In a world where everyone desires peace on earth - a world full of conflict, of ISIS, of discrimination and racism and murder - peace didn't come like everyone had expected. It didn't come on a silent night, gently gracing the world with its presence.
I woke up this morning to another morning of confusion, of instability and rattling going on inside me. And it didn't feel peaceful, the night not at all calm and restful but instead tossing around with fears, unrest and dis-ease.
The papers are piling up as it nears exam time once again, and the frantic busyness of trying to get things done is anything but a peaceful, relaxing experience.
Conflicts arise with friends and family, I bite my tongue when I should have spoken up and say words when silence would have been a more appropriate response, and I am harsh in my comebacks, and my perfectionism rears its ugly head, and the old self defeating critic chatters away in my ear, reminding me of how many times my actions do not match my words.
Peace - the kind of calm and rest I crave - seems so far out of the picture. Where is this peace on earth? Where is this peace in my body and mind and spirit? I look for peace but all I see is chaos. Peace fades in the light of another war, in the light of death and disease and loss, in the busyness of the season.
And I, I get so caught up in my search for peace that I forget to look for the peace maker.
If God is present, there should also be peace, and when I look around me I don't see peace the way I think it should look. And I forget that the first night, when peace entered the world, it wasn't all calm and bright and merry. It was in a stable, a scared young couple, death threats, murders, setting loose a string of chaos. And yet we have the nerve to call that peace. And yet we have the nerve to question where peace is now.
I believe that peace isn't always calm and meek. Sometimes it is fought for in the messy corners of our own hearts before it is demonstrated in the world.
The suffering in the world, the pain in my own life, what if they are all the beginnings of a great peace beginning to burst forth?
The dis-ease, the death, the wars, the violence, they are slowly killing us and the only cure for our illness, the only medicine isn't that which we all proclaim, "Peace on earth" but it is found in the being of the peace maker.
Peace, which entered the world on a less than peaceful night. Peace, which still rises up in a dark world. Peace, which was promised and Peace, which will prevail.
Peace doesn't look like I think it should, and right now I fight against the idea of how I think peace should prevail, and the string of a promise offered to me that peace will indeed win.
Eyes lifted up, through the middle of a storm, in the middle of my lack of understanding, in the chaos, not to the symbol of peace we have all looked at and longed for over the last months and years, but to the peace maker himself.