Blessed and Duly Grateful


Like many this morning, I needed to silence the noise in my head.

No longer could I watch the news reports of this weekend’s events.

Leaving the Sunday newspaper unread on my doorstep, I quickly drove off.

I was hungering for community, beauty, a sense of peace.

I traveled into town to find a church service, hoping to hear words that would nourish and soothe.

The early service there is sparsely attended, yet this day the sanctuary was full.

Their faces looking more solemn than usual.

Including mine.

Rushing to the back of the church, I squeezed into the last row.

I found focusing on song and verse was difficult for me at best.

My mind kept wandering back to Friday night’s events overseas.

But then I tuned in to hear the minister speak of his career change after the tragic events of 9/11.

He made a commitment to making the world a better place by helping others.

And he’s doing so beautifully through his service every day.

It’s comforting to know something good came out of that horrific day.

I smiled softly, and so did those around me, as he told his tale.

Walking to the beach after the final hymn, I saw my favorite adirondack chairs were safe and sound in the sand.

And I noticed a large gathering of wood ducks assembled just beyond.

I sat down on a nearby wooden bench.

I was startled to see the ducks swimming violently in circles on the water.

Chatting nervously, and very ill at ease.

Then suddenly the light broke through the clouds, illuminating this little community.

The birds soon transitioned into a calm and collective waltz, showing unity in every movement.

Eventually I stood up from the bench and noticed an inscription that I’d missed earlier.

“Blessed and Duly Grateful.”

I looked at the now strong sunlight above and the sparkling waters below.

“This day I surely am,” I whispered softly.

“I hope one day we all can be,” I then said out loud, to anyone who’d listen.

Paris Strong

This day we weep, yet…

“There is sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief…and unspeakable love.”
-Washington Irving

Paris, the city of light, remains dark tonight.

But with the world’s love, Paris could soon find a beacon.