"Love is a harsh and dreadful thing to ask of us, but it is the only answer."--Dorothy Day


"Peace, Be Still."

A few weeks ago, I did the communion meditation at CCfB, discussing Mark 4:35-39, when Jesus calms the storm. This is possibly my favorite Bible passage, for it's simplicity, but also for it's great meaning. Like nothing else in the world, I long for Peace. World Peace, Inner Peace, Peace and Quiet....all of it. With this story, I imagine Jesus turning to the storm at hand and shouting "Peace! Be still!" and then turning to the Disciples and in a calmer voice saying "Peace. Be still." The power of these words is indescribable. "Peace. Be still....everything will be good in the end." "Peace. Be still....I am with you." "Peace. Be still....give yourself some time." "Peace. Be still....allow yourself to mourn what might have been."

I was discussing with someone a few days ago the necessity of finding peace with what your life is now. I had, at 8 and 18, grand notions of what my life would be like at 28. I would have been married for a while and would probably have a child. I would be living in Austin, and working as a teacher, but would also have written a book. I would have a house and a car, and maybe some pets. Looking at all of this now, I laugh at where I am, having and doing none of the things on this list. And it is very difficult sometimes to not feel like I have failed in some way because my life is nothing like the ideal that was set for me so long ago. But as I have said here before, my life in so many ways has been so much more than my ideal. I have gone places and done things that I never in my wildest dreams imagined. I'm a good and loyal friend, a church leader, a powerful writer, a Brooklynite, a social worker, a volunteer, an activist, an ally, a Democrat, a daily rider of mass-transportation, an alumnus, a Texan expat, an overly empathic soul. And I know that this is the life God meant for me. In this, I find peace.


jch said...


JTB said...

Casey, you are one of my real-life heroes. Just so you know.