Reflections for the inner life.
"In this world there will be trouble."
My heart knows this full well. Not too long ago, every morning, I would wake up with a pack of spider monkeys waiting to pounce on me. They seemed to gather in the form of concerns, worries, anxiety and stress.
Concerns that could grow into worries. Worries that might produce anxious feelings. Anxious feelings that so easily would morph into stress manifesting in my body.
And there is a tempter who can scream into the flurry of my troubled heart. It leans in close and shouts, "Get busy!" And how many days do I obey? Far too many.
There is another voice who whispers an alternative pathway, inviting me to suspend my busy spinning mind by entering the day through the gateway of my heart.
God does not desire for me to ignore the trouble. No, if anything, God is inviting me into a deeper engagement with what troubles my heart. His invitation is into my fear.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
In a world of peacekeeping, God is in the business of peacemaking. What's the difference? Peacekeeping is a fear based avoidance. Peacemaking is a deep soulful engagement.
Peacekeepers avoid telling you hard things in order to avoid upsetting the apple cart. They tip toe around the awkward truth. This is not love. It is the opposite of love...it's apathy.
Peacemakers speak the truth in love. They speak up when its uncomfortable and work for the shalom of the world. They graciously enter into the troubled space with a whole heart. This is risky love. It's messy but worth it.
Being a peacemaker involves diplomacy - which begins and ends with the "fruit if the spirit.“ Any voice (yours or any other) that do not sound like love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control is the voice of the accuser.
May you join me in embracing fear, pushing into the dark of our discomfort. May we also take courage in the truth of what professor and priest, Barbara Brown Taylor suggests in her helpful book "Learning to Walk in the Dark."
"New life starts in the dark. Whether it is a seed in the ground, a baby in the womb, or Jesus in the tomb, it starts in the dark.”
—Barbara Brown Taylor