She didn’t cry. She didn’t cry during the accident. She didn’t cry when a Circle K attendant held her as I pushed the car out of the road. She didn’t cry as we rode in the back of a police car the rest of the way to a place called Organ Stop Pizza, which in fact did have both pizza and organ music.
In fact, Reese rather enjoyed the ride in the back of the police car. I hope this last detail is not a sign of things to come.
Reese didn’t seem to be in shock either. She was just normal Reese. And I can’t believe this was because she didn’t know that strange things were happening. After all, she has always been a pretty aware little person. By the end of the night, Reese had actually enjoyed one of her most fun-packed and active evenings in quite a while.
I loved her for it (and not just because it helped keep me from feeling even worse than I already did about getting into an accident). I loved her for it because I think it said something good about her. A crisis occurred, and Reese didn’t panic. Instead, she faced it straight on, rolled through it, and kept going forward with a peace and honest joy that would not be overcome, even by Daddy’s bad driving.
Now that she is seven, I hope that this quality of peace is a sign of things to come for her. I hope it is, in essence, the way Reese faces the world as she continues to grow, a world Jesus says is full of “wars and rumors of wars,” both personal and global.
I hope it is a sign of the way she faces the crises of rejected love, of one day losing her parents, of someday saying goodbye to a hope for the future that present reality has torn apart. I hope it reflects the way she looks at herself in the mirror when she falls short in life.
The gospel of John has Jesus saying that he gives his own peace to us. This is the same Jesus who has said he has overcome the world. This is the same Jesus who faced the Mt. Everest of crisis – rejection, betrayal, and execution. This is also the Jesus who rolled through them by the power of resurrection.
This is the Jesus who has given his peace to us, if we will receive it. Amazing stuff, if we dare to take it to heart.
It is pretty well known that the word “crisis,” although we usually consider it synonymous to “big, sudden problem,” is actually related to “decision point.”
A crisis is a moment of decision, a time to show who we really are, how we really act, and the faith by which we really live.
If you would, please take a few moments. Ask the Lord to be present with you, guiding you during this time. Then imagine one or two of the fundamental issues of your life or of the world around you.
Perhaps what bubbles up is your mortality, your marriage, your family, your office, your school, or your congregation. Or perhaps it has to do with broader issues of war and peace, rich and poor, or environmental misuse and care.
Do a thought experiment with whatever comes to you. Imagine a sudden crisis in the area that you have called to mind. Imagine how you would face the crisis if you were living not out of panic and fear, but out of the peace and Spirit of Jesus. Then ask God to help you live right now so that you are prepared to face the crises to come with that selfsame peace of Christ.
Then act on that prayer. Claim that peace. Live out of it, not just when something goes wrong – not just when the car crashes – but now, today. This peace is yours in Jesus for every day and for every situation.