The word for peace in Hebrew is Shalom. When a rabbi says, “Shalom”, he does not mean to wish the person only an absence of conflicting things. He means may you have all the good that peace brings. A peacemaker, then, is one who strives to not only settle differences but to help others to find all the best things that peace can give. It is not something that you do. It is a way of life. A person may try to settle some conflict that he encounters, but a peacemaker is constantly watching for opportunities to enrich the lives of those he encounters on the road of life. He considers each one his neighbor and as God’s representative, wants to bind up all wounds and smooth the way to happiness for them all.
Earlier we said that the last three of the Beatitudes were really the characteristics of God, and the Christian, who is by Jesus Christ made a child of God, must strive constantly to be like the Father. The fact that we are weak and imperfect sinners does not change our responsibility. Walking in the light with Jesus is being conscious that you are God’s child and that He is always present to help you do His will and to forgive you when your imperfection makes you fail.
Every act of kindness blesses the one who does it. This is because the Great Peacemaker is pleased by those who act as He does in spreading happiness. I remember standing with my young son in a park where the school bus came to pick up children every day. A small boy was limping along toward the bus but couldn’t run. He looked up at me and said, “Mister, do you tie shoes?” I saw he had a shoe half on and half off. His mother had knotted the laces so they would not come loose, but now they were a problem. I held up my hand for the bus driver to wait, knelt down and fixed the problem, picked up the little tyke and put him on the bus. He was happy, but I was happier. What a great way he had given me to start my day.
God the Peacemaker is not willing that any should perish, and He is most pleased when His children imitate Him and make others aware of the goodness one knows who belongs to Him. Little acts of kindness bring peace to those who travel the rough road of life with you. God’s peacemakers make the world a better place and leave a trail of hope for better things after this stormy life is over.