"Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark."
|Spring - John-Francois Millet, 1870|
Oil on Canvas, Musee D'Orsay, Paris
My message today is for the people of Joplin, Missouri, to be sure, but it's also for anyone at the edge of life-altering experiences.
It seems so trite to tell those who face profound tragedy to have faith. How can we have faith in anything when we experience such overwhelming loss? Well, because faith is what will get you through this trauma.
Have faith. Have faith in your spirit and your will to go on. It is stronger than you know. Have faith in your family, your friends, and your community. You will be amazed at how the people around you will lift you up when you need it most. Most importantly, have faith in the power of love, for God is Love. No one can undo what has been done, but the power of Love will wrap you in a warm embrace, lift you up, and carry you through all that you need to endure. Have faith, friends. Have faith.
This amazing picture was shot by a photographer friend of mine in Springfield, Missouri, just east of Joplin, as the tornado roared through. Thank you, Brannon Estis, for allowing me to share this here at Smiling Heart. This photo may not be reproduced without permission.
| Edge of Disaster - Digital photo by Brannon Estis|
Brannon Estis Photography, copyrighted image
...Nurture strength of spirit
to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
Excerpt, "Desiderata" Max Ehrmann c.1920
I wish you peace.
May this music bring some measure of comfort to you. It is from Dmitri Shostakovitch's "Five Pieces for Two Violins and Piano." Nikolaj Znaider, Julian Rachlin, Sopie Rachlin perform in 1997 at
the Tchaikovsky Conservatory of Music in Moscow, Russia.
Many thanks to my friend, Ace, for this beautiful gift of music.