17 Comments


  1. Thank you Marcia for these helpful and healing words. I had the same conversation with my seven year old, and for the same reasons.

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    1. Marcia

      Thank you, Jeffrey, for your comment. So much for children to hold. Prayers for their generation to find their way toward more gentle ways of being together on this planet.
      Peace,
      Marcia

      Reply
  2. Patty Ayers

    Marcia, this is really good. I’ve been thinking about exactly the same questions and really appreciate that you have the courage to even talk about it. It isn’t only 8-year-olds who worry about these things. I don’t expect “answers”, but I’m grateful for anyone who can even offer clues about coping with this scary world. Thank you for writing about the hard subjects.

    Reply
    1. Marcia

      Thank you, Patty, for your comments and your questions. They are questions that inhabit all of our minds–if we’re paying attention!! For me the question of how to live in this world that is dangerous, that includes plenty of things to fear involves finding a deep place to peace within myself that is not really mine–by that I mean it is entangled with something bigger, broader, deeper, more ancient, more transcendent than me. Practicing things like deep breathing, breath prayer help me to relax into and trust the deep aquifers of how life’s rhythms ebb and flow.
      That is where I go when fear starts to get a foot hold.
      While there is plenty to fear and fear can give us important information (when to get away from someone or something, a signal that something needs to change, a signal that we need help, etc), it is not a life-giving place to stay for long. It needs to serve its purpose and then be released from duty– that’s the way I try to regard it.
      The practices that have helped me the most to tap into this peace and to recognize fears and release them are yoga, breath prayer, Rosen massage, Reiki, singing/chanting, walking in the woods, being around animals (they are so very intuitive!), writing, and conversation with spiritual companions. It think it is different for everyone and I would welcome any conversation that people want to have around all of this.
      There is so much that we can’t control and so much we can’t protect ourselves and others from–finding vitality in the midst of that truth takes intentional practice and finding sources of support and love (that aren’t always necessarily human! or static).
      I realize how hard this is to talk about in one reply!! I hope it doesn’t sound formulaic because I think the answer to your question is very unique and particular to each of us and very idiosyncratic, too. Maybe a new blog series….
      Thank you again, Patty.
      Peace to you,
      Marcia

      Reply
  3. John Bartelloni

    I used to run regularly; a distant cousin who has completed the Boston Marathon was volunteering this year. I am also a graduate of Virginia Tech which marked the sixth anniversary of the massacre April 16.

    We all all vulnerable to attack. It is important to know how to help as your daughter wished to do.

    Reply
    1. Marcia

      Thank you, John, for reading and for commenting. You are right that we all are vulnerable. And may we all allow the fact of our shared vulnerability to cultivate in us deeper and deeper instincts of compassion and care.
      Peace,
      Marcia

      Reply
  4. Susan Steinberg

    Thank you for sharing these honest and inspiring reflections, and for kindling our courage!

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    1. Marcia

      Thank you, Susan. I appreciate you sharing this post and I am thankful for all the ways you minister to families and children. May we all find ways to cultivate a collective courage that can lead us into the transformation our violent world needs.
      Peace,
      Marcia

      Reply
    1. Marcia

      Thank you for reading and for commenting, Rosy. Blessings to you and your ministry.
      Peace,
      Marcia

      Reply

  5. Thank you so much Marcia for this reminder to use the tool, courage!

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    1. Marcia

      Thank you, Martia, for your comment. I like how you call courage a “tool.” I think that way of classifying it really highlights the fact that we need to find ways to practice using it. It helps to empower us to see ourselves as growing our courage, cultivating it, getting better and better at allowing it to be what comes up first in us. And this way of looking at it prevents us from believing that it is something we either have innately or not. Thank you for raising up both our capacity for courage and the promise of being able to get better at it!
      Peace,
      Marcia

      Reply
  6. Lee BOWLING

    Your comments are very helpful and ENCOURAGING. It is always best to talk openly and honestly with our children (and anyone else) about these matters, and even to share our concerns (fears), as well. If they see us dealing with these matters, they are apt to be more open about their feelings. Thank you.

    Grace and Peace,
    Lee

    Reply
    1. Marcia

      Thank you, Lee. I agree with you that modeling transparency and the facing of our fears with our children is one of the best things we can do for them. And, I think sometimes one of the greatest gifts we can give our kids is to really listen to theirs and give them space to tell us more about them. Letting them explore what really scares them without judgment and in a supportive space is something we don’t often give ourselves. Extending that generosity to them can be transformative for us as adults, too. Thanks again for your comments and for reading.
      Peace,
      Marcia

      Reply
  7. Donna DeSarro-Raynal

    Such thoughtful reflection! Paul Tillich’s The Courage to Be reverberates through your words….I guess what I mean is the theology he expresses there is what I hear practically applied in this experience with your daughter. I find both Tillich and Niebuhr’s work so encouraging and foundational for how I understand faith and trust in the world we live in.
    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Marcia

      Dear Donna,
      Thanks so much for reading and for commenting. I, too, have always appreciated and found much resonance with Tillich’s theology of being. Another theological resource for me in times like these is Schleiermacher, someone who often gets caricatured in some negative ways. I find his understanding of feeling and formation to be very helpful as we face the brutality of life. I love the way he builds his theology from a place of deep interdependence. It opens us much space for life- giving and liberating transformation that can ripple through communities and systems. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts here.
      Peace,
      Marcia

      Reply

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