Thursday, March 24, 2016

Peace Talks: Thursday's Reflection

I woke full of memories of a long weekend in Chicago with our daughter and grands. Our family tradition is to celebrate 8th birthdays with a trip to Chicago. We had walked miles through the Shedd Aquarium, the Museum of Science and Industry, and the Field Museum. We had the traditional massive sundae at Ghiradelli's and the beyond delicious pizza at Gino's. 

Peter, our new 8 year old, had pronounced it all "amazing."  

I woke eager for the day. In the morning I would facilitate my monthly contemplative writing and spiritual direction group at church. In the afternoon my writing group would gather in our living room as we do every other week. I had a new chapter to share with the group, and I was eager for their inspiration and insights, but also to hear their current work. 

And then, as I drove to church, I heard the news. The news about Brussels. More bombs. More violence. More deaths. More injuries. More uncertainty. More discord. More fear. 

What I needed more of was peace. 

           I do not want the peace which passeth understanding.
           I want the understanding which bringeth peace.
                                          Helen Keller

I decided I could continue to hold within the delight I felt about our recent happy family times and the pleasure and awe I feel when I am in the presence of those seeking deeper connections with God and with each other. At the same time I could feel deep sadness about the gap in the world --the gap between peaceful understanding and such limited hate-filled views of living and being in the world. 

This morning I sat with these words by Julia Cameron in her book, Blessings, Prayers and Declarations for a Heartful Life

                  Distance and diversity are part of me. I bless
                  my width and depth. All that is foreign and
                  unfamiliar is yet part of who I am. Mine is the
                  family of man. My tribe inhabits the earth, 
                  walking in different lands, speaking in 
                  different tongues but living one life as we go
                  forward. Knowing that I am a part of all life,
                  I cherish differences. I embrace diversity. 
                  Recognizing that all faces and forms are my own
                  face and form, I treat myself and others with
                  dignity. We are brothers. We are sisters. We are
                  husband and wife, mother and father. We are a 
                  family of many colors and many cloaks. We are
                  one life. The language of the heart speaks to us
                  all. I cherish that which my brother cherishes. I
                  walk in harmony, generosity, and abundance.
                   I share my gifts from the gifts I share. p. 21-22

I read these words aloud. More than once. I invite you to do the same. Let's read them together. 

An Invitation
How do you respond when peace seems invisible? I would love to know. 

NOTE: In November I wrote my response to the bombings in Paris here.

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