One of the aspects of September 21st as the International Day of Peace, so declared in 1981 by the United Nations, is a call for a global and personal cease fire today.
I know what a global cease fire would look like. But what about a personal cease fire? Who am I ‘firing’ at? And what would happen if I stopped, if only for a day, if only for this day?
Political campaigns (the very word campaign is evocative of violence, as in Sherman’s campaign in the Southern states during the Civil War) are inherently violent and in the US, we’re right in the midst of it all.
For today, I will not watch or listen to any political commentary by either side. For today, I will not say anything about either candidate. My own political cease fire will resemble a fast from politics, as I know of no other way just now to avoid participating, directly or indirectly, in the violence they wage.
For today, I will not speak violence against any person.
For today, I will be at peace with my neighbors.
For today, I will pray for the world – the whole world – instead of my own personal ‘home team’.
For today, I will seek and be peace.
And who knows – maybe tomorrow will look like today.
And maybe the next day will be even better than that.
Right now . . . bombs and drones come from the sky bringing not life but death . . . Right now . . . people we know have bodies filled with cancer and the best that can be done for them is to attack and wage war against the very bodies in which they live . . . Right now . . . families are broken by misunderstanding, violence, bullying, and refusals to reconcile . . . Right now . . . Oh God, right now, we are so broken . . . so far from Your peace . . . forgive us God, we pray . . . right now. –Adapted from Peace Prayer from last years’ peace vigil at McDowell Presbyterian.
*For more information and ideas about how to celebrate the International Day of Peace, check out Presbyterian Mission Yearbook, CPI and The United Nations web pages.