I Choose Peace

I have been really into World War II documentaries recently. I think I find some comfort in the perspective it brings. What is war but pure division on display? What pain are people capable of enduring? What resilience is possible?

These questions help me process our current world at war, our current national divide. It helps me wrestle with the concept of unity, especially in the body of Christ. What does it look like to move forward as the Kingdom of God with diametrically opposed arrows flying about?
 
My 24-year-old idealist mind struggles to answer that question. I am at the lovely point in life in which I see obvious solutions and clear standings around every corner. But people tell me they’re too simplistic. People tell me I don’t understand the history. People tell me I don’t know the implications of what I’m saying.

In return, my instinct is to believe that those people don’t care. I choose to believe that they don’t have a heart for the poor. I choose to believe that they aren’t seeking God’s heart.
 
In this scenario, both of us have sought to draw conclusions rather than create connection. The fact is, neither one of us is choosing to believe God’s heart for the other person. Neither one of us is seeking to understand the hurts and hang-ups behind our passion.

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” - Ephesians 4:2-3

We need to understand that there is history and hurt buried deeply in passion and passiveness.
 
The ways we speak up and the ways we stay silent indicate sensitive places. We are bundles of loose ends. Maybe in this moment, unity is to be entangled, to say, “I accept your loose ends. I accept what you are working through.” We are all working through a lot right now. And God is working through it all, more than we can ask or imagine.

So, I am speaking to myself more than anyone else when I say, we cannot reduce people to their political standings. Actually, I believe that partnering with that is a form of dehumanization. In the Christian life, what is important to me is important to God, and what is important to you is important to God. Therefore, we can fight to understand each other. We can fight to build connections. Followers of Christ will find common motivations at the core of their beliefs.
 
In fact – I’m willing to bet that many of our loose ends match up. I’m willing to admit that a lot of our threads may be headed in the same direction. We can begin to bring that mindset to our dinner tables, our churches, our cities. We can work toward moving together as one body.

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” - Ephesians 4:4-6

So, what does this look like on the battlefield? Lay my arrow down and look my brother or sister in the eye. Listen, and seek to understand. Communicate from a place of peace. My position is not to prove myself. My position is not to bring pressure.
 
“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

My position, our shared position, is peace.

Author | Claire Jordan

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