Tuesday Re-mix –
Peacemaking means a lot of things to a lot of people, even within the context of the church. There are gentle, non-anxious leaders who are often called peacemakers. There are true mediator-like people who help resolve conflict. I believe there are even those who have a Spiritual gift of peacemaking. In my ministry, I suppose I am a bit of a “collector” of peacemakers. That is, I have people from all walks of life who have joined me in peacemaking in churches all over the world. So I can say with some confidence that peacemakers come in all shapes and sizes, and how they do what they do comes in many forms as well.
But I have also come to see some commonalities among them. There are common experiences and common reactions to circumstances. There are things all peacemakers do, whether they know it or not. And that is what this series of posts will address. I am calling it Habits of Peacemakers.
The first observation is the clearest for me. Every true peacemaker I have ever known has been given an ability, a “gift”: peacemakers see broken relationships. Usually, peacemakers see them before most other people see them. Often, peacemakers see them before the parties themselves even realize the brokenness is there. I’m sorry for this connection, but I just couldn’t help drawing from a favorite movie of mine. Maybe you remember it. M. Night Shyamalan’s best effort yet, in my opinion.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2sDw-XBuKc&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0]
“I see dead people.” Haley Joel Osment’s line will go down in movie history. And real peacemakers relate to his character’s problem. When a genuine peacemaker looks across the landscape of a congregation, even a relatively happy, healthy congregation, he/she sees broken relationships. Other people see wholeness and happiness and progress. But for