Andrew bought a new camera recently, a camera which moves him from picture-taker to photographer. Not that the technology suddenly increases competence, but because the camera gives him options…and forces him to make choices. Once he turns of the automatic mode, he must choose focus and light and speed and must consider how those interact with the subject. Add filters and lenses and suddenly there are no simple answers. However, there are powerful images. And Andrew has an eye for composition.
This sense of options came to mind tonight while Nancy and I were walking and talking about a particular situation. She talked about there being a sense of peace if someone took a particular step. As I thought, I realized that what actually would be present would be a sense of relief, which is–or can be–much different than a sense of peace.
Think of it this way: when you are taking care of a sick child, sometimes you feel like walking away. That may bring relief, but it would bring no peace. In fact, it may end up making the situation worse.
But, some of you are saying, nice linguist shift, but what does are you meaning by those words, Jon?
Relief is removal of the immediate pressure or pain. Peace is awareness that this is the right place to be, the right thing to do. Some medications give a relief from the symptoms but make no claim to heal the problem.
Sometimes peace, the right thing to do, may cause even more pressure and pain. For example, peacemaking can be, in the short term, incredibly painful. If the right thing is to maintain my marriage, my friendships, to raise our children, to follow lost sheep, I may end up losing sleep. I may end up having to work on myself.
In the fullness of time, however, this road may give both relief AND peace.
But does this make sense? Are there real differences? Or is it just a matter of focus?