Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Well, here it is, the moment I have been dreading for 3 years. Ever since my first visit to the Ashram I knew that there had been an ongoing struggle with the legal authorities over the ownership of the land on which the Ashram sits. There have been struggles and legal action, lawyers and community action meetings, on and on and on.

For years there has been the threat of demolition, bulldozers coming through this garden, this place of healing, to make way for shopping malls and apartment high rises. They want to level this verdant land of healing to make room for a place of glass and steel and money.

That day is today. Sneakily and underhandedly, the DDA (land development people) have issued the decree that tomorrow we shall be bulldozed. Tomorrow will be the end of this Ashram.

Or will it. Two things come to mind.

The first is that these threats have come before, this is only more serious because we have a date and a court order. More paperwork, more officialness, more chance it will actually happen.

The second is a common theme among angry-ex-church goers. The church is a building. The Church is the people, collectively, as a creative, loving, compassionate body. That is the Church, and what the church should be. Not cathedrals and paintings, buildings and alters, but living people.

The Ashram is much in the same. It is not this compound, these luscious gardens, the beds, medical wards, or medicines. It is the people. We will be homeless, but still and Ashram of healing. We will move away from this quiet environment, but still be the Ashram of peace.

So what are our other options?
  • Someone very high up could intervene on our behalf and get a "stay of execution" from the high courts.

  • One of our lawyers efforts could be effective and receive the same "stay".

  • We could miraculously receive all $718,000 we need to purchase new land that we have been eyeing. While perfect and permanent, it is very expensive.

Right now we just don't know.

But someone just came into the office and handed me a $50 bill. One time my Grandma gave me a $50 bill and told me to "keep it hidden in your wallet. You just never know when you will need it in an emergency."

That memory lifts my heart. Help always comes in time of need.

Jake and Jess


Indian Lake Papa said...

Ashram's real owner is God. He is in control. Yesterday I stood holding hands in a circle and blessed the food. WE were standing outside in a low-income community park with broken down tables, but hot food. Most of the group (50 aprox.) were low income or homeless. We do this each week. No building but still on God's property!AS I left yesterday, Greg headed down the trail with his backpack and extra food for the woods. He turned, waved, and smiled. Jake & Jess we still serve a God who calls the shots!
Indian Lake Papa

Anonymous said...

Ditto to Indian Lake Papa - God is the owner... My heart is heavy for you!