A Masterpiece in the Making

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It was just a plain old piece of wood. As far as I could tell, it was not extraordinary or special in any way. Yet my father would observe that same piece of wood and see something completely different. As a highly skilled wood artisan, he saw purpose. He saw potential. He saw a future piece of art.

My father had an incredible gift. He didn’t see merely what was. He saw what could be. Then, with great time, effort, and skill, he would take something ordinary and turn it into a masterpiece. All he needed was the vision for what he would create, and then used his tools and hands to create it.

But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came to where the man [who had been robbed and beaten] was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. (Luke 10:33-34, NIV).

Like my father, the Good Samaritan didn’t merely see what was. He saw what could be. He didn’t just see a man who was broken. He saw a man who could be restored. Then motivated by compassion, he used his resources to go about making it so. With his own two hands, he bandaged the wounds of this badly beaten man, lifted him on his donkey, and took him to a place where he could receive healing. Oh, that my heart and actions would continually resemble those of this kind and very good Samaritan man!

Final Thoughts

I couldn’t always get behind my father’s eyes and capture the vision for what he would create. Yet, more and more, I find myself longing to get a glimpse of my Heavenly Father’s vision for those around me – to see the potential in those with broken dreams, broken hearts, and broken relationships.

If you and I are willing, we can be extensions of God’s grace to those who are struggling with conflict and pain. Like the Good Samaritan, we may have to roll up our sleeves and be willing to get our hands dirty. Yet as our hearts are touched with compassion, we can use the tools we’ve been given to be a part of ministering to those who are masterpieces in the making. The journey may be tough, but the journey is sweet. Come with me. Walk the path.

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Dale Pyne – CEO, Peacemaker Ministries

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Close Enough

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There are some things that are more striking when seen from a distance. Having lived in mountainous areas for many years, I know this to be true. The soaring mountains and the brilliant fall foliage have a beauty that is all their own, yet both are more exceptional and stunning when viewed together against the canvas of a brilliant blue sky.

As striking as it is to see this scenery from a distance, there are some things that take on even more beauty when you see them up close – a snowflake, a flower… a shiny new Harley Davidson!

Then there are certain things that seemingly have no charm, no brilliance, no allure from any distance. Take pain, for example. When we see it up close, we often recoil and want to move far, far away. However, when we are willing to observe and experience the pain up close, it can move us to a greater place of compassion.

A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead….But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came to where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him,” (Luke 10:30, 33, NIV – emphasis mine).

Like the Good Samaritan, I believe that as peacemakers, we are compelled to go where the need is. To move toward people, not away from them. To see the pain up close, not to pull away. It’s a tough thing to do, yet compassion and kindness can be ignited in the hearts of those who are willing to do just that.

Final Thoughts

Conflict. Heartache. Pain. It’s ugly. It’s messy. It’s undesirable. Many times I feel I’ve come close enough to it, yet the Spirit of God calls me to come closer still. Close enough to be moved. Close enough to care. Close enough to get involved.

The Good Samaritan came close to the man in need. Before he could act with compassion, he had to move toward the pain. If we desire to be used by God, then our calling is the same. As our hearts are connected to the Father and yielded to Him, we can move forward in compassion and be used by God to play a part of the healing process in the hearts and lives of others. When you see someone in need, don’t pull back. Come close. Walk the path.

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Dale Pyne – CEO, Peacemaker Ministries

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Walking Away

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Living life in the fast lane? So many of us do. From the time our feet hit the floor in the morning until the moment our heads touch the pillow at night, our days are filled with places to go, people to see, commitments to fulfill, and long “to do” lists to complete. There is little time to stop and smell the roses… much less do anything else that isn’t included in our jam-packed schedule.

Whether our calendars are overcrowded or we have room to spare, the disruptions of life can be an annoyance. Things like traffic jams and technology failures can take us off track and keep us from achieving our goals. Yet our lives aren’t always disrupted by things. Sometimes we are disrupted by something much more important – people.

“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side,” (Luke 10:30-32, NIV).

As I read this parable, I have to wonder why these men didn’t stop to help the battered and broken man. They saw the need…why didn’t they respond? Were they too busy to be bothered? Unwilling to be inconvenienced? Concerned about the cost of getting involved? Afraid of getting in too deep? Whatever their reasons, these men didn’t step in to help. They walked away.

Final Thoughts

As I read this story, I am convicted. I honestly don’t think I could ignore a half dead person on the side of the road. Yet sometimes I sidestep those who find themselves in a place of spiritual, emotional or relational brokenness. I try to console myself with a couple dozen excuses and absolve the guilt of walking away. I don’t have time. This might really cost me. I don’t know how to handle a situation like this. I can’t fix them all. Surely, someone else will help. Deep down I know it’s not what I should do. It’s not what a good neighbor would do. It’s not what Jesus would do.

I wish we could fix every problem and bear every burden. We can’t. But we can go to our Savior, and ask Him to guide our hearts to those whom we can effectively love and serve. As peacemakers, we have the joyous privilege of connecting them to the peace, hope and healing that comes through our Savior. Don’t walk away. Walk the path.

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Dale Pyne – CEO, Peacemaker Ministries

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Robbed

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In this broken world, we all experience unwanted loss of some kind. Something or someone has been forcibly taken from us. We feel robbed. Sometimes the loss is intangible. It may be our peace of mind, our sense of well-being, or our state of “normal.” Other times the loss is more tangible – the loss of a job, a decline in health, the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship. It hurts. Sometimes to the point that we don’t know how we can face another day.

In one of Jesus’ many teachings, he relayed an illustration that is now commonly known as the parable of The Good Samaritan. In this story, we learn of a man who was traveling, only to encounter a vicious attack: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead,” (Luke 10:30-32, NIV).

Jesus offered very few details about this man. We don’t know his name, his hobbies, his background or his profession. We do know that he was hurt – and hurt badly. He needed to be rescued. He needed to receive care. He needed to be made whole again.

Final Thoughts

I’ve experienced times of pain and brokenness. I’m sure you have too. Even as I write this, my heart weeps as I think of dear families and friends who have been robbed of something very precious to them. As I ache over their suffering, I know there are many others whose names and identities are not known to me, much like the man we read of in this parable. As a follower of Christ and one who has been commissioned to “love my neighbor as myself,” I know I am called at a deeper level to pursue wholeness and peace – not just for myself, but to also lend a hand to others who are broken and hurting, too.

I confess. I don’t know all this entails. Still I believe peace and healing is possible as I apply the principles of the Path of a Peacemaker: ascending (going to the Father), reflecting (examining my heart and role in the situation), and connecting (in God’s timing, partnering with the other person to bring about a healthy resolution to the situation). Do you want to see hearts mended and lives restored? Do you long to bring a message of hope and peace to a hurting world? Then come with me. Together let’s walk the path.

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Dale Pyne – CEO, Peacemaker Ministries

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