Remember: Next week we are joining Interfaith Neighbors Connecting at the Orange Central Congregational Church to celebrate Thanksgiving as a Faith Community.
The Holly Fair 2022 is November 26th 9-1.
…Peace Begins With Me… It is those last lines that are the keystone to the whole. The whole thing. Peace in our hearts. I think that’s one of the core messages of Jesus. Find peace in your heart. Find love in your self. Find God. Heal yourself. Make yourself an instrument of peace.
And then. Only then, can you cultivate a home of peace.
Only then, can you cultivate a neighborhood of peace.
Only then, can you have a community of peace and peace in and between nations and the world.
Keystone. Have you ever thought about a keystone? It’s a stone, that’s obvious from the name. But it’s often small. Very, small. But very strong and strategically located to hold everything in place. If you pull the keystone, the whole thing falls apart.
I think that’s what we are. Each one of us. Keystones to the whole, big picture. Yet, at the same time, if there is only one stone there is no whole. There’s just a stone. You can call it what you want, but there’s only a stone. Alone.
All the pieces have to be healed in order for the whole picture to be healed. That everything, big or small or somewhere in the middle, all matters. Sometimes, we get stuck in the big pieces and that can be overwhelming. The world. The nations. The war beyond us…
Some of us have been a part of those wars and know the terribleness of tangible war first hand. To those, we honor you.
We forget that the tiniest stone is key to the foundation. We are that foundation. Each one of us.
Our picture can get too big or remain too small. We can’t fix the big ails of the world if we don’t fix the foundational stones, however small. We can’t fix the big wars of the world, if the middle stones are upset. We might argue that the big wars, reflect in our own lives and daily actions. Perhaps we can see this in the divisiveness of neighbors…did this divisiveness trickle down or trickle up…or both? PAUSE. Where there is ill will and hated and division in the world beyond us, it trickles down. And yet, at the same time, what we do, yes our small actions build a solid foundations of Good that moves up.
It is all too easy to focus on hearth and home and forget those beyond our walls. Even our neighbors. Our community. Our obligations to do bigger work. Uncomfortable work. Dangerous work (again, we honor those who have seen war and hate in all its forms first hand). Helping those…outside our circles.
How do we do good work? We talk about walking the path of Jesus. Of living with Grace. Of being an instrument of Peace. But how?
We start with what’s the most unbalanced that we have influence over. We practice and continue to practice and as we get more skilled and better, we can widen our circle of influence. One baby step at a time.
Whenever we heal something, anything, big or small, it ripples out. A pain in our own heart. A something, or a someone, we can’t forgive. A regret we can’t let go of. A pain we cling to. These are small places where we are not at peace.
Our home. Perhaps there is something broken in our home. Perhaps we don’t feel quite as connected. Perhaps we’re coping with being a little bit too together. Perhaps it’s showing us where we are not at peace with one another. Perhaps we are speaking with a little more anger that we’d like. Or a little more fear. Or a little more sadness. When we cultivate peace in our homes, it ripples out. How often do we say something at home we regret then we go out into the world unhappy with ourselves and that unhappiness spreads. Or we’re the recipient of those words and we can’t let go of them and we spread unhappiness.
What are we rippling out?
Our neighbors. How often are we not seeking where we connect with our neighbors but where where the divide is with our neighbors? PAUSE. It can be as simple as a hello. As simple as checking in. Perhaps we have friendships that are feeling the strain of being apart or the strain of differing opinions. Maybe a friend is hurt because you’ve chosen not to visit. Maybe it’s vice versa. Can we be a little kinder to one another? Our friends and neighbors, who may (who, likely) think differently than we do.
How do we help in our community? There is so much need in the world. Simple things make a difference. Perhaps we have time to volunteer. Perhaps we simply shop local, buy our food from local farm, drive meals, or make soup. Perhaps we share what we love about our community to encourage others to see the good. Perhaps we simply love. Love our community. Our neighbors. Our friends. Our homes. Our people. Our pets.
Love. Peace. Love is a key to peace. Peace is a key to love.
Maybe the keystones begin in our Hearts.
Perhaps, we ourselves can not fix the world or the nations. Perhaps we can. When we support our community and the people around us, we support a work bigger than ourselves. When we heal where we are able, we heal beyond ourselves. If we create a place of love and peace, we cultivate a solid foundation that is safe for others to spread their wings from.
We can not be whole with broken pieces. The whole doesn’t work with broken stones or big holes. The world is interconnected. We are interconnected.
It’s impossible to have a peaceful home, with a warring heart.
It’s impossible to have a peaceful neighborhood, with a warring home.
It’s impossible to have a peaceful community, in a warring neighborhood.
But you can create peace where you are. It’s easier to see a virus spread or a hateful deed. Perhaps because we are watching it and tracking it. It’s a lot harder to watch peace spread…because it too easily gets trapped in the holes and broken cracks in the stones. But each kindness begins the heal the cracks and the holes. Each act of love, begins to heal a broken heart.
Do good work at home and know that it matters. We may not know what to do about nations and the world, but if what trickles down from there affects us, then what we trickle up from us affects beyond what we can possibly know. We all, big and small, can be an example. Our example is more important than we can possibly imagine.
It’s not that we have to be perfect or “on” at all times, but if our small acts are where we make the difference, we need to be careful with each and every one of our small acts. If the ripples of a hateful deed spread faster and easier than a good deed, then we need more good deeds and more peace. If division and broken threads speak louder, then we need more good words, more connectivity and love.
Peace begins at home. We have our own good work to do. If peace begins in the heart. Our own hearts, then perhaps we need to make space to reflect on what peace in our hearts means. What does it feel like? How do we cultivate it? Do we feel peace in our hearts? And if we don’t, let’s create peace in our hearts. Without peace in our own hearts, how can we ever expect peace in our world?
Being where you are. Begin in your heart. Now’s the perfect time to bring peace to your heart, your home, your loved ones. Make space for Quiet. Make space for Prayer. Make space for Grace and God. Now is the perfect time to cultivate a peaceful heart, so that when we can more easily move beyond our smaller circles, we are ready to spread peace…everywhere we go.
1 thought on “We Each Are a Key”
LikeLiked by 1 person