Blessed are the Peacemakers for They Go Outside the City Gates

{By Amy Breitmann}

 

I remember as a little girl clamping my eyes shut, fingers entwined and pressing until my fingernails stung deep into my hands. I asked for God to return things. I begged God to fix things. I used to believe that when I lost something or life was hard God heard my prayers and would answer them in my favor if I just prayed enough.

 

When I was very young I asked for simple things, like for mom to get chocolate milk at the store or for the mailman to place a letter from my grandma addressed to me in our mailbox. Over time I got braver and asked for bigger things. Like when our dog ran away on that busy stretch of road in front of our house I begged for safety. And when someone at school hurt me I’d ask God to make me brave, and make her stop.

 

If I’m honest, when things didn’t go the way I had prayed, I questioned a Father who would not answer a child like me. A girl who was talking to him every day, asking for good things.

 

And if you had seen me you would have thought that in fact I did want earnestly for all the right things. I’d probably have grabbed your hand real gentle and prayed quietly because that’s how I pray~ on the inside.

 

The truth is I prayed with rebellion in my spirit. A test of a Father that I wasn’t quite sure I believed to be who He said He was.

 

I didn’t believe that I was who He said I was: Beloved, loved, forgiven, chosen, sealed.

 

I had an unspoken agreement with God: answer me and I’ll keep praying. Make things right. See things my way.

 

When I prayed this way I had forgotten about deserts and Abraham and Isaac and Noah. About manna and a cross meant for pain that brought life.

 

Maybe I forgot about Jesus.

 

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I had forgotten that the way that God showed his great love for us included pain and agony and sacrifice. I forgot about the beatitudes that I had learned as a small child in the pew of that Catholic Church.

 

Blessed are the poor in spirit.

 

I’d like to say I stopped praying like this when I was 12, but that would be a lie.

 

I didn’t understand God’s timing back then and didn’t understand where he was in all the wrongdoing, and some days, deep into my forties, I still don’t.

 

Churches are burning and people are choosing sides all across our country regarding what the government should and shouldn’t dictate. ISIS is torturing and killing children. Slavery is more rampant now than ever. Closer to home, people I love struggle with hurt and betrayals.

 

I recently held hands with a child in Haiti that is hopeful to simply have food today.

 

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Sometimes I just want to be that little girl who believes that if I just pray hard enough God will fix it.

 

But I’ve come to understand a few things.

 

Life is not fair and battle lines have been drawn as long as humans have had breath on this planet.

 

I have seen poverty of soul. Poverty of body, and the meekness and gentleness found in the small and seemingly insignificant. And I wonder if what I am called, in addition to praying earnestly is to be peacemaker. To cast a stone into the waters that surround me and to watch for little ripples in my neighborhood and in my world.

 

I am often quick to judge and slow to walk across the street or across town to meet those that I don’t understand, those that I pray for. Maybe I can be an instrument, a partner in my own story, and in theirs.

 

I don’t want to die on a hill. But I can not sequester inside my four walls because Jesus did not remain safely inside the city gates.

 

Out there were prostitutes and wrong-doers. Kings and castles, rulers and peasants. Workers and lost sons, shepherds and sheep, deceivers and thieves. He died among them, offering forgiveness and a place next to him that very day. A criminal woke up facing sure, slow death, guilty as charged, and awoke to everlasting life.

 

All things seem pretty possible to God given that one scenario.

 

And so I can admit that “I don’t know” more these days..

 

I just know that I want to be a peacemaker. I don’t have stones to hold, but I have hope in the only one who holds the answer.

 

He died on a hill and that was the only one was worth dying on, covering all of our doubts and questions.

 

Blessed be the peacemakers.

 

{photo images by Amy Breitmann}

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Amy 1Amy Breitmann’s name means “Beloved” and she’s on a quest to believe it. Her boots carry Midwest soil but now she kicks it up in the south where she weaves marriage, ministry and motherhood together. Though she’s been a Christian as far as she can remember, her boots are covered with mud from her wanderings. As a cancer survivor, she was the Co-Founder of The Lydia Project, a ministry which holds hands with other women facing cancer.  She also is a lost-sock finder, a keeper of secrets for the best cheesecake recipe, and gets grace in the ordinary. The words that tumble out on her blog Beloved in Blue Jeans are balm that the Spirit speaks to quiet her soul. She loves others to eavesdrop there and walk a bit of this cobbled path with her. She’s a Co-Visionary with Tammy, Facebook Team Editor, Big-Dreamer, and Writer. Find her on her blog by clicking here, or on Facebook  or Twitter.

 

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One Comment on “Blessed are the Peacemakers for They Go Outside the City Gates

  1. Pingback: Blessed are the Peacemakers | Beloved in Blue Jeans

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