The theme for the Second Week of Advent is “peace.”

‘Peace’ is something we all want. 
… peace in the world, our families,
    communities, churches, governments 
… peace within our own hearts and minds.

It seems that in these days of global pandemic
peace is illusive
and evasive
and often fleeting.

As I watched this heron gently land on the rock before me
the faces of dear friends
– dealing with the beast of cancer came to mind
… one was exhausted and had decided against further chemo
… one was told that “nothing more can be done” and was praying for a gentle end
… and one died the night before I took this photo.

And the faces of dear friends,
– terrified of the present global pandemic, growing and taking more lives
– fearful of the future
… one cannot sleep
… one is obsessed with the news and social media
… and one spoke of “ending it all now” before “things get worse”
came to mind.

With the help of the image of the  heron
I prayed, then,
for peace
… that precious ‘peace that passes understanding.’

With the help of the image of the heron
I pray, now,
for peace
… that precious ‘peace that passes understanding.’

May we welcome this Second Week of Advent
… the week of Peace
and invite it to be a gentle reminder that
peace can come in unexpected ways
… in the laughter of a child’s delight
… in the awe of an eagle flying above
… in the scent of a fresh lemon
… in the warmth of a cup of hot chocolate
… in the cuddle in a favourite blanket
… in an afternoon nap
… in the sound of gentle music
… in the reminder that we are loved

And while we cannot (yet)
… hug our loved ones outside our bubble
… visit our loved ones in hospital or care facility
… do the things we want to do this Advent or Christmas or Hanukkah

We can use our imagination
to carry us back to BPT 
… when we could do those things
 welcoming peace into our soul
as we remember a world where those things happened.

We can use our imagination
to transport us to APT
… when we will do those things again
welcoming peace into our soul
as we anticipate a world where those things can happen once more.

I am going to imagine this heron again and again and again
gently landing
on the rock
place of sacred rest 
… memory of sacred peace for me
where I can pray for those who cannot (yet)
experience that peace
and pray that peace will enter this world in gentle ways
… softening hearts
… transforming minds
… touching souls.

This Second Sunday of Advent, my friends
may peace, deep peace, be yours.

And may each of us
be a reflection
and beacon of peace
to others.

Shalom. Paix. Vrede. Patz.  Salaam.  Lapè. Hacaña. Mir. Santi. Zhi-bde. Pau. Minaggen.  Hohiyi.  Heddwich.  Friede.  Irini. Paco. Baké.  Paz.  Solh.  Síocháin. Shee.  śānti. Udo.  Friður. Rangima’arie, Nohopuku, Rongo. Vrede.  Pokój.  Pace. Santipap. Barış



© June Maffin