Good writing, with a strong point and with life oozing out.

Tree of Peace

September 14, 2007

(photos by iPete)

Just as dusk was falling on Wednesday, we gathered around a tree to dedicate it to Will’s memory (the tree we used was a kind of surrogate, as we’ll be planting another when the weather is more favorable). We stood in a circle to remember Will, to hang some hand-painted wooden sparrows in the branches, and to say the following prayer, gathered from the four winds of the internet and improved by our dear friend Deanna.

Almighty and everlasting God, Creator of heaven and earth, sustainer of life in all creatures: We give you thanks for all your marvelous works. Open our eyes, to behold the beauty of your gracious hand in all creation.

Thank you, God, for your gift of life.

We praise you for the majesty of the earth, and sky and seas, for the song of the birds and the beauty of the flowers, for the miracle of life and the wonder of a child. We especially thank you for this small corner of your world, this place of peace.

Thank you, God, for your gift of life.

We gather here tonight to dedicate this ground as a place of remembrance and healing and love. We remember tonight the small, but significant life of Will Stavlund. We thank you for the gift of life you gave to Will and we remember the joy he brought us in the short time that he lived.

Thank you, God, for your gift of life.

We are reminded tonight of Will’s legacy. The trunk of this tree reminds us of Will’s unflappable strength, bearing up under the many trials he endured. The branches remind us of the way that Will changed us and continues to influence our lives; growing, full of life, reaching towards heaven, spreading God’s kingdom. The blue of the sky reminds us of Will’s deep and wise eyes; unforgettable by anyone who saw them. The gentle breeze on this hill reminds us of Will’s eternal spirit, just as fully alive and vibrant now as in the days when we knew him.

Thank you, God, for your gift of life.

We pray that we might remember the beauty and joy of children and drink of it fully while we have it with us. We dedicate this place to serve as a reminder to all, to cherish the brief time we share together; that this spot might become a reminder of God’s love for all his children.

Thank you, God, for your gift of life.

We pray that those who come here may feel your healing influence and be filled not with despair, but with peace. May this be a place of memory, a space for reflection, a place of hope, and a living promise of eternal life.

Amen

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2 Responses to “Tree of Peace”

  1. I wanted to be there, Mike. So close and yet so far away. 1 hour and 5 minutes according to Mapquest. I rallied back and forth with myself and in the end, fear won out. I don’t like fear, the stronghold it can take should have no place in my life.

    It would have been too much for me. Me; who has only been an observer on the outside looking in.

    I continue to marvel at your courage in approaching your pain. Teach me?

  2. JennO says:

    Mike, Stacy, Eleanore and Will,
    We think of you all. Remember you. Love you. Celebrate with you and cry with you.
    The O’Farrells are with you.

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