This was a text exchange between daughters Katy and Maggie last week:
It was a timely reminder our family’s issues with squirrels and how God may want to use this to prepare me for an upcoming trip to the Middle East with a group of women pursuing peace. Here’s an edited version of some thoughts I posted last year…
I’m at war. In case you’re a pacifist reading this blog, I thought it only fair I should warn you. I’m usually a peaceful person, but I’ve been pushed and I’m fighting back. My enemy? The psycho squirrels who live in our yard and are trying to occupy new territory in our garage.
It all started when we did a little trimming on the large maple tree in our back yard. Part of it had died, leaving a hollow branch – a branch that squirrels had found to be a cozy condo during our long Minnesota winters. I think they had installed a fireplace and a Jacuzzi. Well we want desperately to save it so we had to cut it back. I’m not sure, but we might have damaged their Jacuzzi.
This seemed to irritate them. The next thing I know I’m sitting on the patio under the tree and a squirrel hurls a grenade at me! Ok, not a grenade, but close. I’m not kidding! Here’s the evidence.
Before I know it, every time I go outside there’s a defiant squirrel blocking my path, basically saying “Make my day!” in that evil squirrely way they have. They are fearless and I’m sure they have made a home somewhere in our garage now. Every time I go to get in the car I can feel them watching me.
So about now you may be wondering two things. Is this woman crazy? And what does this have to do with paying attention to God?
Well, the other day my husband John and I had a little “discussion”. We both wanted to go two different places together, but….there was some disagreement on the mode of transportation, the exact timing and the goals and objectives we wanted to accomplish at said destinations (you know, the crucial stuff you have to decide when going to the store and to a party). We got into this intense conversation that we agreed was RIDICULOUS, and went on for a length of time I’m embarrassed to admit.
In the middle of our fight I thought, “SQUIRREL! This is a ‘squirrel’! Why are we wasting time and energy trying to exert control over this?”
Later I was reflecting on this as I was walking and the song “Instruments of Peace” came on my shuffle. (It’s an awesome song by my friend Stefan VanVoorst – check it out!)
“Make us. Instruments. Of peace.”
In my little world, whether it’s an argument with my husband, or an issue with a colleague that requires forgiveness, or a random encounter with someone very different from me it’s not World Peace, but… maybe it’s still important.
I may not have the platform or influence of Hillary Clinton, but maybe for today God is calling me to pursue peace with the “squirrels” in my life.
“Make us, instruments of peace. Where there’s hatred let love reign.”
Maybe today it means building a bridge by talking to someone I don’t think I have anything in common with.
“Make us, instruments of peace. In dissonance bring harmony.”
Having a hard conversation and really listening to the perspective of someone I think I disagree with.
“Make us, instruments of peace. Bringing hope to hopeless things.”
Letting go of my need for control and dying to my own agenda.
“Oh Prince of Peace your song we sing, To be sons and daughters of the king.”
Praying God’s blessing on someone who has refused to forgive me.
It’s not world peace, but maybe we need to start small.
What does pursuing peace look like in your world today?