December 22, 2013

Peace Among the Broken Pieces

The easy way. The path of least resistance.

Admittedly, it's my route of preference. Conflict? Confrontation? Any sense of discomfort, and I'll go over the hills and through the woods and three times around grandmother's house to avoid it.

Especially at this time of year, the easy thing is kvetching about the endless running, the needle on the scale that threatens to inch ever forward, the expectations put upon us by our kids, our significant others and ourselves. Not to mention the music. Which I did. Right here. In this post.

But sometimes you have to dig and do the hard work. The antithesis of the easy way. I mean get dirt under your fingernails to find the joy -- even in the holiday music, since most of it beckons us to joy, happiness and peace.

Peace in the midst of reality.

For me, that reality is having terminal illness and death in some shape or form breathing down my back and lurking around every corner. Too many people in my circle will have one less person at their holiday table this season. Some exits were expected and others were sudden -- and tragically -- self-inflicted.

Now, where do you find peace in all of that?

Given that backdrop, I don't find peace in the Noels and Gloria in Excelsis Deos, to be honest.
I don't find peace in there's a reason for everything.
I certainly don't find peace in You'll never be given more than you can bear, because between you and me: I've got a seriously low threshold for pain or any kind of discomfort. (see paragraph 2)

What I find peace in is that God is sovereign and knowing that He's God and I'm not. That sometimes I won't find the answers on this side of Heaven. I find peace in knowing that He's holding my hand -- or at least holding onto my wrist the way my mom used to when we'd cross a street together to make sure that if I let go, there'd be no way I was getting out of her grasp and into oncoming traffic.

So to balance out my easy route of tongue-in-cheek Christmas song kvetching, this is the song that moves and touches me.

"I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men...

...and in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,...

...Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;

The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."

You see, peace on earth doesn't always mean that everything's perfect, each seat filled and a hearty God Bless Us, Every One.

It means finding peace among the broken pieces despite the empty chair.

And for the most part, I have. 

So it's my prayer that everyone finds that same peace. Especially at this time of year.


  1. Peace in the midst of reality is tough enough on a good day. Add absent loved ones during the holidays and that is a whole different story. I'm sorry for the sadness you're facing. Wishing you peace and a merry Christmas.

    1. Thanks so much, Michelle...the sadness comes in a flash and is gone just as quickly. Not so much for the folks to whom this is uncharted territory, so I really do pray for 'em because it's a not an easy road...but the road does lead to healing.
      I'm proof of that.

  2. Yes. Yes.. Yes. Finding peace doesn't mean everything is perfect. It means you are content to sit with the imperfections. Love this my friend.

    1. Thanks Ilene...and "content to sit with the imperfections" is a lot less stressful too, isn't it? :)
      Hope you and yours have a merry, peace-filled Christmas.

  3. That is one of my favorite carols. The words are so rich and full of redemption.

    1. Exactly!

      ...and the story behind it makes it even richer: