Peace, Love and Understanding
A Universal Reality?
by Eric Elkin
Unity is a commodity in short supply these days. Strong words and actions from both the United States and China are lending support to the fear of a trade war. The president announced he wants to send troops down to the Mexican border until his wall can be built. Tension continues to mount between the US and North Korea. As if that were not enough, Israeli troops opened fire on protestors on the Gaza border, and Syria continues to spiral out of control. Even Saudi Arabia, typically a place of order, is fighting off incoming missiles.
Disunity is not limited to the global stage. At home, each new day brings another shooting of some kind. Instead of searching for a common ground which might lead to a positive solution for all, we troll and mock our opponents. Even the news has become a ten thousand channel circus full of gimmicks and name calling. The only thing it is missing is a clown on a small car with a creampie. The words of Elvis Costello come to mind, “What’s so funny about peace, love, and understanding?”
What is it about the human community that it cannot stand to dwell in peace for too long? Our hearts yearn for it in ways that call forth the deepest of passions. Throughout the ages and across every culture, beautiful songs and poems are written of love and peace which speak to our souls. We read them and immediately it feels like waking out of a slumber into the bright light of understanding. Yet, whenever the world discovers even the smallest expression of harmony something immediately begins to attack it.
Psalm 133 is not a religious truth. It is a universal reality given images. It is beautiful when brothers and sisters live in peace. Hatred and fighting are exhausting. When lived out in relationships between people, it causes sleeplessness, high blood pressure, and anxiety. Between nations, it can destroy economies and lead to bloodshed. Harmony, on the other hand, produces life for all people. It physically improves the health of individuals and security for nations. So why can’t we give in to it?
Perhaps we need to sing songs like Psalm 133 to remind us of what we are too easy to forget. Abundance, which appears to be impossible to the angry heart, overflows when we live in peace. It is like a blessing from God.
Click to read: Psalm 133
- Where do you experience disunity in your life?
- How can this be turned into unity?
- When have you experienced abundance?
- What role did peace play in the process?