Updated: Aug 5, 2022
“Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
Elizabeth Stone once said “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” As an adult I always thought that was beautiful. Now as a parent, it rends my emotions simply to think it, and my son can’t even walk.
Right now as I write this my mom is holding Soren and comforting him through his first cold and my heart is broken. I can’t do anything more than I have already done for his stuffy nose and fever. I can’t stay up longer at night in hopes that my ever watchful eye will somehow be a sudden cure. So all I do now is hope and pray and cry for the broken body of my precious little boy. The beauty in that, and sadness, is my mom is just as heartbroken over my sadness as I am over Soren’s sickness. We are always our parent’s children, no matter how grown up or distant, we are always their hearts outside their bodies.
As I have had the great joy of spending time with family over the Christmas season I realized how much the idea of being a child of God puts that quote into even greater perspective. There are seven grandchildren in our family now with and eighth on the way in April. We love those kids with reckless abandon, in all their running around, noise making, candy hoarding, not-listening excitement. I think about how much I would give to keep any of those kids from harm, from pain, from heartache. If that is the case and I am simple, fragile me, what does it mean to be the heart of God, out walking around?
If seeing my child sick breaks my heart and I did a sufficient job of breaking my parents’ hearts with poor decisions and intentional distance, how much more do we break the heart of God by not simply disobedience but indifference to his will, his call and his other children?
Matthew 5:9 says “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Jesus said this in a time where the children of leaders and kings were war-makers. They took kingdoms and nations by the sword and were honored for that. Here the children, the receivers of the inheritance in an ultimate Kingdom, were the peacemakers, those who are concerned more about the welfare of others than themselves.
We are here at the beginning of a new year, where resolutions will be made and inevitably broken. I think about how many of my resolutions have always been focused simply on me. I want to lose weight, save more money, be a fun mom, but bringing peace has never been a resolution and I realize maybe that should be my ultimate goal. Instead of focusing on me so I can help bring peace and in doing so bring the Kingdom, maybe being a peacemaker first will affect my world enough that those individualized resolutions will either fall into place or fall from seeming necessity.
So what does this mean for the church as a whole? We need to be the peacemakers because our call is to be the heart (and hands and feet) of God walking around the earth. It does not make God absent, he is always longing for his children to return home, it makes us responsible for our brothers and sisters. Instead of resolutions, maybe we need to humbly stand resolute as peacemakers, as kingdom bringers and see what happens as a result.
Ali can be reached via email here.