Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
After the events in Orlando this past weekend, plain and simple, my heart hurts. Why? How? What is it that makes someone act with such a complete absence of Christian love, mercy and compassion? I just don’t’ get it! As I prayed for the souls of those killed and those who loved them I kept getting one word; PEACE. Jesus said, Peace I leave you, my peace I give to you…wow what a gift…His Peace. I have to stop and wonder sometimes why it was so important for Jesus to give us such a beautiful gift. I’m pretty sure the reason he gave it to us is so we would give it away, in his name, to further his kingdom.
Peace, like joy, happiness and kindness are all a choice. We can choose them and share them or we can let this crazy world whisk us away and fall into days of frustration, confusion and grumpiness…on days like that I always have to stop and ask myself which behaviors will allow me to better serve Christ?
I heard a great story about a 92 year old gentleman who had just lost his bride of 70 years and because of his health and nearly complete blindness he was moved to a nursing home. As a young nurse was wheeling him to his tiny new room she was carefully describing it in great detail. Before they even arrived in the doorway the old man exclaimed with all the excitement of an 8 year old with a new puppy I LOVE IT! A bit baffled the nurse said, but sir you haven’t even seen it yet. The old man smiled, patted her hand and said, “Honey I don’t have to see it, I already choose to love it, I choose to be happy wherever I am. It doesn’t matter how the furniture is arranged, what matters is how my mind and my heart are arranged. I make a choice each morning to be happy and share it.”
What if each person you came in contact with during a day had made the choice to be happy, joyful and peaceful? Wouldn’t life be different! Pope Francis calls us to LOVE WITH RADICAL TENDERNESS…I believe that begins one choice at a time and those choices can certainly make our families and communities welcoming and peaceful. They can create an environment that makes people think “I want what they have!” “If that’s what Christianity is like I want to be a part of it!” God’s peace is welcoming and transforming, we just need to show people what it looks like! How do we do it? Here are two simple things to get us started…
First…Take some time to observe the activity going on around you, is there peace or chaos? Are things done intentionally or in a flurry? Pray about what you noticed and make a conscious effort to choose peace and share Gods peace. We might not be able to change the world but we can change our little corners of it.
Second…Start your day asking God to wrap you in his peace so you’ll have plenty to share with those who cross your path. During those moments when you feel your peacefulness running low reflect on the life of people who accomplished great things peacefully like Mother Teresa and follow their example.
You may be tempted to say I’ve really oversimplified a huge problem and I suppose you may be right, but the only thing we can change is ourselves. If each one of us made a choice to act in peace and mercy I guarantee the whole world would change! So, let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me…now you say it!
A Seed To Plant: Read chapter 14 in John’s Gospel and ask God to wrap you in his peace.
Blessings on your day!
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