A bookstore (not just any bookstore…one with a good news stand) is where I feel the “Peace of the city” that Jeremiah mentions in 29.7. And yet, it’s in the bookstore where I come face to face with my responsibilities; the ones of which I fall short: curiosity, activism. My bumper sticker says “FREADOM”. If you don’t read, you ain’t free. I don’t read, not enough. But when I am in a bookstore I know there is hope for a better world.
I have witnessed ugly, anxiety driven fights. I’ve heard arguments based on conflicted interests. I have been to thought provoking debates and I’ve imagined deep conversations where I always prevail with the Truth. None of these scenarios constitute a peaceful resolution. It takes more: more reading, more questioning, more voting, more deep conversations where feelings are not hurt so easily, so willingly.
It is I who wears a peace sign, who is at times a source of conflict.
It is I who bears a bumper sticker “Peaceverywhere” yet may cut you off unknowingly.
It is I who screams “Serenity Now!” at all the damn litter on the Alberta exit off the I5.
It is I who has conflicts about intimacy, commitment and identity; about being misunderstood, unknown … at no ones fault but my own. My love runs deep but my efforts toward intimacy are shallow. I avoid rejection, unwilling to reveal my ugly cry.
It is I who has hope that I am who I am … that We can bear it well.