Peace Is Just A Word

19 May

Recently a friend shared with me a difficult time she and her family endured and how they were given the following words of encouragement by a long-time friend of theirs:

Sometimes God calms the storm. Other times, He lets the storm rage and calms the child.

Tonight as I put my sons to bed, after prayers and nighttime songs, we lay there on the bed in silence. The sounds of the gloaming hour serenaded us. The low purr of air-conditioners. Love songs sung by a choir of cicadas. Sweet lullabies sung by jays and cardinals to their young. The moment was so peaceful I could even hear the beautiful rhythm of my son’s breathing as he drifted off to sleep. There was no storm. All was calm. Still.

Half way around the world I imagined what another father and his sons might be hearing during their bedtime ritual. The shriek of air raid sirens. Hurried footsteps of neighbors and friends scrambling to reach the shelter in time. The roar of fighter jets and shrill whistles of missiles. The deafening thunder of impact. The storm raging all around them.

How blessed am I – are we – to live in one of the few places on Earth where we can hear the laughter of children playing in the cul de sac. Crickets calling to each other from across the front lawn. The bliss of the night breeze caressing and cooling all that was baked and blistered in the harsh summer sun. How blessed are we to have been spared the horror of battle. The heartbreak of indiscriminate casualty. Clearly it is not by our own will or might.

For some unknown reason, God calms the storm for us. He grants us peace. For our brothers and sisters a world away He allows the storm to rage. For them there is no peace.

Eurythmics are always represented in my iPod playlist. Lately, though, I have had their song “Peace Is Just A Word” on repeat. The lyrics are the reflection of one who has given up hope for peace on Earth and the surrender that comes from that loss of hope:

Stop the world

Turn out the sun
I’m so tired of it turning round
Stop the world
Call it a day
Leave it all behind
Leave it that way
Is just a word
Is just a word
Stop the world
Just let it bleed
Well we’ve taken more
Than everything we need
Stop the world
Just shut it down
There’s no point in it
Spinning round
Is just a word
Is just a word
Stop the world
Take it anywhere
It’s just that
Living here is more
Than I can bear
Stop the world
Just pack it in
Well we’ve reached the point
Where no one ever wins
No one ever wins!
Is just a word
Is just a word

My fear is that peace IS just a word. Of course I hope I’m wrong, and I pray that the storm will be calmed for those caught in its fury. But if God will not calm the storm, I pray that God will calm His children. That He will give them a sense of inner peace and strength that will enable them to carry on in a broken and bleeding world. I pray that they will be able to see God in the ashes and the rubble. That they will still hear His voice calling to them and comforting them in the eye of the storm. And that they will call to Him in reply.

But mostly I just pray for peace.


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