At some point we adopted a ritual at the close of our gatherings in which each person offers a single word that best describes their feelings at that moment. It is always an experience of revelation and epiphany, but yesterday I learned a new word.
When it came his turn, office volunteer Walter Scott, a native of Jamaica, offered the word irie. As none of the rest of us had heard the word before, Walter went on to explain that to be irie is to be at peace with oneself and the world. It is a state of being where one feels great and all is well. It is to be as one with God and creation.
Can’t you just hear Jesus in his Rastafarian mode:Irie I leave with you; my irie I give to you (John 14:27)?
So, here’s the question: does irie/peace come from the inside out, or from the outside in? Yes.
Here lies the beauty of God’s peace. It is a feeling we experience on the inside that is largely generated by things happening on the outside. And then as soon as we’re willing to share our irie, our inner peace becomes outer peace for others. One cannot be at peace with the world unless one is at peace with oneself.
We are in tough and turbulent times. As we work and pray for Rastafarian irie and Christian peace, may the irie we receive be no less powerful than the innermost power we share with the world.