*Written by Joey LeTourneau
Peace is my weapon. It could be yours too. In a world where we seldom find peace as often as many of us would like; that same world could be finding peace within us.
It seems to me that “peace” can carry a lot of misconceptions, many of which prevent us from carrying out its true mission, and therefore causing us to be pursuers of peace, rather than carriers of such to a world in need.
Too often do we think of peace as passive and serene, seemingly associating it as an end while possibly ignoring its true means. Peace isn’t passive, it’s contagious, at least that is when we carry it out to the world as the sort of viral cure that is already living inside us. As a believer in Jesus, Peace is a person who lives in me. I can’t afford to try and keep my peace any longer when I could be a carrier of peace to a world that is desperate and wanting.
If you’re anything like me, you are swatting at new fears, or threats of such trying to plague our minds day after day. Little and big things like finances, employment, violence, family, sickness, death or one of the seemingly largest and most prevalent fears of all—spiders! Seriously though, these things are real to all of us in an all too close sort of way. In the world, there is very little peace to be found, and fear is going on the offensive to take up residence in our lives and nations. Yet, it seems that day after day we become pursuers of a seemingly always-fleeting peace, plugging one hole in the dam only to watch another spring up quickly, if not immediately.
Sometimes, I think we are even afraid of peace itself. I know that sounds crazy, and few of us would want to admit it, but from a culturally speaking standpoint, we can be afraid to be peaceful even when spending all our time pursuing such. Think about it, when was the last time someone asked you how you were doing and your response included the word “peaceful”? I know I haven’t responded that way in too long. Who wants to say they’re peaceful? That makes it sound like you are lazy, or just plain boring. We get a lot of our identity from being “busy” or from seeming stressed. Why is that? Perhaps we don’t know who we really are, who lives inside us, or who we are truly called to be according to Jesus’ own words: Peacemakers. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
Notice the word doesn’t say peacekeepers, or peace-lovers, or even peace-wanters? We are called to be Peacemakers because of the Prince of Peace who lives in us. We are co-heirs of Christ called to reveal Him and re-present Him to the world. Romans 8:19 tells us that creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. Jesus gave us a great clue to this in that Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 when He let us know that those who will be called sons/children of God will be marked by peace. And just to be sure, He is certainly calling His daughters as well!
We can learn a lot about peace through Jesus’ leadership. He didn’t just have peace, but He used it as an offensive tool of transformation when He sent others out to the world. In Matthew 10 and Luke 10 we see Jesus sending out the twelve, and the seventy. Both times He tells them to carry something with them to hopefully leave behind—peace. As believers, we are entering an all too apparent time in the world where we can’t blend in and hope for or pursue peace along with everyone else. We won’t find it. I’m not finding it! The world is actually waiting for the piece of peace that lives in us that we carry out to them, as we read in the testimony below:
“The vision for Friends Without Borders started after a couple of trips to Iraq. One of the most powerful experiences of my life was in Iraq in March 2003: a modern remix of the good Samaritan story. As we were leaving Baghdad after the “shock-and-awe” campaign, my friends and I had a terrible car accident on the desert road near Rutba, Iraq—and the people of that town saved our lives. As they took care of us, we found out that three days before, our government had bombed their hospital. The bomb hit the children’s ward. And they still saved our lives.” – (with permission from Shane Claiborne, from Sojourners Magazine, May 2013)
Peace isn’t just in our words, our politics or our theology. Peace is in our spirit. Peace is a presence in our lives that allows us not to be moved by the tribulations we see and feel all around us, while taking that testimony and multiplying it out to the person next to us. It is a weapon of mass possibility. It may not be tangible, and there may not be a methodology that can simply be reproduced behind it, but it can be carried.
It starts with you and I. Like the twelve and the seventy, we are being sent by the Prince of Peace to be agents of change not just hoping for its resolution, but carrying a version of it that is already alive and currently all too buried. We may not find peace in the world, but the world can find Peace in us. Peace isn’t just the answer I’m looking for, it’s the tool I must learn to live, and give. I don’t just pray for peace anymore. I pray that I will be that peace that the world, and myself, is looking for.
Joey LeTourneau works with Heavenly Hope Ministries to coordinate MARK 10:14, a movement focused on gathering the poor, broken, and empty children of Ethiopia and beyond into the Father’s arms. He travels worldwide empowering the Body of Christ to draw near to their First Love. You can purchase his books, Revolutionary Freedom & The Life Giver. His latest book is: The Power of Uncommon Unity: Becoming the Answer to Jesus’ Final Prayer.