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Laundry Piles + Peacemakers

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”

Matthew 5:9

The unexpected response to my group text invite was tragic. None of us would be seeing the movie I asked about. Instead, we would all be heading to church that night to meet up with hundreds of others. The text response shared that one of the moms in our close-knit group was on her way to the hospital and asking our entire church to plead for her family’s lives. Hours before, her mother, father, and baby girl had been in a terrible car accident. It took the life of her dad and left her daughter fighting for hers. None of us sitting in the sanctuary that night knew we would be back in those same rows just days later at the funeral service for not just one, but two people…her dad and infant.

The service was grueling without a dry eye or an open seat. The heartbreak was instantaneous, seemed never-ending, and affected so many. My friend, a first-time mother, was without her daughter while simultaneously being a daughter without her father. A wounded grandmother, still reeling from the actual trauma of the accident itself, I am sure, was forced to mourn the loss of her new grandbaby as well as a lifelong marriage to her spouse. The grief was palpable.

Of all the sorrow-filled words I heard in the immediate aftermath of this horrific event years ago, the following came to mind this particular morning as I rounded the corner to a perfectly placed pile of dirty clothes in my otherwise perfectly clean bathroom. My grieving friend said something like, “My mom told me she’d give anything to have to pick up my dad’s laundry one more time. She can’t get over all the times she barked at him for leaving his messy piles - she actually sleeps with those dirty shirts every night just to smell him again.”

Recently, I had spent hours unpacking and organizing that clean bathroom after our fresh move and one small pile of my husband’s shed outfit made me feel so unappreciated, so overlooked, and so unloved…until I remembered those widow’s words. “I would give anything.” How could I so easily fill with angst and forget to show grace to my loved one until the threat of his loss snapped me to my senses!?

A read of the age-old beatitudes that same morning stopped my whirl of thoughts with a crystal clear epiphany. Jesus says in verse nine, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” At first blush, I envision jumping in between two scrappers who are arguing. Don’t you? After all, we believers “make peace.” But, then there was my eye-rolling-thought from the bathroom just minutes before. Being a peacemaker is more than jumping in and stopping the fight. The Bible unpacks that peacemaking is actually offering to those around us the peace we already hold deep within. It is sharing the peace we have already encountered. I couldn’t show grace or love well because somewhere between the bed and the bathroom my own peace had already evaporated.

Becoming undone by a “disrespectful” pile of clothes was really a look at my own heart and how shallow my peace was in that instant. I was not able to bring peace because I didn’t have it to offer. I had to go back to my restorer of peace (John 14:27), my Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), the embodiment of peace (Ephesians 2:14), the ultimate peace (Philippians 4:7), and our redeemer of peace through the blood of the cross (Colossians 1:20).

Making or creating takes work and peace is no different simply because it seems like an intangible. To make peace took work beginning with the effort to restore my own heart toward Jesus — allowing me to then extend it to my husband. In turning those Bible pages, His Holy Spirit enabled me to become a peacemaker. And the end of the verse above became very promising to me. There is a reward. And this payoff is exceedingly better than the fulfillment of laboring for a clean bathroom void of clothing piles. You and I “will be called sons of God” – Christ Himself speaking words that offer us siblinghood with the very author and perfecter of our peace-filled faith. For that, “I would give anything.”

Your fellow Able Mom,

Amanda Florczykowski

Jesus, thank you for promising me peace as my Prince of it. Restore and redeem my peace where it has been lost and give me the strength to do the hard work of bringing it to those around me. Let every mom have the strength to be a peacemaker beginning with my example.

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