It seems that everybody's doing it. Some Japanese "human shields" are heading off to Iraq this week. I admire workers like Christian Peacemaker Teams who are willing to put their lives on the line in those places, but there is one point for me when it breaks down: shouldn't we have been sending people there even before the US was the agressor? When Saddam was boldly torturing and killing his opposition? By the same token, shouldn't we be sending people to various trouble spots of the world with the same spirit in mind?

This is not really intended to be a sharp criticism, because I believe in what these teams are up to. And maybe these teams will act as a prophetic wake-up call to followers of Christ for whom such actions should be a vital part of mission. Imagine if Christians were to take the teachings of Christ so seriously that such a missionary movement was spawned. Imagine if this was simply the reputation of Christians: people who are deliberate about seeking out the "low places" of the earth; people who gladly put their lives on the line, standing shoulder to shoulder with the poor and oppressed, to demonstrate the Love, mercy and justice of a good God. Does that sounds anything like the reputation of a Christian?

Not that this is such a new thing. Movements like the Quakers, and Moravian Brethern, and Anabaptist movements have gone in this direction before. Let's pray that the spirit births an even bigger wave of the same thing this time around.