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Headshot of Audrey Brown with title: Here I StandA number of years ago, our family made the acquaintance of an older gentleman, swimming his way from the beach, to the island, at Lake of Two Rivers in Algonquin Park. We were paddling in our canoe. Over the years, we saw him each summer, and eventually he was the inspiration for our kids making the same swim trek. Our son, told him later, that the journey was difficult and that he had thought about getting into the canoe, or asking for a floatation device, to make it easier, but that in the end he persevered, and accomplished the swim. Our gentlemen friend, in his rich Eastern European accent, reflected on this challenge and said simply “(w)Ve do not quit.” It’s a phrase we have often reminded our children of, when they struggle with something difficult.

It’s a phrase that came to mind today as we struggle with the heartbreaking loss of our kindred while at Prayer in Quebec City, as we struggling for justice in a world full of those who would pander hate, abuse, and greed.
We do not quit. A simple reminder that we all need to hear.
We do not quit hoping, loving, trying, praying. We don’t quit on our plans, on our dreams, on our imaginings. We don’t quit trusting the ways of the universe, awaiting that for which we have hoped, knowing that tomorrow will be better.
“Difficult things take a long time, impossible things a little longer.” ~André A. Jackson
We do not quit.
Our only option of course, is to stand up, and not choose to let acts of terror, and violence terrorize us. George Takei, wrote these words on March 22, 2016 at 8:32am, Once again, as we struggle to respond to that which breaks out hearts… these words shine through like a beacon of hope. “Our hearts today are full of grief, but tomorrow let them not be full of hate.” That is what terror demands, and we shall not give it that victory. If it is our way of life they seek to destroy, let us respond instead by standing stronger and taller still, uncowed by these acts from Paris to Ankara to Brussels, unshaken by their cowardice and hatred. Let us remember that good people, of all faiths and nations, suffer from extremist terror and religious violence. We must be united in both our compassion and our resolve. There will be those who seek to exploit this bloodshed to their own aims and ambitions, doubling down on their rhetoric and politics of fear and division. Our mettle as freedom-loving people shall be sorely tested by these attacks. Whatever we do next, let it be without haste, without hatred. That is a difficult thing to ask, a very tough and narrow path to tread, but it is the only way through.”

Love and Prayers to all
Blessed Be