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"The Peace of God"

Turn away from evil and do what is good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their cry. Psalm 34:14-15

What do you do when the unprovoked actions of others towards you temporarily sends your quiet world into a tailspin? During the initial shocking moments you say to yourself, "How could they? Why would they? I did not do anything to deserve this disrespect…This is so unfair."

During the 2006-2007 school year, a few ladies on the first southeast wing of Lamson Hall were the recipients of a cruel prank. These ladies arrived at their rooms one evening to find that a fellow Lamsonite had taken it upon herself to anonymously leave items and comments on the doors and boards of their rooms that were derogative and offensive towards women whose size and frame the perpetrators considered to be unhealthy and unattractive.

The recipients of this prank were mortified. Why were they targeted? What had they done to deserve this cruel joke? As tears of anger rolled down a few cheeks the ladies expressed their feelings of pain and mortification. How could someone be so cruel at their personal expense? The Lamson Hall staff rallied around these dear hearts and reminded them that the Lord was ever-present. He had not forgotten them and would show them how wonderfully He could dry their eyes and heal their hearts.

A few days later, two of the recipients came to my office to tell me that they had decided they were going to "pay back" the resident(s) who had offended them. As I sat and began to listen to their plan of action, inwardly I prayed and asked God to help me to redirect their thoughts towards good. I received quite a shock when they informed me that they had decided that since they did not know who specifically on their hall was responsible for the prank, that they were going to go from room to room and hand out Bible verses and pray with each resident on their hall. Inevitably, they would then be able to pray with and show love towards the "prankster." They said, "Dean Townsend, we want to show these ladies the love of Jesus." In that brief moment, my heart was overwhelmed with joy and thanksgiving as I remembered the words of David the psalmist, "Turn away from evil and do what is good; seek peace and pursue it." As a dean, my heart’s desire is to see the ladies of Lamson Hall be true to the Lord even in the face of adversity by seeking, pursuing, and sharing the peace of God.

- Adrienne Townsend

Andrews University is a Seventh-day Adventist institution of higher education
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Berrien Springs, Michigan 49104