Blog Archives

Peace and the Personal Commitment to Forgiveness

Once again, a miracle: I, of the erratic memory, did remember to join in praying for peace this Sunday evening. I am unexpectedly peaceful about being a part of this. I decided long ago that inner peace is quiet joy. And that is exactly the gift this experience brought me. I got so caught up in prayer and reflection that I lost track of time. Prayer for both my own and others’ broken relationships stretched out as I thought of more and more needing healing. When I reached the stage of praying for peace for all people, because of my own recent experience of reconciliation, I actually felt hopeful that events small or large would begin to happen in the lives of every person to help them become a tiny bit more peaceful. It made me want to not only persevere, but to gather more and more others to commit to praying for peace on a regular basis.

This year, when Kozo, through his ‘B4Peace’ blogging project, invited us all to begin blogging about peace at least once a month, it challenged me to become more open and committed to the healing of some broken personal relationships. My most serious alienation happened about two years ago and had not only gone unresolved, but had caused complications with other relationships. I knew this wasn’t going to be easy, but if I was going to write about peace, I needed to at least start dealing with my own conflicts.

As I began praying for the grace to let go of my bitterness and allow God to heal the hurts that fed it, I was invited by friends to participate in a Spiritual Growth Class based on the book, Soul Feast, by Marjorie Thompson. I read the book and found it challenging and exciting, but one of the two facilitators of this class would be the man whose words had both wounded me and set off the very painful chain of events that resulted in more broken relationships. It hit me that this might be the answer to my prayer for grace and healing, so I joined the class, but chose a seat safely far down the long table from my adversary.

For several months, we managed to interact civilly, but cautiously. We tiptoed around anything relating to our controversy, while finding shared ideas on spirituality. I could tell that both of us were truly trying to apply the insights in the book.

Out of the blue, a conflict developed between my male nemesis and the female co-facilitator. He quickly became so defensive and verbally combative, that she left in the middle of the class. No one knew what to do, but when he began to just go on with the class, as if nothing had happened, I asked if we could pray for our friend who was hurting. I said that I didn’t believe any of us really wanted to hurt each other, but Christians or not, conflicts happened, and we all needed grace for healing. We said a simple prayer for healing of hurt and then we went on with the class.

Within two days time they had reconciled completely. He had called her after class. Though she didn’t take his call while she was still furious, by the next day, she had prayed her way through to understanding and forgiveness, and so had he when she went to see him.

As I witnessed this, I immediately realized that I should have gone to him soon after being hurt, explained how I felt, and trusted God to give us the grace to overcome our differences. But, I also recognized that I hadn’t, because he had unwittingly blundered into my worst minefield of insecurity. Now, in praying about and coming to grips with that particular personal demon, I finally experienced a greatly needed new freedom. Then, I was not only able to reconcile with him, but to share with our class how powerful seeing the human frailty of our co-facilitators being healed by their commitment to love was.

I don’t think any words in a book or sermon could have had that power. We really are called to flesh out the gospel for others, not by pretending to be perfect, but by our commitment to forgiveness. I am now praying and working on reconciliation of the other broken relationships set off by this one. Thanks again, Kozo for challenging me to do this.

Becoming a Part of Peace

I belong to a group of bloggers, “Be 4 Peace.” At least once a month we post a blog relating to some aspect of peacemaking.
Now, one of our group has encouraged us to pray, chant, send peaceful thoughts, whatever anyone does along those lines, for peace.
We are focusing on peace for ten minutes on Sunday evenings between 7pm and midnight in our time zone.
We are hoping to encourage others to both join us and share this idea with friends.

I am a woman of just a little faith, so I have to start with myself. Then as I, myself, open up to the grace to be more peaceful, it gives me hope for others on a progressively larger scale. My dream is that adding my tiny mustard seed of faith to others’ will help create an ever growing tree of faith for peace.

There are as many ways to participate in this, as there are people. I only share mine on the chance that it will help someone else get started.

I start by saying or thinking repetitively for several moments, “Lord have mercy on me. Christ have mercy on us. God heal our broken world with your peace.

Then, I reflect on where I am not at peace inside myself, pray for grace to, with my will, let go of the cause.
Next, I think of any relationships I have that are not peaceful, and ask God for insight into how I might see things differently; I pray for healing of hurts and the relationship; and then ask for God’s love for the others involved.
Next, I pray for healing for friends and family that also have broken relationships with others.
Then, I pray for enlightenment for world leaders, so they will seek peace.
Then, I ask for the peace that passes understanding to come into all hearts.

We invite you to join us in your own way in seeking peace. We set Sunday evenings between 7pm and midnight as a way to help ourselves actually do this and to increase our hope by knowing others are joined with us.