Brotherly love, gratitude and peace

Today, I visited with Dave N. a friend, a brother at church. We spent a few hours in his garage at his home.  I left with an overwhelming sense of peace and gratitude.

Dave has bailed me out time and again, by making repairs on my old car, a rusty 2000 Subaru Legacy. He has waved his magic welding wand and miraculously pieced my car back together several times in the past few months.  His acts of service have allowed me to get on the road and continue substitute teaching during a time that our household budget is quite precarious.

This time, it was my muffler that had broken off.  I showed up at Dave’s with my muffler, 3 pieces of muffler pipe that had cost me $10 each. He cut and welded and worked his metalwork magic for an hour. I left with a muffler that was mounted solidly, a quiet car, and two sections of pipe that I could return to the store because he used only one of my pieces with a section of pipe that he had. This is a big deal on a week where I need that extra $20 for gas.

So today, I feel at peace as I exercise gratitude by thinking of the following blessings:

  • I can drive my car without worrying that police will hear my exhaust and pull me over.
  • I can turn my music or podcast down to a reasonable listening level and still hear it.
  • I no longer be disturbing my neighbours in the morning when I start my car.
  • I have many such friends, a.k.a. “brothers”, in my life who have my back when I am in need. They are all generous and have hearts to serve.
  • The church that I belong to is committed to loving one another as Jesus commanded his disciples (John 13:34-35) and carrying each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2), Our minister had just preached a lesson about Jesus washing his disciples feet. I got my feet washed in a very figurative way.

I am motivated more than before to serve and help someone because of the peace that it can bring. I want to encourage all of you to seize these opportunities to serve someone and thereby promote peace.

If you happen to be on the receiving end of this type of service, I encourage you to accept it with gratitude, experience the peace and pay it forward.

In just a few months, Dave’s daughter will be getting married. I offered Dave to call on me to drive around, pick things up and deliver things during the days of preparation. I look forward to doing this with great excitement.

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving, or Happy Columbus Day.
May you all have great friends who are committed to “carry each other’s burdens”.
May you be grateful if you have them because such friends are precious.
May your inner self be peaceful.

Sharing a bit of live music

Kenny Werner performed a concert here in Halifax this past summer during the Jazz Festival.
He told the audience  it is one of his older pieces, but he feels compelled to keep playing it until his vision of peace is achieved.
Peace – Kenny Werner Trio

Kenny, even if we do achieve peace, please keep playing this musical masterpiece in celebration. Your music helps my brain to feel at peace.

A little patience, a little respect.

Yesterday, I worked out some conflicts among 4th graders.
Some boys were destroying each others’ block structures while they shared a cramped work table, another boy had pushed a girl’s chair out of his way, while she was still sitting on it. She let out a yelp in surprise, He called her a diva.

To work out these conflicts, I had to hear the cases, ensure that these students would listen to each other’s complaints. I reminded them about respect, which is at the heart of this school’s conduct policy. I also reminded them to be patient with each other.

They responded well. They agreed to apologize and forgive, to move forward and go on in peace. It only took a few minutes.

I wish it was this easy for adults.
Blessed are the peacemakers.