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Small message…

November 21, 2016

Some years ago, on a visit to New York City, we toured the 9/11 museum. While all of it was deeply moving for those of us who will never forget, one particular artifact stood out to me that day and still does. The last room was just a place to write our thoughts or reflections and post them on the walls. They were covered with messages left by others who had come before us. I stood gazing around, not really able to process them all or put into words everything I had just seen and felt…until one particular message caught my eye. It read simply: “Love harder. Pray for peace.” I will never know who wrote it, and the author will never know her impact on me…but in the midst of memories of a tragedy caused by our human inability to find common ground, a temporary triumph of hate that left families torn apart, hearts broken, so many good people lost–whether dead or ravaged survivors of this hateful act of violence…in the midst of all that, this little message reminded me that we are never powerless, and we are never alone. We can always act, for love is ours to give. We are never abandoned; lifting prayers reminds us of a higher power in the universe than ourselves. We are never finished if can envision something better and yearn for it, lean toward it, hope for it, work for it. Peace is not a vague dream. It is a state that we can all picture. And it begins in simple ways…with reaching across the lines that divide us and finding ways to love those with whom we differ, those whose actions elude our understanding. I love that the writer of this little post-it encompassed both the “hope” of something better and the knowledge that in action, even something simple and small, we make those hopes come to pass. Pray for peace, yes. But in the meantime…while we are praying and waiting for prayers to be answered, we love harder.  Just love harder. 

 And if that feels sappy or weird or vague or political…well, we don’t let it. We don’t give away our power to love people because of those who doubt our sincere intentions.  No one gets to say it’s too late to love harder or that we are late to the table with our offering in this world where more love was needed long before we arrived on the scene offering ours now that we know it is critically needed.  No.  It’s simple.  Love harder.  Love with your heart, with your time, with your smile, with your intellect, with your money, with your profession, with your arms, with your attitude, with your grace.   And pray for peace.  Not for the destruction of those with whom we disagree.  Not for revenge or vindication.  For peace.  Only peace.  


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