“Can I go just one week without having to contemplate whether I should throw out my prepared sermon to address another mass shooting?” I asked a member who dropped by my church study. I received only a sympathetic look. Poor innocent minister, with such unrealistic hopes!

It’s important to find the spiritual touchstones that help us weather such storms. Two of mine come from UU ministers who I’m now blessed to call friends. Rev. Meg Barnhouse sings, “All Will Be Well” and it soothes my soul, it gives me the strength to get back up and keep moving forward with the humble mission to love the hell out of this world.

She said, “Babygirl, do you not know, do you not know about tenderness and Babygirl, do you not know, do you not know about friends?” She said, “Babygirl, do you not know, do you not know about the Spirit?” She said, “Babygirl, do you not know, it’s only love that never ends and so, all will be well, and all will be well, all manner of things will be well.”

I’ve said the words or Rev. Wayne Arnason so many times, in the pulpit and in my home, that they are tattooed on my heart. They are in the back of our grey hymnal, #698 in Singing the Living Tradition:

Take courage friends.
The way is often hard, the path is never clear,
and the stakes are very high.
Take courage.
For deep down, there is another truth:
you are not alone.

Where do you find solace in hard times?

p.s. I threw out the prepared sermon.