Peace Come Stealing Slow

Peace Come Stealing Slow March 10, 2008

peace comes stealing slow

falls like silent snow

swings down sweet and low

peace comes stealing slow

Kate Campbell sings these words her album Blues and Lamentations. Kate has this amazing voice that articulates with such clarity the beauty of these words, which I hepeace.jpgard somewhere were inspired by a poem of William Butler Yeats.

However, as my study of Yeats’ poetry has not been too, shall we say, extensive, I have no idea if this is true.

But I am interested by the idea of peace stealing slow. Every single Sunday in worship we throw around peace like a hot potato: the peace of the Lord be with you, be at peace, go in peace . . . as if peace is something we can manufacture. Or manually place on top of the life of another. Or forcefully will into our own lives.

Kate (or Bill) says, though, that peace steals up on you slowly.

In my experience, that’s usually too slow for my liking.

And it seems to me that peace, the kind of peace you just want to sink back into, though thoroughly unpredictable, comes only after a battering storm-when you’ve reached your absolute limit.

Peace whispers in your ear tenaciously until you can finally hear it; it settles over you when you had just steeled yourself for the next wave to hit; it sneaks up on you stealthily . . . until you all of the sudden feel the utter relief enveloping you completely.


How I wish I could manufacture it instantaneously: apply a salve of peace to a raw hurt, or write a prescription for preventative peace-you know, to avoid the storm altogether. Not being sure that I’ve lived long enough to notice it sneaking up on me, I have lived long enough to know I’ve had very bad luck writing prescriptions for peace.

So I guess I’ll pray right along with Kate (or Bill):

peace come stealing slow

fall like silent snow

swing down sweet and low

peace come stealing slow

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