A Daily Life of War and Peace

The tires of my small car hummed over the asphalt as I drove the well-known highway at 6 am towards the church in Chelsea. As my left hand rested on the stirring wheel, the other hand held a strong cup of coffee. My eyes glanced along the high rise buildings as they flew by. The uncountable number of lit windows announced a new day against a dark sky as I was on my way to prepare a Interfaith Breakfast for Women Religious Leaders in my congregation. I sighed as a warm feeling of peace and joy flooded my tired mind. In a broken world it was a special blessing to draw near to likeminded leaders, who were pursuing a calling for peace and justice at the Big Apple.

After taking another sip of warm coffee I reached towards the radio and switched to CNN. A swell of agitated words flushed through the speakers into my thoughts as the commentator talked about mail posts being delivered to a number of officials and news institutions. They all were linked through a common thread of political hate and had transformed the daily mail into instrument of evil deeds. War had come to the doorsteps of normal life.

As the news reporter talked about a mail bomb being evacuated from Tribeca in a special containment truck on the Westside of New York, the northbound side of Henry Hudson Parkway suddenly was lit by lights and sirens in front of my eyes. A large truck surrounded by police cars sped by me on the other side of the road as the feeling of peace was washed away by this war like scenario. Hot tears of fear and anger filled my eyes as New York life was unexpectedly transformed into a sudden state of war.

I silently wept as I couldn’t bring this daily life at war and peace in New York together. As I felt the hot tears running down my cheeks, the feeling of despair was transformed into a unusual calmness. Consoling words echoed in my mind reminding me of the importance of struggling for peace in a broken world:

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.” (Mat 5:9-11 NRSV)

I gripped the stirring wheel with both hands as daylight lit the morning sky and my car plowed through the increasingly busy morning traffic. As Christians we shouldn’t give up seeking peace. For it would give the evil doers their wished for success. It was Martin Luther King Jr., who emphasized that the long arch of history bends towards justice. May we therefore not be discouraged as the evil knocks at the door of our daily life as we take up our call as peacemakers.

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Prayer for “A Daily life of War and Peace”

Lord of Life,

as evil knocks at the doorstep of our daily life

may you guide our thoughts and actions.

Remind us of the calling as your children, who seek peace.

As evil knocks at the doorstep of our daily life

may you help us to see that the kingdom of heaven can only grow by seeking peace.

Fill us with the reassurance that while we experience setbacks and people utter lies against us

that you are with us in this tribulation.

As evil knocks at the doorstep of our daily life

may you fill us with the confidence that the long arch of history bends toward justice.

Amen.

 

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