“Make me an instrument of your peace.”
- St. Francis of Assisi
This morning was one of those rare occasions where I got to sleep in. Ahhhhh... gotta love a three day weekend! As I laid in bed, enjoying the morning peace, I began to hear the sound of sirens break through the quiet. They continued for quite a while and I realized it must have been the start of a Memorial Day Parade taking place just a few streets away... a gentle reminder of the reason behind my “day off.” Our PEACE is not “free,” someone has paid the price - lives have been sacrificed for me, for you, for our country. I said a prayer of thanks!
I was reminded of the following quote from Hafsat Abiola, “Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing the space for others to contribute the best that they have and all that they are.”
Hafsat Abiola is a writer and an activist who works to promote women, youth, and democracy in her home country of Nigeria, and around the world. She is the founding member of several initiatives including Global Youth Connect, Youth Employment Campaign, and Vital Voices: Women in Democracy. Hafsat is also the Executive Director of the Kudirat Initative for Democracy, KIND, which runs a program that offers leadership training to 750 young women across Nigeria each year. She is a woman that is creating a world of peace, "that supports everyone.”
If we look around, we can find many faces of PEACE... the military who serve our country ... the government who monitors relations and seeks to establish laws ... the police in our communities that keep up safe ... the missionaries that offer God’s peace to others ... the “peacemakers” within our own families. The list could go on and on. In one way or another, we are all responsible for being "keepers of PEACE."
Yesterday at church we had a Commissioning Service for members who will be serving in the mission field over the summer. One young woman is leaving today, heading to Kenya to work in children’s homes near Nairobi, as well as the slums of Mathare. Another person is taking on a leadership role for a team heading to Bethlehem, Israel. Our Youth Ministry will be running summer camps for kids and doing a variety of community service projects. These are just a few of the ways people have chosen to make a meaningful difference, bringing peace and God’s love to the lives of others.
The wonderful thing is that when we serve others, some of God’s grace spills into our lives. My prayer today... As our military seeks peace for our country, God’s peace will wash over them and they will feel comforted, safe and loved.
Today, take time to give thanks!
Go in Peace, and Serve the Lord, Donna Weaver
“Peace cannot be achieved through violence,
it can only be attained through understanding.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson