Where is your Peace?

Above all things let us never forget that mankind constitutes one great brotherhood; all born to encounter suffering and sorrow, and therefore bound to sympathize with each other.
Albert Pike

We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.
Mother Teresa

“Spirituality is not to be learned by flight from the world, or by running away from things, or by turning solitary and going apart from the world. Rather, we must learn an inner solitude wherever or with whomsoever we may be. We must learn to penetrate things and find God there.”
― Meister Eckhart

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A female mallard glides gently in the pond in the Boston Public Gardens / Boston, Massachusetts / Julie Cook / 2014

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My heart is agitated and restless within me.
I am troubled by our times.
Global headlines are dire and grim.
Our own country is troubled by an exodus which is flooding into our land as we fret and worry how to best tend to these masses.
The weight of heartfelt burdens grow by the minute.

Yet you tell me simply not to worry.
“Forget about it”
“Don’t dwell on the negative”
“Think happy thoughts”
“None of this effects you, why worry”
“You can’t do a thing to change it, so don’t think about it”
“You don’t have a dog in this fight, therefore it’s of no concern”
“Be the ostrich and just put your head in the sand”

But I will not will myself to forget about troubles in our world.
I will not pretend everything is fine just because I am not being directly impacted.
It is true that there is very little I can do, if anything at all, to alleviate any of these maladies.
I am helpless, just as you are, watching dramas play out daily in the headlines.

But I ask you, how do I:
Tell the Dutch people not to worry?
Tell the Malaysian Airliner Company not to worry–agian?
Tell the Malaysian people not to worry–again?
Tell the Ukrainians not to worry?
Tell the Russian people not to worry?
Tell the EU not to worry?
Tell the small bordering countries of Russia not to worry?
Tell the Israelis not to worry?
Tell Jews worldwide not to worry?
Tell the Palestinians not to worry?
Tell the children of Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, El Salvador not to worry?
Tell the Americans in the border towns not to worry?
How do I tell all the parents who have lost and are losing children throughout the past week to simply dry those tears and carry on?

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Where does your peace hide?
Where is your wellbeing located these woeful days?
Not your distractions.
Not your diversions.
Not your poisons to deaden any and all feeling.
But rather your Peace?
Your wellbeing?
Your clam?
Your anchor?
Your harbor?
Your refuge?

In such times, it is to Nature, which offers a soothing clam, that I turn.
In Nature is where I may observe life, as it goes steadily and happily along, despite global worrisome events.
To spend sacred time silently with the Creator of the Universe.
Finding in Him and in His handiwork the offerings of silence, of hope and of beauty which joyfully continues spilling froth from all His creation.
Here is where I find it possible to offer prayers for hope because here is where hope still exists.

May you find that place which continues to hold you in comfort and care—that place which offers you Peace. . . and may you then, in turn, offer prayers for the desperate healing of which our world is in such need. . .

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(St Francis in a small garden adjacent to the Old North Church / Boston, Massachusetts / Julie Cook / 2014)

Listen to my words, Lord,
consider my lament.
Hear my cry for help,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait expectantly.
For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness;
with you, evil people are not welcome.
The arrogant cannot stand
in your presence.
You hate all who do wrong;
you destroy those who tell lies.
The bloodthirsty and deceitful
you, Lord, detest.
But I, by your great love,
can come into your house;
in reverence I bow down
toward your holy temple

Psalm 5: 1-7

Evening sky

In the evening of life we shall be judged on love, and not one of us is going to come off very well, and were it not for my absolute faith in the loving forgiveness of my Lord I could not call on him to come.
Madeleine L’Engle

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(a mid June evening sky in Georgia / Julie Cook / 2014)

Sweetly calm gentle evening sky;
A hush falls over the land.

Oppressive heat thankfully dissipates
as now soothing evening air eases weary minds

Gone for today is life’s hustle and bustle,
serenely replaced by an unseen artist’s muted tones

A heavy head leans against the window’s glass
while inquisitive eyes watch Peace lazily pass by

The road seemingly stretches endlessly onward
carrying way-ward travelers safely home

Rest now found in an evening sky
as serenity covers the earth

Solitary

And if, happy in the lot of no created thing, he withdraws into the center of his own unity, his spirit, made one with God, in the solitary darkness of God, who is set above all things, shall surpass them all.
— Giovanni Pico della Mirandola

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(female mallard on the San Antonio River / San Antonio, Texas / Julie Cook / 2014

If I choose to go my way alone, wandering in one direction. . .all the while, as the world travels the opposite path, do you think of me as lonely?

If I prefer the silence of nothing compared to the constant wiring din of life’s deafening sounds, do you find me odd?

If I choose to leave behind the constant steady kinetic energy of the masses, seeking the single movement of One, do you think me sad?

If I am afraid of me, of being alone inside of me, who then can depend on me being fully there for them?

It is only in the recesses of the silence of my soul, far down in the depths of a seemingly empty void of nothingness, where I can begin to hear the tender sweet whisper of the Creator—this, as He whispers to soothe and woo His beloved, His created.

How can I, or you, say that God is dead, that God is silent, that God is non existent if I, or you, choose chaos over peace, noise over silence, crowds over solitude?

I, as well as you, leave Him no room, no space, no place. . .

He is not the raging storm.
He is not the restless wind.
He is not the shaking ground.
He is not the loud crashing waves

He is the Silence
He is the Stillness
He is the Calm
He is the Hush

I seek the solitariness of my being in order to find Him waiting.
He waits for me to come to Him not in the hustle bustle of my senses and nerves but rather He waits only within the emptiness of my soul.
I must pour off the excessiveness of my life
I must lose myself from not only the world but from myself as well

I must be quiet in order to find my voice
I must be empty in order to be filled
I must be solitary in order to be joined in Union

The Creator waits for His beloved in the space of the solitary