“I am leaving you with a gift— peace of mind and heart!
And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives.
So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27 (The Living Bible Paraphrased)
“Peace is not the absence of war, Peace is a virtue, a state of mind,
a disposition for love, honesty and trustworthiness.”
Heart of a Buddha, 2003
By Juarlyn Gaiter
It is always a pleasure to read Max Erhmann’s beautiful poem, “Desiderata” (1952), because the opening lines are an invitation to slow down, meditate, and be at peace:
“ Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible be on good terms with all persons.”
These wise words bring a reality and timeliness to the experiences of many of us very busy people. And sometimes it is easy to forget how wonderful it is to truly experience silence, given the familiar rhythm of our daily routines. The late Nan Merrill, author of Psalms for Praying: An Invitation to Wholeness, co-founded a monthly newsletter of spiritual meditations which heralds the mantra – “Is there enough Silence in the World for the Word to be Heard?”
- Can we make time in our active lives to pause in silence, to listen, and be at peace with the One who is our Source for everything? It is the Lord’s “still, small voice” that persists in speaking to us all of the time. We, in turn, continually have the choice to decide to be silent, so that we can hear what God wants to say. After all, this Lenten Season reminds us that the story of Jesus is where we all started from. It shows us that we have been blessed to come through thus far by our faith.
I want to suggest that we pause to reflect on the fact that we know -somewhere deep down inside of us- that our peace depends upon our willingness to forgive. And we can go further during this season to be on good terms with others, even those who have hurt us. Just as Jesus said on the Cross: “Father forgive them; for they do not know not what they are doing.”(Luke 23:34)
Everyone makes mistakes and we are going to be angered and hurt by friends and strangers alike. We need the intention and the strength to forgive, because we have been forgiven. A glorious purpose of our lives is to live in a peaceful community where we can be a blessing to each other, because we are all one.
Dear Jesus Christ,
Be by our side today as we seek You in silence.
Quiet our busy minds and guide us to the truth that
You are our source of peace and all that we can ever need.
- This Series, Love Letters Sent to God, will address all the fruits of the spirit. How I met Juarlyn in Providence, R.I., waiting for the same plane at the local airport, is a story (link) you may enjoy.
- Having written already on Love and Joy, her next post will explore Patience. She is the blog’s first guest blogger.
Juarlyn L. Gaiter, Ph.D., a life long Presbyterian and the oldest of three daughters, grew up in a strong Christian family. Her parents were co-founders with others of a small, community church in Florida; she joined the church when she was twelve years old.
Juarlyn graduated from Eckerd College with a degree in Psychology and later earned a Masters and Doctoral degree in Experimental Child Psychology from Brown University. She spent 2 years in Divinity school, first at the Interdenominational Theological Center and then at Candler School of Theology (Emory University). She has been a member and leader of prayer groups for over 35 years and is a veteran of silent retreats. This year she will be a student of spiritual direction at The Shalem Institute of Spiritual Guidance in Washington, D.C.
66 Assurance Way