Four years ago, at about the hour I’m writing these words, my beloved husband was taken to his heavenly home. It was deliverance from a body that for the last few years had been plagued with sickness. It was a precious moment of eternal reunion with his Lord and Master Jesus Christ.
Late last night when I was thinking about something to write about him, I thought about one thing he advocated for: peace.
Bengt Göran Emanuel Lundquist (his full name) never forgot what his mother taught him, about trying to keep at peace with everyone. As I have mentioned before he was not one to confront. If there was to be confrontation it had to come from me.
In remembering him, Saint Francis prayer came to me. What triggered it was my prayer for a precious little girl that was sleeping by my side. I was praying that she would grow up to be a woman of peace. Then I thought that would be a good prayer for each of my grandchildren. “Lord, make them an instrument of your peace!”
In memory of a man that made my life “peaceful” let me quote the prayer. It wouldn’t hurt any of us to make it our prayer. We need more peacemakers. One time I told Bengt I was very thankful that he never hit me. It caught him by big-time surprise. Not in a million years would he have thought of doing that. I knew that, but it was still something I wanted to express my appreciation for. Too many women are abused and battered (and also men!).
May this be a day to remind us of peace, a day to honor the Great Peacemaker, the Prince of Peace.
In a way it can seem controversial. On the one hand Jesus said, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law- 36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household” (Matthew 10:34-36).
On the other hand he said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).
We see the “sword” that Jesus referred to because there is so much hatred from those that will not accept his offer of peace.
May you be inspired today to bring peace to your world, to be an instrument of peace to those around you. Our world needs more peacemakers!
The Saint Francis of Assisi Prayer
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
when there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand,
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying [to ourselves] that we are born to eternal life.
Photo taken 2003 of me and my “peacemaker” in Springfield, Missouri.