Like many people, the recent mass shooting in Parkland, Fl has left me feeling numb. I’m concerned about where society is heading, concerned about the safety of young people, and concerned about further expressions of violence.

All of this is happening during Lent when we remember the life and ministry of Jesus. Yes, one wonders, what would Jesus do about this situation? Would it be

 “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and render unto God the things that are God’s? “ ( Matthew 22:21 )

We are witnessing emotional and psychological pain with surviving high school students, their parents, their teachers and law enforcement. We are seeing greater and greater availability of weapons. We are also seeing more and more people with mental health problems, who are behaving in ways that are dangerous to themselves and to others.

Right now, it’s very easy to be consumed by grief, sadness for what is happening in our country. The grief can also have a multiplying effect if you are also concerned about the health of a good friend with chronic illness or with a family member who is experiencing behavioral problems.

How does one stay sane and feel secure in the midst of this uncertainty ? On a recent morning drive to work, I turned the corner and stopped the car. Right in front of me, a good thirty feet ahead, was a big majestic deer crossing the road. He silently walked across and went into a wooded area. For that moment, the stillness of that encounter was calming and reminded me again of the presence of God, however known.

Late last week, a doctor came by and gave me a Chinese tea packet “for good luck “regarding the Chinese New Year. I smiled, because it is in these simple gestures of good will and charity, that the grace of God is further revealed.

Like Anne Frank, I have to remind myself that :

Despite everything, I really believe that people are really good at heart. The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched-they must be felt with the heart. ” Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart …

Living with consuming grace may mean that we don’t take things for granted; life, let alone the duration of life. Instead, living in grace may suggest that we cherish each moment, that we celebrate and focus in the now, in the present, in the beauty of nature and of the presence of loving souls who are around us.

Jesus set his sights upon Jerusalem. He knew that his ministry would take him to a place where he would confront the authorities. Indeed, it was the Imperial Roman Empire who saw to his execution.

Yet, in the midst of this struggle, Jesus was able to stay clear and focused regarding his calling, that being to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God to anyone who would listen.

What are you listening for now ? What am I listening for now ?

For more peace?, More understanding ? More companionship ?

Could it be that we are listening for more good words and more expressions of grace ?

If so, may grace increase for us and for our world.

May it be so.