This morning as I walked through our local park, the image of one of our city’s playgrounds brought me to tears. The playground, sitting quiet and empty, covered in newly fallen snow looked beautiful and peaceful.  As the backdrop of so many warm and noisy memories of playing with our boys,  the empty playground made me think of the parents of the fallen in Florida.

My heart can’t bear to imagine the pain and anguish of losing a child, and this beautiful, quiet playground stood out to me as a reminder of their fresh barrenness.  As I paused and prayed for their unimaginable grief, I was reminded that this grief is not unknown to our God.

Our God loves us  SO much, that He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, into this world knowing full well that he would have to endure the most cruel and  painful death possible.  The only thing that must have made this pain bearable was the knowledge of the gift of eternal life.  So too must we bear this gift in mind to deal with our own grief and anxiousness.

As we look to tomorrow and once again ready our children for a day of school, I pray that we can all do so in Peace, trusting in our heavenly Father.  In the words of St. Francis, let us pray together for Peace, and the gift of eternal life.

Prayer for Peace:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy. 

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive, 
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, 
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

-St. Francis of Assisi



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