A Monday balanced between decorating and practicing piano – in a whirlwind of December music making, I was practicing a raucous four-hand piano rendition of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” when one of my favorite angels, PEACE, catapulted over the edge of the piano, headlong to the hardwood floor. Her wings were clipped, and my practicing came to a crashing halt. Bombastic hearkening angels heralded a resin replica down to a seemingly irreparable state of brokenness!
I scooped up the angel and began rummaging for gorilla glue and paper towels. The problem with a resin angel with wings wider than her body is that no angle allows for stable regluing of a sheered torso. So unfolded my morning of holding PEACE and waiting for her glue to get tacky. Not exactly the makings for multi-tasking!
A friendly phone conversation, laundry shifting, and some other one-handed household chores finally allowed the glue to set enough to re-adhere head to shoulders, and PEACE was back to her quiet state of peacefulness.
Wouldn’t it be convenient if every time our peace is shattered, we’re able to grab glue and wait momentarily while all that was shattered is repaired? My mind began to review a year that has shoved my heart into the very arms of PEACE, seeking repair. My son critically injured in a parachuting accident, a beloved friend battling stage IV cancer, watching family members and friends experience great losses, and seeing people worldwide exposed to evil with unjust outcomes. With all of life circumstances out of my control, peace is entirely elusive if not for the compassion of my God. Crawling into the hand of my Savior, I need His Peace.
After being completely broken for all of us and then reviving and reappearing to His people, Jesus said, “Peace be with you!” He literally IS PEACE!! But Jesus’ peace is gritty and grapples through the hard of life while He waits for the glue of my heart, mind and soul to be pliable. Peace on earth isn’t perfection. Peace is what my soul experiences in the darkness while Jesus holds the light. Peace is what my heart feels during pain while Jesus catches my tears. Peace is what my mind trusts while Jesus carries me through deep waters. Can I see the way ahead? Do I know the outcomes? Are my feet able to touch while Jesus treads water?
Emmanuel, God with us, came and opened His arms so that when my wings are clipped, and life waters are incredibly deep, whether through broken thoughts, injured feelings, wounded beloveds, or simply a tired and hurting heart, the world as I know it is changed by His strength and tender Presence. My hands are not capable to provide His strong peace; only Jesus has the ability to reach around my wounded wings and restore. However, the peace that He brought and gives requires a certain kind of human hands. Open, surrendered hands that believe and accept the surrender and sacrifice His nail-scarred hands gave. Worshipful, repentant hands that accept His forgiveness. Mindful, rejoicing hands that lift thanks for His faithfulness and forever-love.
Instead of me holding peace, PEACE has held my family, my beloveds, and me. Yet for how many is peace toppled, remaining intangibly elusive? Peace is not ours to hold but to receive. Peace is not ours to restore but to be restored by. Peace is not ours to understand but to be guarded by. Jesus promises peace to those who believe and are protected by His hands. Jesus said to His disciples, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27). Emmanuel, God with us, came to be the hands of PEACE that we don’t have the strength or power to be. This Christmas season, my heart cry is to fall into the hands of PEACE and to be held by His restoring compassion! A prayer that resonates for us all “…And the peace of God that transcends all understanding will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).