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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: War and Peace (not about the book) (07/07/11)

TITLE: The Way to Peace
By Kathy Stevens


Brad sits at the kitchen table after supper with his head in his hands. Everyone else has left the table and Mom is clearing the dishes. He runs his fingers through his thick, black, locks of hair. His well built, handsome body slouches, reflecting his pain.

Mom takes the opportunity to talk privately to him. “Brad, I know we haven’t had a chance to talk today, but I sense that you have something on your mind – something heavy. Do you want to talk about it? It might help.”

He strokes his thick locks a couple more times as if he could dig an answer right out of his head. He cannot stand the pain one more minute and blurts out, “Mom – why is life so tough? Why is it such a struggle -- such a battle to do what I know is right? Why does it hurt so much? We go to church and sing songs about peace – well, I want to know where it is!” He sits up straight and looks her in the eye, “Where is it Mom?”

Mom is not surprised at his outburst; she has seen him staring into the distance several times during supper. She sits down beside him and pats his hand. Preparing her softest voice she answers, “Sweetheart, that question has been asked by everyone since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. You are right. Life on our own is tough. We strive to find peace for some kind of sweet relief, but it’s a battle all the way. It’s a fight that we can never win, no matter what we do. We may find a little peace somewhere in between wars, but there is nothing lasting – nothing, that is, without the God of Peace.

“Without Him, we work. We work our strategies and we live an anxious life, never really finding the peace that so easily escapes us. You are young yet. You have struggled, but you don’t really know just how hard life is without the peace of Jesus.”

“That’s just church talk, Mom. It doesn’t work in the real world!”

She says a little more firmly, “I love you, Bradley David Chase; you are young enough to ask questions, as you should, but you are not old enough to know the answers. You can only bear the pain until you find them.

“War and peace are a spiritual problem and can only be solved with a spiritual answer. Just as with many of the wars in the world, the only answer is to accept the answer that Jesus supplied for all of us. He died a horrible death with all of your sins heaped upon him. He buried them under His blood. He did it for you. Without accepting that act and allowing the Prince of Peace to live inside of you – you will never find what you are looking for.

“Man will continue to fight one another, thinking that if they have one more thing, or something is different, they will find peace. They are being deceived. There is no peace, nor will peace ever come without Jesus. That’s a fact.

“It’s so sad that man has overlooked the answer to life’s pain using reasoning instead of faith in what God said. John 16:33 tells us, ‘In Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.’

“Brad, Jesus said that He has overcome the world. That’s good news for us. If we will quit kicking against the pricks (it only hurts more) and accept the answer that Jesus prepared, we will finally find that prize that so easily escapes us. I know it sounds too easy, but Jesus did all the hard work, all we have to do is to receive it. A gift is not a gift without a receiver.”

“Gee, Mom, do you really think it’s that simple? All I have to do is to tell God about my problems and let Him handle them?”

“Remember to thank Him continually for the answer until it manifests. That’s all there is to it. Your dad and I have done this our whole married life. We have had many opportunities to worry and be upset, and we can slip into that mode if we're not careful. But we know the answer and we use it. There is an answer to war and to find peace. It’s your choice.”

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Ennis Smith 07/15/11
This was a great story. I liked the majority dialogue on the part of Mom. Her explanation of Jesus' gift of salvation was very comforting. Good job.
Nancy Sullivan 07/15/11
A close friend recently asked almost the same question as the son in your story. Wish I had read this before I attempted an answer. You address it so well! Great writing.
Brenda Rice 07/15/11
I had this conversation with a "Brad" in my life recently.
The war of the mind is fought daily in most of us, and too often we lose. Thanks for a gentle reminder to opt for peace. Great story, right on topic and nicely written.
Jean Beier07/15/11
Thanking God in advance shows our faith and trust in His answer. Good story and good writing.
diana kay07/18/11
thank you I like the immediacy and simplicity of this writing. It is a good way to explore the subject of war and peace through a dialogue between mother and son. no doubt this is a conversation that is oft repeated in many homes but the touches of detail make it original.