James 1:19

June 27, 2017

  • Peacemakers Understand. James 1:19

    Steve showed up at our front door holding a can of soup, but he knew we didn’t need soup. We needed peace. A few months earlier our family gained an amazing and brave 13-year-old son, a refugee for whom much of his young life was a fight for survival. This brave boy left the only home he had ever known and flew across the ocean to meet the American family that would take care of him in his new country. The night we met him at the airport, he carried a small backpack and a lifetime of trauma. And when someone has spent years fighting for survival, even when the war is over, the brain still sends the message that the battle is raging. Suddenly, our evenings were often filled with fear and chaos. So when Steve showed up one evening and said, “Hey, here’s that soup you needed”, we heard, “I’m here for you”. 

    “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” James 1:19

    LISTENING leads to EMPATHY and EMPATHY leads to PEACE. It’s why Jesus, the Prince of Peace, left perfection to experience humanity. He understands the fear and chaos we face because he’s been there. So when we’re feeling scared and alone, he not only says to the storm, “Peace, be still” But maybe even more importantly he says to US, “Peace, be still”.  

    That can of soup still sits in my pantry and reminds me of the peacemakers in my life- the friends who understand because they listen. A peacemaker says, “I hear you and I’m here for you”. In the midst of this trauma filled world, we can be peacemakers, not by having all the answers or winning all the arguments, but by showing up and slowing down and listening.

    Everyday you cross paths with someone who could use a smile, a kind word, a thoughtful gesture.  Be an encourager, write a note, send a text, sit with someone. You can be the right person at the right time if you just stop and look around. It’s not that complicated, really.

    In fact, sometimes being a world-changing peacemaker is as simple as a can of soup.

     

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