Sunday, February 03, 2013

a pound of peace, please?

I pass it 10-12 times a week going down to and back from the church. Our local nursery and garden center is not just a landmark, but it is a touchstone for many of us. It is where we go to get our fresh sweet corn in the summer, and pumpkins in the fall; where we get our wreaths and trees for Christmas and grass seed for the spring. The outdoor sign always lets us know when tomatoes, peaches, flowers, mulch, and so many other necessities are available.

In the middle of winter, there isn't much on the sign, simply the name of the nursery and the fact that they carry straw (for bedding one's plants and protecting shrubs, etc.). But this morning, as we headed down to the church, there at the bottom of the sign was the simple word PEACE.

??? How many days/weeks has that been there, and if so, why haven't I noticed it before? Have I been rushing around too much to see that item I need more than any other these days? Have I been so distracted by my worries and doubts, that I overlooked where I could find that gift that is available in any season?  Am I so convinced that the world is going to hell even quicker than all the experts predict, that I don't believe that there are still those seeds than can be sown in Syria, Belfast, Cincinnati, Mali, my heart - which will blossom and bear fruit in God's good time?

Wouldn't it be nice to stop and get some Peace? I'd like to throw a bale of peace in the back of my truck and spread it around those places in the city where guns are the solution du jour. I would like to be able to carry around a pocket of peace with me each day, and give it to the folks who stop me on the street, looking for something to ease their loneliness and despair.  I'd like to order some peace online, and come home to find it waiting for me on the front porch, ready to be opened and enjoyed.

But that's not how it works, is it? God is wise enough to know that peace is a gift which, like grace, simply comes to us when we least expect it. Peace is the quiet presence who, like the Spirit, chooses to walk with us down every uncertain street we encounter.  Peace is that gentle friend who, like Jesus, simply promises to be with us in every moment, whether we take notice or not.

Got peace? I'll bet you do.

© 2013 Thom M. Shuman

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