
At 5:41 AM, Blogger Wayne said...

I heard about your work via the radio (NPR)this morning. May your courage be a model for the rest of us. I will hold you in the light and pray for your safe return.

I felt called to active opposition to the U.S. occupation after seeing pictures of the faces of children whose parents had just been killed, in front of them, at U.S. military checkpoints. That could be my children. Now, learning about your work, I feel called to do even more.

- Wayne

 
At 5:41 AM, Blogger Crazy Lady said...

Tom, praying for you, your family, and your colleagues. May the Lord keep you and protect you. May you be filled with the peace that only comes from the security of knowing that you are safe in His hands.

 
At 11:33 AM, Blogger glennknepp said...

I heard your story on NPR also this morning. You are in all our prayers as you testify to the true gospel of peace and love as demonstrated in the teachings of Christ. We pray that your captivity may be brief but fruitful and that you might influence your captors to pursue peace themselves. We pray that your faith will hold strong.
God bless you all.

 
At 12:06 PM, Blogger Tim Green said...

Tom, I too heard about this site on NPR and I just wanted to leave a message of thanks for all that you have done.

These are difficult times. Many of us are aware of how hard the days ahead will be as we all try our own ways of spreading hope, peace, love, and a sense of brotherhood within our communities and around the world.

You are one of those out there on the front lines leading by example and for that we are all grateful.

May your days ahead be filled with light and the knowledge that you are taking those difficult steps to make this world a place we can all be proud of one day.

Thank You

 
At 12:35 PM, Blogger moshe said...

Tom -
I am bowled over by the greatness of soul that drives a person to dedicate his life, his body, his wellbeing to the cause of serving others. G-d bless you and return you safely so the world can continue to be made a better place by your mere presence.

I am praying for you.

Moshe Silver

 
At 1:48 PM, Blogger Music Man said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 3:22 PM, Blogger Craig C said...

No doubt Tom will never read this but I hope others that visit this blog understand that he went there for his own understanding of the situation and perhaps to provide some compassion to those that find our society alien and antithetical, and I can appreciate that.

Iraqi's hold their religion just as dear if not more so than 90% of all Americans.

I think we have a distorted notion that all Muslims are fundamentalists, that believe killing those who oppress them is a worthy and noble goal.

Whether they become martyrs or create martyrs what we don't need is more attention for these sects of Islam, what we do need is more understanding between our divergent groups of people.

Hopefully Tom was able to create a little bit of that during his short time over there.

 
At 7:32 AM, Blogger Austin Haeberle said...

Tom,

Our prayers to you, your daughter and your entire family. I have found great strength in your words and your actions with the people of Falluja, the Palestinians on the Syrian border and the Irqui people. I will carry your message of peace to the Summit, NJ Meeting and we will pray for your safe return, the return of your colleagues, for your captors and the immediate end of all hostilties in Iraq.

Austin Haeberle

 
At 12:57 PM, Blogger Jocelyn said...

Tom, I worked with you behind a counter ten years ago, and when we talked about your faith, I thought, "This guy is far too bright and spiritually advanced to be doing this job - too spiritually advanced to be on the planet, really, but we're lucky we have him."

You were an amazing example of a Christlike person then, one of the few people I've ever known who was devoted to principles in every action, informed by your knowledge of a broad spectrum of paths, and you clearly remain one now, from all the quotes and descriptions of you I've read in the press. Your consistent commitment to kindness, justice and true peace was and is remarkable. I am so sorry it has led you into harm's way for the time being, and I am holding you and those around you in my mind with the strongest of positive intentions.

 
At 2:56 PM, Blogger elendil said...

You are a one of a noble few, a small shard of hope in a fractured and indifferent world. It is a shame that we had to learn about your work, fighting against human rights abuses in the "new" Iraq, only as you left us.

But your work will not be in vain. The bright light of self-sacrifice of you and your friends will shame the hypocrisy of those who misappropriate the name. It shines a light, even now.

Matt 7:22-23

 
At 3:25 PM, Blogger Luke said...

wow, Tom, years ago you were my Sunday school teacher at meeting, later I knew you as my mother's kind neighbor. You gave my brother, Joren, his first job - caring for your cat while you were away. Reading about the work you have done in Iraq is inspiring, I was saddened by the news that you have been taken prisoner. Your dedication and sacrafice is heroic. Thank you. Best wishes.

Lucas Myers

 
At 5:29 PM, Blogger Sam Penney said...

God bless you, Tom. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

--Sam Penney

 
At 6:24 PM, Blogger Naomi said...

Thank you for speaking of respect and love, for setting an example, for your activism, and for your selflessness. We are holding you and your family in the light.

 
At 1:13 AM, Blogger James said...

Tom I'm praying for you and the others. We all are. My God be with you and your families.

 
At 5:39 AM, Blogger kizzie said...

RT Kendall wrote an amazing book called "God meant it for good"

When Joseph was in captivity due to his brothers dealings, God used Joseph in many ways.

Joseph was falsely accused and helpless God did Joseph a favour by putting him in a situation where he couldnt speak out, if God does that to you, be thankful. God knows if He lets you become unhandcuffed or puts you in a position to speak you are probably going to do it and will simply be competing with what He wants to do.

God did Joseph a great favour when he couldnt defend himself. It meant God himself would step in and take over.

Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come; 'Tis grace has bought me safe thus far And grace will lead me home.

Eventually the whole past will work together for good (ROM 8:28)

Whatever God has in store for our brother Tom it will be for the glory of God.

Tom as was Joseph is in the right place at the right time.

God is with Tom just as He was with Joseph and when you have God on your side you are a free man!

 
At 6:37 AM, Blogger Lorcan said...

Dear Friend Tom:

We might have met, we have a number of common friends. I hope you might forgive a letter I have been circulating on your behalf. I know that thee must be facing this time with every human fear for thy family, and yet with such love for that of God in thy captors. Please know and be comforted that we hold you and yours, as well as your captors, so tenderly in the light. And though our hearts are breaking for thee, and for the uncounted thousands of innocents killed in this criminal war, we seek God's joy in the love you show in your heart.
I can only add, to the letter I am sending here and there, that if thy captors read this, please dear friends, treat him as we would treat you. Tom, I am sure, in his loving actions towards you, has demonstrated that. You are welcome in our hearts dear friends, and be kind to your guest Tom. He loves you, as do all Friends.

Following the close of this note, please find the note written on your behalf.

Yours in the light, dear Friend
lor
________________________________________________________
Please pass this along, if any can translate the following into Arabic, please do me the honor of so doing. I am placing this letter into many hands, in hope it will reach those for whom it is intended.

An Open Letter to our Brothers holding Tom Fox and other CPT members in Iraq:

Dear Brothers in the one God:

It is early morning in America. I am a Quaker and I am trying to find words to stay your hand. I can only say that hatred is blind and love is unconditional.

Many people from our nation have come to your nation in blind hatred and killed innocent people. Tom Fox is not one of these people. He came to your nation with all his human fears, because his love was unconditional. He came to ask his own people not to kill you. He came not to judge you, innocent or guilty, but to say live together in peace and find a better way. He did not come to change your government, but to change our own people's hearts towards you.

He came to your country in the same light that Rachel Corrie went to Palestine to stand in the way of Israeli tractors destroying Palestinian homes. To spare Tom Fox and his companions is to show the Israeli people that it was wrong take the young life of Rachael Corrie.

I ask you to stay your hand, because we will still love you, no less or no more, if you break our hearts by taking the life of these good people who love you.

I ask you to stay your hand because you can. When you stand before our one God, next to the American who wore an army uniform, next to the one who drove the tractor that killed Rachael Corrie, and our God asks each of you, why have you taken the lives of innocents, what difference will there be in your answer? When, some day, and I pray after a long life of loving works, Tom stands before our God and is asked why he placed his life in your hands, I think you know his answer. Because hatred is blind and love is unconditional.

"Whoever has saved a life, it will be as if he has saved the life of all mankind" (Quran 5:32)

Gods love and mercy to thee

In unmovable Friendship

Lorcan Otway

A member of the committee of Ministry and Counsel for the New York Quarterly Meeting
of the Religious Society of Friends
also known as Quakers.

 
At 8:07 AM, Blogger Bill Carroll said...

Tom, I pray that the Loving God whose leading you followed to get where you are, will be always in your heart to still your fear and reassure you of its Divine Love for your faithfulness. I pray that God's Love will transform your captors' hate into compassion.

Bill Carroll
Williamsburg (VA) Friends Meeting

 
At 9:43 AM, Blogger mara said...

Tom,

I doubt you'll have made it down this far, if you read comments at all. I'm Mara, a YF from BYM. I doubt you remember me, but you FAP'd at several JYF and YF conferences that I attended. Myself and all the other YFs back in the USA are holding you in the Light as I type this, until such time as your ordeals are over and you're back here with us. I've always admired and respected you, and I do more so now after following this blog and hearing about what you've been doing and what has happened to you recently. Thank you.

Light,
Mara

PS: You make a mean cup of cider.

 
At 2:13 AM, Blogger Dave Nalle said...

I do hope Tom gets through this alive and unharmed. Even though I'm an atheist and I'm not praying, my thoughts are certainly with him.

But Lorcan, your letter is reprehensible. It's the worst sort of appeasement. I'm not surprised it was picked up today by Al Jazeera.

You ought to read Tom Fox's comments on the CPT site about his view of pacifism. Your dehumanization - even demonization - of US soldiers and willingness to pander to the monsters who have abducted these innocent activists show you as someone who has let hate twist their beliefs out of all proporitionality.

To be a pacifist need not be to give in to or turn a blind eye to evil. Tom Fox didn't do that, but you have sold out to evil and let hatred rule your actions, and that does nothing but make the situation worse.

Dave
http://www.diablog.us

 
At 4:17 AM, Blogger Tom Munk said...

Tom,

I want to thank you for your courage. Like so many Americans, you have gone to Iraq willing to risk your life for what you believe to be the greater good.

If only the others there understood the spiritual power that comes when this willingness to die is mixed with a refusal to kill. If only our nation knew what you know -- the Power of Love. If only we sent to the world armies of peace, filled with men and women like Tom Fox.

The world would be a better place.

Thank you, once again, for your great courage.

Tom Munk

 
At 12:59 PM, Blogger GoGo said...

My prayers are with you and your captures. May you come back to us safely. I imagine a ring of safety and peace around you and your fellow peace makers. Your courage is resounding, may they see you are part of the resolution and not the problem.

 
At 4:58 PM, Blogger Hoyt Maulden said...

"The world has plenty of people who will die for war; what we need is people who will die for peace," you told us on your visit to northern Virginia last year. You have inspired me with your willingness to risk your life for Iraqis who suffer. You drew your "circle of light" very wide in this world. Bless your life and the lives of your companions. We will all celebrate with you soon enough!

 
At 9:01 PM, Blogger Mere Muslim said...

Tim,

I just posted an appeal for your safe release, which included a moving letter from your friend Lorcan Otway. Myself and many other Muslims are praying that you and your fellow CPTers are released unharmed.

Contrary to popular belief, turn-the-other cheek ethics and non-violent resistence are part of our Islamic tradition as well.

God bless you and the work that you do...

 
At 5:38 AM, Blogger kathy Moser said...

Tom, Its now December 5th, I was fortunate to hear about you on NPR. I pray that you are no longer being held. If you are, I will continue to pray that you are released, and I will continue to pray for your security and comfort. God bless you in your bravery, Kathy Moser, Rock Hill, South Carolina

 
At 8:09 AM, Blogger Johannes said...

Dear Tom, my Friend from LHFM, and friends Harmeet, James and Norman,

so many here in the U.S. and in Canada, New Zealand and the U.K., and, indeed, all around the world, are praying and working for peace for and, now, because of, you.

all peacemakers are blessed. especially blessed is your Christian Peacemaker Team.

In The Light,

Johannes

 
At 1:30 PM, Blogger Callie said...

Tom Fox and all your family,
You and Harmeet and James and Norman are in my prayers. I hold you in God's Light. May you feel the Holy Spirit with you and your captors. Callie

 
At 3:30 PM, Blogger URfriend, Dean Johnson said...

The Quaker meeting in Regina Saskatchewan Canada has taken an interest in the Christian Peacemaker Team held hostage in Iraq.

A letter concerning this issue with a link to your Blog is located at: Christian Peacemaker Team held hostage in Iraq

 
At 8:14 PM, Blogger Paul L said...

My prayer is that you stay strong in the faith. You are being surrounded by the love and gratitude of your Friends around the world.

 
At 10:43 PM, Blogger applequist said...

True godliness does not
turn people out of the world,
but enables them to live better in it,
And excites their endeavors to mend it;
not hide their candle under a bushel,
but to set it upon a table in a candlestick.

William Penn

 
At 11:43 PM, Blogger Nick D said...

I'm praying for you.

 
At 6:02 AM, Blogger see-through faith said...

Lord in your mercy intervene.

But most of all surround Tom and his coworkers with your love right now. Help them focus on You. Remind them in a myriad of ways that You have not forgotten them and never will.

 
At 11:39 AM, Blogger Owen said...

Tom- The Quaker meeting in Austin, TX is holding you and your team in the Light. Bless you.

 
At 1:03 PM, Blogger Naaman said...

Tom, you won't know me, but I knew you many years ago.

I was surprised and shocked to hear of your capture. I do not know if you will ever read this, but I hope you know that there are many people who are praying for you and your fellow captives. I am also praying for your captors, that they might turn away from violence and hatred. I have alerted many of my friends and fellow believers about your plight, and they are also praying for you.

May God shower His mercy upon you, the other CPTers, and your captors.
May the Holy Spirit move amongst you all during these dark times.
May the Lord Jesus bring you the peace that passes all understanding.
Amen.

 
At 4:55 PM, Blogger Cristina said...

Tom, we don't know each other. I am a friend of a CPTer and have been praying for you and your teammates since she emailed me about what is happening there.

I pray you have peace above all else, that you are being protected by Unseen Hands. Your captors are watching you closely. I hope so much that you feel (and are encouraged by) the prayers of people all around the world.

 
At 6:50 PM, Blogger Kyla said...

Tom,
I'm a friend of Tory, who you were a FAP for.. I just want to let you know that you are my hero. I wish that more people in the world could be doing what you are doing right now, and keep love for all people through it all..I hold you in the light.. and your family, and your captors.. that they too can see the good that you have done...

 
At 1:33 PM, Blogger Andrew Ross said...

I barely know you... you FAPed at the first young friends conference I went to, Valentines Day of 2005... I don't think I ever spoke to you, knowing of you only as 'Foxy Tom'. Yet somehow, after the vigils, the prayer-meetings, after reading your thoughts and after my own praying and my own contemplation of the horror you have willingly gone into but not become, I feel I know you better than I ever could have otherwise.
I don't know what this will accomplish, posting into the vast nothingness of the internet, but I feel moved to type here:

There is something in the atmosphere of a Quaker meeting, when the emotions begin to surge. It is a deep, emotional experience that everyone in the room cannot help but participate in; even those who don't attune themselves to it cannot put up a wall of callousness, or hide behind the barriers of their mind. The room becomes part of something larger, and the presence of God and of mutual love is intimately felt. The shared love and presence of God creates a kind of brotherhood, a kinship for fellow man. This is why I believe in God and why I beg him now to somehow make whatever building you are now in a meeting house... for you and your fellow CPTers to hold meeting with your hosts, and for that feeling of shared love and experience to unite you with them. I know it's a childish and naiive prayer... but it's all I can give you right now. Love the world for as long as you can, and know the world will always love you, deep down, even if a warzone covers up that love. It's stupid that I should be shouting this out to you, because you've helped teach me it, but... strive with all your might to find that buried love...

Andrew Ross.

 
At 5:35 AM, Blogger Amobius-Tek said...

Mr.Fox, I think your blog is a testament to your resolve to be a good person in this world. I commend you for the work you have done and I certainly hope you are able to get out of there alive. Many people are aware of the situation you are in and working to resolve it. Know that god is with you always, and he will see you through all hardships you face.

We are all praying for you in america with all our hearts.
We are praying for you.
I noticed there is a picture of some young boys at the top of your blog main page.. I also hear what seems
to sound like a young-ish child
(person?) coughing in the background
on the tape released by the people who are holding you against your will. If this is so, then perhaps you are being held in a dwelling domestic in nature may find the mercy of the people holding you.
You will never be forgotten Mr.Fox
May god watch over you and keep you free from harm.
May god please allow you to read this one day.

 
At 5:41 AM, Blogger My Blog said...

There is little to say. Holding you all in the Light, praying for you all and your captors. --

friendly spirit

 
At 9:56 AM, Blogger 4 Season Photo's said...

I don't know Tom but what I do know that he is a human like me. As well as his captors. They all breath the same air I do. The thing of it is this, humans are not each others enemies really, we might come from different lands maybe even speak differently but the bottom line is this Satan is ALL of our enemy. If we do the works of him by slaying each other than we do not have God.

I plead with his captors please think about what is being done with this.. What people are really upset with is the divisions that mankind has allowed to take place under the devils direction. He's divided us up with governments, with religions, so that all think they are superior to each other but what God wants is for us to be humble and view each other as better to prevent hatreds. The Devil manuevers these types of situations, don't let him win out in this by the taking of another innocent human life! People can pray to God for a miracle but maybe it will not happen because what is needed is that people themselves must acknowledge who their real enemy is.. It is not Tom from another country or any other human for that matter. Although many humans are doing the Devils deeds it is because they do not know they themselves are tools being used by him to either think they are carrying out something for the great cause such as "freedom" or whether they do it for the cause of some long held religious belief. Either way he the Devil will use whatever it takes to cause suffering to the innocent but especially toward us HUMANS. To those who will read this I appeal as a fellow human who all are part of the human family look deeply at this situation look at the root cause for all this it is not human it is evil in it's most deceptive form that of carrying out evil acts under the guise of nobel things if we do this the Devil himself laughs at our being used thereby we become stained blood guilty with serious sin from God Almighty's vantage point something more serious than accusing some man of it, it can actually affect our future prospects for life.

 
At 3:41 PM, Blogger Dave said...

Tom,

We're thinking of you and your mates and we look forward to seeing you emerge shortly from this distress. Thank you for building the bridges and working to make this world a much better place.

Dave

 
At 4:51 PM, Blogger joanne said...

Tom, my prayers are with you and your fellow captives. Hoping for the best for you all.

 
At 2:03 AM, Blogger Catherine said...

Tom,
Thank you for your courage and the wonderful work that you do. You have humbled me, and inspired me greatly. You are doing the very work that I have only dreamed about. I will continue to pray for you, and encourage others to do so.
Remember the moral of the New Testiment-Jesus always wins, and never under estimate the power of prayer. God bless you all.

 
At 3:47 PM, Blogger Sarah in DC said...

Tom- I am not a Quaker, and I don't know you, but I just wanted to say that your blog, and particularly your quote from Ghandi on the first page, has inspired me to re-engage with people on a website I visit regularly who seemed to be using their own rather extreme version Christianity as a weapon against those with more tolerant beliefs.

I have begun responding without anger or fear to their taunts and barbs, and now, instead of inspiring dread and despair their posts give me an opportunity to learn and express the gentle spirit which I have seen here.

Thank you. Holding you and all around you in the light...

 
At 5:30 AM, Blogger Nancy A said...

Tom, James, Harmeet, Norman

I just want you to know that we hear you. Finally. In fact, the whole world has heard you, from the West Bank to Jordan to Europe and Australia and North America. You have been trying so hard to get the message out till your voices were hoarse. And now, we all hear.

I wish you could hear it. People are moved by your witness to nonviolence and peace, to your compassion for the suffering, to your willingness to suffer yourselves for the truth's sake. I just wish you could hear it.

There is silence now. Just waiting and aching. We strain to listen, to hear just one word, one whisper of a message.

We are holding your captors in the Light, for the health and comfort of their families.

 
At 4:20 PM, Blogger pina sozio said...

we are waiting for you

 
At 5:15 PM, Blogger Timothy said...

I don't know you. I want to say that this blog is inspiring. I deeply respect your work and CPT.

You set a great example of peace and love in the world.

Timothy
Austin, Texas

 
At 11:00 AM, Blogger Wayne said...

Tom,

You are still in my thoughts and prayers. May you return to us soon.

- Wayne

 
At 7:41 AM, Blogger Simon said...

Tom, I went to a prayer vigil yesterday to hold you and the other captives in the light. In being a witness to, and embodying the peace testimony so completely you have gifted all of us with a measure of light. After 100 days we still wait in the expectancy that all will be well. In peace and light, Simon

 
At 6:48 PM, Blogger Jill Adams said...

I have just read in the Washington Post on line that Tom Fox has been killed in Iraq. I expect that his life led many to see the common humanity of us all. I am deeply saddened by his death and moved by his life. For those of you who are his family and his friends, I will hold all of you in the light and pray that this madness that has brought so much tragedy to people of many nations will soon end. Peace.

 
At 7:36 PM, Blogger D.C. said...

Rest in Peace Tom Fox.

My heartfelt condoleances to Mr. Fox's loved ones.

 
At 7:37 PM, Blogger PMH said...

Tom is in God's loving hands now. What a model he was to all of us. I knew of him only from the news accounts of his capture. This was on CNN's website, quoting something Tom had written about the dangers he must have known he would face. Maybe this is on the blog already but I post it here. Rest in peace dear brother.

"But if Jesus and Gandhi are right, then I am not to give in to either," he wrote. "I am to stand firm against the kidnapper as I am to stand firm against the soldier. Does that mean I walk into a raging battle to confront the soldiers? Does that mean I walk the streets of Baghdad with a sign saying 'American for the Taking?' No to both counts.

"But if Jesus and Gandhi are right, then I am asked to risk my life, and if I lose it, to be as forgiving as they were when murdered by the forces of Satan," Fox wrote.

 
At 9:47 PM, Blogger Chuck Currie said...

Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Amen.

Your brother in Christ,
Chuck Currie
www.chuckcurrie.blogs.com

 
At 12:23 AM, Blogger Emmi said...

Rest in peace.

 
At 12:27 AM, Blogger Joher Coleman said...

Dearest Tom,

I grieve your passing from this world. I am so sorry that it was not in the presence of your loved ones and surrounded by comfort that your time here ended. As a former Muslim, I am deeply saddened that it was at the hand of self-proclaimed Muslims that you suffered this profound injustice. Thank you for setting such a powerful example for me. Thank you for living your values and challenging me to do the same. I am saddened that the corruption of our own American goverment created such a profound and unnecessary crisis. And I am angry that you and others were placed in danger and harm because of it. Please forgive us all, brother. We are all so ignorant sometimes. I miss you, brother. May God welcome you with open and loving arms. May you rest in them peacefully...and then continue the work that lit your soul! Thank you, Tom. We love you. We remember you. You matter.

 
At 12:54 AM, Blogger HumH said...

It's as if you knew you would be waiting in the light when we finally realized you were gone. Thank you for giving your contribution to the world, in the way that you could. May your family know that you are still... waiting in the light.

Pray for Peace around the World.

 
At 2:07 AM, Blogger Laura said...

And the meek shall inherit the earth.......Rest in Peace

 
At 4:07 AM, Blogger Hadley V. Baxendale said...

Romans 15:13

 
At 4:34 AM, Blogger brother laurence said...

brother tom...thank you for your sacrifice to peace and love...for your commitment to the love of Jesus and to the true meaning of His words and actions...your death is not in vain and may it be a light onto us that we who sit warm and safe in our homes tonight commit ourselves to something greater like you did. I pray your departure from earth will trigger a mass transformation of heart to peace, love and dignity. brother laurence

 
At 4:36 AM, Blogger calm said...

I am praying for your family and holding them gently in the quiet of my heart. God bless you.

 
At 4:49 AM, Blogger msjkrldy said...

One of the best things I can see too come out of this is you are with God . Peace Love and Understanding for us all .

 
At 5:02 AM, Blogger Nancy A said...

We grieve. The world has lost a dear friend.

Perhaps some day, your children or your friends will mass these blogs together with your essays and letters and publish them.

Your light shines for me.

 
At 7:39 AM, Blogger jck said...

May God hold you and your family in his hands, and give you comfort and peace.
God speed!
Plainfield, In

 
At 8:01 AM, Blogger The Chapatikid said...

I just read Tom Fox's obituary, and was saddened to hear of his death. I oppose the war in Iraq, and I oppose the Imperialist tendencies of any country that attempts to force its ideals on another. But I admire and laud the work that Fox did in Iraq, not to promote an agenda of political or religious righteousness, but of humanity and kindness.

To his family, I send my condolences, and if they are reading this, I wish to tell them that their loss is that of a good man's life, but not his love, his lessons, or his actions, because they will always be remembered and held as the highest standard to which we all should aspire. Mr. Fox is a "Mahatma" -- a great soul, and I pray that his faith in humanity will always be a shining example to all those who work for peace in this world.

 
At 8:28 AM, Blogger Watchful said...

"Behold, I show you a mystery: we shall not all sleep but we shall all be changed ... For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."

 
At 9:56 AM, Blogger Ishah Laurah Wright said...

A modern day Stephen, may God use Tom Fox's martyrdom to lead the world to Christ in a way beyond what we can imagine. How awsome God is to have given to the world a gift as precious as the life of Tom Fox. May we always look upon his legacy and remember what it is to live the love and faith of Jesus Christ in peaceful action wholeheartedly in a way that some only dream about. The world is a better place because of Tom Fox. I honor him, I honor his memory and God's call on his life, I honor his family and his loved ones. This was Tom's time to shine for Christ, and shine he did! Now God is passing the baton to us. What will we do for the sake of Christ's love and His peace? Now it is our turn to invite Jesus Christ to come into our heart, forgive our sins and be our personal Lord, Savior, Master and Best Friend, giving our lives totally and wholeheartedly to Him. Pray with me, "Dear Jesus, come into my heart, forgive my sins, be my Lord, Savior, Master and Best Friend. I give my life wholeheartedly to You. Use me for Your purposes of love and peace and fulfill your destiny for my life. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

 
At 12:08 PM, Blogger James Chang said...

Tom will not die in vain. Now we plainly see the two-sides of peace: forgiveness/reconciliation and justice. Without either leg there shall be no peace. As John the Evangelist spoke of Christ: he was full of "truth and grace."

Without truth, how could there be grace? Without justice, how could there be reconciliation? Without righteous judgment, how could there be forgiveness? Without the law, how could there be freedom?

With all these terrorists ("Sword of Righteousness" good golly) roaming around killing peacemakers, how could there be peace?

Justice must be done. It will either be done in this world, or in the world to come.

"I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." -Jesus

 
At 4:19 PM, Blogger Katherine said...

Where others saw only darkness, you saw a light, and boldly waited. May your spirit be united with the Source of all life and light.

 
At 5:31 PM, Blogger Mutual upbuilding said...

I will pray for those who do not understand radical discipleship. There is so much hate in the world. But there is also amazing love in the world. Love that compels folks to do miraclous things. May we all have such courage, such love. May we all search the world for places we can participate in the reconciling work of the Holy Spirit. God Bless you and may the peace of Christ be with those who are suffering the loss of beautiful person.

 
At 5:56 PM, Blogger Martha said...

To our dear brother Tom.
Your shining life proved how Jesus does still walk the earth.
Thanks for your laid down life and picking up the life of Christ.

Now you are playing your clarinet before God and actually seeing the delight He has in you.

Well done good and faithful servant.

 
At 6:25 PM, Blogger the reverend mommy said...

Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us.

Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us.

Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world,
grant us peace.

Tom, go forth from this world:
in the love of God the Father who created you,
in the mercy of Jesus Christ who redeemed you,
in the power of the Holy Spirit who strengthens you.
May the heavenly host sustain you
and the company of heaven enfold you.
In communion with all the faithful,
may you dwell this day in peace.

 
At 11:41 PM, Blogger Hamzeh N. said...

My condolences to your family Tom. May God rest your soul and be with your family and friends.

I have been honored to read this.

 
At 11:42 PM, Blogger billy said...

To the Family and Friends of Tom Fox: I am inspired by Tom's life and his care and kindness. Please know that a world away in California, someone is prayerfully considering you and your sacrifice to share Tom with a world in need. Certainly your grief must be tremendous. My heart aches with yours. May the goodness grace and peace of God be yours in great abundance in this time and beyond.

 
At 1:18 AM, Blogger David said...

To Tom's Loved Ones,

I just wanted you all to know how deeply sorry i am for your loss. I never knew Tom but he sounds like an amazing man. A Heb-11:38 kind of man. We were certainly not worthy of him.

My prayers and my pain are with you all, truly. May grace and peace from Abba Father be with you all.

brother david,
City of Angels, CA

 
At 4:00 AM, Blogger Equinemom said...

To Tom's Loved Ones,
We mourn with you for Tom's life. He was a courageous man who will always been remembered by the Quaker community and the world.

May we all be inspired by Tom's life.

 
At 12:21 PM, Blogger John Marker said...

Tom Fox is an American hero, out of the same mold as Rachel Corrie. My condolences go out to his Family and Friends.
----------------------------------
Unfortunately, we will not see Tom and Rachel's lives (with their serious purposes) eulogised in our American media which has been so corrupted and co-opted.

Our media is now a weapon being used against our idealist American interests. Those who control our media are using it to actively further their own interests.

Among these are misdirecting billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars for useless military operations while the needs of a passive American citizenry are totally neglected.

We are presently engaged in a battle-royal for the hearts and minds of the American people.

Tom Fox is a hero to that cause.

 
At 1:03 PM, Blogger Billy said...

Dear Tom,

I read about your obituary today and that news link took me to this site. It was inspiring to read about your ideals, work and integrity. Even as I grieve your passing, the love you had for your fellow human beings evokes something deep inside me. I didn't know you, but would consider you a brother. Farewell, and know that your spirit has touched me and many others.

 
At 3:46 PM, Blogger Cassandra said...

Wow... Tom and I have some real differences when it comes to beliefs but I'm so sorry that he's gone. No one deserves what he got in the end.

 
At 7:01 PM, Blogger jem911md said...

The Kingdom is breaking in.......

Thank you, Tom Fox -- a good and faithful servant.

 
At 9:40 PM, Blogger Peter Dillard said...

Dear Tom and friends,

I write to you and those who think of you, no matter what their thoughts. Most who think of you, think, "This man lived a good life." Your life was not wasted on the pursuit of borrowed things. It was spent fruitfully on service to God's creation, to life, to humankind. You spent your life on the pursuit of giving, and you gave kindness and compassion to a world that needs both. In the process you had an active life, a contemplative life, a life of acceptance, a life of courage, and a life of what must have been great pleasure to you! Your life is a model for living.

Tom Fox - He lived a good life!

Peter Dillard

 
At 1:37 PM, Blogger richard said...

Dear Tom,

I never knew you, and it seems strange to be writing to someone whose life was taken from him.

I don't have much to say, yet I have so much that I would like to say. I wish I had met you, and I wish I was as free as you. I wish I was free to live in Love, and to live fully in the Kingdom of God amidst the kingdoms of this world.

I think the hiddenness of your life and work is what gives it its greatest meaning--not a meaning that is just "spiritual" with no earthly ramifications, but a meaning filled with concrete political ramifications inherent in the gospel, for the sake of the life of this world, here and now.

What else can I say, but thank you. You probably never knew what the hidden and cloaked work of your life would accomplish. I think everyone is a little uncomfortable with you--Bush, the media, the religious establishments--because your life displayed a freedom so encompassing, so embracing, that it challenges the hypocrisy and narrow-sightedness of our own. Because your life was so hidden and your allegiance so unswervedly bound to God's kingdom--not your own nation's--no one can coopt your death for their purposes; no one can use you to build their mythology. You can't be another american war hero used to feed the war machine. You can't be eulogized as an American hero--your love for the enemy was too scandalous for that. You can't be a corrupt American oppressor; you resisted the war on the same streets as those who suffer most under its heel. You've unsettled a superpower with your hidden, mostly unknown life, and it is that smallness that gives it such power as a witness to God's love for all, which is an indictment on a nation that wars, often, in the name of God.

Your life is Christ's, the Gospel's, the Kingdom's, and a witness to the freedom and authority of those who have been set free from the fear of death, through Jesus Christ.

I'm not trying to romanticize your death; but I can say that it was not given in vain. You have said much, much more than you know.

Do you know, for a while now, I've wanted to go to Iraq too? the only thing that has kept me back is the fear of death and torture. I'm still afraid, but I still want to go. I want to live freely in Love, as you have.

I've been working on a song lately and I just finished producing it (mostly) about a day after you were killed and tortured--the two things that keep me back from going to Iraq.

Though it's not done and far from perfect I wanted to release it as a tribute and response to the word of your life. When i first heard about your death, I had no words to say to describe how I felt, but this song felt like a genuine response I could even wanted give, in honour, respect,and gratefulness, as a remembrance.

I'm not quite sure how it is for people who've died, who are not with us on earth anymore. Can they see random people like us? hear us? Can they read this blog? Can they smile at our funny questions?

Well, some way or another, I want to offer this to you, in memory of you, and as my best response to the word of your life. It's a song/rap called "Fully Reborn"--there it is--and though it was written from my standpoint it was done so in response to knowing that people as free as you exist.

What else is there to say. I think that is all.

One day I hope we meet, and one day i hope my life has been a witness as free and true as yours. It's not there yet--I'm 23 and afraid to die--but...step by step.

Till then, i know you'll be waiting in the light.

peace, honour, and grace,

richard wu.

 
At 8:00 PM, Blogger PaulHL said...

Tom,
Though you have passed, I still feel compelled to post a comment. I am moved deeply by your life and death. I find myself searching my heart for the path of freedom, compassion and peace your life expressed. You are an inspiration.

 
At 5:45 PM, Blogger Lise said...

Dear Friend,

Tis a deep gift and a deep sadness
to come to know your life work through your abduction and death. I am profoundly moved.

Peaceable greetings,
Lise

"IT COULD HAVE BEEN ME, BUT INSTEAD IT WAS YOU
SO I'LL KEEP DOING THE WORK YOU WERE DOING AS IF I WERE TWO
I'LL BE A STUDENT OF LIFE, A SINGER OF SONGS
A FARMER OF FOOD AND A RIGHTER OF WRONG
IT COULD HAVE BEEN ME, BUT INSTEAD IT WAS YOU
AND IT MAY BE ME DEAR SISTERS AND BROTHER
BEFORE WE ARE THROUGH
BUT IF YOU CAN WORK FOR FREEDOM
FREEDOM, FREEDOM, FREEDOM
IF YOU CAN WORK (LIVE, DIE, SING) FOR FREEDOM I CAN TOO"

Holly Near

 
At 1:50 PM, Blogger Mennonite_Pacifist said...

Tom,
Your witness will continue to transform a violent world as you join the saints. Tom, continue to pray for us as we seek to stumble along the path to peace. Cheer us on and let us take up your ministry in our own bodies.
may God grant you rest... and may your spillt blood be the seed of peace in Iraq.

 
At 4:46 AM, Blogger Emancipation said...

Greater Love Has No Man Than This Than He Lay Down His Life For His Friends ~ Jesus

 
At 3:25 AM, Blogger dazza jim said...

God Bless you Tom

Rest in Peace

 
At 7:21 AM, Blogger Bernadette said...

My sympathies to the loss of life.

 
At 8:11 AM, Blogger R.O. Flyer said...

your courage is beyond words. may the peace of god be with you.

 
At 12:42 PM, Blogger Rachel said...

Friends,

What a simultaneous saddness and joy, that Tom Fox was taken from this life while living with such integrity, working toward equality, harmony and unity. How many of us will have had the satisfaction of helping so many with such profound needs?

It makes me weep that this Friend is no longer with his family and friends, no longer serving humanity so well.

It makes me embarassed that I get wrapped up in the completely unimportant moments of life - is the house perfect or did I have a minor conflict with a family member - when all around us are opportunities for service. Real and life changing service. I'm not going to go to Iraq. But, can I contribute to the peace in my own community? Yes. We ALL can - every one of us.

And, in the final analaysis, we will all die while doing something with our lives. I feel compelled to follow Tom Fox's lead and die working for peace in our world, whether that will be tomorrow, or in 30 years.

I know you are being held in the Light, Tom. I hope all the family and friends of Tom Fox can feel that very same Light holding them in their grief.

Peace,
a Friend from Denver

 
At 7:12 PM, Blogger rachel emmeline said...

We cry out in grief at the news of your death, but rejoice and celebrate the beautiful life you led. You were--and are an example to me, Tom. I won't forget your sacrifice, or your vision...but most of all, I won't forget your love--because that's what defined this journey of yours. May God be with your family and friends and allow them to rest in the knowledge that you are dancing in heaven with Him.

Oh, Tom. You will be missed.

 

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