“I’m so tired of all the divisiveness around us. I really want peace.” I say to my friend.
“Well, there’s peace, and then there’s ‘Peace,'” she says.
“I know, I want peace ‘Peace’, but peacemaking isn’t easy, especially these trying times.”
“That’s why we’re a church,” she says.
The work of the peacemaker is not for the meek. One must be fierce and brave. One must be true to herself, to know her voice, and speak the truth. The peacemaker must acknowledge her own agenda, as well as balance the perspectives of both sides. If one party “wins” what does the other “lose” and vice versa? What is the heart of the matter? What’s at stake for everyone involved, as well as for the peacemaker herself?
The making of peace is not for the faint of heart. The peacemaker cannot shrink herself in the face of anger, resentment, and harsh words. The peacemaker must stand strong in her own faith, her own hope that resolution is possible.
The art of any peacemaker depends on her integrity. The peacemaker cannot practice cunning, or deceptive measures to bring about defeat of another party. The peacemaker cannot resort to intimidation or bullying to win. The peacemaker, however, must recognize bullying tactics of others and call them out. The peacemaker must act with dignity, yet firmly speak her anger if it needs to be said and is appropriate.
The peacemaker must be truly aware and informed of her core values. The work of the peacemaker must come from those values. If the values of the peacemaker are on shaky ground, so will be the work of the peacemaker. Resolve must be strong and clear. The peacemaker needs to be aware of her own limitations, fears, and emotional triggers. To be a peacemaker, she needs to know her own blind spots, in order to provide safe space for other.
It is not easy work to be a peacemaker. If God has called you to be a peacemaker and has given you a voice in that regard, then you are blessed. Your soul has been illuminated and you will have strength to carry that charge – for you are one of God’s blessed Children. It won’t be an easy journey, but go forth – for God knows you are fighting the good fight and walks with you.
Our God, the source of our light and strength, you have given your son Jesus to us as teacher, guide and peacemaker. We ask that you would fill us with your Peace so we can extend, promote, and encourage peace in our own particular spaces in the world. Oh, God of our hearts, listen as we sing “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.” In Jesus name we pray. Amen…
Who are peacemakers in your life?
When have you been called to be a peacemaker?
What are the challenges of that role?
Where did you find inspiration and strength when you were creating peace in times of conflict?