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By Pastor Paul Gauche

Today’s Word: ‘Peace’ as in… this is why we pursue peace actively.

It happened again this morning. And really, what breaks my heart most is the use of the word, ‘again.’

The car ahead of me pulls up to the pickup window in the drive-through. What takes place next can only be described as a verbal outpouring of frustration, anger, and rage. The driver is heated. First, some words, then hand waving, then a pointed finger. As tensions rise, there are more words, more gestures. Finally, the driver leaves the barista with nothing but brokenness and pain.

I’m wondering what happens in the time between placing an order and receiving it at the pickup window – a mere 35 yards –  that makes possible such a response.

What did the driver experience earlier in the morning causing this kind of interaction? A job loss? A sick child at home? A strained relationship? Some bad news? A death in the family? To be fair, what might the barista have brought to the moment that added to the tension? I might never know. But something triggered the driver’s ire. As the car drives away, a phrase comes to mind: “Hurt people hurt people.”

There’s a lot of hurt going on. We could use some peace.

I’m placing this, of course, in the context of our second week of Advent as we intentionally focus on peace. Not a peace that minimizes, dismisses, or overlooks moments like this. Instead, a peace that acknowledges that these moments happen again and again, but that we are called to our deeper, better, more authentic selves as we bear the image of the Prince of Peace who comes to bring peace.

As we move from days of hope through these days of peace, we long for healing. And as these days challenge us to work for the things that make for peace, we count on the Spirit to breathe the oxygen of peace into each one of us so that moments of frustration, anger, and rage can be met with overwhelming grace, hope, love, and peace that passes all understanding.


Paul Gauche is the Pastor of Life Transitions at Prince of Peace. His posts are part of his #100days50words project, where he blogs about a different word each week. You can follow his project on Instagram (@pgauche) or on his blog, Thriving Rhythms.


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