Close up of a white lily flower opening above water with the sun reflecting off the water and leaves. Text: Songs of the Spirit: peace. Faith in Grey Places

Songs of the Spirit: peace (a poem)

This is part of a series of poems on the virtues described as the fruit the spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. Today’s word is peace. 

I’m almost embarrassed to write about peace, given that I can be anxious so often. I don’t want to write something that feels disconnected from our present reality, and yet I believe most surely that God’s peace has a completeness and depth that will surpasses everything we could hope for. 

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In the Old Testament, the ideas of “Sabbath,” “rest,” “home,” and “inheritance” were all intertwined. There were associated with peaceful living in the land where each person could sit under their own vine and fig tree. It’s a feeling of security, wellbeing, belonging and harmony. It’s this kind of “rest” that Jesus was speaking off when he said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 1:28)

Yesterday, I listened to a gut-wrenching podcast about the Roman Catholic residential schools in Canada where indigenous children were kept separated from their parents and thousands died. The story was in the news back in 2015 when the Canadian government’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission published its report, saying the system amounted to “cultural genocide.” However, if the Commission had had more scope to investigate, the finding could well have been “genocide.” The story has returned to the headlines in recent weeks because of the discoveries of mass graves. 

The podcast interviewed survivor Barry Kennedy. His testimony was very powerful and what struck me most though was how all sense of peace was destroyed for these children. 

So with that in mind, I wrote today’s poem. 

Songs of the Spirit: peace

Yours is a peace that rests.
It does not quiver or tremor,
It does not stir or shiver,
But basks in contentment of home. 

Yours is a peace that brings rest.
It does not clench or hasten,
It does not falter or stumble,
But flows in ease and refreshment.

Yours is a peace that gives rest.
It does not wane or waver,
It does not sleep or slumber,
But watches in ever-cradling love. 

Sharing another picture from artist Helen Yousaf that reminded me of the themes of this poem. This one is on her Facebook page.

Helen kindly said I was free to share so long as I’m sharing hope. Her instagram is here: Helen Yousaf. Her website shop is here: Helen-Yousaf-Art.

Woman of colour lying on her back with her knees up; background has rainbow colours and doves are flying overhead. Original artwork by Helen Yousaf.

Photo by Ridham Parikh on Unsplash

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