There was a fair bit about which to be anxious. Flights, hotels, airports. Visas, security, luggage, and terrible, terrible fatigue. The only thing that is ever certain when traveling into Africa is that nothing is ever certain. All of this can make one experience a range of emotions from fear to anger; from discouragement to anxiety and beyond. This is not an experience that evokes a sense of peace.
We were going over some of the issues surrounding our work with the Foyer de l’Esperance with Caroline, and Don, Clare and I were trying to underscore the importance of coming to some reasonable conclusions regarding our relationship with the congregation (Les Soeurs de Notre Dame de la Compassion) in charge of the Foyer and with the management of the Foyer generally. We talked of fundraising and finding clarity for our donors. We spoke of the profound need for shelter for these children that have no where to live or be safe, especially at night. We spoke of all these things, driving ourselves into a bit of frenzy of worry, because it sometimes seems that so many things are mitigating against us. After a while, Caroline finally said, “Its going to be ok, you know. You guys are here, all of us at the Foyer are working hard. I know God is going to make everything work out.” For some reason, beyond my understanding, Caroline who I know to be normally anxious and worried about everything, was at peace.
In our text this Sunday, Jesus, on the night he is to be arrested, and dragged away to his execution, he leaves his followers with a simple gift, “peace”. It isn’t a gift that is going to take any of the troubles away or make them less, but it gives one peace of mind and heart, knowing that whatever happens, God is God, and God wins; always!
This week, we explore this gift Jesus has given to all of us, and how it offers us hope in the face of hopelessness and calm in the face of the storm.