Frequently, when we hear of “peace,” it’s very likely in the context of an absence of violence. And with stories of war, terror, and murder that we hear almost daily, this sort of peace is certainly necessary and longed for. Yet even if we were able to go a day without some form of conflict, many of us would at some point still long for a different kind of peace; the kind we desire to feel in our spirits.
When Jon and Tanya Parks think of peace, they think of their friend Denisa. Denisa attends church with the Parks in Kosice, Slovakia, and they have described her as having the most peaceful spirit of anyone they have ever met, despite the turmoil she faces in her life.
Denisa’s husband left her and her two young children years ago, leaving her to raise them by herself. She made ends meet, until she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. She has now lost her ability to work, and lives off of a small disability payment she receives from the government. Her now teenage children also provide their own forms of disquiet in her life. Her daughter is pregnant and unmarried, and her son has a consistent job, but refuses to help the family with the money he makes.
Add to all of this that Denisa and her family are Roma, living in a culture that is very prejudiced towards the Roma people, frequently pushing them to the fringes of society. Denisa is living in the midst of turmoil, and yet she exudes peace and love. Her very presence produces a calming influence on the room she is in. Her smile comes easy, and her words are calm and kind. She doesn’t hurry. She can’t hurry, but goes about her day with a peaceful determination. She prays often, cries sometimes, and talks openly about her concern for her children and the world they live in.
You see, Denisa’s peace doesn’t come from her circumstances. It doesn’t come from her health, her money, or the things around her. Denisa’s peace comes from a deep faith in Christ. Through her relationship with the Prince of Peace, Denisa’s spirit finds that peace and rest that many of us desire, but can struggle so hard to find. This morning, do you want that kind of peace that transcends circumstances? Then stop in the midst of your busyness, and seek the Christ child. Ask, seek, and you will find.