By Karen L Moreland of Independence, MO, USA
Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. —2 Corinthians 13:11 NRSV
Richard De Haan writes of an old legend about three men crossing a desert on horseback at night. “As they approached a dry creek bed, they heard a voice commanding them to dismount, pick up some pebbles, put them in their pockets, and not to look at them till the next morning. The men were promised that if they obeyed they would be both glad and sad. After they did as they were told, the three mounted their horses and went on their way. As the streaks of dawn began to spread across the sky, the men reached into their pockets to pull out the pebbles. To their great surprise, they had been transformed into diamonds, rubies, and other precious gems. It was then that they realized the significance of the promise that they would be both glad and sad. They were happy that they had picked up as many pebbles as they did, but sorry—so sorry—that they had not collected more” (“Both Glad and Sad,” Our Daily Bread, odb.org).
I meet many people, especially while working as a receptionist at the Temple in Independence, Missouri. People come from all walks of life. Some come for the Daily Prayer for Peace, wanting a break from their hectic lives. Others come to experience the Temple and its peacefulness. Upon leaving, they often comment about the wonderful spirit present.
One afternoon, just before closing, a couple came into the Temple and wanted to visit the museum. I welcomed them, and directed them to the museum. We had a beautiful conversation about Community of Christ. They thanked me and left. Another time a couple came up to the receptionist counter and asked, “What does your church believe?” I walked them to the tract rack and handed them “Basic Beliefs” and “Enduring Principles.” I answered their many questions.
A few days before Spectacular began, youth gathered in the Temple foyer waiting for the Daily Prayer for Peace to start. It was noisy. A young man who occasionally comes to the Prayer for Peace walked in. It was clear the noise was very upsetting to him. We graciously steered him towards quieter areas in the Temple.
These people are some of the pebbles in my life. These are the ones that will shine as bright jewels in heaven someday. I will be glad to arrive in heaven and find that I touched so many lives with the love and peace of Jesus Christ. I will also be sad that I didn’t share the gospel of peace with many more.
It is written that if we labor all of our lives and bring but one soul into heaven, how great shall be our joy. I want to experience joy overflowing. I want to touch many, many lives with God’s love and grace.
May we all be filled with joy and shine brightly in God’s peaceable kingdom.
May I see your light in all life.
Invitation to Spiritual Practice
Light of God
Close your eyes, and become centered with your breath. As you breathe gently in and out, reflect on the statement, “The light of God is in all things.” The light has a bright, soft beauty and radiates God’s healing love. The light of God reaches you and permeates you with a deep sense of peace. Rest in the light as it surrounds and fills you. Thank God that you live in God’s light, and it lives in you.
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.