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On Paris, Beirut, & Burundi: Responding when the whole world hurts

Acting in Faith  |  By Lucy Duncan, Nov 20, 2015
Blue marble earth

Blue marble earth

Photo: NASA via Flickr CC / NASA

later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt?

it answered

-Warsan Shire




A system that perpetuates trauma, answering violence with more violence. A culture based on fear, which prioritizes the right to arms (for individuals and governments) and the oppression of the poor & disenfranchised over the care of children and community. The drum beats of war beat on. The cries for all (including teachers) to arm themselves increase. We have become numb and must fight our way out of the chains of a culture that is killing us and demands an inhumane price, our souls, for its perpetuation.


To breathe and grieve. To listen to those who suffer most. To resist the cries to answer violence with yet more violence. To withdraw support from those who profit from the war machine. To answer fear with love. To cry out, “stop” to all the wars happening now, cry “no” to the next war. To renounce extremism, racism and religious intolerance. To sing. To commit to reparations. To cook together and share food and land. To begin with healing ourselves, then help others to heal. To see ourselves in the face of another. To knock down borders and walls. To open our hearts and our homes. To seed and create another way to live.

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About the Author

Lucy serves as Director of Friends Relations for AFSC. She blogs, organizes Quakers to work for justice, and has helped create AFSC's Sanctuary Everywhere stream of program work. She has been instrumental in the adaptation of Quaker social change ministry as a tool for reclaiming Spirit-guided social change work focused on companioning those most impacted by injustice. She has been a storyteller for 20 years and has worked with Quaker meetings on telling stories for racial justice and of spiritual experience.

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About Friends Relations

Lucy Duncan works with other AFSC staff to foster strong relationships between AFSC and Quakers.

Lucy is AFSC’s Director of Friends Relations. She has been a storyteller for 20 years and has worked with Quaker meetings on telling stories for racial justice and of spiritual experience. She attends Green Street Friends Meeting (PhYM) and lives with her son and partner in a Quaker cemetery.

Sophia is the Friends Relations Fellow this year who works closely with Lucy. She is a recent graduate of Guilford College where she majored in Sustainable Food Systems and Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies.