Today I’m sad but strangely peaceful. I’ve done something that I have not had to do before in my multi-connected Social Media world. I’ve had to un-friend someone. I’m beginning to untangle the many-linked webs in which people become part in my life online and connected.
It’s not that I haven’t had to block or delete people before – I do that regularly. In my work and ministry, the crazy and the angry are part-and-parcel of everyday experience. I don’t watch soap operas – I get enough of that every day in real life…
This Other was a friend. Having to get to the realization that some people do not seek or desire your effort at peace or peace with you when you desire to give it or try to make peace is very tough. Heartbreaking.
I have often read Mt 10:13 about giving peace to a place or a person. In fact, one of the Franciscans responsible for my seminary formation always made a point to greeting ‘peace’ to every home he visited. It’s something I have tried to do. In fact, so much of ministry is about rediscovering the seeds or remnants of peace and trying to put them back together.
But letting your peace return to you? This has been a very hard lesson for me – for I try, demand sometimes, that peace be something that happens because I am present and therefore it is what the Lord Jesus wants for the other and wants me to ‘make’ or facilitate for the other.
But it is not. Peace is God’s Gift, given freely like all God’s gifts.
No matter how much I demand, cajole, obsess about being at peace with another, especially if I have been unable to achieve peace or been in part a cause of the lack of peace for the Other – I am often not helping the cause of God’s peace and God’s healing. In fact, I might be an obstruction to what God wants by being in a position that God wants someone else to occupy.
So I started with Facebook and BBM and Linked-in and and and – not for the Other but maybe as an Act of Faith that by my clearing myself out of the space, maybe God’s healing and Spirit may not be prevented from working.
Does it hurt – Hell yes, like hell. It is against my natural instinct and very much against my misplaced and misguided need to be the healer, the hero, the Good Shepherd and at peace with everyone.
Maybe my effort will also clear space in me for healing.