Easter...Another Time of Hope

"Believer, or non believer, there is no better time to dedicate ourselves to that universal mission..."   -President Obama, at the Easter Prayer Breakfast this month.

I find it no coincidence what I am about to share.

Today is Easter Sunday, April 20th.

I am not quite sure how many times since 1999 that Easter has fallen on the 20th day of April (if any) but I don't find this ironic- NOT AT ALL, I find it quite fitting.

First, I want to wish you a very happy Easter with your loved ones, and no matter what you do (or don't do today) I hope it is a blessed day.

Second, I want to share with you what our President said to us:
"This Sunday, Michelle, Malia, Sasha and I, will join our fellow Christians around the world in celebrating the resurrection of Christ, the salvation He offered the world, and the hope that comes with the Easter Season.... These holy days have the roots and miracles that took place long ago, and yet they still inspire us, guide us, and strengthen us today. They remind us of our responsibilities to God, and as God's children our responsibilities to one another."

He went on to say that we have a shared commitment to love others as we love ourselves.

Here is more on his breakfast speech.

Now I want to tell you that today is also the 15th Anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting, in Littleton, Colorado- and I just finished reading the book, "Rachel's Tears". This is a book written by Columbine victim, Rachel Joy Scott's parents.

While the choosing of the book last week was purely at random, so was my completion of it on the eve of this horrific anniversary. Chosen a couple of weeks ago-my teenage daughter read it first, and as I packed up library books to return, I noticed this one and decided I would take it with me on a trip I had planned. I expected to be able to find time to read it, and I did. I was not so sure I'd be able to finish it in a week (rather a month is what it usually takes me) but I did. I had not known I would finish it now... or that Easter was the Columbine anniversary.

Some things said in the book ring true to my feelings in regards to school violence, the weak political solutions being thrown at it, as well as the lack of time parents spend with their kids and the horrible, negative, hateful games and music kids have access to (which only feed negative thoughts, isolated feelings and images of themselves- and others). This book was full of lots of different thoughts, feelings and reflections. But, before we get too negative... the book, most of all, was a tribute, a challenge and spoke of hope.

There is nothing that can bring back the ones lost or harmed on that fateful day, and sadly, not much seems to stop this sort of thing from happening over and over again (even in my back yard and in my home state)...BUT...

Ironic, as it may seem, coincidental I would never believe...here I am, with this book, this Easter Breakfast speech, and I know that there is a reason for it.

I am to write to tell you that we are supposed to take this challenge of recognizing that:

"The common thread of humanity that connects us all...is our shared commitment to love our neighbors as we love ourselves." - President Obama

Rachel Joy Scott, a teenager who, at any given moment, struggled with common teen issues, questions and hurdles, while attempting to navigate a life of change and uncertainty, still found it in her young heart to love someone everyday (strangers and friends alike). If we, parents, adults, did this, and we took the challenge of caring for other adults and even other people's children, where could we take this nation?

I'd imagine, a better place, that's where.

I grossly disagree with one thing from the book... that Rachel Scott was killed because she believed in God and because she openly admitted her faith...if that were the case there would have been a long list of people in line wanting to kill her...it was the exact opposite... she was very loved (as were all of the victims of that day).

As we are clearly seeing, it's more about people who cannot achieve that feeling of love who find it best to rob others of it.

I truly believe that day had much more to do with what we are missing, rather than what Rachel was offering.

Will you take the challenge and put aside differences today, for Rachel, and find your place of love and offer it to someone? That is what the President asks you to do and it's what Rachel wanted for everyone.

Just love one another.

In addition, if you are a parent, please get involved in speaking to your community leaders and school educators and superintendent to find out what they are doing to prepare in case something like this were to happen in their district
Read more.

Happy Easter to you and yours- and if you are looking for something more in your life, know that it may just be that you are the gift to someone else. Because it is often through giving that we are able to receive the most divine feeling of God's love.

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