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We talk of peace so much at Christmas time, and I recalled this song:

Let there be peace on earth,

and let it begin with me.

Let there be peace on Earth,

the peace that was meant to be.

With God as our Father,

brothers all are we,

Let me walk with my brother,

in perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me,

let this be the moment now.

With every step I take,

let this be my solemn vow,

To take each moment and live each moment

in peace, eternally.

Let there be Peace on Earth,

and let it begin with me.

                by Jill Jackson and Cy Miller, 1955           

The late Jill Jackson Miller, an actress and songwriter, wrote “Let There Be Peace on Earth” in the summer of 1955. The message of the song has circulated around the globe. Miller speaks of her early life--how she became an orphan as a young girl, and her terrible experience through foster care, that led her into despair and attempted suicide.

She describes about realizing the presence of a higher power in her life and how she came to write the song. It is a song that has spread around the world, taking on a life of its own, as people began to live the message and share the song.

I also read of a young lady who was doing her Christmas shopping and was irritated by the person in line ahead of her. She wrote, “The nicely dressed woman was jittery, talking in a slurred manner. It is just 10:30 and she has been drinking already. This is disgusting!” When it was my turn, the clerk said, “I admire her so much. She has a neurological disorder, and cannot control her tremors, but she is determined to lead a normal life. She shops early in the day so she will not offend too many shoppers.”

So, I am asking God to let me learn from these two instances that peace begins with me and this includes being tolerant of others. There are many reasons for obnoxious behavior: migraine headaches, pain from arthritis, a troubled family member, money problems, loneliness . . . the list goes on.

Our Father, some of the paths you give us are really steep. Help us to climb them bearing peace and good will toward all.


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