Dear Kaleid Ladies,
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:9
This fall at Kaleid we are looking through our “See the City” lens. This lens can feel a bit abstract to those of us who live in Atlanta. After all, it’s a huge city. We live our actual lives in a very small part of it. Those of us who live here likely didn’t grow up here. Those of us who work in the actual “city” probably don’t live in the actual city. Those of us who ponder how to see Atlanta’s complexities might spend two hours in traffic on 285 or in a security line at Hartsfield-Jackson or getting lost in (our city) on the way to a child’s athletic event on the other side of our “town” (read “outsized metropolis”) and throw up our mental hands in surrender. What would seeing our city even look like? And how would it be empowering as we follow Jesus everyday?
We understand. Our kids play soccer in Marietta, too, and we can’t figure out whether the construction on the top end is actually going to end in our grandchildren’s lifetimes, either.
What does this have to do with peacemaking?
If you were with us last week, we talked about postures and practices. We all know folks who are peacekeepers, and we all know folks who are peacemakers. In fact, we have probably all been both of those things as well.
To stick with our silly Atlanta analogies, peacekeeping might look like choosing not to give dirty looks to the person who cut us off in traffic and waiting until they can’t see us to growl in frustration. Peacemaking might look like taking the time to empathetically imagine ourselves into their frustration or acknowledging our own and letting God meet us there, helping us carry whatever need or desire is behind it.
Peacemaking is about deeper connection. With others. With ourselves. With our context. Connecting with God’s grace and strength and relying on it to carry us through hard conversations, challenging connections, difficult emotions. Through peacemaking, we are called home to our place as God’s daughters, in God’s house, at God’s table. It is only as we follow Jesus, coming home to God, that we can securely walk toward healing in the harder parts of relationships with ourselves, others, and our world.
Back to Atlanta. Our city is marked by a long and painful (and often hopeful, too) racial history. Atlanta is roughly 50% black and 40% white. Racial pain and division and struggle and work are woven into our fabric. At Kaleid we desire to learn how to be peacemakers—God’s daughters who humbly listen, understand, and move toward peace in the complicated undercurrent of race our city.
We know we aren’t going to solve the big problem. But we also know that our city will always call us into relationships with people and encounters with places where racism is part of the backdrop, and we want to enter those places with humility and courage. As daughters of the One who delights in diversity and reconciles all things, we want to follow Jesus by practicing peacemaking.
Questions for today…
Where is there peace to be made in your life? How does being God’s daughter offer strength for a step in that peacemaking work today?
What does your day in Atlanta hold? Is there something on your schedule that is also an invitation to peacemaking or to allowing God to make peace in your life?
We’d love to have you join us for our book club on September 11th and 25th on Osheta Moore’s book dear white peacemakers. She says, “I’m here to be your honest Black friend, your cheerleader, your companion, your sounding board. As I process how I’ve come to terms with my calling to practice peace as a Black woman, I hope the Holy Spirit meets you and inspires you, as a white person, to be a peacemaker for anti-racism. I hope you know that here you are loved and wanted.” We look forward to learning from Osheta and one another during our evenings together!
We love you and we are grateful for you!
The Kaleid Team