Reading the newspaper is a huge part of my prayer life. At my best, when I read, I try to focus on the places in the world in need of peace and send them prayers of peace. There are some that I can then act on, and some I must simply keep praying on.
I work to stay centered on lifting up (or as we say in FB parlance) sharing only those things about which our prayers can move us forward. I am easily moved to outrage by stupid stuff, so I try to save my outrage for the stuff that matters. Violence against Women, for instance. You’ll see me be fairly outraged about the ongoing use of women and our bodies and our safety as a tool in war and our complete disregard of that reality. Yep. Outrage. But I try not to rile (too much) when a member of the larger clergy community (using that term oh-so-loosely) is a jerk. There are as many jerk ministers as there are jerk anythings; we’re just more dangerous because we have pulpits.
Well, now that I have that off my chest, perhaps I can get to where I was going when I wrote the title. Peace Slivers. Little pieces of Peace. Sometimes they’re a broken off bit of a larger dream, but sometimes they are tiny little dreams that can actually be carried out. Maybe by you, because it’s a tiny little change you could make in your life that would make you more peaceful, or even your corner of the world. Like smiling at strangers on the street. That can make everyone’s day sweeter. But maybe by someone else. And when I say someone else, I’m not thinking about those, “oh, hey, here’s this thing that I don’t want to do, but if I ruled the world, I would make everyone do it: kinda thing. No, I’m thinking about looking at a tiny little something and being struck by how much that thing is tailor made for someone you know. It may in fact be so tailor made that they already do it.
Nothing spreads peace faster than noticing someone for doing something wonderful and complimenting them on it. And sometimes you can help someone notice the impact they have… or the impact they could have. “Oh, you do this so wonderfully, have you ever considered adding this little thing to what you’re already doing?” or “Wow, have you ever thought about this being your work, you’re so good at it and it gives you such joy.”
But whatever we do with the scraps, it’s worth saving them up into a container. Then on a rainy day when we need a little Peace success, we can pull one out and work on it. Or perhaps we can go through our Peace scraps with a friend and see how this little idea of ours fits with that little idea of theirs and pretty soon we can start a Peace joint venture. We’re not here to save the world on our own. We’re just here to do our work. Our work is Peace. Peace is a communal effort… and communal efforts can be, should be fun. Peace slivers — they’re good for what ail you!