Speak Reconciliation

I stood there dumbfounded.
Moments before, the words had just tumbled from my mouth,
A writhing, twisting cascade of hurtful intention.

My words struck home.
Their intended victim, an erstwhile friend, retreated hastily,
Lines of stress and anger deeply etched into his face.

Suddenly alone, I owned the space in which I stood,
But it was empty now, and I stood there dumbfounded,
Wishing back the moments before when all had been well.

Later. . . much later. . . when anger and hurt and pride allowed it,
There came another profoundly awkward moment,
A moment of healing, when I choked out the words, "I'm sorry."

And now a season of forgiveness has filled the room again.

How hard it is for two estranged people to find peace and reconciliation, even when they desire it, in our world so divided and focused on self interest. How much harder it is to create peace and harmony when the parties involved don't want it. The work of peacemaking is the scaling of the barriers that separate humankind from itself, barriers of race, class, gender, economics, and religion.

O God, help me find the words and actions that speak reconciliation,
Not only in my own life, but in the lives of all those I touch.
Help me to see through my own pride to do the thing that is so hard
-- to ask forgiveness of others and to give it verbally when asked.

"17So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; 19that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us." -- 2 Cor. 5:17-19