Wednesday, July 2, 2008

FGC: Needles for Peace

I went to a talk the other night at the Gathering. A woman, a healer, was talking about her experiences doing healing with acupuncture at Walter Reed Army Medical Center on returning vets from Iraq and Afghanistan. She also does acupuncture work on the nurses and doctors at that hospital. Healing the healers She told some amazing stories. Stories about soldiers with PTSD, loosening, releasing the pain from their experiences. Her point was that she was working to keep the violence and pain that these soldiers carried from spreading out into the community, into abuse, into drug addictions, incarceration and suicide. She is acting on a leading, which is word that we Quakers use to label a “directive” from God that the individual explores. It’s a spiritual path. She talked about that leading. She calls her work “peace work”. I agree. She is bringing peace. She is calming a storm. I was deeply moved.

However, a question keeps nagging at me. I feel embarrassed in a way, like I should let this question slip into some void where awkward questions too often end up. The question is: Does this work enable the war machine? Does it support the horror in the Middle East? She is “seeing God in everyone” and acting on that. So why am I bothered by it? Can’t I just say she is doing wonders and making a terrible situation less terrible? This is my struggle on this. If I can pluck up the courage, I’d like to talk with her. We shall see.


Suzy said...

Interesting questions. I hope you got to talk with her about it.

poodledoc said...

I did get a chance to talk with her about it at lunch. She sees her group's work as rippling out, bringing peace for returning vets that are in pain. She knows some of the soldiers will go back into combat, but feels this is the exception rather than the rule. She said the Army is VERY aware of the PTSD issue, so is welcoming help.