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Time for us to heal

Missy, my trusted canine friend, and I sit in the lazy afternoon sun soaking up some solitude along with the warming rays. We are resting in a swing along the lovely river walk in Newport, Tenn., and happen to be the only ones in the park. The birds are singing a lovely chorus, and the beauty of the lush greenery and rocky cliffs across the river fill my heart with a tranquility that I’ve longed for of late.

I had been planning a trip to visit my daughter in East Tennessee for quite some time, but the weather coming in gave me the last little push I needed to take the plunge and travel again.

We battened down the hatches around our house, packed the car for an extended visit, and traveled to Melinda’s beautiful little mountain town. My sweet girl and her new hubby are purchasing their first home together so I’ll be here to help them move and settle into their new place.

I suppose I’ve been hesitant to travel, due to all of the troubling events we have been dealing with lately. To say this has been an eventful couple of months would definitely be an understatement.

I’ve social distanced until I felt almost like a hermit. I have been an avid proponent of racial equality since childhood, so the recent events bring to me a certain amount of sadness for the pain and loss of many. But I also feel a profound spark of hope when I see real and meaningful conversations taking place.

As a Christian, I truly believe that God can take the most difficult and ugliest things and turn them around for good for those who love Him and live according to His purpose.

If any of us chose to prayerfully listen, and try to understand the viewpoints of others without finger pointing and criticizing, then we can achieve personal growth. Isn’t that what we should all strive for — to be better people today than we were yesterday? This will only happen by giving ourselves and others the gift of understanding and forgiveness.

Could the events of late, instead of crushing us, temper us and strengthen our resolve to love mercy, love justice, and walk humbly before our God? Yes, my heart cries! America can rise up from the ashes of the heartbreak and find strength and resolve. Let the healing begin, and may it begin in my heart!

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at lilsisjan@yahoo.com.