Passing the Peace
The words are in the red letters: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.”
And sometimes, He gives me His red-letter peace through a red-letter sister.
We were sitting at the long church tables, with the silverware and children clattering and chattering around us. We’d finished our baked potatoes and lemonade and ice-cream sandwiches. The pianist was stringing together first notes of a prelude in the adjoining sanctuary. We didn’t have much time to chat, but the friend leaned in closer anyway.
With her elbows on the table, she put her hands under her chin and asked the question slowly: “How are you?”
I told her about the bit of anxiety churning in me. Nothing big — certainly nothing compared to what she’d been going through — but my insides were doing backflips anyhow.
She nodded and smiled and patted my hands. Without words, she passed the peace. I knew her red-letter language.
The service ended with the hymn, “Chief of Sinners.”
“Jesus only can impart
Balm to heal the smitten heart
Peace that flows from sin forgiven
Joy that lifts the soul to Heaven”
She waited for me in the center aisle, her soft eyes still whispering peace to anxious me.
She pulled a stone from her pocket — a stone with a dove and the single word: Peace.
She’d carried the peace stone in her pocket for nearly three years. A chaplain gave it to her after her husband was in a car accident. His arm had been amputated, and reattached, and he’s permanently disabled with chronic pain.
Someone passed her Peace. And she gave it to me. Me, with my worries so small.
“I want you to have this,” she said. “God will be with you tomorrow. Do not worry. You have God’s peace.”
And the tummy flips stopped
and the tears threatened to spill over
and even now when I think about this messenger of peace
my heart swells.
I carried Peace in my pocket yesterday.
I felt the smooth groove of the stone when — voice shaking — I delivered a morning message to a group of women about postpartum depression, something I rarely talk about publicly. Peace ….
I felt the stone once again, when a schoolgirl asked if I’d walk with her down the empty hallway. “I’m scared to go alone,” she said, and we talked about Jesus as we walked. Peace…
I felt it later that same evening when I walked into the hospital waiting room, to find the wife crying. Things had taken a turn for the worst. We bowed our heads and prayed that God would cover her with peace. Peace …
God did not leave us as orphans. He gave us His Spirit, and on His wings, He delivers His perfect peace.
It’s contagious, this Peace. And I want to spread it, too.
Today, I carry Peace in my pocket again. And I pass the peace to you, dear one. May you be filled with peace that passes all understanding.
Peace. Pass it on …
PHOTO: My friend’s Peace
passed to me.
Reposting from the archives today.
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Your red letter brother thinks this is a fine piece!
Thanks Jenn, I needed this especially tonight.
Miss you my friend.
I love what your friend did for you, meeting you in this way. I've been encouraged to look for a small item to remind me of God's faithfulness, something that will remind me to believe (my word for this year).
Peace indeed. Beyond comprehensive. Beautiful piece, Jennifer.
It's amazing what we can do for one another, isn't it. We are truly ministers of Jesus' grace when we let him guide us to hurting, wounded souls. Your friend's peace was Jesus' peace. He wanted you to have it so you could pass it on. Beautiful!
Truly a peace beyond understanding.
Siiighhh… Thank you. This is beautiful.
I need some peace! Shingles brought on by stress I can't stop. Ever since my mom died, I care less about temporal things ( like my tile guy being 3 months behind) and more about my kids (old enough to get into more serious situations).
I love this idea!
I think you (and if you want my help, I'm in) should start something like this amongst our blogs.
For instance, you'd send this peace to me (because I need it) and when I no longer needed it, I'd send it onto another blogger.
All of them would write their stories and publish them to a specific page on your (or mine) blog and we could see what a little stone named Peace could do. 🙂
I know, my mind is always going.
Peace be with you, my friend. 🙂
I love that your friend didn't talk it to death, she just gave you her rock solid reminder of the PEACE of the Rock of Ages. She pointed you to Jesus in such a tangible way. Thank you for sharing this!