Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
– Jesus, Matthew 5:9
This beatitude comes at a rather poignant moment in time with what is happening in Syria and internationally. It is sadly easy to find Jesus’ clear call for peace carry little to no weight at times like these, especially when he so blatantly equates being a Christian with being a peacemaker.
I traditionally refrain from writing about topical issues because there is already too much noise gathered around them in the world and one more blogged opinion or perspective would do very little (if anything) to better the lives of those who are actually being devastated. My writing about it might make me feel better about atrocities, but it won’t relieve those whose lives are being torn apart...and that makes me feel horrible about writing anything then! So, I try focusing my attention at the heart of issues.
Peace doesn’t begin when people stop being killed in Syria. That’s just the absence of violence. Peace doesn’t even begin with full-disarmament of all nations (which is a lofty, but vital goal). Peace begins in our hearts. Not just with the absence of violence, but with the presence of Love and compassion in action.
It’s easy to criticize the Syrian government and President Obama, but our opinions about them do very little (if anything) to make peace, as true children of God would and do.
When Mother Teresa, one of the world’s greatest humanitarians, was asked, “What can I do to promote world peace,” her response was, “Go home and love your family.” Making peace in our families, relationships, and neighborhoods is far more difficult than forming an educated opinion about national and international affairs, but it is the Way to uncovering our DNA as God’s children.
If we want to see less violence in the world, we need to rid it from our own hearts first, then we can find True alternative. Again, peace is not just the absence of anger or violence. We can’t “make” absence. Peace is Love expressed in compassionate action. To be a “peacemaker” starts within our own hearts and closest relationships.