by Ken Rolheiser
My Peace I give to you

The story is told of a blind girl who hated herself because she was blind. She hated everyone except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her. She told her boyfriend, “If I could only see the world, I would marry you.”

One day someone donated a pair of eyes to her. When the bandages came off, she was able to see everything, including her boyfriend.

“Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?” he asked her. The girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind. The sight of his closed eyelids shocked her. The thought of looking at them the rest of her life led her to refuse to marry him.

Her boyfriend left in tears, and days later wrote a note to her saying: “Take good care of your eyes, my dear, for before they were yours, they were mine.”

Jesus gives us more than physical sight; he gives us peace and ease. And he has sacrificed so much more for us than his eyes.

How much we take peace for granted. If we ever lived through a war situation, where life is cheap, how differently we would perceive; how much we would treasure what we now take for granted.

We often recover from sickness and disease, yet we soon take good health for granted.

Father Tony Williams, a missionary in Tanzania for 17 years, describes his experience with the return of abdominal cancer. “I was…gazing at the crucified head of Christ, and as I was gazing at it, trying to pray, suddenly the eyes seemed to grow luminous. …I felt myself drawn into the picture and found myself on Calvary. I arrived at Calvary precisely…when the soldiers were hammering nails into his hands.”

He continues, “But you can imagine how utterly surprised and shocked I was when one of the soldiers’ faces was mine! And I asked the Lord, ‘Have I been that terrible?” And Christ turned to me and said, “Tony, whatever they are, your sins are forgiven. My peace I give to you.”

And then Tony said, “The face, my face, on the soldier disappeared, and I kind of came out of it. And ever since I have found that enormous peace, the peace that’s in the gospel, that Jesus spoke about.”

As Father Tony approached death, all who visited him spoke of the great sense of peace in the hospital room. Before he died, Father Tony spoke these words, “My wish for you is the peace that I have received from knowing that Jesus not only died for my sins, but that he loves me with such an incredible love.

“At this point in my life I’m looking forward to seeing once more this Christ who loves me so much and who gives me such peace.” A few minutes later Tony died with a big smile on his face.

Often when life’s troubles surround us and we struggle to keep our heads about water, it is hard to feel a sense of peace. It is then that we need to gaze on the one who is the Prince of Peace.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27)

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