Responding to Confrontation
Karen Smith of Ludington, MI, USA
God is calling for a prophetic community to emerge, drawn from the nations of the world, that is characterized by uncommon devotion to the compassion and peace of God revealed in Jesus Christ. -Doctrine and Covenants 163:11
A Facebook friend offered some intriguing questions about how we are to respond to evil. I’m still pondering those questions, but I did offer this story for his consideration.
I remember when I was officiating in a wedding and someone parked right in front of the church, a space that should have been saved for the wedding party. I either didn’t have reserved parking signs at the time, or I hadn’t gotten them out yet. Most people were understanding when I asked in a friendly way about parking somewhere else, but not this lady. She lashed out at me about how our concerns were not her problem. She had the right to park wherever she wanted. She was agitated and defensive.
I had a choice. I could have allowed myself to be drawn into a confrontation, but instead I affirmed her right to choose and walked away. She yelled at me one more time; I turned around and affirmed again in a calm, reassuring voice, “It’s your choice.” She left to go to the farmer’s market across the street, but about 10 minutes later came back and moved her car. Had I chosen to argue, we would have been there for a much longer time; it would not have set a good tone for a holy sacrament. By allowing myself enough time to let God’s spirit guide me before responding, we enjoyed a peaceful resolution.
May we always take a moment in times of confrontation to allow Christ’s love to fill us with compassion as we seek resolutions that affirm the worth of all.
Let gratitude show you the way (Doctrine and Covenants Section 165:2b).
Gratitude is an important spiritual practice that invites us to see all of life as a gift. We give thanks for our breath, the food we eat, people we love, and all that we have that truly matters. We remember that we are connected and sustained by a web of relationships with creation, God, and other people. Take time each day this month to practice giving thanks and to consider-for what am I most grateful?
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.