It is a chaotic and violent universe out there: new stars continuously exploding into existence even as old ones implode into black holes, galaxies spinning forward at breakneck speed and colliding forcefully with one another. And in one little corner of the universe is a pale blue dot, a place of peace and serenity, where the gentle breeze blows across a blue sky and its inhabitants walk gently on carpets of green as they feast on the sweet fruits of the gentle earth celebrating the blessings of life.
It is a mad and turbulent world out there: people who would kill others who believe differently from them, who would take away from the weak and the witless, who would trash this pale blue dot for their own selfish ends. Yet, in many corners of this disturbed and disturbing world are gentle people and communities of peace who would not “not break the crushed reed, or snuff the faltering wick” for they know and celebrate the blessing of love.
It is an anxious and bewildered spirit within me: buffeted by the trials and tribulations of life, beset by the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, battered by all the comings and goings and all the waxing and waning of the tides of time. Yet, I only have to be still and be quiet to feel God’s gentle presence in my life to calm all the tempests and the storms. And when things are looking up and coming up roses, it is in the same peaceful and quiet sacred space that I feel most God gently cradling me in His bosom for then I see and celebrate His light in thankfulness and humility.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. In verdant pastures he gives me repose.
~ Psalm 23
The Apostles gathered together with Jesus
and reported all they had done and taught.
He said to them,
“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”
People were coming and going in great numbers,
and they had no opportunity even to eat.
So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.
People saw them leaving and many came to know about it.
They hastened there on foot from all the towns
and arrived at the place before them.
When Jesus disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them,
for they were like sheep without a shepherd;
and he began to teach them many things.