To Be At Peace

So all of you should live together in peace. Try to understand each other. Love each other like brothers and sisters. Be kind and humble. – (1 Peter 3:8, ERV)

 

Yesterday, as we returned to school for the first day that followed the 15th anniversary of 9/11, I spent the day informing my students about the events that unfolded, and then discussing questions that came up in conversation. One particular conversation that stood out to me, was the one about who was responsible for the terrorist attacks. An article that we read mentioned that the al-Qaeda were Islamic extremists. It was a terrific teachable moment, as one student started to make a statement about all people who followed Islam. What I was able to unpack for this kiddo, was that there is a vast difference between people who are living out their lives following their particular faith, and those who are among extremist groups. Though we don’t all believe the same things, the intent of most, is to live well. I was able to convey how despite the tragedy on that fateful day, our nation banded together during that time, as it has never done before or since. In light of the state of unrest in our country today, the very same sort of mindset toward one another is needed. We need to sympathize with one another. It is only when we choose to try to understand each other, that we are able to love each other as brothers and sisters. May we be kind and humble in all things and at all times.

 

Let us be at peace,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Wherever we go;

Seek to understand,

Don’t think that we know.

All have a story,

That needs to be told;

Storms they are facing,

A hand we can hold.

When we choose listen,

Our choice to love grows;

For the heart can love,

Only what it knows.

Be kind and humble,

For there we find peace;

When we love as Christ,

Tensions are released.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You only ask of us that which You are willing to equip and empower us to do. Thank You that You showed us how to live together in peace and seek to understand one another through Your Son, and through those who have gone before us. Thank You that You give us Your heart to love one another as brothers and sisters, and in You, we can be kind and humble to those whom we encounter. Forgive us for not being aligned with Your will and choosing to walk in our own way. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would be of one mind with You. Show us how to love each other as brothers and sisters, so that You may be evident in all that we say and do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to understand and love well, all those whom we come across each day. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. – 2 Corinthians 1:3

Reflecting His Radiance in Darkness

photo by Paper and Threads

“He reveals deep and hidden things; He knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with Him.” – Daniel 2:22

That which lies in darkness, the things that are hidden and unknown, are revealed to us through Him, who is the Source of light.

It is nearly impossible to arrive at this day in history, and not remember the darkness that enveloped not only New York City and the Pentagon, but shrouded our entire nation with a desperate need for Him to again reveal His light, like never before.

Despite the death and darkness, His light did shine.  He equipped and empowered so many to move mightily on His behalf.  His hands and heart were revealed through the countless hours, selflessly given by firefighters, police officers, and the sea of generous volunteers.

Years later, many stories of triumph from this horrific tragedy have come to light.  Fathers that have forgiven those responsible for the loss of their loved ones; families loving each other through the pain; and people giving praise to He who is ever-present, and will ever be our help in time of need.  Despite the devastation and destruction, God was near.  Our need for Him now known, like never before.

Today, a reflecting pool now rests where each of the towers once stood.  The remarkable thing about water such as this, is that it cannot help but reflect light.  May each of us, as He reveals that which is deep and hidden, become more fluid as we reflect the radiant light within us to a world in need.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the Source of all light, even in the spaces that seem desperately dark.  As so many take a moment to remember the tragedies and triumphs that resulted from 9/11, may we each turn our hearts and heads to You, and readily receive and reflect Your radiant light wherever You are leading.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present