Peacemakers & Great Escapers

The Great Escaper is Michael Caine’s very last film, and is based on the story of Bernie Jordan, a D-Day veteran. Bernie misses his chance to book a place on the boat for the 70 year-D-Day commemorations, so encouraged by his loving wife Irene, he gets a taxi and goes AWOL from their care home. When he shows up in France he is quickly befriended by another veteran, Arthur, and together they visit a bar where they spot a group of German veterans. As they engage in conversation Bernie discovers that one of the ex-soldiers was defending Sword beach against the allied landings, the same beach that Bernie landed on back on 6th June 1944. For a while nothing is said, the two men look at one another in silence, so much passing between them. And then the German soldier begins to break down and cry, and Bernie reaches across the table and takes his hand, a moving and powerful moment of reconciliation between the two soldiers. 
Jesus was hot on peace-making, he really believed in it, promising in Matthew chapter 5 that God is with those who work for peace. We certainly live in a world which needs peacemakers now, and we will never know the names of all those folks who reach across tables and divides and all kind of boundaries, day after day, to bring healing, forgiveness, acceptance and reconciliation. Lashing out can make us feel temporarily powerful, but the aftertaste can linger, and then we often need another way forward. A smile can be a great moment of connection, no words needed. And I sometimes think it is a bit of a superpower. We all have the power to change the world one smile at a time. 

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