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Its head slumped over facing the ground. 

It had been a familiar site to me over the past several weeks.  We did all that we could to keep it alive so that it would grow to full maturity. 

It did its part, we did ours.  But it seemed its time had come. 

I walked out onto my deck late last night in search of a place to think.  I had been riveted to the television most of the day, watching in horror as the images of death and destruction were replayed hundreds of times.  I couldn't take it any more.

"How appropriate!" I thought to myself.  I was standing on the deck, my head lowered in anguish and confusion.  I looked up and there next to me was the huge sunflower we grew, that brightened my day and in taking care of it, gave me purpose.  We were connected in a sense in a spiritual way. Both of us were created by God.  

I wish that someone could have captured the moment on film.  The both of us stood there with our heads bowed.  I believe it shared my pain and in respect for the loss of my human family, it could no longer stand tall. 

But in reality, I believe its time had come.  It had grown fully and it now would turn to seed.  I realized then that it was all part of the plan.  In it's death came future life.  It did not disappear, never leaving a trace behind that it had ever existed at all.  No, to the contrary.  For as they say, "All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today."

So it is in the tragedy of the loss of so many innocent people.  Each and every one of them have gone to seed, leaving behind a piece of who they were.  It is now up to us to plant those seeds to grow to full maturity. We have been given the opportunity to grow something good, something positive for the future.

"For the possibility of peace in all our tomorrows, lie in the tragedy of today."

I was reminded of how important this was when I woke up this morning. Walking out to my deck, my head still bowed from the weight of this loss, I looked up in astonishment.  There before me, head held high, was that same enormous sunflower.  In disbelief I ran down off the deck and faced it head on.  Sure enough it was true.  The sunflower raised its head to face the morning sun.

So, my friends, we are the keeper of the seed.  It is a new day, a new time to raise our heads and face the sun.  We have been entrusted with the seeds of the lives lost.  It is an awesome responsibility.

For as you know, "You reap what you sow."

-- Bob Perks