I heard, last night about the tragic death of an eight year old boy.
This past week, I met the parents of a 26 year old who decided life and it’s struggles compounded by his own unique obstacles was too hard.
His mama, daddy and sister are grieving and profoundly sad at Christmas.
A grown man, for the most part a stranger has accepted my small gesture of being available to listen, and has retold his story through tears a few times now.
Listening, nodding. Being like-minded in the value of God’s peace are all I am capable of, even competent to provide as a support, a resource.
Because, the unfathomable has occurred.
The horrors that only leave a resounding “Why” and the aching pain in the chests, ribs and souls of those who grieve.
And now at home, the eve of Christmas Eve, discord at home rears it’s hateful head.
A whirlwind of exchange of anger, frustration, hurt and rivalry has been an occasional upheaval within our walls.
Siblings at different stages of life passages are simply incompatible.
Love and forgiveness, a bending of opinions, unique wills has to reign.
Mamas fight with all of their being to mediate.
To see both sides, to beg for bending, understanding, apologetic acts.
Yet, we’re torn when division grows broader, deeper.
When discord remains for more than a verbal match or a slammed door.
Moments passed, the house became quiet and I sat, positioned facing our tree, rain falling, shimmery lights and my homemade paper ornaments swaying slightly as reminders of my Christmas goals for this year:
And I sat a little while, thinking I need to calm down. I need to pray.
Nevertheless, I just sat.
Absorbing, experiencing the dull ache of anxiety.
Half-heartedly allowing thoughts to fake their way from my mind, masquerading as prayers.
Lord, help this stop. Lord, this has to stop….
Finally, I walk determinedly towards my bedside and I kneel.
Resting, face on carpet, I pour out my heart to God.
The ritual becomes a peaceful ease, a flow without restraint, an outpouring.
I pray for the horrific loss of a little boy at Christmas. I pray for the profound loss of the mom and dad who will recall on Christmas Day the tragic suicide of a son just 3 weeks ago.
And I pray, surrendered to God through His Son Jesus, that I will follow Him through storms of change, aiming to create discord.
Follow His design for me as a mother to my children, a wife as a Child of God, the one whose goal is a family that loves God.
Mostly, that I will know and believe more strongly that
Discord is not of God.
That God is not responsible for the stealing of my Joy, of my Peace. Of my Hope. Of my family.
That I am strongest on my knees in prayerful surrender; not in a place of “Why me” random requests spilling from anxious, angry or dissatisfied frustration.
Because, when I pray with open heart, mind and hands, He himself is my Peace.
Jesus was born into a world of discord, of plans for evil, not good.
He was, after all turned away to be born in a stable. He was finally, despised, rejected and crucified for us, to be our salvation and our solace through the powerful Holy Spirit our gift of Grace connection to God.
And so He himself is our peace…The only peace in a world where Sin has entered in and has torn our hearts and souls for a longing, an imploring to abide in Him…in solemn and sincere opening of heart for Peace on Earth.
Peace I leave with you; my Peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
His peace, written in red for us, we are His disciples.
Peace, joy, love, hope are ours when we abide in Him through prayer this Christmas.