Generations of Hope

I hear what God proclaims;
God proclaims peace.

Psalm 85:9ab

I’ve enjoyed an abundance of family time as of late due to recent birthdays, our family vacation and our anniversaries. Still, in spite of the tangible love evident in all of these events, I’m bothered these days. I wonder aloud if this restlessness is a sign that I’m getting older. A sense of urgency overwhelms me and I feel a deep need to fix everything that needs fixing!

I love our sons, their wives and our grandchildren more than anything else on this earth. This prompts me to be gravely troubled by the current state of this world of ours. When I convince myself that things cannot possibly get worse, the airwaves deliver another bit of bad news. After lamenting this turn of events, reminders of poverty and other social ills here at home and around the world hit me right between the eyes. I think of my family, especially our grandchildren, and I wonder what this world will be like long after Grandpa and I are gone. How will this mess get fixed?

The family photo resting above my keyboard interrupts my brooding. The sparkle in the eyes of my offspring insists that I give them and their contemporaries a little credit. That sparkle touches smoldering embers of hope deep within which I’ve neglected these days. It occurs to me that numerous generations before me have wrung their hands in despair as well, only to be surprised by the goodness brought about by the young people among them. Finally, I find peace.

Loving God, thank you for the gift of each new generation. Within them lie hope and the potential for peace on this earth.

©2019 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

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All of Our Beloved Children

This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you.
John 15:12

The news, both local and national, continues to include incidents of children lost to violence. I grew up in a very tough and often dangerous neighborhood where insecurity and fear sometimes overwhelmed me and everyone else nearby. Still, I never endured the day-in and day-out sights and sounds of gunfire and other atrocities which some of our children have grown to consider to be a way of life.

Regardless of our busy schedules, our fatigue and our own worries, we adults are responsible for the children in our lives. Whether they live next door, in our own homes, across town or on the other side of the world, children matter. Whether they present themselves as whiny toddlers or sarcastic teens, they need our support and our love.

Obviously, our own children come first as we are the only parents they have. Still, nieces and nephews, neighbors and acquaintances who haven’t yet reached adulthood also need an occasional smile or word of encouragement from us. Efforts to assist needy children and orphans nearby and faraway need our attention as well. As small as our efforts may seem, they may just counteract the sadness or feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness which might otherwise lead these young souls astray. It’s all about feeling loved and appreciated, you know?

Patient God, you gift us with the capacity to love one another. Give us the generosity and the courage to share this gift with the children whom you have placed in our care.

©2019 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Care for God’s Kids

This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you.
John 15:17

Though I’ve been retired for a while, I’m blessed with friends who continue to work very hard for our children. They include teachers and administrators and secretaries, crossing guards and parent volunteers who take their work with children to heart. One of these friends continues to work with a coalition I belonged to “way back when”. The truth is that I envy his opportunity to do something about an issue which continues to weigh heavily on me.

This group concerns itself with after-school activities and crime prevention. The statistics regarding high-crime time periods and those involved indicate that after-school hours when children and teens have the least supervision are the most concerning. Gang-awareness experts tell us that otherwise “good kids” who lack consistent support from family or other supportive relationships are easily recruited by gangs. In light of all of this, those involved continue to seek funding for after-school activities and in-school support and mentoring for the children who need them most.

Regardless of the many things which keep us busy, we adults are responsible for the children in our lives. Whether they are whining toddlers or sarcastic teens, they need our support and our love. Obviously, our own children come first as we are the only parents they have. Still, the nieces and nephews, neighbors, acquaintances and students who haven’t yet reached adulthood also need the encouragement we can offer. These small efforts can counteract the sadness or feelings of worthlessness which might otherwise lead these youngsters astray. It’s all about feeling loved and appreciated, you know?

Patient God, give us the generosity and the courage to share your love with the children whom you have placed in our care.

©2018 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Perpetual Hope

I hear what God proclaims;
the Lord proclaims peace.

Psalm 85:9ab

I know I’ve shared this before, but recent events cause me to echo my concern. I’m bothered and I’m wondering if this restlessness is a sign of my age. A sense of urgency overwhelms me and I feel a deep need to fix things. Because I love my sons, their wives and our grandchildren, I find myself gravely troubled by the state of this world. I convince myself that things cannot possibly get worse only to hear of further turmoil. I think of our family, especially our grandchildren, and I ask myself what this world will be like for them after Grandpa and I are gone.

The family photo resting above my keyboard interrupts my brooding. The sparkle in the eyes of my offspring insists that I give them and their contemporaries a little credit. That sparkle also touches those smoldering embers of hope deep within which I’ve recently ignored. It occurs to me that numerous generations before me have wrung their hands in despair as well, only to be surprised by the goodness brought about by the young people among them. I look back at that family photo. There, I rediscover my hope. There, I find peace.

Loving God, thank you for the gift of our offspring. Within each one of them lies the reason for our hope and the potential for peace on this earth.

©2017 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Love and Peace

I hear what God proclaims;
the Lord -for he proclaims peace.

Psalm 85:9ab

I’ve enjoyed an abundance of family time as of late due to recent birthdays, treks off to college and an anniversary or two. Yet, in spite of the tangible love evident in all of these events, I’m bothered these days. I wonder aloud if this restlessness is a sign that I’m getting older. A sense of urgency overwhelms me and I feel a deep need to fix everything.

I love our sons, their wives and our grandchildren more than anything else on this earth. This prompts me to be gravely troubled by the current state of this world of ours. When I convince myself that things cannot possibly get worse, the airwaves deliver another bit of bad news. After lamenting this turn of events, reminders of poverty and other social ills here at home and around the world hit me right between the eyes. I think of my family -especially our grandchildren- and I wonder what this world will be like long after Grandpa and I are gone. How will this mess get fixed?

The family photo resting above my keyboard interrupts my brooding. The sparkle in the eyes of my offspring insists that I give them and their contemporaries a little credit. That sparkle touches smoldering embers of hope deep within which I’ve neglected these days. It occurs to me that numerous generations before me have wrung their hands in despair as well, only to be surprised by the goodness brought about by the young people among them. Finally, I find peace.

Loving God, thank you for the gift of each new generation. Within them lie hope and the potential for peace on this earth.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Start With Love

This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you.
John 15:12

The news, both local and national, continues to report incidents of children lost to violence. I grew up in a very tough and often dangerous neighborhood where insecurity and fear sometimes overwhelmed me. Still, I never endured the day-in and day-out sights and sounds of gunfire and other atrocities which some of our children have grown to consider to be a way of life.

Regardless of our busy schedules, our fatigue and our own worries, we adults are responsible for the children in our lives. Whether they live next door, in our own homes or across town, children matter. Whether they present themselves as whiny toddlers or sarcastic teens, they need our support and our love.

Obviously, our own children come first, as we are the only parents they have. Still, nieces and nephews, neighbors and acquaintances who haven’t yet reached adulthood also need an occasional smile or word of encouragement from us. These small efforts may just counteract the sadness or feelings of worthlessness which might otherwise lead these young souls astray. It’s all about feeling loved and appreciated, you know?

Patient God, you gift us with the capacity to love one another. Give us the generosity and the courage to share this gift with the children whom you have placed in our care.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved