Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, March 30, 2016
PEACE Amidst Conflict
Tonight is my last post from Oakton Community College. I include another two personal definitions of PEACE.
(Thanks, Oakton College, for allowing me to come in to the cafeteria and set up a table. Thanks, members of the Oakton Christian Fellowship, for sitting with me and providing a welcome, too.)
These two definitions are more serious. They seem to me to be connected. Thanks to Tomer and to Ervin for your thought-provoking words. These words may be more political than I usually post: moreover, these words are sincere and deeply felt. I pray that my readers consider them in a similar spirit in which I heard them; I was receptive and encouraging for these young men. I hope each of them felt safe and felt what they said was sincerely heard.
Tomer’s personal definition: “PEACE = Acknowledgement of Actual Truth.”
A fascinating definition, I said. Could this young man tell me more? Tomer had conflict in the whole Middle East area on his mind. “All parties have their own truth. Their own view of what truth is. Each person needs to look at facts, and not just listen to propaganda.”
Tomer is an Israeli citizen. He hates seeing anti-Israel propaganda. He earnestly wants to encourage all people to approach the various conflicts and fighting in the Middle East with an open mind and not to be swayed by divisive, narrow-minded talk.
Ervin’s personal definition is a list. “PEACE is: honesty, understanding, confidence, truthful, unity.”
A hopeful list, I thought! I asked Ervin for a further description. He said, “Peace is being honest with each other and understanding what people are trying to say to you. Peace is being confident in the challenging situations, when things are going wrong. When there is conflict, I bring peace into the situation. I show people that I can overcome many kinds of difficulties.”
Yes, there is conflict. Yes, there is fighting and war. Yes, there are many people who spread false rumors, reports and propaganda. Yet, even though we all face challenging situations, there is hope. Honesty, understanding, confidence, truth and unity can go a long way towards healing divisive talk and actions.
Please, God, help us all to practice these positive, helpful actions. As the prophet tells us, encourage each of us to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with You.
(Reminder: I will be posting more from the young people at St. Viator’s High School tomorrow. Have a joyful Easter celebration!)
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