"Let there be peace on earth,
and let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth,
the peace that was meant to be.
With God as our Father,
brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother,
in perfect harmony."
Tonight, my heart is lighter than it has been in days. I am finding my way as I pray for spiritual clarity about the protests, violence, and conflict in Egypt. And this song, "Let There Be Peace on Earth," has provided an important spiritual key. Peace on earth...in Egypt, Tunisia, Somalia, Palestine...begins with me.
I was sitting in my office the other night, after watching angry horseman ride through Tahrir Square, whipping and beating protesters, and it was just too much to bear. I couldn't bear the thought of those beautiful animals being used for such heinous, ugly acts of hatred and revenge. I opened myself to the silent space of prayer, hoping that God would give me (not just Pharoah) "an answer of peace", and that was when the voice of an angel washed this song through my heart...like a cool balm...spilling and pooling over my anguished, fevered concerns.
The voice was childlike. So, I went to Youtube thinking that, perhaps, I could find a version of it, by a young singer, that would work for this post...but nothing was right. Then I wrote Laurie, my niece Lily's mom, and asked her if she thought Lily would be willing to record it for tonight's post on peace. And voila'! Here we are tonight, with this beautiful gift. "Let There Be Peace on Earth" as sung through the eyes, and heart, of a child. So, so wonderful...
You know, it may look like a contentious revolution is going on in Cairo, that chaos is voicing itself throughout Palestine, or that discontent is percolating in Tunisia...and if this really is the case, doesn't it make sense that the frontlines of any peace initiative must begin to coalesce "over there." But I really don't think it is.
As my friend, Dick Davenport, once urged, "The frontlines of peace are always found within our own heart. If you are waiting for peace to take hold out there...in the middle of the dessert, or on an island in the Pacific...so that you can finally feel safe, your sense of secutity is vulnerable. Real peace, the peace that is unassailable, can only, ever, be found within."
If we think war, we will see, feel, and hear war. If we think peace, we radiate the same pervasive, imperative, permeating peace in everything we do, in every word we speak. It is like a small pebble dropped in a wide pond -- the rippling effects of that inner peace initiative, reaches further and further outward, until it touches the hearts and lives of men, women, and children in Somalia, Yemen, South Korea....Tucson.
I realize, that the one question I need to ponder tonight, comes from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, where Mary Baker Eddy suggests:
Am I living the life that approaches the supreme good?"
I'm the only person I can ask this question of. Because the only "place," where I can find peace, is deep within the kingdom of heaven that is in me. I am the only one who can know if it is peaceful there...or not. I can never assess the situation in someone else's heart. I believe that it is never my job, or my place, to weigh in, uninvited, on another person's motives. It is mine to see them, as I hope they see me...governed by an omnipotent God, who is Love. To trust that this all-powerful inner Sovereign will always guide us...each and all...into peaceful coexistence for the holiest of purposes...to live love.
All the journalists in the world cannot answer that one question for me. Countless hours spent watching CNN, taking the pulse of revolution halfway around the world, or waiting for reports from the "front" will never answer that most important question: "Am I living the life that approaches the supreme good?" And I believe, that the answer to this question, is the only place that the prospect for real and lasting individual, and collective, peace lies.
Tonight, my inner Sovereign asks: "What will you do today to promote peace in your own heart. What suggestions will you combat? What thoughts will you nurture? Will those thoughts encourage peace, or incite unrest? What kind of mental ambassadors are you inviting into your relationships, your family, your home, your workplace, your neighborhood, your community, your school, your church, your world?" I believe that how I answer these questions, will make a difference. I believe that how I think...who I yield sovereignty to - the Mind that is God, omnipotent Love, or the ego-mind that is selfish and fearful...will change my world. In this vein, Mary Baker Eddy also suggests that:
"In a world of sin and sensuality
hastening to a greater development of power,
it is wise earnestly to consider
whether it is the human mind or the divine Mind
which is influencing one."
Only God has access to the realm of consciousness...the kingdom of heaven...the only place where real and lasting peace is ratified.
So, in my search for peace tonight, I am taking these questions within. I am continuing to walk hand-in-hand with them, quietly and attentively listening for answers for how I can better promote peace in my heart.
I will leave you with the rest of this lyric. And hope that you, too, will find lasting peace...a demilitarized zone, a place free of conflict - conflicitng opinions, motives, emotions...within.
"Let peace begin with me,
let this be the moment now.
With every step I take,
let this be my solemn vow.
To take each moment,
and live each moment,
in peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth,
and let it begin with me."
Thanks Lily for your gift...a song of peace that can sing in every heart...
Kate Robertson, CS