Continuing on in our process of “Illuminating Lent”, on this edition of “Becoming Today”, I’ll share the latest letter, as I seek solace. Truly, as I search for help in becoming more peaceful.
Plus I’ll also revisit some words I shared a year ago, that remain relevant as what the world truly needs is peace.
I need your assistance and understanding today as all we are saying is give peace a chance. With conflicts escalating and political threats increasing globally I really need you to join me in prayer as we seek to uplift the hearts and refocus the minds of those leaders who seek harm as a means to an end for their fleshly desires.
I know if we are strengthened together in this intention, without a doubt we can and will make a difference.
I also need your help on a more personal level, as I am struggling to find solace, to regain an internal sense of peace and balance.
While I know peace is freely and readily available if we ask for it, as I deal with a number of issues beyond my control, I am battling those worldly obstacles of anxiety and uncertainty.
I know as it reported in John 14:27, “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.”
I know this. I understand it in my mind. I accept it in my heart. Still I am human. I struggle. I battle and that’s why I appeal to you today to assist me.
As it is written in, Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them”.
As I pray for you, please pray for and with me, that we all seek the rest and refuge that peace delivers.
Thank you and shalom.
One year ago, in a blast heard around the world, peace was shattered as the need for it to be restored resonated globally.
As I watched CNN’s coverage of the initial Russian invasion of Ukraine, one image captured my heart and as a I shared then in “Still the Birds Sing”:
After the initial round of airstrikes and just before the first tanks rolled across from Belarus, there was a small group of Ukrainian women coming together in strength. They knelt down on the square in Kharkiv, that nation’s second largest city, which is roughly the size of Dallas, Texas:, the 4th largest city in America.
They gathered in a circle, on their knees and were quite obviously praying. I can only surmise seeking peace and asking for protection.
I have no idea who they were and I only saw the image once.
I just wanted to let these women know they were not alone. Even as they entered the square, while I was some 5,800 miles ( 9,300 kilometers) away I was there with them and myself in prayer with and for them.
The following is a screenshot of the CNN video:
It’s bravery like these unnamed women demonstrated that too often goes overlooked.
The courage to venture out into uncertain quickly devolving circumstances, shows their fortitude. Their commitment to step out into the light and publicly take action based on their values and beliefs is the kind of character we should all be seeking to be “becoming” of.
So while these past few days perhaps the top of mind definition for peace is aligned with being the opposite of war – when seeking for and praying for peace it is so much more with all attributes empowering us to continue on and allow for healing and correction.
Peace can have many meanings. From the dictionary among the offering of definitions are:
-a state or period in which there is no war or a war has ended. Synonyms include law and order, lawfulness, harmony, and accord,.
-a ceremonial handshake or kiss exchanged during a service in some churches, symbolizing Christian love and unity.
Plus the one I find most beneficial for our common understanding:
– freedom from disturbance; tranquility. Similarly described as calm, calmness and restfulness.
Being free from distractions, harassment, annoyances and chains that bind us to past realities and circumstances certainly creates in us the space to manifest a place for and an overall attitude of being peaceful.
Despite all that is going on in the world and actual storms surrounding me still the birds sing.
At and around the feeders in my backyard there were more than 22 birds, of several species including eight cardinals. Looking out for one another, eating, playing and singing.
The largest of the males as the photo reveals took a somewhat defensive position, posting himself atop the shepherd’s hook, as a look out, to be a beacon for his companions.
It was so peaceful and reassuring. No matter what the challenge. No matter where in the world we may find ourselves. No matter what season we may be in, still the birds sing.
Calling out in the light.
Bravely foraging, trusting their needs are being met.
Knowing as the Scripture says, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.”
The Gospel of Matthew chapter 6 verses 26 and 27 then continues with a timely reminder for each of us “Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”.
Even at the darkest hour.
Even when all seems lost or hopeless, still we can trust that we can continue forward in light and love, reassured and content, if we embrace the moment and keep our spirits high.
So again I encourage you to bow your heads in prayer, while lifting your eyes of faith and asking for what the world needs now.
So until we talk again on our next edition of “Becoming Today”, I’ll be continuing to pray for peace and listening to the birds sing.