Having played piano for over 60 years, I often wake up with a song going through my head. I really paid attention, though, when it was the wonderful song by Jill Jackson-Miller, “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.”
The story is that Jill had been suicidal after the failure of a marriage, and she wrote the song after discovering what she called the "life-saving joy of God’s peace and unconditional love."
All of us have heard of the ripple effect, when a pebble is dropped in a pond. Just think of being that pebble - being that catalyst for good and harmony and peace.
How times have changed during my lifetime. We’ve gone from having a half-hour of news in the evening, to being bombarded 24 hours a day with endless news and speculation since the 1980s and ‘90s. It can be very disturbing.
Rather than getting stirred up, though, we can remember the words God spoke to Jehoshaphat (2 Chron 20:17): “Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you … fear not, nor be dismayed.”
In Mark 4:39, we also read that Jesus stilled the tempest, saying, “Peace, be still.” Even if influences remain that are still stirring the pot, I’m reminded of words from a hymn by Anna Waring, “The storm may roar without me, my heart may low be laid; but God is round about me, and can I be dismayed?”
It’s helpful to know that we, personally, don’t need to bring about peace. We just need to align our thoughts with the peace of God. For, after all, “in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee” (Isa. 26:3). “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10).
An adaptation of “Rock of Ages” says, “Christ, the Truth, foundation sure, on this rock we are secure; peace is there our life to fill, cure is there for every ill.”
Have you ever been someplace where tension was in the air, but then someone walked in who had an air of calm about them and the tension eased? We can bring our “atmosphere” of calm and peace with us wherever we go.
It’s being a pebble dropped in the pond of human emotion, being an influence for good, especially if it comes from a sense of peace brought about by recognizing God’s harmonious and loving governance of His entire creation.
As Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, says in her textbook, Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures, “Undisturbed amid the jarring testimony of the material senses, Science, still enthroned, is unfolding to mortals the immutable, harmonious, divine Principle - is unfolding Life and the universe, ever present and eternal.” (p. 306).
Paula Broock is a member of the Christian Science Church in Brookings. To learn more of Christian Science, visit the church Sunday mornings at 11 or Wednesday evenings at 6. The Reading Room in the church building at 429 Pine St. is open from 1-3 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, or visit cscbrookings.com.