“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” -Matthew 5:9
It was happening again.
To my right stood Wanda, loudly voicing her displeasure, her nape length ponytail wagging with every word. To my left was Charlotte. Her jelly bean-colored barrettes were clamped over her braids and were as frozen as the frown on her face.
And in the middle was me…again.
The three of us enjoyed being together. Playing jump rope on the playground. Eating Ellio’s frozen pizza in the school cafeteria. Talking excitedly about the newest toys in the Toys “R” Us Sunday circular.
But eventually, there were times when one of us would do something that would completely disrupt the peace.
Maybe we didn’t see Michael Jackson’s latest video. Maybe one of us had spearmint lip balm and the other had cherry. Maybe we liked Pepsi instead of Dr. Pepper.
Whatever the reason, Wanda would complain and usually Charlotte would counter back, resulting in a rip in our friendship blanket.
I would try not to take sides but my residence on the sidelines never lasted long.
During recess, I’d walk along the length of the playground with Wanda, half-listening as she complained about Charlotte. I’d scan the concrete for Charlotte and would finally spot her, playing happily, oblivious to the invisible friction that was rubbing me raw.
But then, they got over it. The rip was mended and all was well again.
Until next time.
We were 9-year-old girls who eventually matured into women and outgrew such behavior. But thinking back made me wonder how often we take the easy exit in an conflict.
Aligning with the loudest voice, joining the strongest alliance, standing with the largest group against the weaker side is the path of least resistance. But peacemaking requires a lot from us: backbone, energy, and love for all involved.
Taking sides keeps the conflict alive. As Christians, we should work at dissolving discord, not feeding it.
Have you ever taken sides in a conflict instead of trying to end it?
Hi, there! My name is Jennifer. I’m 32 and live in the D.C. area. I love Jesus, R & B music, and sugar in all its forms :-). In June 2016, I married my amazing husband, Calvin. I was completely single and waiting throughout my entire twenties. So I know the prayers, fears, and tears that come with prolonged singleness very well. I am excited to share my story and encourage single women who are waiting for God’s best!