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After Katrina
As inadequate as I feel to speak in the face of such tragedy and loss, I want to say clearly and firmly that our Center, our God, does hold. Perhaps more than ever, in the midst of crisis, God is with us.
I believe this with all my heart.

Over thirty years ago, I lived through my own personal hurricane, a time when I felt... that the center could not hold. But good and caring friends put their love for me into action. One of them took me to a silent retreat where, the first night, I heard this passage from the prophet Isaiah:

But now thus says the Lord,
He who created you, O Jacob;
He who formed you, O Israel.
"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers they shall not overwhelm you. ...
Because you are precious in my sight,
And honored, and I love you."

Isaiah 43: 1-4 (New Revised Standard Version)

Those words changed my life. I heard them, I somehow believed them, and I have not been the same since. That Scripture, plus the action of friends, helped me regain my Center, and I urge us to use the same tools as we walk together through this tragedy.

--The Rev. Margaret Jones,
from "The Center Will Hold"

The Center Will Hold

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