"As surely as the Lord lives," she replied, "I don't have any bread --- only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it --- and die." Elijah said to her, "Don't be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 'The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord gives rain on the land.' " So she went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.
~ I Kings 17: 12 - 15
Pope John Paul II shared, "Nobody is so poor that he/she has nothing to give, and nobody is so rich that he/she has nothing to receive."
These words offer to each of us an outline for those who seek and work for peace. We cannot even begin to think of peace as long as we continue to separate ourselves into groups. At an early age we all learn what it means to give and to receive.
Years ago following an extended illness, I had to learn how to experience receiving help. I have to admit, it was difficult, and at times I reacted in ways that today have left me both ashamed and embarrassed. It took a real adjustment in my thinking.
Real human dignity is found in receiving as well as giving. This is true not only for individuals, but for communities, different cultures and parts of the world.
About the only way we can allow peace to exist is when we each agree to give and to receive mutually. The idea behind real peace is when we reach out to give or to receive, what will we encounter in return?
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.