A truth concerning peace from an unlikely place

“For nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37 )

I had thought to give the context and background of this verse, and in doing so illuminate further its meaning, but the verse comes from the message that the angel give to Mary. Mea culpa for not realizing this from the scripture citation.

So. . . the quote matched to this day and this scripture in Davis’ 366 Ways to Peace is from Dorothy Day. The quote reads, “We must love the jailor as well as the one in prison. We must do that seemingly utter impossible thing: love our enemy.” I think it is a very good matching. It is easy to love and care for the one abused and pressed upon. It is easy to cheer for the underdog, and to care for the person who is hurting. It is harder to do so for the who has power and control, and is using it in hurtful ways.

But we are told to love our enemies, turn the other cheek, pray for the one who hurts us, and other upside down principles. We sputter and say, “how”, “why”, and “what good would that do.” But the person who is the abuser is in as much distress and peril as the one abused. In fact, in some ways more so. The abuser is needful not of justice as much as needing to have his/her life changed and re-aligned. The jailor needs to learn why it is wrong to oppress the innocent. The enemy needs to learn to put aside hatred and violence, and embrace peace and love. And these changes can only be accomplished through love and caring, motivated by God and carried out by us, followers of God.

Although an unlikely source, there is one thing we can take with us from the passage that this verse comes from. When Mary hears the message of the angel she says, “”I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me according to your word.” (verse 38a)

May you gentle reader love and care for others, both friend and enemy, according to God’s precepts and law of shalom. Selah!