I spent a couple of hours at Starbucks this morning. A man with his teenage daughter came in, I’m guessing before he went to work and before she had to be at school. He must have dropped $15 on the order, i.e. a couple of coffees and breakfast food. He very nervously tried to engage in conversation. In the middle of the conversation he asked, “How is your mom doing?” It became obvious that this man was separated from his wife and that he and his daughter only spent part of life together.
I found the conversation encouraging. The dad relished the time with his daughter, he was interested in everything that she brought up in conversation, even geometry. (Imagine that!) It is almost as if he sought to make peace in the conflict that clouded the relationship for so long. The relationship hadn’t been repaired overnight, and still had a long way to go.
This was a pretty courageous thing for him to do. He could’ve taken a negative posture, blaming the situation, past decisions and mistakes, and checked out, “phoning in” his responsibility.
He could have denied that there was any issue, pretending like everything was fine, and allowing an elephant in the room to have a permanent place.
Blaming and hiding is what Adam and Eve did in Genesis 3, tearing the world apart. When we blame and hide, we continue to leave the world fractured and broken.
It doesn’t take much courage to keep the world as it is.
Hebrews 12:14 urges us to live at peace with all people and to holy. Without holiness, no one will see the Lord. The Jews believed in two types of “things” those things which are holy and those things that are becoming holy. The writer of Hebrews encourages us to live in peace and in doing so, we get front row seats to the world being put back together.
Encouragement: Don’t blow off the people with whom you are at odds. Envision repaired relationships. Live at peace with all people.
Our relationships are going to be fixed by a couple of different avenues.
1.) We can do the hard/meaningful work of reconciliation now.
2.) Jesus will repair it at the judgment seat.
Don’t you think that #1 will be less painful and more meaningful than #2?
Jesus’ death make a cosmic peace treaty with Jews and Gentiles. (Eph 2:14) As Jesus’ people, may we be known for making peace. Or as the Anabaptists would say, “Walk through this life and do no harm.”