Margaret Swart, Fairbanks, AK, USA
Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. -Ephesians 4:31-32; 5:1-2
God has changed me. As a young adult, I was so introverted that I rarely spoke to anyone I didn’t know. I longed to be at ease among strangers. I was fascinated by the stories people told, but I was too timid to initiate conversation. By God’s grace, I’m not that fearful person any longer. He has loved me to a place of peace where fear does not exist. That core of inner peace has changed me into a person who can engage in social interaction with confidence.
On a recent airline flight, I sat next to a high school senior returning home from a visit to a Bible college. After hearing her fascinating story of coming to the USA from the Congo at age eight, we shared a deeper conversation about her uncertainties for her future. Should she pursue her interest in becoming a doctor, a teacher, or serve the church? I assured her God would use her for God’s purposes no matter what path she chose. It was yet another recognition moment for me of the change God has orchestrated in my life. Our conversation would not have occurred if I still suffered from social insecurity.
Long ago I wrote a poem that turned out to be a prophetic message to myself.
The membrane of isolation
No longer clamped
the veins of my peace.
I breathe sweet airs
Vibrate with the pulse
of Thy love.
My soul races
with Thy purpose.
I flow to the heart
of Thy will,
and I will be
so much more
than I ever knew
I could be.
“In God’s hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being” (Job 12:10).
All That Lives
Sit quietly and sense God’s presence flowing through the trees and all creation. Offer a prayer of gratitude for your connection to all that lives. Ask for grace to discern and carry out one small act of justice or healing that creates greater wholeness for the plants, animals, trees, waters, air, and land that are part of the community of creation.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.