Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me
Let There Be Peace on Earth
The peace that was meant to be
With God as our Father
Brothers all are we
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony.
Remember when we were allowed to sing songs like that in school?
My tone-deaf, little elementary school heart would sing every word with gusto.
I thought back to those tender days this morning, curled up on my sofa with the first snow of the season falling, scrolling facebook with one hand and holding a hot cup of coffee (cream, cinnamon and the slightest drizzle of maple syrup) in the other.
Someone posted this:
Hard to do when they are in your face, I thought as I scrolled by, but amen.
Then came this, posted by the same woman:
And I smiled at her second offering of peace and goodwill.
Yes, I thought, it’s not a matter of whether you are a democrat or a republican, it’s not a matter of how you voted, it’s a matter of whether or not you have the love of God in your heart. People in each camp do, people in each camp don’t.
And then my heart grew heavy.
“Nope. None of that,” her own daughter wrote. “Racist, misogynist or xenophobe, and/or vote for people who are intolerant of diversity? I don’t need you in my life. I especially don’t need you in my children’s lives. I will not normalize intolerance. Hate does not get a seat at the table.”
Wait, where’s your tolerance for diversity of opinion?
Isn’t normalizing intolerance exactly what you’re doing, exactly what you’re modeling for your children?“
Does this mean your mom doesn’t get a seat at your table?
It sounds like she hates her mom, who likely didn’t vote as she did.
Yet I know her mom would not deny her a seat at her table.
Which brought my thoughts back to Mother Teresa.
I felt achingly sad:
For the mom whose Shalom and was met with anger.
For all of us.
I kept scrolling.
Another lovely woman posted this:
Lots of people are getting an “F” these days.
“I’m not getting an “F”,” I can hear you huff, “because mine is the morally superior view.”
It’s not about views, it’s about behavior.
It’s about a lack of respect for others; it’s about hate for those you deem morally inferior; it’s about the unforgiveness you harbor in your heart. There’s no “A” in that.
Resist the urge to tell me about anyone else’s heart (which you cannot possibly know), and exam yours. Take the log out of your eye so you can see clearly.
Loving your enemy is the high road. That’s where love travels.
There is no love in prideful claims of moral superiority.
There is no peace in them either.
I would love for there to be peace on earth, and there will be.
But first there will be increasing strife.
In telling His disciples about the end times, Jesus said:
“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Mark 13:12
I would love for it to begin with me, but it won’t, it didn’t.
It began with a humble birth in a barn and it ended with a humble death on a cross.
Jesus won our peace – quietly, humbly, respectfully.
As I was pondering all this, my heart grew much heavier.
My daughter called.
She didn’t want me to be alarmed if I checked “Find My Friends” and saw her at the hospital.
She left work and was on her way there because someone close to her attempted suicide this morning, is on life support and is not expected to make it.
I hung up the phone and sobbed.
The ache in my heart became almost unbearable.
There are people who are hurting so much that they attempt to take their own lives and there are people huddled in hospital waiting rooms with broken hearts and there are people who take their morally superior attitudes online and post angry comments.
I recently learned a richer meaning of the word “shalom”. It’s more than an absence of hostility, it’s a state of wellness. In A Life Beyond Amazing, Dr. David Jeremiah wrote, “Its basic meaning is ‘to be whole, or safe, or sound.’ Shalom designates a condition in which life can best be lived. It is the concept of integrity; body, soul and spirit are in alignment. In shalom, you have more than the absence of hostility. You have a quality of life that nurtures peace.
Oh that we would all have a quality of life that nurtures peace.
Ever since I read that definition, I’ve been praying shalom over everything – the election, Dixie’s belly…
Just now I am praying shalom over the young man on life support: a miraculous recovery, solid ground going forward, wellness of body, soul and spirit.
I’m praying safe and sound over his shattered parents, siblings, children and all who love him. I’m asking for the peace that is beyond our understanding; that seems so impossible at times like these.
I’m praying shalom over my own heavy heart.
I’m praying His kingdom come, His will be done here on this messed up earth as it is in heaven.