If you follow the news at all, or if you’re even vaguely awake, it’s impossible to miss all the noise and the angst still surrounding last month’s mass murder at the Parkland high school.

The unrelenting persistence of shootings like this is like a noise that won’t go away. You know something is broken, but you keep chugging along hoping it will go away. All the while you know it’s not going away, it’s just that the people responsible are not yet willing to bear the cost.

So I’m looking for some serenity. Not to avoid the important conversations but to replenish my spirit. Here in North Carolina it’s not really winter any longer, but – other than a few daffodils and a hint of early budding in a few trees – it’s not spring yet either. We’re in a kind of transition, waiting for the trees to blossom and for something beautiful to happen.

Sometimes it’s exactly that sense of ‘in-between’ that makes things beautiful, and that’s what happened when my morning walk was shrouded in mist. It takes both warm and cool to create conditions like this, and it reminds me I don’t always have to be in picture-postcard scenes for my spirit to be nurtured and my soul replenished.

So take pause today, take a long deep breath, let the anger and the disappointment and the sadness be redirected, and invite the good news and the promise of light and grace to wash over you and bring you hope.

I’m not suggesting we pretend nothing is wrong, but – instead – that we marshal the appropriate resources. Nothing is going to change outside of spiritual transformation and the constant reshaping of daily discipleship. Darkness will never recede until it is replaced by light. There is no other way forward other than to follow Jesus.

Because I believe in hope and promise; and, always, because of love.