My 10 year old son’s homework this week was to make a model that represented peace, as he understands it.
He went through a few ideas – a heart, two hands holding each other. In the end he opted for someone sat, legs folded and hands together. The word that led him there, was quietness.
I was interested. When I pray for peace for him at bedtime, my mind is on broken chains, freedom from guilt and shame; quietness, yes, but internal and deep. I wonder if he takes my prayers to be a simple and not very subtle hint that now’s the time to shush. Well, I guess it’s a bit of that too, and that’s not so bad; I know that the sort of peace I hope for him is a life journey and beyond.
Which takes me on to the funeral I sadly attended this week. Peace is a word that gets used quite a lot at funerals; heavenly rest, comfort in grief, the stillness of those moments in which we reflect and remember. This was a simple cremation that brought friends and family together in love. It wasn’t a funeral full of people who are knowingly running after God, but I earnestly hope for the peace of the eternal to be known by each who attended. I believe that one day, at least, it will be.
My son hadn’t been able to tell me why he’d considered the heart, nor the hands, when he first set about deciding on what to make for his model. I assume they are symbols he’s picked up from somewhere, in a way that we might choose a dove but not always know why we choose it. I wondered what I would make if I’d been given that homework. What about you?