Friday, September 24, 2010

Peace-Loving in the City

At night I love to open the blinds to my master bedroom window and fall asleep watching the lights of the city twinkling on the horizon. It is a peaceful feeling that is comforting in a way I can't quite explain.

In my bible time I came across a story in which a specific phrase keeps echoing in my mind. Here is the setting:

2 Samuel 20:14-22 Sheba was an evil wanted man. He escaped to a city called Abel and hid himself among the people there. Joab and his army was searching for Sheba. Recognizing that in their pursuit of Sheba, the entire city of Abel could be destroyed, a woman of wisdom came to the wall of the city and had a very straitforward conversation with Joab. "I am one who is peaceloving in this city. Why do you want to destroy us?" (paraphrasing)

To which Joab replied "I do not want to destroy your city. I only want Sheba."

The story concludes with the woman and her fellow citizens giving Joab what he needed and peace in the city was maintained.

In our relationships we often become defensive and build walls. We can feel threatened and frustrated when we feel attacked. This is normal.

What shows wisdom however is when we say what we need concisely, and find out what the Other needs. How can we maintain our city, our boundaries, our sovereignty, and also give the Other what they need? Is there a way to do both? Many times both parties are looking for resolve and peace.

Ponder the statement of that wise woman . . . "I am one who is peaceloving . . . " If your goal is to be at peace, grow peace, flourish in it, and nourture peace . . . stand in that place firmly and listen.

That is powerful holy ground. Find it.

Before I close my eyes tonight I will open my blinds and God and I are going to have a conversation. As I drift away in the glimmer of twinkling lights, my heart will be asked, "have you been peaceloving?"

God bless me to be that person today -