While the holidays bring a sense of joy and excitement, it also carries the underlying reminder of what we no longer have. The loss of a loved one, loss of possessions or the loss of shelter can result in an overall loss of peace. Recently, our home city of Dallas witnessed a tornado strip away shelter, safety, stability and livelihood from many families, including those who participate in Buckner Family Hope Centers.
As Buckner became aware of the loss, we went to help and comfort our brothers and sisters. We came ready to meet the tangible needs, to ensure there was not an empty stomach or a shoulder left without a hug. Even though our goal was to meet as many needs as possible to provide relief, we know there was one need only our Savior and his Holy Spirit could meet – providing internal peace and comfort during such a tragedy.
As we think of this tragedy and many other losses we face, it is hard to keep our soul at peace. We tend to define peace the way the world does: without chaos, silent and still. However, God did not promise a peace without chaos; he promised a peace the world cannot provide.
When we reflect on the birth of our Savior, he was born during chaos in a manger. I can only imagine the level of stress Mary and Joseph were in; yet when Jesus was born, there was peace on earth in the middle of confusion and a struggle to survive. Decades later they would experience yet another sense of loss amid chaos. The followers of Jesus had to be a spectator to the crucifixion of him who they called their Prince of Peace. But even in his death he promised to never leave nor forsake us, and he gave us our comforter, the Holy Spirit. The birth of peace in the physical absence of Jesus.
During this holiday season, remember we may not have control of what happens around us, but we always have the peace that comforts.
Keri Pettis is a youth and children specialist and Deborah Pizzolo is the community coordinator at the Buckner Family Hope Center at the Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy at Mercy Street Sports Complex presented by Toyota.