A Peaceful Revolution

Side by side, we sing a heartfelt
“Let there be peace on earth
and let it begin with me”

as insides stir with anxiety,
our spoken words, curt.

Living peace is a challenge.

We desire the golden ticket
placed gently in our hands:
“Do this, then do this, then this,
and you will live a life of peace.”

We all know this isn’t the way it goes down.

I went to a sweet, mid-week church service
not long ago and a couple was joyful to
announce their “good deed”
completed for those in attendance.
When it came time for giving the sign of peace,
the husband didn’t turn around
to give my friend and I a warm handshake.

I have a tendency to notice these types of gaps.
We announce our grand service,
but when it comes to the ordinary sacred moment
of sharing peace with our neighbor,
we miss the opportunity.

We sing the song, but we miss the eye contact.

In the past, I’ve immediately moved
into a “judging” perspective when these types
of circumstances happen.

I see the hypocrisy. I want to denounce my
status as a Christian and just claim myself
as a Jesus lover and call it quits with religion.

But over time, I’ve turned to
the practice of Examen,
a self-reflective inquiry:

When have I taken pride in my good deed?
When have I chosen comfort over risk?
When have I avoided eye contact?
When have I kept peace all for myself?

The truth is,

Practicing self-reflection
humbles and reminds
that I’m imperfect and
Christ loves me regardless.

Here, in this honest gaze,
I look to Christ for
a slice of his Holy Peace.

This is where I hear:

“I am the third
who brings together
the two halves.

I am the light
of goodness
in a world
gone mad.

I am a friend
to the the
friendly and
the unfriendly.

I am the gift
who lives
within you.

Touch my
golden flood
of love daily

and soon,

my peace will
flow effortless
from your
precious heart.”

I notice how
Christ’s peace
calmly sits in the
midst of our chaos
and remains.

This is the Holy peace
we are given freely
if we open our hands:

A peace that
receives our
and, in turn,
invites us to
hold grace
for the humanity
of others.

When we do,
We become participants
in the labyrinth of life
who, when face to face
with another on the path,
can choose to bow deep,
peace our intention,
a blessing given.
Then, step aside,
allowing the other pass
and continue their journey,
no harm done.

We can’t save the world on our own.

But, if all of us
opened our hands
to receive
this free Holy peace
for ourselves and, then,
passed it to one other,
we just may begin

a peaceful revolution.

Book Recommendation:

Conflict and Communion: Reconciliation and Restorative Justice at Christ’s Table by Thomas Porter

App Recommendation:
ReImagining the Examen

I’ve been busy at the easel this month as I prepare for a solo Exhibit of my art in the Spring at the seminary (Columbia Theological) where I completed Spiritual Formation training. Hoping to have a workshop offering up in the next week for January! Stay tuned. Much love, Ally