• James Shepherd

Making Peace


I must admit I've been having a difficult couple of days since the invasion of Ukraine. It seems so destructive, pointless, and avoidable. It has forced me to look more deeply into what is really going on.


I've realized that what's going on is the exposing of injustice, hatred, and intolerance. Once exposed, it can be removed. The injustice of this invasion has become so blatant that most people around the world recognize that it is wrong. And it's heartening to see people all over the world - including in Russia - rise up in protest to eliminate it. So, while it is a tragedy for many, in the end, it could reduce the injustice in the world, and the world would be a better place because of this. But how do we get to that place of peace?


The master Christian, Christ Jesus, was referred to as the Prince of Peace. So many of his actions were actions for peace. Not just from governmental oppression, but from the oppression of illness. From what I've read in the Bible, it seems as though Jesus had healed hundreds or even thousands of people. How specifically then are we to be healers and peacemakers when Ukraine is halfway around the world? Christ Jesus said, 'Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God' (KJV)." One way to read this passage might be, "As we see others as the children of God, we will be peacemakers." Isn't that really the only way that we will help bring peace to Ukraine and all the other places in need in the world - to view everyone as the child of God, infinite Love? How can we do this right in the face of what seems like greed, dishonesty, and hatred? Mahatma Gandhi once said, "I will not let anyone walk in my mind with dirty feet." I see two ways of doing this. First, if you can't see a person as having anything but dirty feet, then don't let them walk in your mind - don't think about them. Sometimes that's my first step if I just can't seem to find any good in someone. But there is a second way - a more healing way.

This better way is to wash that other person's feet in your mind. After all, it is only dirt that's on their feet. And as we know, dirt washes off and can never be a part of who anyone truly is as God's child. Being a true peacemaker is not standing idle. Rather, it is being spiritually active! Washing those feet of everyone that comes to mind - including ourselves - is a way in which we can help bring both peace and healing to us as individuals, to our communities, and to our world.

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