Linda Brooks Davis

Let’s Chat | Reconciliation 2

Linda Brooks Davis_Let's Chat_header

Welcome, everyone

Reconciliation is the target subject for this week’s chat, as it was last week when we looked at discord and glanced at harmony. We continue this discussion this week.

Have you ever taken note of discord for a single day?

reconciliationFor me, discord begins first thing in the morning. On cold days like this one, I have to force myself from reconciliationunder the warm covers. It’s a wrestling match of sorts. It’s discord, if you will. But I can’t stay in bed all day. I must keep moving. Inactivity hurts. And pain, like frigid air on warm skin, is … Well, it’s discord. What settles my shivers? A warm robe and slippers, of course. 

I slog to the kitchen where the aroma of fresh-brewed coffee perks me up. As the ebony liquid rises in my mug, I remember my mother’s words: If you’ll learn to drink coffee black, you’ll enjoy it more. But I don’t. The taste sets my teeth on edge. That’s discord. What soothes my tongue? Additives like milk, cream, sugar, and flavors. They smooth out the rough edges and spark a smile and an ahhh. 

reconciliationThen there’s the bed.

Why make it if I’ll mess it up again in a few hours? The answer for me: Tousled bedding is messy, and messy is … Well, it’s discordant. It’s conflict of sorts. So what do I do about it? I smooth out the wrinkles, of course. That’s tranquility.

The calendar and I often scuffle. On any given day it displays what I want least. Must I join that meeting? Make that appointment? Must I open the
editor’s latest message? And the rest of my email … Must I? Really?

And so it goes. From other drivers (especially in parking lots or beside HOV lanes or, worst of all, when the highway becomes a parking lot), to other shoppers (who don’t seem to look where they’re going or notice where the line ends), to unhelpful clerks (who seem to wish they were anywhere but helping me find who-knows-what), to the weather man (who announces horrid weather with a sunny-day smile), the latest news flash (What is the world coming to, for heaven’s sake?), to … You fill in the blank.

reconciliation reconciliation reconciliation
reconciliation reconciliation

Take, for example, reconciliation I encountered on a recent visit to my hometown.

It was a getaway my husband and I had looked forward to and intended to enjoy. I would do some research in the local library and museums, and Al would be my ever-present support. All of that transpired as smooth as silk, as they say. But the hotel accommodations … Not so much.

No hot water. No telephone service to the front desk. No cable. Dead batteries in the TV remote. Outlets that wouldn’t accommodate plugs. A barking dog down the hall. 

Feel it? That’s discord

What would it take to reconcile this situation?  

Getting from discord to harmony through reconciliation.

To begin, let’s look at the composition of discord. The dictionary and thesaurus point us to some specifics: hatred + injury + doubt + despair + darkness + sadness. Each rings a discordant bell in my mind. How about you?

Then there’s the composition of harmony. The thesaurus lists agreement + conformity + consensus + consistency + cooperation + friendship + goodwill + peace + tranquility + unity  and others. In a nutshell, harmony is the quality of forming a pleasing and consistent whole.

Right away,  my thoughts fly to the famous prayer commonly—and mistakenly—attributed to St. Francis of Assisi. Whoever wrote it, it’s ever-so-appropriate for a discussion of discord, harmony, and reconciliation:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:

where there is hatred,

hate_hatred_discord

let me sow love;

love_unity

where there is injury, 

injury_discord

 

pardon;

pardon_forgive_harmony

where there is doubt,

doubt_discord

faith;

faith_joy_harmony

where there is despair,

despair_discord

hope;

where there is darkness, 

darkness_discord

light;

light_harmony

where there is sadness,

sadness_discord

joy.

joy_harmony

This prayer makes it clear that to move beyond discord to harmony, love, pardon, faith, hope, light, and joy must be brought into the equation.

How and why is this true? Stay tuned for the second half of the prayer next week.

Can you point to specific occasions in your life when love, pardon, faith, hope, light, and/or joy brought discord into a pleasing and consistent whole best described as harmony?

~ ~ ~

Dear Lord, please grant your children the wisdom, humility, and strength to embark on ministries of reconciliation.
~ For Jesus’ sake ~

 

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