I fasted and prayed. I am at peace; there is hope!

Fasting action at COP20. Photo: LWF/Sean Hawkey
Fasting action at COP20. Photo: LWF/Sean Hawkey

Warime Guti, member of the LWF delegation

It was an amazing fasting day yesterday; we were hungry for action on climate justice.

I was blessed to see many people from different religions, different professions, different organizations, and different nationalities find a connection when they heard the word “fast”. “Fast for the Climate? Wow! Why are you fasting? How do you do it? What do you hope to achieve from this?” The curiosity came from participants at the COP20 and also friends and contacts all over social media. I spent several hours at night chatting with friends on Facebook, re-tweeting, and sharing posts. It was just overwhelming to see the inspiration flowing.

You just feel that there is hope as more people see something and join in the #FastForTheClimate.

At the opening of the COP20, Dr. Pachuari’s, head of the UN Scientific arm, captured my attention “The window of opportunity is closing on us, even if we meet the targets we set now.”

I thought, are we too late?

From my region, Oceania, sea-level rising is a real threat as you read this. The sea walls we’ve built to protect us from the rising water are inadequate, as the water keeps rising. Paris COP21 is a long way away, when the international community will make its post 2020 commitments. People have already been suffering and will be suffering in the years until COP21 decisions come into effect.

Many countries in the Pacific are very small island nations. They do not have much land. People live on those small islands; people depend on the land for survival. Every year we hear of the rising sea affecting people’s lives, their crops, their houses, the roads.  The water keeps rising slowly, but steadily. Is it too late? Is the world closing in on us?

There is hope!

We are people of faith, and we have hope.

Yes, the candle from the vigil on the eve of the opening of the COP20 was given to the head of UNFCCC Christiana Figueres; she brought it with her to the opening of COP20. She tweeted: "Your vigil candle was on podium for ‪#‎COP20 opening today. May the light illuminate deliberations"

The candle is a sign of hope, and we as people of faith have hope for good to come. Even as the scientific evidence shows that the window of opportunity is closing, we believe in a realm that is much higher than any other things below.

Fast for the Climate: as we fast, pray, and meditate, we find peace. Yes there is hope. The hope is in us. We are the hope of this world and its creation.

I fasted and prayed on December 1, which was also the 1st day of COP20; thinking of the people of the small islands in the Pacific, that they may find peace with new approaches to adaptations to the changes that rising sea level will bring to their lives. Their lives will change. The generations to come will not be the same as the generations that came before. Most will not be able to live on the same land anymore. They will have to migrate. They will become climate refugees.

I also prayed for the world leaders, particularly those from developed countries who will meet these two weeks. They need to make concrete commitments now to lay a strong foundation before Paris COP21. On the first day of COP20, I observed hundreds or maybe thousands of participants registering. Everyone was so busy running to the plenary halls, running to the conference rooms, rushing to the side events, the media conference… politicians, scientist, environmentalist, economists, lawyers, journalists etc…

I fasted and prayed that in their hearts they may always have a space to reflect on those who depend on the kind of decisions they will make, the kind of ideas they have. I prayed that they be driven by an ethical approach for humanity and not because of the opportunity for money and fame.

I know there is hope!

The fast for the climate brings us together regardless of the diverse cultures, religions, and professions we have.

We fast together for a common cause; so together we can speak for the common good of humanity.

The Fast For The Climate helps me personally to reflect on what I can do myself, in my own capacity, for climate justice.

The Fast For The Climate brings me in solidarity with those suffering from the effect of climate change.

It gives me hope.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog are those of the author, and not necessarily representative of Lutheran World Federation policy.