My middle daughter has a throw pillow that she likes to keep on her bed. One side has a peace sign, the other side has a heart. The other night, after a really tough day, she asked me a good question: “Which side should we have facing up, the heart or the peace sign?” We talked about which would be most helpful to her, and to our whole family – peace or love? At first, we couldn’t decide, and thought maybe we should rotate every other night.
But the next day, when I was making her bed in the morning, I found myself holding that pillow and staring as I flipped it over in my hands. Which is more important to us right now – peace, or love? Of course, ideally you have both. But if you were doing triage, what’s more urgent? Most days, I get focused on the peace part. I want a day to go by when no one argues, or gets in trouble, or gets under a sibling’s skin, or refuses to eat what’s for dinner, or puts up a stink about homework. But trying to keep the “peace” against all the obstacles can drain the love feelings right out of me.
As I started to place the pillow “peace-sign-up” on the bed, it suddenly occurred to me that I had it all wrong. Without love, peace would be just creepy. I might sometimes want it, but I don’t NEED a perfectly calm and quiet home to be happy. What I need is love at the core, even if that means things get wild and chaotic once in a while.
I am going to start making the bed “love-side-up.” Hopefully, then, peace won’t be able to resist shining through.