Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Larry Pray

Wednesday, November 5

The peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
—Philippians 4:7

How do we find this peace?

What are we to do when we are at war?

Some years ago I was in the midst of a battle royal. The problem, of course, was the other person's. Every piece of evidence, every logical conclusion, every recitation of our history concluded that he was amiss, misguided and flat out wrong.

When we met each other we smiled, and exchanged an occasional word of small talk, but beneath the outwardly calm surface, the battle raged…and raged… and raged. Finally, one day, he dropped by my office.

"I'd like to do something," he said.

"What?" I asked.

"I would like to come by tomorrow and speak with you for half an hour. During that time I would like for you not to say a word. Just hear me. And then, the next day, I will drop by again, and you take half an hour to speak with me. And then, the next day, let's meet again."

"Okay," I said.

He showed up the next day, just as he said he would. And he began to speak. He spoke of the pain our argument had caused him. He spoke of sleepless nights. He shared that he never meant any harm. He recounted some events I had forgotten all about. For half an hour I was silent.

The next day I spoke. I shared that I was aware of our problem, but hadn't known  what to do when he didn't trust me, and when I didn't trust him. I spoke about my fears, my hopes, and shared that I also meant no harm.

The next day, we spoke together. Our deep listening had broken the cycle of argument, of defense, of offense. The storm passed because we gave it time to pass, and acknowledged each other's story. In this way, peace appeared.

Perhaps there are relationships in your life that can mend through the acknowledgement of our stories and the gift of deep listening.

Bless us, O Lord, in the giving and receiving of peace this day. Amen.