8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Yesterday was the second Sunday of Advent, and I had the privilege of teaching at my church. We hoped and prayed for peace as we lit the next candle.
We discussed several aspects of peace, including the practice of Daily Peace. I see Daily Peace as the small, seemingly insignificant things we do each day to bring peace to others and to our world. Daily Peace is forgiving when you don’t want to; it’s staying calm with your kids when they are out of control; it’s asking your cashier questions about their day, and it’s picking up trash on your hike. Daily Peace is saying yes to small everyday opportunities to be a peacemaker.
After the service, I was holding Sister and talking with a few women. We discussed books we’d been reading and our week ahead. Without warning, Sister threw up all over me. All over the ground, my clothes, in my boots and all over herself!
As I was trying my best to get cleaned up in the bathroom, I was reminded of a C.S. Lewis quote I’d read before: “The great thing is, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of ones “real life.” The truth of course that what one calls interruptions are precisely ones real life.”
When I came out of the bathroom I saw three of the women I had been talking to cleaning up my child’s vomit. They were kind and selfless to help me with something so gross! Once we had everything cleaned up, someone said, “Holly, I don’t know how you do it!” (I think referring to dealing with kids’ bodily fluids). But I immediately thought — this is my life. It doesn’t happen everyday, but this isn’t an interruption — it’s “real life.”
So yesterday afternoon, instead of working on this post, writing Christmas cards or getting the house cleaned up for the week (or even cooking dinner), I cuddled a sick little girl. I kept her close and held her hair back. I watched Christmas movies and rubbed her back. For once, I didn’t see any of it as an interruption, but as a chance to practice Peace.