That the title of my blog is “Thoughts on Peace”. One would think that I write as a peace advocate and expect to read posts concerning protests and the actions of our government concerning war and peace. I did launch the blog during a time I was in Costa Rica, a country without an army and where I visited a memorial to my hero, Peace Pilgrim, as well as a community of Quakers who settled there during WW II. But, in the spirit of both Peace Pilgrim and Quaker thought, I believe that peace begins within oneself, then it needs to be lived in one’s relationships with family and out into the world. Outer peace without inner peace never lasts, I have learned.
I needed to give word to my conviction once again. No matter the topic of my blog, peace within and out is always the underlying theme.
I continue to receive nourishment from Eileen Flanagan’s book: The Wisdom to Know the Difference. Today I read a section she entitled “Why Doesn’t God Fix It?”, a question all of us ask. It is the question that, left unanswered, drives many to fire God for incompetency. She tells the story of a woman, Celeste Zappala who, when her son was deployed to Iraq, prayed, “God let this cup pass…Make something happen so he doesn’t have to go.” The answer she heard: “Who do you think you are that you don’t have to feel the grief of the world?” This was not a comforting response to her prayer and her son Sherwood was killed months later. “She vowed to honor his memory by working to end the war.”
The next paragraph jarred me. It brought me back to that level of peace where we move beyond inner peace and relationship peace into peace in the world:
Although Celeste is a deeply religious person, she struggles with the concept of God’s will. “I don’t think it’s God’s will that we have wars. I don’t believe that it’s God’s will that we kill each other. I think that it is God’s sorrow that we do those things. It is opposed to every moral teaching of the universe. So why doesn’t God fix it? Because we have free will and conscience. God put that challenge in front of us.” She says this doesn’t necessarily mean that Sherwood’s death was preordained, but that she was called to deal with that possibility with compassion, rather than hate. “Things occur, and it’s God’s will that we use the best of ourselves in order to deal with the things that occur and stand up for God’s morality, as we discern it.”
Thank you, Eileen Flanagan, for bringing me back.