Unexpected Peace

By Michael Temple

Photo by Dreamstime

I looked down at the photo that my oldest daughter had sent to me. The pile of glistening, jagged glass on the front seat of the little Honda Civic caused me to sigh. My children were getting a taste of the uncaring attitude that so many people display when they steal, vandalize, and ruin other people’s possessions. 
I made the phone call to speak with my daughter because I knew that both of them were probably reeling from this violation. It had transpired as they peacefully slept in a hotel room in Omaha where her husband was on a temporary job assignment. I expected to hear how frustrated and angry they were. Such a response would be indicative of the way that I might feel if someone had smashed my vehicle window, and I braced myself to listen to her to vent about it.
“Honey, I’m really sorry that you guys are going through this. You must be very angry,” I began as she answered the phone. What she said next took my breath away. “Actually, Dad, I don’t feel anger towards the people who did this. I feel badly for them. I’ve been praying, because they must be really miserable if they are willing to do something like this. My heart breaks for them.”
“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do…” (Luke 23:34, KJV).
If there was ever a moment when “daddy pride” swelled in my chest, it happened while I listened to my daughter tell me that she was praying for those who had mistreated her and her husband. By smashing the window of a young couple who were trying so hard to work honestly and diligently, this person had made their day so much more challenging. Only the Prince of Peace could have brought a peace that passes all understanding into a situation that might have caused most people to respond in destructive ways.