Pieces of Peace
‘What do you want?’ ‘World peace’ goes the joke for Miss World contestants
On the film Miss Congeniality
With an undignified snigger or snort through the nose,
A smirk or an eyeroll from those in the know,
It’s accepted as an acceptable unrealistic twee hope
That can’t ever really happen. Nope.
But why can’t it?
What does it mean?
We call Jesus the Prince of Peace but we see in the Bible, even as a child,
he was far from meek and mild
Why do we forget that?
And set ourselves this limit of being gentle, compliant?
Turn being a Christian to demand ‘niceness’
Don’t ‘rock the boat-ness’
Or say what you mean.
I wonder if actually we’re meant to be prepared to fight, as it were, for peace
To be willing to seek out
actively reach out
and grasp, the pieces of peace
Gripping on to it, tightly, like a precious treasure that can turn the world upside down
Cos it can. Or it could.
If only it would!
Sometimes it’s right that we seek the courage to challenge injustice
To call out and shake up the powers that be,
Demand change, want better
And realise that such challenging is peace seeking, in a different light.
I’m starting to believe that peace is actually something we build and stitch together
it’s not a blanket whole thing that we can buy off the shelf
Or order online
But rather a tapestry formed of good conversation,
Honest dialogue woven with compassion, mercy and integrity
Bridges built over time, grudges released
Forgiveness granted, healing sought
Giving the benefit of the doubt and making the choice to believe the best of people.
Rather than a passive stagnant trophy we can’t obtain
Why not understand peace as an intentional dynamic action we add to and grow into.
That actually each and every one of us, in our way
Has a role to play in world peace,
so it doesn’t need to be a joke.
Peace is not passive
Of that I’ve become sure
Too often, perhaps we’re replacing it with apathy, irresponsibility and of our duty, deniability
Let’s stop that
And give peace a chance.
Let’s seek it, catch it and thread the pieces of peace together.
The Rev’d Chantal Noppen