The Price of Peace
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”
Peace means many things: the end of hostilities; a period of rest, tranquility, and stillness; an inner sense of contentment, love, care, and forgiveness. All these are important ingredients for lasting peace.
I never thought I could ever find it in my heart to forgive the people who deprived me of my parents’ love at the age of 3. But that changed when I joined World Vision and saw the staff’s efforts to build peace — even when others probably thought it wasn’t worth it.
I talked with the child soldiers being rehabilitated and listened to their experiences. In spite of their unimaginable suffering, they were willing to forgive and move on. They helped me decide to spend my energy on rebuilding peace in my community rather than being bitter, though at first it was not very clear how I could contribute.
When the Juba peace talks hit a snag in December 2006 and the warring parties were fighting each other in the media, the picture of my role became very vivid. Through God’s guidance, I managed to convince the LRA and the Ugandan government negotiators to participate in a teleconference, moderated by World Vision, to revive the stalled peace talks.
It dawned on me that God sometimes lets bad things go on because he wants to give each of us a chance to fulfill the purpose for which he kept us alive. In the case of northern Uganda, God’s purpose for us is to make peace.
I know that it may be incomprehensible to many that one should talk about forgiveness and reconciliation in a situation where justice should rule. Nevertheless, we are called to leave the judgment to God and instead do our part in offering mercy — just as God has been merciful to each of us.
I firmly believe this is the price for peace in northern Uganda. A demonstration of humanity’s inhumanity can only be overcome by agents of forgiveness and peace. You and I are the agents. It is up to us.
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