By Lana Turnbull
I hesitate to even utter the word peace, much less craft a message about it as this holiday season approaches. I’ve never known a time when the world has seemed so far from at peace. My only consolation is to believe that maybe the world isn’t actually more violent and war-torn, but that we know so much about it than ever before, thanks to technology, that brings us the news of a bombing or other atrocity, practically as soon as it happens.
If we can’t find peace around the world, where can we find it? Maybe we have to look closer to home – to the small, seemingly insignificant things. For me peace is symbolized by the image of the dove. Many of the world’s great civilizations have revered the dove and considered it a symbol of peace, quiet innocence, love, and loyalty – from the early Egyptians, to the Chinese, to the Greeks and Romans. The Bible also honors the dove as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. While many of these ancient empires have fallen, and crumbled into dust, the modest dove still makes her nest, remains faithful to her mate, and tenderly cares for her young, generation after generation, century upon century.
If there is a way left for us to find peace, I believe it is in the way of the dove. We live in a world of distractions, where every day we can choose to open ourselves to witnessing senseless barbaric acts, via technology. Sometimes it seems impossible to close our minds to all of the chaos and carnage, but it is in our power to choose peace over primetime and serenity over the 24-hour news cycle.
This holiday season, I turn my attention from the larger world where peace is so difficult to imagine, to the still, quiet world of home, family and community. I’ll take my lesson from the dove. While a noisy, frightening world swirls just outside my view, I’ll look inward and upward, the only places we are promised perfect peace – the peace we find in our hearts and in our souls.
May the blessing of peace be with you all, now and in the coming year.