This months guest blog has been written by Grace, our Chaplain
STOP, LOOK AND LISTEN
As I write this, I hear war and rumours of war! I see millions of people being displaced out of their homes due to war, not just in Ukraine but all over the world. Millions have lost the comfort of their homes, the comfort of companionship, the loss of peace and the loss of everything they hold dear. The loss is so great, so high, so deep, so raw that the very word LOSS has taken a new meaning.
I wonder, why we humans do the things that we do? It is very difficult for me to understand all that is happening, all around me, let alone explain to a young child. I ask myself why does it happen or does it have to be this way? And as I struggle with all that is happening all around me, I have decided to STOP, LOOK AND LISTEN to my own thoughts, feelings, emotions, motives and actions. Otherwise, I can see myself running away with my own judgemental thoughts, speaking words that I might regret and sharing views which could be utterly divisive.
I ask myself, what is my role at this time and moment? What can I do to help? How could I contribute? Our world is still fractured and broken from the effects of pandemic that ravaged the world. At the same time, I acknowledge my selfishness in wanting the world to be just as it was before the pandemic or before the conflict in Ukraine, Afghanistan and many other places where conflict, famine and death seems to be the norm. I want the world to be perfect and peaceful, happy and nice. But the truth is, the world is not going to be as it was before. The world has changed and so have I. And in my selfishness, I do not see the goodness or the beauty even in this broken world and generation that I am a part of.
The Easter story tells us about Judas who betrayed Jesus. I wonder, why did Judas betray Jesus? Was it simply greed because he wanted those thirty pieces of silver; was it because Jesus had told him off? Or was it because Judas felt Jesus was not good enough. Unfortunately, I realise, there is a bit of Judas in me, if I were to be honest. Sometimes, I act greedily; sometimes I am judgemental; sometimes I just feel that someone or the other is not living up to my expectations. Could it be factors like this in us humans that lead to disunity, division, disagreements and even war on a larger scale. It is an uncomfortable thought to digest.
Easter this year will be different for me. I think I am developing more self- awareness. I am trying to be non-judgemental, not to put anyone in a box but to give others a chance. It is very difficult to try and look at things from someone else’s perspective but I am trying. Perhaps, we could all try. We cannot stop the war but we can be peacemakers wherever we are. We may not be involved in the peace talks held by NATO or the United Nations, but we can make a difference in our own little world…at home, at work, in our community and in our neighbourhood.
As we eat Easter eggs and celebrate the resurrection of our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ, let us celebrate peace which is found in Christ. We can be at peace within ourselves though there maybe war raging around us.
God’s peace is His gift to us. True peace is supernatural in nature and different from rest. And today in a world where there is anything but peace, let us opt for it. Let us value peace, nurture it, cherish it, chase after it until we find it. We can have peace, if we choose to have it. We can choose to be peacemakers too which sets us apart and makes us different.
And as we enjoy our Easter eggs, let us remember the new life, hope and peace in Christ that the egg represents. Jesus rose from the dead and made all things new.
Today is interesting but maybe tomorrow will be different – who knows?
(Grace is pictured here with our Mediator Peter O’Reilly, and CEO Paul Laffey