Waging Peace

One Soldier's Story of Putting Love First

Waging Peace

One Soldier's Story of Putting Love First

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Diana Oestreich, a combat medic in the Army National Guard, enlisted like both her parents before her. But when she was commanded to run over an Iraqi child to keep her convoy rolling and keep her battle buddies safe, she was confronted with a choice she never thought she'd have to make.

Torn between God's call to love her enemy and her country's command to be willing to kill, Diana chose to wage peace in a place of war. For the remainder of her tour of duty, Diana sought to be a peacemaker--leading to an unlikely and beautiful friendship with an Iraqi family.

A beautiful and gut-wrenching memoir, Waging Peace exposes the false divide between loving our country and living out our faith's call to love our enemies--whether we perceive our enemy as the neighbor with an opposing political viewpoint, the clerk wearing a head-covering, or the refugee from a war-torn country. By showing that us-versus-them is a false choice, this book will inspire each of us to choose love over fear.

Endorsements

"This is a book the world needs right now. Diana Oestreich has seen the horrors of war firsthand and has felt the collision between the Empire's sword and the Savior's cross. She is not just giving us a theology of peace; she is showing the world what it looks like to follow the way of the cross in a world ravaged by war. Diana Oestreich is a new hero of mine."
-- Shane Claiborne, author, activist, and founder of Red Letter Christians
"Once in a while, we encounter a story so vivid, so personal, it drags us from complacency and propels us toward possibility. This is one of those rare books. Told through combat boots and teacups, mothers and neighbors, enemies and their absence, Waging Peace promises something more valuable than security and taking sides. Bold, tender, and courageous to the core, this book has changed my life forever."
-- Shannan Martin, author of The Ministry of Ordinary Places and Falling Free
"It's time. Time to challenge the very foundations of 'us vs. them,' at home and afar. But even if you think it's time to end war, protesting will never be enough. Like Diana, we have to put our lives on the line. We have to wage peace. This book will show you how."
-- Jeremy Courtney, CEO of Preemptive Love Coalition, author of Love Anyway: An Invitation Beyond a World That's Scary as Hell
"Waging Peace is the necessary medicine that will heal us in our spiritual wildernesses. It ushers us forth with power and life-sustaining permissions to reimagine a world where peace is danced in every color."
-- Jaki Shelton Green, North Carolina Poet Laureate
"'Love never fails.' Oestreich's Waging Peace invites us to believe those words as never before. The world is barricaded behind walls of shame and 'otherizing,' and only tender love can scale those walls. On the other side, we find our shared humanity, a?reverence for complexity, and a longing to be?practitioners of this dangerous hope that only chooses love. This book helps you scale the walls."
-- Gregory J. Boyle, S.J., founder of Homeboy Industries, author of the New York Times bestseller, Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion
"Diana Oestreich's personal transformation is laid out like bread crumbs for readers to follow without having to participate in military conflict. Diana shows us that the ultimate act of peace is to love. This book is a confession, an atonement, and an act of penance. If one soldier can emerge from such trials, then there is hope for us all to conquer fear. At the same time, it is an instructional manual on how humans can be more humane regardless of circumstance."
-- Garett Reppenhagen, US Army Iraq veteran, and Executive Director of Veterans for Peace
"Diana Oestreich truly understands that war is a choice, and it's a choice we don't have to make anymore. Read this book and join the community of peacemakers from every corner of the world who believe that peace is not only possible but imperative."
-- Jason Russell, co-founder of Invisible Children
"In faith pursuits, the simplest commitments always get closer to the heart of things. That's what I found in Diana's Waging Peace. Summed up with clarity rising from living into truth, not just talking about it, she offers this message: 'Love first. Love always. Neighbors and enemies. It's possible, even in life's most challenging moments.' Diana's story could not be more relevant and needed, here and now, where fear and division find constant justification to see even our neighbors as enemies. This book inspires. I feel a resonant sense of gratitude for this voice at this time."
-- John Paul Lederach, professor emeritus, University of Notre Dame
"I thought I knew war because I lived in it. I thought I knew the struggle?between what I believe and what my duty and responsibility?to my community are -- until I read this book. For anyone who wants to know what it feels like to live out your own beliefs, the things that matter the most, the things that travel across faith and duty, across cultures and communities -- I recommend this book. No borders or seas or religion or race can limit the message in it. Thank you, Diana, for being the human God wants us all to be, whatever our faith or race or language -- for showing us what it means to see and love each other as humans."
-- Ihsan Ibraheem, program documentarian, Preemptive Love Coalition, and Iraq War survivor

Product Info

  • Publisher Broadleaf Books
  • ISBN 9781506463704
  • Format Hardcover
  • Dimensions 6.25 x 9.25
  • Pages 240
  • Publication Date September 1, 2020
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