A restless night of worry about things I can’t control takes all hope of sleep. I can choose to stay in bed or get up.
I choose getting up, annoyed that my sleep is ruined and probably my day.
LacyDog and TuxCat stay with their dreams, neither interested in leaving warm nests, so I sit alone in the still-dark sun room sipping my first cup of coffee.
I’d forgotten that magic happens at this early hour. Through the back windows I see the bare limbs of the tall oaks reach upwards, silhouettes against the sky. The early birds begin their songs and the frogs way down below croak along.
I watch as fingers of light touch the world, lifting the covers of darkness. Stars whisper goodbye and the sky welcomes dawn.
Before I know it, light touches me, too, and there’s acute realization that I’m watching the handiwork of God. As I allow the serenity of morning to fill me, anxiety lessens and my busy brain with its endless list of things to do, calms.
I become quiet, mind and body, as the first rays of sun chase the shadows and make diamonds of leftover water drops from the night’s rain.
It’s a new day and a clear sky promises dry weather. I feel good, as though I’d just swallowed a tonic for my soul. The miracle of this morning makes me smile.
I’d like to think I’ll do this every morning, getting up to watch the day begin. Knowing me, it’s not likely. I love sleeping in.
This morning, though, was special, a gift, the answer to a prayer I didn’t even pray.
Oh yes. I believe that change can happen. I believe we can make a difference. I believe in the young of our nation who have taken the reins and somehow, somehow, have done, are doing, what we adults have not been able to do.
Yes, I’m still talking about gun violence and the movement that sweeps our beloved country.
Today is the March For Our Lives. Across the country hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of people, mostly school aged, rally to demand gun control, to demand that our congressional leaders take a stand, to demand an end to the inaction in Washington.
These eloquent young people know, first hand, the grief of losing family, friend, teacher, coach. They understand that our schools and streets aren’t safe havens. And they want change.
How proud of them I am. It fills me with hope, not just that we’ll see, finally, common sense changes in our gun laws, but it makes me glad for America’s future.
These passionate, caring children will have their voices heard. And I believe that years from now, when these same children run for office, become parents, teachers, coaches, business men and women, skilled technicians and workers, they’ll remember what it took to make a true and good America and they’ll work hard to keep it that way. I believe they’ll make sure it stays a country of, by, and for the people.
All the people.
I am a coward. Worse, I am a passive coward. Not only do I not speak out when injustice happens, but I let the injustice slide on by and drift into the “can’t do anything about it anyway” bin.
Not this time.
Another school shooting happened this week, not, what? little more than a week from the last one? This time it happened in a Maryland school. A kid shooting at kids. Yeah, it was only one kid who got killed. Yes, one other student got hit by gunfire. Good that the officer on duty stopped the shooter before others were hurt or killed. It was still traumatic, senseless, and left more grieving parents and families to wonder why, more school officials wondering how to make their school safe. (Not safer. SAFE.)
Ho Hum. Another day at the school lottery firing range.
When is it enough?
When do the adults in this country do what we’ve watched our young ones do? When do we start kicking and screaming and pointing fingers and demanding that something be done to stop this?
Someone said to me the other day, “Nobody in Washington will do anything to move a solution forward until one of their own is shot or killed.”
We’re waiting for the right kid(s) to become targets so somebody will do something?
And this is even more pathetic. When the young people started their movement, calling attention to their own need to feel safe, what did this coward do?
I sat on my comfortable sofa in my comfortable living room, drink beside me, and applauded these brave young lads and lassies. I applauded these male and female Davids going against the unmoving, unbending, locked into place Goliaths in Congress. And I cried. I cried because I’m not smart enough, wise enough, courageous enough, energetic enough, to join them. To yell, No More. And I prayed. I prayed for the dead, the wounded in spirit as well as body, and I asked God to let it end.
He told me this was our task. He said He would help if we asked for His help, but that we had pretty much forgotten about Him and He also reminded me that the mess we’re in is the mess we created.
I have no idea if making twenty-one the legal age to buy guns, or outlawing the sale of the super weapons and bump stocks to general public or doing extensive background checks or any of the other suggested possibilities will help. But it is a place to start. Doing nothing is just that. Nothing. And the way I see it, there are way too many people sitting in the hallowed halls of Congress doing that. And the ball really is in their court.
There have to be national standards regulating guns. Guns kill. Don’t feed me that stupidity about it’s people with guns who kill. That is a true statement. But if the people who would do harm to other people had a harder time getting the guns they would use to kill, there would be far less killing. Guns kill. They kill because they were made to do just that, whether for hunting bear or hunting students. They kill.
While I’m on the soapbox here, let me say the idea of arming classroom teachers is about the dumbest idea I’ve heard. I come from a family of teachers, and I can’t imagine any one of them ever becoming a pistol packin’ mama or papa. I realize it only takes one good shot to take down an aggressor, but I wonder how many semi-trained teachers could fire that one good shot?
Last thing: I’m not writing this to start an argument with anyone. I’m writing this because something has gone terribly wrong in our beautiful world and I want us to do something about it. I do believe prayer is a good place to start. God not only loves us, He listens, and if we ask for His help, He’ll give it, in ways I can’t begin to imagine. He’s God. He’ll figure it out.
And I’m really tired of being a passive coward.
I’ll say it up front. This blog is all about God.
During this season of Lent, I made a resolution to begin each day with Dynamic Catholic.com.
It’s a website hosted by Matthew Kelly, the inspired head of the Dynamic Catholic organization, and it offers a question or statement each of the forty days of Lent about who we are, what we want, our values, and our role in life, all in relation to God’s plan for us.
Recently, Matthew asked the question, “Why do we complicate things?”
It isn’t a simple question. It’s all tied up in who we think we are, what we think we should be doing, and most important, what, really, are we here for?
Right now, this minute, I don’t have answers. I want to know what God wants me to do. I want to be the person he wants me to be and I want to know that I am alive for a reason.
I know the Catholic catechism clearly spells it out. We’re here to know, love, and serve God. Easy?
No. Complicated. We live in a materialistic world , a world of “me,” where it’s too tempting to ride the wave of more instead of enough. God gets pushed aside so we can exercise that little freedom to choose thing and what’s easy is forgetting that we each have a purpose in life, that God always has his eyes on us, that he loves us unconditionally and that, if asked, he’ll guide us through the maze of life.
I like simple. I like the idea of God being in charge. It’s actually a relief. Thing is, liking it, wanting it to happen and letting it happen are different. See? Complicated. But I’ll keep listening for the Voice that guides and one of these mornings when I’m watching the shadows give way to the sun and thinking about whatever God question Matthew Kelly asks me to think about, I might see the light, no, feel the light, God’s light, shine into me and radiate out, so it might touch others.
Wouldn’t it be something if we allowed God’s light to fill us up and spill into those around us so it multiplies thousands of times?
Now that would be uncomplicated.
This is a great recipe to keep and pass along. So happy to share a fun, tasty blog.
After posting quite a few delicious – but admittedly not so healthy – recipes lately I figured it was time I posted a healthier snack.
I have always been a fan of zucchini fritters. You manage to consume a good portion of veggies in a serving but the fritters themselves don’t taste particularly healthy – in fact, to me, they have always tasted a little bit like savoury pancakes.
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