By Betty Williams of Mission, British Columbia, Canada
Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace. —James 3:13, 17–18 NRSV
One spring morning, we found a robin building a nest on the rear tire of our van. We took the nest off the tire and explained to the robin that it was not a good idea to build the nest anywhere near a parked car.
By noon, the robin was back trying to build the nest in the same spot. We removed the nest again and tried to tell the robin to find another spot.
The next morning we got up, and there was the nearly completed nest. Once again we removed the nest and moved our van to another location. The robin then followed our suggestion and found a new spot for her nest.
How many times does God tell us something for our own good and we are just as stubborn as the robin? Are we determined to do things the way we want even when our plan is not the best?
Let us take the time to listen and hear what God is trying to tell us. We will save ourselves the frustrations of trying our faulty plans again and again. God’s suggestions are worth listening to.
Prayer for Peace
Gentle God, may we yield to your wisdom and make peace with the robin and all your creatures.
Spiritual Practice: Voices of God
What is the voice of God saying to us? Do we hear the whispers of God’s longing for shalom, God’s dream of beauty and wholeness for all creation? Do we hear the voice of God calling to us in faces and eyes, in the sounds of suffering and joy, in scripture and sacred word, in tears and laughter, in silence and noise? Spend a few moments reflecting on when and how God’s voice speaks to you. When did you first feel called to join God in the pursuit of peace and justice? How does the call of shalom continue to come to you through the many voices of God?
Today, God, I will make peace with the parking lot, park my car in a farther spot, and get some exercise.