Reconciliation: Worth the Effort

By Hal McKain of Lamoni, Iowa, USA

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy.  James 3:17

There’s a reason it’s called SPECTACULAR (or more commonly, SPEC). It’s an annual, week-long camp for high school students sponsored by Community of Christ and Graceland University. And, true to its name, it is spectacular!

A university campus is the perfect place for the myriad of activities. Exhibited each year are good sportsmanship, talent, and equal opportunity in sports, arts, crafts, music, drama, and worship opportunities.

Many leaders volunteer for the week and pay their own registration fee. I have enjoyed attending all of these camps since they started. I have been privileged to run the swim meet.

We realize when humans are involved there usually will be a few uncomfortable times. I had one at the swimming pool during a meet. A spectator was behaving inappropriately. I asked him to stop. He continued to argue, and finally I let him have the last word.

On the last day of camp, I saw him heading out the door, so I quickly went to him, gave him a shiny, new US dollar coin and told him it might bring him luck.

The belligerent look on his face changed immediately to a big smile. I don’t know if we’ll ever meet again, but I believe we will joyously remember that moment—a brief effort at reconciliation.

Prayer for Peace:

Patient God, give us understanding for the person who may be hurting. Let us set aside differences and reach out with smiles.

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Embodying God’s Shalom

Each day this week find a way to express and embody God’s shalom. Begin by prayerfully listening to your longing for peace. Become silent and imagine you can hear the groaning of the Earth’s people, nations, and creatures. Prayerfully open yourself to God’s yearning for peace and the divine vision of shalom.

What images, feelings, and words come to you? What prayer for peace comes to you from your time of listening? Speak or write this prayer. What small act of justice, kindness, healing, or peacemaking is God inviting you to consider this day, this week?

Peace Covenant:

Today God, I will understand another’s pain.

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