Saturday, February 9, 2008

What happened when Jesus came to the USA in the 1950s? Accused of being a vagrant and thrown in jail.

If you don't know her already, Peace Pilgrim is a beautiful woman who walked across the United States to raise awareness for peace in the 1950s and 1960s and beyond. She vowed "to remain a wanderer until mankind learned the way of peace."

She no longer used the name she was given at birth after her sister's family was harassed by the FBI. The FBI suspected the Peace Pilgrim of being a communist.

One episode she relates sums up her experience.

She was picked by the FBI(of all agencies) for vagrancy. She treated every law enforcement officer with respect and engaged in dialog with the man taking her thumb prints. She learned how serious fingerprinting was and marveled at the man's interest in fingerprinting and the wonderful world of fingerprinting.

The officers wanted to know if she was really doing this for religious reasons since that would make it so the judge must drop the charges. She explained that she was walking across the USA to raise awareness for peace and nonviolence. After realizing this woman was genuine, one of the men asked her if she had to defend herself and kill an intruder or be killed herself, would she kill the intruder? She said she lives a life of peace so that could not happen. They persisted and she finally said that in this hypothetical case, "If I am killed, it destroys merely the clay garment, the body. But if I kill, it injures the reality, the soul. "

So she spent the night in jail with a woman who was in the jail for stealing. The officers warned Peace Pilgrim about the lady but Peace Pilgrim learned that the lady had children and was destitute and didn't find her threatening at all.

The next day the she was escorted to court without handcuffs and the judge dropped the charges.

In another incident, Peace Pilgrim was walking on a highway in the desert when she spotted a car with a burly man tending to the car. He asked her if she wanted to sleep in it overnight and she obliged, so she curled up in the back seat and quickly went to sleep. The next morning she woke up and the man was staring at her. He told her that he had had bad thoughts the previous night but he couldn't dare harm her because she had put so much trust in him. The Peace Pilgrim felt joy in having given this man the gift of love and kindness.

The theme is familiar with her. She encounters a situation and due to who she is she tackles it in such a way that she transforms darkness into light. She was one very powerful woman.

One final note. She was giving a speech and a young man asked her if her journey was selfish and if she was merely promoting herself. She explained no, she is not calling attention to herself but to peace. This same person then asked her why hasn't she seen results. She explained that the results might not come in her lifetime.

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