Blessed are The Peacemakers
“Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God (Matthew 5:9).”
A life changing event happened to me at the age of ten. I was in fifth grade at a small school that combined all grades at one location. This meant in the mornings, after getting off the bus, we all played in the same school yard waiting for school to start.
I can’t remember how I met Jason, or what drew his attention, but a ninth grader named Jason bullied me every day. He embarrassed me in front of my peers, teased me and threatened me. I became a joke. My classmates gathered to hear what Jason would do or say to me each morning. Then they talked about it and laughed all day.
I remember being conflicted because I wanted to be cool, but I also hated being laughed at. I thought it was cool a ninth grader was talking to me. Jason would bate me that way. He started by sounding interested in being friends, then twist my response or what I was wearing into a joke.
I remember crying every night in bed because I didn’t want to go to school the next day. The anxiety made me sick. I didn’t understand why no one liked me, or why Jason couldn’t be my friend. My mother was confused, and my father was frustrated. My mom wanted to console me, and my dad wanted to help me fix it. But they couldn’t fix it, I had to.
It finally ended the first morning following Christmas break. I was wearing all new clothes and new shoes. I was excited because I looked good, I had gotten everything I had asked for that Christmas. Jason noticed.
“Wow!” He said. “You got the new Nike’s.”
He called a couple kids over to look. Then he looked me dead in the eye and wiped his muddy shoe across the top of my new white Nike’s.
“Oh no.” He said. “Now they’re dirty.”
My parents gave me those shoes. We never got name brand shoes, or clothes. I begged my parents thinking they would make me cool and the bullying would stop.
My mistake was that I believed I had to get Jason to like me to stop the bullying.
Out of instinct and anger I shoved Jason. He was shocked. Everyone shouted, “Fight!” We circled a couple times and fought. We were both suspended. Jason never bothered me again.
For years I thought it was because I hit him or because he was afraid of me that he stopped bullying me. Looking back, I was an easy target and I wanted him to like me. Wanting him to like me, put me in a vulnerable place. He took advantage of that. He used it to gain the favor of everyone else. Once it no longer mattered what he thought I took his power over me away.
How does peacemaker fit into this?
Power and who we give our power to.
I remember in an action movie I once watched, the comment was made, “A man who has nothing to lose is a dangerous man.” Essentially, he/she can’t be controlled. In terms of manipulation or threat, there is no way to control an individual with nothing to lose.
There is one thing I ask of the Lord;
for this I long;
To live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. . .
For there God keeps me safe in God’s tent.
In the day of evil God hides me.
In the shelter of God’s tent on a rock God sets me safe. . .
And now my head shall be raised above my foes who surround me.
And I shall offer within God’s tent a sacrifice of joy.
-(Psalm 27:4, 5, 6)
Do you see?
When we give the power to God, to please God, we cannot be controlled. Our safety is in him. It’s not based on someone liking us, or a government caring for us, or a boss, or a job, or . . . you name it.
We are confident and that makes us dangerous. In the way that we can’t be controlled.
We can bring peace.
No bias. We bring peace. Henry Nouwen in his book, ‘Peacework’ states that peace begins with prayer. “Remain in me as I remain in you (John 15:4).” Remaining in Him is our safe place, it frees us from fear.
“As it is written:
‘For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:36-38).”
Find confidence that nothing else matters.
"Long enough have I been dwelling with those who hate peace.
I am for peace, but when I speak,
They are for fighting."
May you find confidence in God.
May you live fearlessly. Do not fear death. Do not fear violence.
May you find peace within yourself.
May you live that peace out with those around you.
In His service and yours,