Peace like a river ran through the city

Ah, peace like a river ran through the city
Long past the midnight curfew
We sat starry-eyed
Oh, we were satisfied

And I remember
Misinformation followed us like a plague
Nobody knew from time to time
If the plans were changed
Oh, oh, oh, if the plans were changed.

You can beat us with wires
You can beat us with chains
You can run out your rules
But you know you can’t outrun the history train
I seen a glorious day

Paul Simon

On Sunday I’m reading these well-known words at a carol service: ‘peace on earth, goodwill to all men’

But last night on the bus peace and goodwill were the last things I was talking about. I was on the phone catching up with FF discussing bureaucracy in the NHS, public sector cuts, expectations and hopes that were fruitless or pointless, how I can’t wait to finish work for my holidays. Not really the same spirit the angels sang about.

As we got to the end of the call the man sitting next to me stood up to get off and dropped something in my lap as he did. I looked up at him.

‘I couldn’t help overhearing’ he said, by way of explanation.

In my hands was a business card advertising the peace that comes through following the teachings of Buddha.

Christians believe they are vehicles for God’s peace and restoration – shalom. There wasn’t much shalom or zen in my conversation, even if I am meant to be a carrier of peace.

The card made me smile – I’ve never been evangelised by a Buddhist before – and a good reminder of how much kindness there is in the world, and how much reason we still have, in the face of great un-peace, to be full of hope.

 

PS. FF also wrote coincidentally about peace yesterday as part of her blog ADVENTure. Take a look

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