Written by Jennifer Brownell
"The mighty one, God the Lord, speaks..." - Psalm 50:1a
The squabbling over whose turn it is NOW is just about to turn into shrieking.
Mildly, considering, a woman sticks her head out the back door. "Kids, listen. Shhhh. Let's everyone take a break from the trampoline today, and we'll try again another day, when everyone is not so tired."
They could have argued then. They often do. But after an instant the children all looked, actually, relieved. Then one child (who’d been loudly proclaiming that he was King of the Trampoline just a few seconds before) slid off, just like that, and the children ran off through the grass to play something else.
Usually the woman is from the "let-them-work-it-out" school of parenting. Which makes sense to a point. Because there's always going to be stuff to work out, and it’s a good idea to figure that out early. But judicious intervention from time to time also makes sense.
Consider the possibility that sometimes you need a Voice, too. To say, mildly, considering, "Listen. Shhhh. Let’s all take a break today…" Consider the possibility that the peace you’ve been looking for – whether in your own backyard or on the national stage of a heating-up presidential campaign – may come as simply as for once deciding not to argue. May come as simply as listening to the Voice that shushes you, urges you to take a break. May come as simply as sliding off whatever high, hectoring place you’ve gotten yourself perched on. May come as simply as letting your feet touch the good, cool, firm earth again.
God, when disagreements turn to full blown arguments, open our ears to hear your voice, and the voices of all your children. Amen.