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Peace Everywhere

Ann Spangler
Ann Spangler

A stained glass window image of two people embracing.

I noticed him as I was waiting in the checkout line, trying to quell my impatience—the cashier on the right. At first glance, he seemed ordinary—a young man working behind the register at an electronics store. But then I saw his lips slide back, not in a smile but in a grimace. It happened again. And then another time. Realizing this was not some fit of pique but a glitch in physiology, I looked away. Then I sent up a quick prayer, asking God to bless him. When it was time for me to step up to the register, I saw something else. The man’s body was disproportionate. From the chest up he was of average size, but his legs looked like Humpty Dumpty’s. Whether he had lost weight through dieting, surgery, or illness, I wasn’t sure. I just kept praying, asking God to help and heal him. And then, purchase completed, I walked out of the store.

God offers us the opportunity to see others—to recognize their pain, their happiness, their need. But so often I am preoccupied by my own concerns, wondering, for instance, how long I will have to wait in line and whether I will have time for one more errand. Consequently I miss the opportunity God gives to share his peace with others.

We need to remember that we are created in the image of the God whom Isaiah called Sar Shalom, or “Prince of Peace” (9:6). We have the extraordinary privilege of being his ambassadors in the world, reflecting his character to those we meet through kind words, listening ears, and continual prayer.

Join me today in asking God to open your heart to the opportunities he brings. Pray for the grace to take your eyes off yourself so your eyes can be on others. And remember that God is searching the whole earth for a person like you whose heart is fully committed to him. That’s the person he will strengthen and bless.

 
Originally published March 14, 2016.

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