Let This Be A House of Peace: Doing the Work

Behold the Beautiful One
from the vantage point of Love.
He is conducting the affairs
of the whole universe
in a tree house – on a limb
in your heart.

Rumi, from “In a Tree House”

There are certain kinds of human activity that promote real peace.  They include grieving and laughing together.  They include creating healing places for those who need them. They include something as simple and as important as asking questions and being open to inspiration.

These come from the first verse of our theme song, Let This Be A House of Peace.  The remaining verses suggestion other human actions that support real peace:  giving platform for a free voice where we can speak our differences and not divide ourselves.  Imagine that right now in the middle of presidential politics.  Human actions for peace include seeking truth in whatever realm we might, through science and through mysticism. They include creating art and music.  They include engaging in prophetic acts–daring to hold visions that support the future.  They include telling the stories of myth, lore and legend and opening to the truths they carry for us from the past.

This invitation to create peace calls on us to engage in activities that we often allow to divide us.  The simple power of asking questions can frighten people, so we must learn to sit with and ponder questions.  In the use of our free voice, perhaps we should learn to use it first to ask probing questions before we make bold and electrifying statements.  As we seek answers to our questions, the work of peace suggests that we gather the stuff of our response both from good research and prayer or quiet contemplation and insist that we hold those kinds of content together rather than apart.  The real work of peace requires not only agendas and plans and covenants, but there must also be artwork, songs and stories. Why are we so fast to put words on paper and not paint on a canvass?  Why do we think that rules and by-laws are more important than a good story or a new song?

Rumi brings the mystic’s view to this working for peace.  He is clear that all of these works required for peace-making happen from within us, God within us, conducting the affairs of the universe from a treehouse perched on a branch in our souls.  If we could grasp that, we’d be much more willing to ask and sit with questions, tell stories, write songs and pray while we create our lists, covenants and by-laws.

Bob Patrick

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