As a reader and writer, I love the power of strong, commanding words.
Several weeks ago my priest read from John 14: “I have told you this while I am with you. The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe.”
I can’t think of many stronger words. I’m especially drawn to the section that reads: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” In total, 11 small words that form one sentence. Yet, I find these eleven words to be some of the most calming and powerful in the English language.
The phrases ranks as some of the most powerful phrases that I’ve ever heard or seen written or I wish were said to me. The others include: “I love you,” “Thank you Dad,” “Marathon Finish Line – 500 Feet,” and “Right this way to Heaven Brian, we’ve saved a special spot for you!”
In any event, I give the phrase “peace be with you” such weight because the words give me the strength I need to carry on in my life.
They give me the courage to stand up and share my beliefs, to write publicly about how God has helped me in my life. They quiet my soul too so that I can block out the noise of society — the naysayers and the time stealers — to listen to my conscience and do what is right and needed.
Most important, they support me when it feels like everyone and everything is against me, when I get stuck behind a tractor trailer and I’m late to pick up one of the kids; when an acquaintance says something that tears down instead of builds-up; or even when the Check Engine Light starts blinking on my car.
These are the words I hold onto when things don’t go as expected, when we come across a surprising medical diagnosis, or when life doesn’t go the way I want it to go. These are the words that give my life meaning. I run to them and they carry me over, through, and past the challenging time.
These are the words that give me hope for tomorrow that God has a bigger plan for my life, that my time walking on Earth is more important than one little work project or one little bill payment. These are the words I carry deep in my soul.
These are the words that remind me that people are more important than things. These are the words that remind me to open up to my family and friends . . . and complete strangers for that matter. And in the end, these are the words that soothe my driving hunger and give me peace to fight another day.
With that in mind, what better way to end this blog: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.”