All posts tagged: peace

“Indescribable peace” in the midst of cancer battle

This article is part of the #flamfaces series. Here, Matt Kuipers of Launceston shares some of his story. Being a Christian, I always thought I was a pretty ‘good’ person, who contributes well to society. As far as I can remember I have always been assured of belonging to God’s family, which gives me comfort and assurance in a life after death. However my faith had never really been significantly challenged. In December 2016 I was diagnosed with rectal cancer at the age of 34. After many scans it became apparent that the cancer had spread to my liver upgrading it to stage four. Through chemoradiation and surgery the cancer was successfully removed from my rectum but the tumours in my liver continued to grow in both size and number. Throughout the whole crazy journey, including diagnosis, never have I questioned my faith. I do not put this down to having a really strong, well-developed faith. In fact, I think the opposite is true. To sit there in total peace while one of your doctors is telling you that …

Walk of Peace

6:15 the alarm screeches. And screeches. And screeches. I roll out of bed, pull on some trackies, a hoody, sneakers and walk out the door, at least halfway to consciousness. The birds are already awake. As I walk down into the Gorge, I switch off the music playing in my headphones, rip them from my ears and instead listen to God. “Be still and know that I am God.” Like a whisper spoken behind cupped hand into hair, he stills my mind and awakens my senses. A blue wren lands on the path ahead, his mate flirting nearby. Wattle trees punctuate the scrub with their sunny blossoms and the air is still. A jogger puffs by, “Good morning!” She’s one of only three people I pass on this pre-brekky walk. I’ve made the decision to get serious about my exercise, which equates to a couple of gym sessions and some early morning walks each week. When I set the alarm the night before, half expecting to hit snooze and miss the opportunity, I didn’t imagine this. This nourishing …

Peace, Come What May.

Shalom. Say it out loud – go on! Feel the way it stretches your lips, your mouth, your jaw, and weigh its depth of meaning on your tongue. It means peace. Perhaps a case for onomatopoeia – its sound mimicking its meaning. The word opens your lips in the first syllable, breathing out a net of “Sha-“ before internalising, even ingesting the concept in the second syllable, “-lom”. Peace is outwards and inwards. It is a state of being; within yourself and beyond yourself to the interaction of people, organisations and nations. Shalom is used as a greeting to this day by Jewish people, in place of ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’, communicating the orator’s desire for the recipient to experience harmony, completeness, prosperity and wellbeing in their life. It is the external peace between two entities as well as the internal sense of peace experienced by an individual. The 13th century Persian poet Rumi conjured it this way, “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in …

What the Turtles Told Me About Resting and Waiting

Every evening at dusk on our recent holiday to Vanuatu we paddled a canoe from our island resort to a nearby reef.  Once positioned where juicy beds of seaweed waved long fingers in the tide, we lifted our paddles to nurse them on our knees and wait.  We scanned the translucent blue, drifting, silent. And then we would hear the telltale sigh or snort, the release of air as a sea turtle surfaced nearby.  We would watch their head and shell break through the salty deep to glance left, right, left and dive once more. Hubby and I would share a wordless smile. Every day these shy creatures would venture into the shallows to feed on the sea grasses at dusk and dawn.  Sometimes they would swim in reaching distance of our canoe and glide beneath us, giving a rare glimpse at their mottled backs and flippers.  But the instant we dipped our paddles back into the water to follow them or attempt to get a closer look, they would disappear, leaving nothing so much …