As I watched the parade on Saturday in Cheyenne I was struck by the contrast of what was being experienced in our town compared to the horror and devastation that war-torn countries were enduring at the same time. The excitement of children watching the parade was heart-warming and the community spirit was a sign of hope. However, the realities of the fragile existence we share could not be missed. The military always has a commanding presence in the parade and this year was no exception. As parade watchers applauded our men and women in uniform for their service to our country, one couldn't help but wonder what the future holds in regard to war and peace. Will we enjoy tranquil days or be ravaged by conflict and violence?
Seeing pictures on the news this week of people who were killed in violent attacks in a multitude of locations made me stop and pause. What am I personally doing to create a culture of non-violence? How am I building up the Kingdom of God? I may not be able to solve the world's problems, but I have a responsibility to pray and act in my little corner to promote peace and justice. Am I doing my part?
One float in the parade each year makes me a little sad. This year it hit me even harder than usual. Some of the deceased in the airliner disaster were children. It was sad to see their stuffed animals and other belongings laying on the ground. Behind each of those belongings was the life of a child snuffed our prematurely. The float (pictured below) with the small casket was a stark reminder of the shortness of life and the length of eternity. Let us give thanks to God for the gift of life and fervently pray for peace.