It was just a normal early summer Sunday in London. I had just finished church and I was feeling so calm and peaceful as I walked to my bus stop. It had been a good day visiting with and hugging lots of friends. I hummed a song quietly as I waited with about 40 other people while cars, people and life passed hurriedly by.
While waiting, I turned to see a woman, probably around my age, take her very large and heavy purse and hit a young man walking by her in the head with it. It was obvious she did it on purpose and I have no idea why as I didn’t hear what had passed before. It was a shock and he and his friend both looked furious and looked ready to hit her back.
I felt a surge of emotion go through me, one that I did not understand. I also felt determination and some instinct to protect both the woman and the young man. At this point, I did something I have never done. Seeing the anger on the young man’s face, I quickly stepped in between him and the woman. I lightly put my hands on him and said quietly “It’s not worth it. Let it go. Just walk away.”
He was very angry (and rightly so) and said “But she hit me!!” And he looked as though he wanted to do the same. The same calm, firm spirit came to the forefront. “I know and she was wrong to do it, but it’s not worth it. Let it go.” He still managed to reach above my head (he was very tall) and hit the woman lightly on the side of the head. I stepped again between them and said “No! It’s not worth it, let it go!”
At this point, he finally turned away with his friend and walked away. The woman remained on her cell phone the entire time trying to ignore them. Eventually I saw tears well up in her eyes and she too, walked away.
I returned to my waiting spot for the bus while a multitude of feelings washed over me. I felt relief, fear, embarrassment, and even trembled as I realized what had just happened. But most of all, I felt again that sense of peace and calm return. As I continued to wait for my bus, my mind raced. Why did I do that? What prompted me to step in between them? That was most definitely not my normal instinct to interfere in such a situation.
Later on in the day, watching the sun set from my bedroom window, I thought about it. I realized that I had been used as an instrument of Heavenly Father to prevent something that could have become very ugly. Who knows what could have happened in the lives of those two young men and that woman had violence been the answer? And finally, I identified that feeling that had surged through me. It was simply love. Love for two strangers whose lives were about to be hurt by rash decisions.
And then I understood. A peacemaker is someone who simply loves his/her fellow man and wants to create a better world for those around them. It isn’t easy and we often have to leave our comfort zones to do it, but even one act of kindness can change and bless the lives of many if we have the courage to act.