Surely my most important insight today (amazing at 6:33AM) will be something that I have known for a long time but now makes more sense and came from a familiar verse from John’s gospel this morning. Jesus is getting ready for his final “goodbye” to his friends and leaves them with this message: Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
What is clearer than ever for me this morning is that Jesus is talking about inner peace – peace of heart, we would call it, so that no matter what’s going on outside of us, the inside can remain hopeful and loving and kind because God remains steadfast in us. Disturbing events in the world around us are real but cannot shake our knowing of that truth.
I feel as if I have taken a further step into the deep waters of truth that will allow me more peace in the everyday recognition of troubling events. If I can remember to live from my heart where peace abides in God, I can face external events with equanimity. Perhaps it sounds strange to say that this is a new knowing for me. I certainly should be familiar with this teaching by now in my life, shouldn’t I? Well, of course! I have known those words of Jesus for decades but the world has become more complex, more challenging so I needed wider eyes and clearer recognition of the great gift of inner peace where we can meet each other and become that peace. Are you there as well?
John Jeremiah Edminster said:
Sister Lois, your ending this post with a question directed to the reader emboldens me to share an experience I’ve had on many occasions when I’ve been made aware of someone’s intolerable-seeming suffering, particularly where outrageous cruelty and injustice seem to have been involved in its infliction, and I lift the outrage up to the Lord in prayer: I seem to see the eyes of Jesus fix their gaze on me from across a great distance, as I imagine He once fixed His gaze on Peter at the cockcrow, with a look of immeasurable grief, pity, sometimes indictment for my own sin, but always patience, understanding, forgiveness, and no doubt things beyond my capacity to name; but I always come away from such encounters certain that He knows all about the outrage, and feels its sting more deeply than I do, and that He will one day “wipe away all tears from the eyes” of the righteous (Rev 7:17, 21:4), including the tear of doubt that the suffering might have been avoided “if only God had done His job better.” No: perhaps I, Adam, could have done my job better; but I did not; but that can be forgiven for the asking. And it must not be thought that Jesus Christ does not feel the pain of the world, sharp as the bite of the nail through His hand, even as He abides in the fearlessness and peace He invites us to share with Him.
Thank you, John. Bless you.