Wednesday, January 05, 2005
Bringing Peace Along
"You are the light of the world." ... Matthew 5:14
My grandparents were my reminders that there are real Christians in this world. I'd visit their simple house, with their red-checked table oil cloth and worn chenille bedspreads, and those two people were always the same--peaceful. Calm. Perhaps that's partly why I love vintage stuff like jade-ite and flowered metal canisters now--those things remind me of the tranquility in my grandparents' home.
To mention the term 'stressed-out' and my grandparents in the same sentence is ludicrous and laughable. I don't recall them ever acting stressed-out about anything.
But the wonderful thing was that they took that peace, that Light, with them wherever they went. My siblings and I would ride in the slippery backseat of their old white Ford and my grandparents would sit in the front seat quietly talking, no matter how many other drivers or pedestrians acted crazily around them. They'd never rush us through the Five-And-Dime or K-Mart. We took our time, ambling through aisles, my grandfather exclaiming over the cleverness of whoever it was who'd thought-up certain new inventions.
I loved being in my grandparents' world. It was always a calm, serene place.
The amazing thing, though, is that while I walked in a serene glow with my grandparents, there was a stressful, care-ridden, unhappy world co-existing with our quiet one. I'm talking right around that dreadful year of 1968. It's as though we stood and moved in the peaceful core, while around us spun and spun an out-of-control outer edge. Two ways of living taking place at one time.
I preferred my grandparents' way of living. I still do. And to prove it, I still walk in that peaceful core, which means I do a lot of watching of those people swirling all around me. The stressed-out ones who have no peace, no Light, no joy. And when Grace nudges me, I reach out and--snatch!-- a person from that swirling stream and bring them into the calm center.
With a smile.
A warm "Hello."
A "How are you?"
A "Here, let me help you with that."
An "Oh, you can go ahead of me."
...or even with these essays. I seldom find peace or Light out in the market place, so I take them along with me to share. They are real to me and I so want them to become real to others.
"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all." ... 2 Thessalonians 3:16
First keep the peace within yourself,
then you can also bring peace to others... Thomas A. Kempis
To read more about my grandparents, click here.