You cannot find peace by avoiding life. Virginia Woolf
Meditation: Today I found one of my teenage daughters sobbing while sitting in a corner in the library. She had watched videos about the recent Florida school shooting for her Social Studies class. Experiencing herself in a public space doing her homework, she experienced an anxiety attack right after watching those videos. When I came to pick her up, she expressed sadness and strong feelings of hate towards the shooter and towards our current government’s lack of response. I had a two-fold response as her mother: I asked her to not watch videos like this alone and in a public space that does not feel safe to her, but only together with somebody she can talk to and in a safe environment. I also acknowledged her anger and pain as the appropriate response of becoming a conscious person living in today’s world. I then allowed her to stay home the rest of the day as she needed to emotionally and physically recover. Reflecting on this experience, I am aware that “false peace” would mean to shield my teenage daughter from life images and life information as we adults experience it. I am aware that my daughter cannot find peace by avoiding life. However, I want to have ongoing conversations with her, in the midst of her encountering life as chaotic, violent and scary, what seeking and pursuing peace could look like and mean for her.
Prayer: God of Peace, the world we live in is chaotic. Every day we are being bombarded with images of evil and insulting information. I pray that You help us not to repay same with same. Teach us how to love life and how to keep our tongue from evil and deceit. Help us to do good. Help us to bless and become a blessing. Lead us to seek peace and become peace makers. God, in the midst of the craziness of our times, have mercy on us and on our children. Continue to pour out Your peace into our hearts. We are grateful, as Your peace surpasses all our understanding. Amen
Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. 1. Peter 3: 9-11 (NIV)