Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
There are concerted efforts to teach the Martin three not just in word but in deed. Since they were little, actually before they were, the Martins have attended church. Each Sunday begins with family prayer time. Most often it occurs in the car and for the sake of simplicity we declare who will “dial” and who will “hang up.” Sometimes we go “in age order” youngest to oldest.
The prayers, they are as varied as the ones verbalizing them. We’ve prayed for people and days, talents and skills, worship and recognition. We’ve prayed for pets and provision. We’ve offered ourselves up collectively as a family and voiced our individual petitions as well. Some of us are long-winded and can take a while, while others of us are direct and to the point.
So when he said, “Lord, Thank you that we Martins know peace, and not like a piece of pizza or a piece of pie,” I thought I might lose it. My bowed head shot up, eyes darted to execute a quick glance to my left as the driver of our vehicle continued on “We know Peace from you. Shalom Peace.” I knew what he meant and I must admit that I was a bit taken aback that he had just prayed it.
Naturally it gave me cause to ponder, so ponder I did. He is the patriarch of our family, full of quiet wisdom and leadership, in stature large and strong. Constant, steady, and secure. When it comes to comparison, he’s an unlikely specimen. There has never been one quite like him. So as he prayed and “hung up” just as we turned into the church park lot, I began to ponder what he said we knew. Shalom, peace, the very word itself means completeness, soundness, welfare. It was a declaration he had spoken. As the day progressed into night and we had both worked, children had cleaned house, watched a favorite tv show, had a hotdog lunch, a snack cake snack, an uneventful and most routine kind of day, the realization that the mundane is only possible because we do in fact know that Shalom.
That peace that can transcend understanding, a peace that isn’t like its homophonic counterpart, a piece that can be easily consumed or separated from its whole. We Believers are that Shalom peace. We make one another better. In that Peace we can rest. Scott Martin likely did not know when he prayed those words out loud that he would impact my thoughts for the day.
That is just how he is, he leads in an unconventional manner. We used to be like two competitors: he a steady and forward moving, me always rushing past him, unaware of my surroundings. Eventually I would realize my folly, stop and wait for him to catch up, only to do it again. The Marriage Marathon proved to be exhausting when I would execute it in such a manner. Over time I have learned, we both have learned, to nurture. We no longer find ourselves competing as much as complementing one another. We walk side by side, our pace dictated by him and I learn the value of patience. It has taken me many years to realize that he leads like the King, with Grace and in humility, and for that I am thankful indeed.