Exhibit 3 -Hope in spite of tragedy?

There’s a lot of reasons to despair in this week and day in age, especially in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting of 2017

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. Much of which for reasons that I can’t even begin to imagine let alone describe. The depths of pain and suffering inflicted upon each other to seemingly more drastic and extreme levels is enough to give some pause in whether children should be brought into this world. I would certainly lose any contest to compare hardships and battles of who has suffered most. That, not being the point, however, I only answer the unceasing call in me to express the difficulty it is to reconcile the evil in the world with all that is unquestionably beautiful and good.

Maybe it is innocence or privilege that I have not suffered the terrible depths of hell while living on Earth to the degree that some of my fellow brother and sisters of the human race have. I have no real way to compare or understand the reason that some people suffer so terribly and while others don’t. All I can say is that while I have experienced a fair amount of heartbreak, those that I love dearest are still walking the Earth. I don’t know the indescribable pain that it is to lose a vital member of my inner circle and the unrelenting ache that one must feel to be asked to go on without them.

I still see the greenest peacefulness that I soak in near my favorite coffee shop near the river that runs though downtown of my hometown. I see people walking their dogs pleasurably as they soak up the cloudless blue sky and streaming river. To soak in the green leaves that are slowly changing to fire red, flaming orange, vibrant yellow and wine purple. I find hope in the changing of seasons and the ducks waddling along the riverbanks. These simple beacons of hope remind me that life is still miraculously marvelous and mysteriously complex.

The heavy burdens of pain in the world remain intricately complicated and unable to be solved by one person. Looking down to my problems and challenges among family or friends, the workplace, financial needs, health problems and spiritual pondering, it seems overwhelming to solve the riddles in my own concentric circle let alone the world at large. It is in that invisible ripple effect I suppose that mixes the mysterious with the unseen. One never really knowing the distance that a good deed travels and how far that reaches. I’ve always held a sunny disposition and prefer to see the glass half full of an iced vanilla latte (if at all possible) and pray I may stay this way as long as possible.

I cannot answer the evil suffering of this world. I can’t reconcile how and when it happens and to whom. It is not my charge to explain it simply away in religious terms or in a way that fits a nice mold to any particular sect of a spiritual group the why or how. I only know in the deepest part of my core that world and the people in it have innate capacity for good reflecting upon our creation. I would hope that even when faced with the deepest loss I can imagine, at my rope’s end of sorrow, that I could still look up at that cloudless blue sky and find some hope. Find some solace in the kindness of other people, the peacefulness that comes from knowing the Divine. To have appreciated the wonderful, messy, dirty, miraculous and inexplicable joyous moments of this life with those that I hold dear and hope that it would be enough. Abundant enough to remember those daily and seemingly unimportant moments where life is wonderful. To appreciate all that has been and is imperfectly perfect along the way.

That when I embrace profound loss, inconsolable grief and infinite emptiness, that those mundane daily joys and sweet little crumbs of hope would make the full and complete and slice of pie worth living.

There are a lot of reasons to despair in this week and in age. For those who mourn and whose hearts are broken, your fellow human family mourns and weeps with you. We also look up in that cloudless blue sky and pray for healing. For as long as there is still a glimmer to be found among the ashes, we’re here to hold you.  We’re here to rebuild with you.  We hug our loved ones a little tighter, we offer a word a little kinder and look for how we can jump in to alleviate some pain in this world to turn it to hope.

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