REST IN PEACE

Today’s Prayer to Passage will be from the book “Roots” by Alex Haley.

Today I pray, “Dear God, Today I called my grandmother to have a grand conversation, as our conversations bend toward grandness. I shared with her that I have a photograph of my grandfather (her husband) and myself, which was taken the last time I was with him before he passed on. The photograph is on my refrigerator, so I glance at it occasionally throughout a given week. A week ago, last Saturday, I looked at the picture and at my grandfather’s face and his twinkly eyes. And this message was kindly and lovingly delivered to me:

‘R.I.P. is something we might see on a gravestone. You have come to understand that this is associated with death. Rest in peace. This is to be associated with life. While you are living life on earth. Rest in peace while you are alive on earth.’

My favorite part of this story is that my grandmother told me today that a week ago, last Saturday, she visited my grandfather’s grave with her three children for the first time — all together — since the day his body was buried, 12 years and six months ago. Perhaps it was a significant moment for my grandmother and my mother and my mother’s two sisters. Gathered together at the gravestone for the first time since his funeral. Today was the first I had heard of their visit to my grandfather’s grave. Yet it was that day when I received a message response, approximately 100 miles away in a different city. ‘Rest in peace while you are alive on earth.’

Thank You for these conversations. All of them. Amen.”

Following my prayer, I held the closed book in my hands and opened it to this passage:

“Do you ever wonder how you have survived this long?”
—ALEX HALEY

I wondered this today. I honestly sat in traffic, my mind wandering, and noticed how miraculous it is that we are all here, surviving. And I became instantly appreciative of smaller inspirations such as neighbors cooperating out of their own natural sense of evolution. I was in the midst of thousands of people during my 25-minute commute today. And I did not see a single tank or politician. It was the natural peace of cooperative, evolved, talented people — neighbors — that moved throughout the city. The cars were built by evolved people, and so were the roads and bridges. The bridges were not built by a tank, a tax collector, or a gavel. Evolved everyday neighbors — with their variances and abundance of talents and gifts — are the new officers of peace. One would think my first thought would be, ‘We have survived because of God, of course!’ Yet the course refined itself down to earth, down to humanity. And the important roles we play in guarding the divine.

Rest in peace. The peace of officers in all ranks and rhetoric throughout a society. Brilliance begins where we see it most. In one another. First, we must actualize this brilliance and truly be bright. Smart. Logical. Wise. Intelligent. Efficient. Empowered.

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