Imaging Peace

What image comes to mind when you hear the word peace? Start not with a definition but with a picture. Don’t resort to words. Be visual. What do you see in your mind’s eye when you hear the word peace?

A friend of mine, Andy Jacob, wrote about an experience with his first child as an image of peace. Christopher “is lying snuggled in my arms, gently swaying in a rocker in front of a fire, listening to rhythmic gospel music, while putting the finishing touches on a bottle.”

Andy’s image called to mind one of my favorite family pictures. It is from long ago – some twenty-five years. I am sprawled out on the couch, sleeping. I have hair and a dark beard and sprawled out on me, sleeping, is my older son. Peace.

Those images speak to me not because of the absence of conflict – for peace is so much more than that.

There is a sense of wholeness – of well-being – of security – of trust – of right-relatedness – of love – within such images. All of those dimensions are part, I believe, of the peace God intends for us – the peace God gives to us in Jesus Christ – the peace God invites us to live into and share.

What image comes to mind when you hear the word peace?

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