Peacemakers are the Children of God

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

— Matthew 5:9

Our Personal Peacemaker
T.R. Burton: One of God’s Chosen Peacemakers

When I decided to write the Elle books, I had no problem in deciding what her name would be. Her first name is in honor of our granddaughter and her last name, Burton, honors my grandfather. T.R. Burton is the greatest example of a peacemaker I have met in my seventy-one years on this earth.

As a mother, I dreamed of showing my children the very best in life. I also wanted to make them painfully aware of what the worst in life looked like. Unfortunately, they have seen some of the worst in their forty-some-odd years on this earth, but neither of them had the opportunity to meet the kindest person I have ever known.

Don’t get me wrong here. I’ve known so many good and kind people in my lifetime. No matter how many ways I count the good deeds of these people, no one has ever measured up to my grandfather.

The day they announced on television that they arrested the Boston Stranger, my grandfather was genuinely distressed. As he sat chewing on his pipe stem, he softly said, “Something terrible must have happened to that poor boy to have made him do those awful things.” That was it, he said nothing more. But, it taught me one of the greatest lessons I’ve ever learned: Our actions and reactions are a direct result of our life experiences.

My grandfather never judged another human being. He refused to entertain hatred, doubt, or despair.

True Peacemakers

Grandpa Burton was a remarkable man. My biggest disappointment in life is that my children never met him. He predicted my first child’s birth only days before he died. Truly, that birth was a miracle. Based upon highly qualified medical opinion the birth was medically impossible. And yet, Grandpa not only knew the miracle was coming soon, but he also suggested our son’s name.

My children could have learned how to show charity when others sow hatred in this world by knowing this man. As much as I wish I could say I have modeled my life after my grandfather, I can’t.  It’s embarrassing to admit that I have held grudges against those who have hurt me. Sure, I kept them to myself, but I know my grandfather never held a grudge. I tried so hard to be like him as an adult, but it’s impossible to reach that level of perfection.

A World At Peril

Peacemakers are the hope of a nation.
May we once again find the Peacemakers.

My heart breaks at the hatred sown in this country and the world over the past years. More than once, I have whispered to my husband and closest friends, “My God Weeps.”

I stand grateful the man I cherished more than the world’s most precious riches did not live to see what we are doing to each other and our world.

He was one of the fathers of the “Greatest Generation.” He watched in relief as the leaders of Britain, France, Italy, and the United States met in Paris to sign the Treaty of Versailles. I saw him weep as the soldiers who fought described the concentration camps built by Hitler. How would he react to children being kept in cages today?

Where are the Peacemakers who will sow charity instead of hatred?

How can we stand back and watch the despair of so many and not provide the hope they so desperately seek?

Mother used to call me her “Little Pollyanna” because I desperately tried to solve every problem and keep the peace in our family. How many times did she quote only one line from the Sermon on the Mount? (Blessed are the peacemakers) I’ve often wondered why people don’t look more closely at the Beatitudes. How many of the problems we face in parenting, relationships, education, and healthcare resolve themselves by living the Beatitudes?

The Prayer of St. Francis

“Lord, make me an instrument
of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred,
let me sow charity;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, truth;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light; and Where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled, as to console;
To be understood as to understand; To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying to ourselves that we are born to eternal life.”

Amen.

Striving for Change – Seeking the Peacemakers

I don’t know what the solution is to create a world that enriches us all.

What I do know, is that my grandfather’s reaction to our current situation would be heartbreaking for me to witness.

The Beatitudes and the Prayer of St Francis have always encouraged me to live as I know Grandpa Burton expected me to live.

At the ripe old age of seventy-one, I still pause before I say or do anything and ask myself what Grandpa would think of my response or action.

My greatest disappointment is that not all of you had peacemakers in your lives as I did. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live surrounded by anger and resentment on a daily basis.

Today, I have no idea who I will vote for in the coming election.

And yet, what I do know for sure is that it will not be someone who holds grudges.

It will not be a person who refuses to see every human as an equal and a child of God.

Out of the darkness, I seek the light.

I long for a nation which supports faith, truth, and hope.

Persecution of the Peacemakers

Sadly, I vividly remember that night in Meridian, Mississippi in 1964 when hatred destroyed the lives of three young men and their families. It was the same year that Dr. Martin Luther King won the Nobel Peace Prize. The two events forever entwine themselves in my memories.

Who are the Peacemakers?

Peacemakers are the small children who beg their parents to stop quarreling. They are the men who agree to compromise for the betterment of their nations. In addition, they are the community leaders who see a brighter future for every citizen.

Peacemakers have died on the crosses of man and raised again to the status of saviors.

Thankfully, I have tried all my life to follow my grandfather’s example. I’m only one rather insignificant human being, but I have done hundreds of acts of kindness to improve the lives of others.

Hatred and anger are not our pathways to the land of riches and personal satisfaction.

Unfortunately, those who pursue hatred will discover it will consume them.

Even Confucius knew, “All good things are difficult to achieve, and bad things are very easy to get.”

In the end, we all need to come together and learn to work through our differences. Hatred painted too much of our lives already.

Let us all be peacemakers.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

— Matthew 5:9

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Peacemakers are the Children of God

  1. Julie Watson

    Thank you, Peggy, for such a lovely blog and sharing the memories of your grandfather. Yes in this topsy turvy world the answer seems so simple but so hard to attain. May the peacemakers rise up in this world.

    • There are days, Julie, when tears sting my eyes as I picture what my grandfather’s reaction would be like to the news stories of the day. I believe as a nation, we are better than the anger we are seeing from what I pray is the minority. I want to travel the world again and be proud of who we are. As someone who has always stood up to help the less fortunate and cheer the winners on, I desperately want the peacemakers to stand up and identify themselves.

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