Blessed are the peacemakers. Except when we believe that means keeping our head down and encouraging others to do the same.
Is that real peace? Our passive silence in the face of impossible injustice? Are we just to stay quiet for the sake of keeping the boat calm in the water?
I just. I don’t believe that. I don’t believe it for any of us.
Authentic, enduring peace…I don’t think it looks like this.
I think about the parable of the seeds scattered on the different types of ground. If a seed lands in bad soil, it isn’t going to grow. Is peace just leaving it alone?
Or is it uprooting, giving a dying thing the chance to become a fully alive thing, abundant in fruit?
Sure, at first there will be an upturning. At first there will be a bit of a mess, of an effort. There will even be dirt in places it wasn’t before. It will be noticeable. It may draw some criticism. As if God’s peace were only meant to be a quiet thing unnoticed.
What if peace sometimes means speaking out, clearly and loudly, about the missing pieces so we can help find wholeness? We cannot fix what we do not acknowledge. Sometimes forcing our eyes where we want to turn away is our only way through. What if peace occasionally looks like a bone that has to be rebroken so it can set properly? Some things will have to hurt again before they can heal. Sometimes pain and discomfort are our only way through. What if things have to be taken out of their old patterns to restore a true order? Broken things cannot be fixed if we leave them where they lie. Sometimes pulling it apart and tearing it down is the only way through.
No, that doesn’t sound like peace. Not the kind we’ve learned about.
And yet. We are called. To make it. That’s going to require something more than sitting quietly. We can have gentle hearts that see ungentle things and say so. We can have a true desire for peace that means going against the flow. I think it so often will.
Peace is a thing that has to be made. Our hearts have to have enough God in them to break for the things that break His heart.
And then our hands have to love and want peace enough to upturn soil, upturn lives, upturn rocks and expose their dark sides to the light. Peace will come when we work to set things right, even if that means it feels a lot like chaos on the way there.
How did our very own Prince of Peace, the speaker of those words on the Mount right our wrong? Through his blood. Through his unimaginable pain. There is nothing clean and sterilized about the production of peace. It says things we are too often afraid to say. It is gritty and unpopular and hard and goes scary places before it can be made perfect.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they are not afraid of what actual peace costs.