My last blog ended with my vision for a unified church and a peaceful world. John Paul Lederach exhorts his readers to dream boldly.
During a sleepless hour last night I reached for my kindle fire and listened to part of the fable, The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho. The fable is the story of a young shepherd who dreamed of finding a treasure among the pyramids of Egypt. Because of this dream he sold his sheep and bought a ticket for a trip from Andalusia to Tangiers in Africa. There he met an old king named Melchizedek who taught him about omens and gave him two small stones from his breast plate. Then the shepherd began to look for a guide to show him the way to the pyramids, but a man whom he had begun to trust robbed him of everything he possessed.
Destitute, he lost his dream. He attached himself to the owner of a crystal shop who shared his wealth with him. The older owner and the younger employee talked about their experiences with dreams.
The older man had dreamed of a pilgrimage to Mecca. He started his crystal shop to fulfill his dream, but now with the resources to actually go to Mecca, he preferred instead to merely “think” about Mecca. The younger dreamer was tempted, too, to give up his dream, go back to Andalusia, buy more sheep and return to the simple life of a shepherd.
During the night a significant change came to the younger man. He decided to pursue his dream. You should read the rest of the fable for your self. I will only say that he dreamed boldly and with the help of an alchemist who could turn lead into gold the shepherd found the way to the pyramids and eventually, his treasure.
My Joy and I are still reading John Paul Lederach’s book: Reconcile – Conflict Transformation for Ordinary Christians. John Paul is an ordinary christian. Might he be an alchemist for our day, able to turn conflict through reconciliation into peace?