Peacemaker in the Neighborhood

We are reposting this story – from earlier this year – in honor of the International Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace, and in the knowledge that peacemaking comes in many forms. #prayforpeace

Have you ever witnessed peacemaking in action? It doesn’t have to rise to the level of a peace summit at Camp David to qualify. Sometimes, it’s a neighbor, taking action to defuse a situation. Here is a real-life example[1]! Exiting the freeway and came to a stop light, I witnessed an argument that scared me enough to unlock my phone and prepare to call the police. The vehicle that was stopped next to me had a person standing outside of it, repeatedly yelling ‘get out of the car.’ Tensions were high.

Something had happened, before that moment, to lock those two in confrontation. I don’t know what it was, but it seemed a real possibility that someone might really get hurt. But that’s not what happened. Instead, peace made a beautiful appearance.

How did peace show up? The person in the car in front of the two who were arguing made a choice to try to help. He got out of his car and walked back to them. He said to them, basically, “guys, guys, it’s not worth it… I saw what happened… here’s what we’re going to do, it’s not hard… the light is going to turn… you’re going to drive off in different directions. You go this way and you go that way.”

Here’s what was even more beautiful about the moment: they listened. And they followed his lead. They chose peace over further confrontation. And they got back into their cars, the light turned, and they drove off in different directions.

It’s a wonderful thing to witness peacemaking in action. It’s brave, to get out of a car and step into a tense situation. It is also brave to choose to step away from an altercation.  In a world where it’s only front page news if it’s bad news, wouldn’t it be great if this sort of story made the headlines?  I can almost see it now…




Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God! – Matt. 5:9

[1]April 23rd, 2013, early afternoon, Broadway exit, Burlingame California.

Categories Featured Articles, Peacemaking | Tags: | Posted on September 7, 2013

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