In the Gospel of John, toward the end of the Last Supper while Jesus is giving his disciples some final messages, he says, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give peace as the world gives it.” The third sentence is key. Jesus is speaking about the peace on the inner level, a peace that St. Paul described as “passing understanding”. In other words this is not a peace that we can reason ourselves into or create through diplomacy and peace summits. The peace that matters flows from a spring that is deep in our soul. It is always there. We have to show up there too to receive it, which we do by turning our attention inward, releasing our judgments, guilt and fears.
This week I had a client who was talking about how things were going at home. “At least it’s peaceful now,” she said. It was an improvement over the attacks of the previous week. However after I led her through a meditation to connect with the deep peace inside of her, she told me, “It isn’t peace at home. It’s detente.” The suppression of conflict is often the best peace the world can give, which is why war continues to erupt despite heroic human efforts to create peace. Peace can’t be created. It can only be released from within.
As an analogy, think about a dark room. Imagine trying to remove the dark with a bucket. Impossible right? Instead of doing that, we light a candle or flip on a light switch. The same holds true with peace. We can’t get it by trying to get rid of conflict, war, or unkind behavior. We can only illuminate these dark situations and places by shining the light from within. So I encourage you to make a stand for peace. Just don’t do it by taking a warrior stance and fighting for peace. Do it by softening. Let the beautiful peace flow out from your insides. The world will feel so blessed and so will you!
Rev. Jane Meyers Hiatt’s talk on 9/14/2014: Peace | The Season of Spiritual Literacy