Blessed are the Peacemakers (A Poem for Baltimore)

By Kaylyn Brown

Author's note: I live in the city and have been experiencing firsthand the national guard on my block, my husband staying out all night to protect businesses from looting and participating in demonstrations. Pray for justice and righteousness to continue to be sought, for an end to opportunists (both violent looting and media sensationalizing), and for students to come to a deeper understanding of God's heart for justice and for Baltimore.


Through chaos dreams are born ::: #Welovebaltimore #DVNLLN

A photo posted by Devin Allen ◼️◾️▪️ (@bydvnlln) on



today, we will clean up the streets
give our kids lunch to eat
but the real feat
is to not retreat
from proclaiming peace
when the cameras peace
we must still shout
for righteousness and justice
for the windows that are busted
for the police who are cussed at.
we must continue to act:
mentor, pray, serve, clean
be the hands and feet
of the One who calls us to see
with His eyes
and have love for all lives
Baltimore, it’s time
for us to rise up
defeat the lies of
the media and the enemy
who want us to flee
pack up our resources and leave
prioritize safety over this city’s needs
but we choose to stay
we choose to pray
we choose to make
blessed are the peacemakers
for they will be called children of God.

quiet streets
do not equal peace
the anger still boils beneath
silenced mouths
corralled crowds
10pm bound
in the house
that’s not peace
it’s prison
a box to live in
little freedom given
potential kept hidden
we can’t listen
to oppressed voices
with this kind of peace
so release
the captives
peace is not passive
it’s active.
it’s not a magic balm
used to quickly calm
the burn
of generations of hurt
the wounds can’t just be soothed and made better
easily glued back together
shallow understanding
produces tiny band aids
the quick fix
will always miss
the mark
leaving another scar
on an already bruised arm.
these fixes don’t make peace
they break peace.
peace is more than the absence of violence
streets filled with silence
a night without riots
we need peace that’s shalom
everything made whole.
blessed are the peacemakers
for they will be called children of God.

when the world is as it should be
living peacefully
is just a piece of the
vision for community
the whole picture
is much bigger
and greater
than just peace
what shalom means
is to be whole
a divine overflow
of resources, justice, and hope
shalom isn’t just disaster relief
marching in the streets
contributing to news feeds
but addressing real, deep historic needs
even though these are noble deeds
it’s just the planting of seeds
we need to sustainably grow trees
commit our lives to seeking
by listening, lamenting, learning
standing beside the hurting
declaring “black lives are worthy”
when society says they aren’t deserving
we must be open to
learning what might be contradictory
to what we learned in history
through systemic educational trickery
that leaves the facts on the periphery
until the lies we read
are defied by the
we must listen to the oppressed voices
as more than just noises
easily voided
and cast aside
but stories that bring the statistics to life
and we can’t forget to take the time
to lament and cry
the communities who have lost lives
shalom won’t come overnight
justice isn’t just an indictment
isn’t just finding enlightenment
there is so much more
for us to hope for
than simply cordial rapport
shalom is wholeness
blessed are the peacemakers
for they will be called children of God. 

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