Jesus declared: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9) Clearly, Jesus is extending his blessing on all who would take on the hard work of peacemaking.
But what does making peace look like in our world today? Maybe the following story involving our 5-year-old granddaughter Reese will serve as a starting point.
I ask you—what is not to love about this adorable, witty, engaging, free-spirited little girl who loves animals and critters of all shapes and sizes, including worms, toads, butterflies, and grasshoppers which she loves to catch and torment unintentionally!
Well, one day last summer she was outside playing with her best friend Alana in the backyard. And toward the back of the backyard is a small woods that the kids often play in.
When Reese’s mom, Gretchen, looked out the back window and didn’t see them, she went out and began calling for them. No one answered, so she went back to the woods to do some searching and was horrified by what she saw.
She saw her sweet little daughter with the help of her friend, with a pair of scissors, cutting her own hair. I mean big globs of hair being butchered off of her head.
You can see in the photo a side shot with her hair hacked off above the ear. Just lovely work there isn’t it? I think she has a future as a beautician, don’t you?
And then there is the shot of the back of her head, where her golden locks are no longer flowing gracefully down her neck.
Needless to say, her mom was not happy, and Reese had a longer than normal time-out, and some privileges taken away for a while. And the rest of the day was a rather somber one as Reese knew she had crossed a line that she was now regretting.
But that night, as Gretchen was tucking her in bed, Reese said something that will go down in the annals of family lore.
She said this: “Mom, I know that you are not happy with me cutting my hair. But I know you still love me…And I know God still loves me.”
Wow. What was going on there? Wonderful, deep theological truth! Yes, mom was unhappy—very upset actually. And there was not a lot of peace inside of either mom or daughter that day.
But at the same time, Reese had done her soul work—and found peace for two reasons: First, because she knew that even though she had transgressed royally, her mom still loved her. And second, because moms are human—and may momentarily forget that they love their children—God never does. And so she found peace in that also, as did her mom, which translated into big hugs and kisses at the end of that day.
It was a 5-year-old’s lesson in peacemaking—and there was blessing for both mom and child that night. In the words of Jesus, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
More on this subject this Sunday (Nov 19) as I will be speaking at CrossWinds Church at all three services (9:00, 10:30 & 12:00). Hope to see you there!