Just closing off a wonderful Christmas season with our kids home for the break, meaningful discussions, fun activities, lots of family get together and many things that make my heart "glad"; so today, getting my mind and body back into what is more normal routine I am feeling a little bit "blue". Adding to my "heartache" is the awareness that for many these are times full of loneliness, fear and uncertainty. I think of my colleagues in the DRC, Congo whom on the 30th of December were finally able to cast their vote for a new president after 18 years, but now have had their internet now cut off these past 4 days because of the government fears the voices and opinions of their people. Or the sad news we received yesterday of one of our TeachBeyond colleagues passing away and the pain her family must be feeling today, or of a video I watched yesterday of a young man who risked his life crossing the french channel in a MATTRESS!
Taking all this in consideration a heavy heart hardly seems worthy of mention. ...What it reminds me of though is that our human hearts, no matter where we are or in what circumstance longs for "peace on earth", security, for joy, for healthy relationships and goodness.
Last night Phil and I were invited to a good friends Open House and there we took time to reflect on this years "Jahreslosung" (Verse for the Year, put out by a book of daily readings from the Lutheran church).
This year's verse is:
"Seek peace and pursue it" Ps 34:14
I'm taking it on as one of my goals for this year, and a path I want to pursue. Whether it be in the context of my marriage, my family, my church, my work in the DRC Congo, helping start new schools here in Europe or with Phil and my involvement with the children of Open Schools. I want to strive for, walk towards, choose, get involved in, mediate and be a bridge towards peace! Could this be a 2019 challenge for you too?