God has been teaching me a hard lesson in peacemaking. It’s hard because it demands I face up to the seeds of war and hatred deep in my own spirit.
As with most of us humans, the difficult people in my life keep me on my toes spiritually. (As I write, the picture of a ballerina comes to mind and makes me laugh. I’m hardly the ballerina type, although as a child I used to pretend that was me, spinning on my toes, soaring like a swan. Laughing at myself is always good. When I see myself as ridiculous, I can look with mercy on the other ridiculous people that seem to cross my path. But this is a diversion.)
Personal confession is becoming one of the hard tools in the peacemaking kit God tells me to use. And as I confess the resentment and anxiety that bubble to the surface like lava, especially in the context of difficult relationships, God sends the rain. And more. He touches the deep roots of that volcano that is me and makes peace. It’s a process that seems to take time. I have the sense it will take the rest of my life. And I have to let it happen. Paul tells us in Colossians 3 to “let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,” as in, give it permission, open the door, say “yes” to the hard work of personal peacemaking. Confession is not the only way, but it’s one way to let the Peace-Maker in.
When Christ rules within me, then and only then can I participate in God’s peace-making mission in the world, which includes those feisty people in my own circles of daily living.
Contributed by Nancy Thomas, North Valley Friends