Peace and the simple life
By Alice Liles
Alice’s note: This story first appeared in my blog The Bright Lights of Muleshoe on December 19, 2016. I wrote it at Christmas time, but the seed for the story had been planted earlier that year at Easter by Chris Mardis during our morning church service. Since Easter is coming up, this seemed like the right time to share it with you.
On the second Sunday of Advent, Chris and Gina Mardis lit the candle of peace of our Advent wreath at First United Methodist Church on December 4th. Chris spoke of experiencing peace with God, peace with yourself, and just as important, sharing and passing peace onto others. It was the sharing of peace with others that he felt we sometimes, unknowingly, fail to do.
Sometime after that I was busy in my room. Siam Cat was asleep in her chair, a CD of Patrick Ki’s acoustic guitar music was playing, and as I passed her, she looked up at me. I sat down on the footstool to pet her. She lifted her chin so I could rub up and down on her neck. She closed her eyes, trusting and content. About that time Patrick Ki’s instrumental version of Give Me the Simple Life stared to play. Everything was still; Siam’s eyes remained closed as she let me stroke her fur, the soft music played, and peace quietly enveloped us. I was at peace with God and myself; she was at peace, and I felt like I had passed that peace on to her.
This cat came to us terrified, still suffering from the effects of a recent miscarriage, at a loss as to what to make of her new home. She hid for three weeks before venturing out of hiding. I gave her space, didn’t force the issue, and eventually she saw she was safe and loved here.
And on that particular day, at that unplanned time, listening to that appropriately titled music, we shared an unexpected peace. I had given her a place to live, an act of kindness. We both heard the music, and beautiful music always touches my soul, a gift from God.
So my Christmas (and now Easter) wish for you is that you accept peace from God, allow yourself to be at peace, and pass that calmness of heart and soul on.
The Lord bless you and keep you,
The Lord make His face to shine upon you,
And be gracious unto you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
Give Me the Simple Life, written by Ruben Bloom and Harry Ruby; Warner Bros. Music Corp.; 1945.
Patrick Ki, Journey into Paradise, Desert Series Music Co., Sedona, Arizona; 2000.