Peace in the Hard and Uncomfortable by: Kris Rooney

How is everybody doing?  There are a lot of blog posts and resources out there right now, and I delete most of them.  So I get it if you don’t want to read this one either.  I don’t know where you’re at…well, I do a little because I’m making phone calls to some of you, along with other staff and Pastoral Council.  I have the C’s alphabetically.  Like many of you, my brain is too full to take in very much.  It seems to take more energy doing ordinary things (like, I have to cook dinner again?  I just did that yesterday!).  I have a book I wanted to finish for Lent, then I thought it would be my Easter project.  It is still sitting on my desk unread, glaring at me.  My brain is so full that one more thing might put me over the edge, and some days I do.  I just want to feel some sense of peace in this pandemic.  How do we do that?  How can we feel peace when there’s death, and fear, and empty shelves at the grocery store, and masks are the new fashion statement?

Well, I don’t know.  I have no answers for you, really.  I’m in this with you.  But I do know this.  Peace is one of those words Jesus said a lot, maybe the most in Scripture.  He came to the upper room to his disciples, after all the awfulness, and said, “Peace be with you.”  Then he breathed on them.  So he knew we would need peace and ache for it, especially in the difficulty.

It’s not going to be all rainbows and sunshine.  Peace can be uncomfortable.  Peace can be hard.  Maybe we can’t even make our own peace; it might have to be found, or allowed in.  There is peace in the good.  When we recognize something as true, or beautiful – there’s a little peace there.  It might not be loud, or a first thought.  It could be an underlying current.  Small moments of peace in a day, like the rain hitting the window, or my dog Benny sighing in his sleep.  I wonder if it’s more like we have to let peace BE with us.  What would that look like?

James Finley said this in a podcast I heard recently:  If you learn to place your trust in God who’s sustaining you in your confusion [read lack of peace], breathe deeply and listen to it, like listen to your confusion.  In your confusion, deeply accept it as humility.  In your confusion, deeply accepted, unites you with the confusion of the whole human family in the presence of God.

So there you go.  We’re all in this together…and it’s hard, and it’s uncomfortable.  But Jesus is in the midst of us, breathing peace.  We just have to catch it, often in the little moments.  Maybe be a bit more gentle with ourselves. (like not finishing this glaring book, which let’s face it, is really my goal here).  Maybe take a few breaths ourselves.  And know way in our deep down that Jesus understood and lived all about the hard and uncomfortable, yet also lived out peace.  So this peace is there for us too.  Let’s try to look for it.

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3 responses

  1. Thank you Kris. I share your struggles and the peace— a peace that’s more a yearning and a hope. But like that 1st Easter Jesus doesn’t mind locked doors or our deepest fears and our inadequacy. I trust he comes anyway. I miss being with you — bring with my family—and yet his peace, a peace and presence that is beyond my understanding — holds my heart and mind. I know it’s true for you too. I send you much love, always.

    1. Thanks Helen-Love you too!

  2. Thank you for this post, Kris. It is unreal, these times…some days are easier to know peace than others! I had a mini meltdown (I am not really a meltdown sort of person!) About having to wear a mask on my walk. I rarely meet anyone. But then, as I walked , I found some peace as I walked by homes where I knew vulnerable folks lived. I said, Lord, here’s a new door you’ve opened for me.
    One day I also heard this in a daily reflection. “We don’t know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future.”. Definitely…just need those reminders some days! Blessings to you and all.

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