Alright people. Let's talk peacemaking.
The world itself is loaded - fraught, you might even say - with meaning, and conflicted/conflicting rhetoric. In fact, my spirit is really d r a g g i n g it's feet about getting into discussing this, in a two-year-old-forced-into-snowpants sort of way.
Yikes, even the handing out of the Nobel Peace Prize is not without its controversy.
But yet - can consideration of peace ever be separate from this season? Really, actually...no.
Has anyone else noticed in the shops that the 'on-trend' Christmas ornament this year is a peace sign? The ones in Pottery Barn are glittery silver, but I've seen rustic ones, disco ones, and pink ones. I guess the idea of co-opting the peace sign into commercial settings is nothing new, but somehow this season it's really rubbing me the wrong way.
But hey - let me not judge those GenXers plonking the peace sign on their tree for a nice touch of subtle glitter.
Tonight, as I reflect on peace (and the lack thereof) in the world, I am grateful for all the different versions of peacemakers. Certainly there are the servicemen far from their families, serving a vision of peace that must feel elusive as they go about their duties. Certainly there are the statesmen who must, at heart, still believe in some version of peace. (I need to believe that some of them do, anyway.) Certainly there are those working amongst the poor, amongst the broken-spirited, who strive to bring any measure of peace or comfort to people not given the luxury of symbolic glittery ornaments on their tree.
The question that's been niggling around in my head all day is this: what am I doing to bring peace in the world? Yep, that's right. What am I doing? (I don't get any breaks around here. The inner dialogue is very hard on Me. Merely claiming "but I don't get enough sleep!" holds no truck with that inner voice.)
Here is what I am doing to bring peace to my little corner of the world. I am taking my kids to the playground to "jump their jiggles out," so that tired bodies want nothing more than to rest quietly on the floor coloring until dinner time. I am fixing simple, nutritious food so that the sugar and the stimulation of the season need not fight with the rest of their stomach contents. I am watching Jul i Skomakergata every evening, that has a sweet story for each day of Advent, and taking the time to sit with my small people and translate for them.
Most importantly, I am making peace with myself. I am allowing myself to forgive, I am disciplining myself to be gentle. I pursue a path of kindness in a small small effort to bring peace to those around me, and then by extension, bring peace to those I connect with only momentarily. If I can bring peace to our small home, then surely that is a start to bringing peace elsewhere. (And Yes, Torbjorn, that does mean I'm choosing not to pick a fight.
This season, the message that "He shall be the one of peace" is my inspiration, and my guide. May all of us find that path of peace in these hectic days.