Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Reaching for Peace

Sadako. Yes. She of the thousand paper cranes. I love this statue of her reaching for peace with her cranes, believing that if she could only make a thousand of them, she would be cured of the cancer that was eating away her young life. To have that kind of faith! Though she didn't make it, her story has inspired many people.

Inspired us to what, exactly? To make the beautiful paper cranes that continually adorn this statue. To work for and to believe in peace. More than that, to practice peace, to continue forward in faith, even when all around us looks otherwise.

For anyone who studies and believes in the Christian tradition, there is a verse in the gospel of Matthew (24:6) that reads:
"You are going to hear the noise of battles close by and the news of battles far away; but do not be troubled. Such things must happen, but they do not mean that the end has come." (GNT)
Why would Jesus tell his disciples not to be troubled? Does it sound like he's saying to ignore the incoming information about battles and wars? Maybe it sounds that way to some. To me, it sounds like he's telling his followers to be steadfast, not to let the rumors sway their faith. And to understand that the world will continue and so must they.

We must work toward peace without being pulled into the battle, even if it's a battle of words. Move forward. Hold steadfast. Have faith. Keep your heart clear and faithful. It really isn't a Christian message alone. It's the message of every spiritual leader since the beginning of time. It's the message of a 12-year-old girl from one of two cities which experienced first-hand the results of atomic bombing. If anyone had reason to fear, reason to hate, reason to give up, it was Sadako Sasaki. What she held on to was hope, faith and love. We must as well.

How do you reach for peace? How do you maintain peace within your own life? How do you maintain a peaceful balance in a world gone mad with battles, wars, power-mongering?

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