There was once a king who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of “peace.” Of the hundreds of paintings submitted, he found only two that he liked. Knowing he had to choose between them, he carefully considered each one.
One picture was of a calm lake which formed the perfect mirror for the peaceful towering mountains all around it. Overhead was a blue sky filled with fluffy white, beautiful clouds. All who saw this painting thought it was a perfect picture of peace.
The other picture had mountains too. But they were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell and in which lightning blazed. Down the side of the mountain raged a foaming waterfall. Most observers agreed that this painting wasn’t peaceful at all.
But when the king looked closely, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest…calmly warming her babies in perfect peace.
To the surprise of the courtiers, the king chose the second picture, explaining that peace is not a place where there is uncertainty, trouble or fear. We are truly at peace when we can be found in the midst of all those things and still have calm in our heart.
As I watch the unfolding, horrific news of our deepening medical crisis in Idaho, I find my heart tender and my eyes swollen from the overflow of my heart asking…how can I find peace in this situation? How can I bring peace to a congregant who was turned away for care? How can I move out of this almost paralyzing fear? How can I silence my frequent, war-like judgement of the “unvaccinated” as our ICU’s and ER’s close to patients one by one?
I found peace from these words of our founder, Dr. Ernest Holmes:
"We know that is not a natural order of things for people to be at war with one another. We know that the human heart is instinctively kind, that it desires peace, it desires self-expression, it desires liberty, and it desires happiness. If we would promote the idea of peace in the world we must begin with our own individual consciousness. We must think peace if we wish to express peace...It is only when the individual mind ceases combating itself that it will stop combating others. All we know, as individuals, is that it is within our power to control our own thinking, to so order our own mind and thought that we, as individuals, shall be surrounded by peace. Peace comes from the absence of fear, from a consciousness of trust, from a deep, underlying faith in the absolute goodness and mercy, the final integrity of the universe in which we live and of every cause to which we give our thought, our time and our attention. If we would have peace outwardly, we must first realize peace inwardly. The Essential Ernest - pg 172
Holding onto our faith in each other and in our belief that we live in a friendly, supportive Universe, I know that we can find peace in the midst of all these challenges.
I send you blessings of Peace, Health and abiding Faith during these difficult times. Please take care of yourselves, your families and each other. I ask that you please carefully weigh your responsibilities as a member of the wider community and act from love in all your decisions.
You are loved...you are accepted...you are important to this world.
Rev. Jackie Holland