Begin Again


Interesting the classroom where God says,

“Forget all that you think you know about Me.”

That way some real knowledge might dawn.

– Hafiz


Wearing Your Heart on Your Hip


I read a comment this morning on a Facebook post about open carry laws in stores. One of the comments was against it.  Here it is.

“Their business, their rules. Don’t like it? Don’t shop there. Easy.

When I see some stranger grocery shopping with deadly weapons I do NOT feel safer. People like that are paranoid trigger-happy schizophrenics, and no one who’s sane feels safer with them around.

We wanna buy school supplies and groceries… not be ready for a gun war 24/7. Our once peaceful lives are being turned into a war zone all so some gun nuts can keep us all hostage.

Join the military if you’re about that life. Let the rest of us shop in peace. Thanks.”

I agree with this comment in a lot of ways. One of the responses to this comment that hit a mark for me is below.

” The problem is you live in your own little fantasy world that something bad isn’t going to happen to you.”

And there it was. The big divider. All of us are wounded in some way. Some wounds are worse than others. Some wounds cause us to walk around with guns attached to our hips.

They say that the most emotional people walk around with their hearts on their sleeves. I think all of these open carry folks are walking around with their hearts on their hips. They are in great pain and have great fear. I understand that.

Guns are about control. Let’s be clear on that fantasy. Guns give people a sense of control. If you wear a gun on your hip you are saying “I control the conversation.” Police officers are trained to do this and we like to think that they are in control of their pain. We see on the news that that is often not the case.

A gun on the hip by a regular person with no training says “I am in a lot of pain and fear and don’t want you to talk about anything but my gun.” The thing is I think deep down we all know this and really they DO want to talk about how they got so afraid. What wounded you so much that you have to wear a gun to Piggly Wiggly? Combat experience? A robbery? Childhood trauma?

I accept that guns used by a trained professional like a police officer are sometimes necessary. I accept that. I do not accept the Wild West. Even the Wild West sometimes had a sensible Sheriff who made you check your weapons at the city limits.

Another comment by someone is below.

“Someone carrying a gun interrupts your peace?”

Yes. My comment to this comment is below.

“A cop with a gun interrupts my peace too let alone some random person I don’t know.”

When I see a security guard I do not feel safer. My mind goes into defense mode. Isn’t that part of the point of open carry and armed guards? It controls the conversation. Guns! On guard people! It’s also a fantasy. I love the movie Die Hard but I don’t want to live in the movie Die Hard.

Why live that way?

So my point is I think open carry is a terrible idea. I think open carry without a license or training is a TERRIBLE HORRIBLE idea. There is a painful story behind the average citizen who chooses to live with with a gun on their hip. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to accidentally shoot someone or have a bad day and take it out with the gun within arm’s reach.

But we all have bad days and we don’t all walk around with a gun on our hip. That’s a good thing I think.

His Portion


“There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance, that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, or worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self Reliance

Soul Reason


“My soul does not find itself unless it acts. Therefore it must act. Stagnation and inactivity bring spiritual death. But my soul must not project itself entirely into the outward effects of its activity. I do not need to see myself, I merely need to be myself. I must think and act like a living being, but I must not plunge my whole self into what I think and do, or seek always to find myself in the work I have done. The soul that projects itself entirely into activity, and seeks itself outside itself in the work of its own will is like a madman who sleeps on the sidewalk in front of his house instead of living inside where it is quiet and warm. The soul that throws itself outdoors in order to find itself in the effects of its own work is like a fire that has no desire to burn but seeks only to go up in smoke.

The reason why men are so anxious to see themselves, instead of being content to be themselves, is that they do not really believe in their own existence. And they do not fully believe that they exist because they do not believe in God.”

– Thomas Meron, No Man is an Island

It Has Already Been Given


“If Christ has died and risen from the dead and poured out upon us the fire of His Holy Spirit, why do we imagine that our desire for life is a Promethean desire, doomed to punishment?

Why do we act as if our longing to “see good days” were something God did not desire, when He Himself told us to seek them?

Why do we reproach ourselves for desiring victory? Why do we pride ourselves on our defeats, and glory in despair?

Because we think our life is important to ourselves alone, and do not know that our life is more important to the Living God than it is to our own selves.

Because we think our happiness is for ourselves alone, and do not realize that it is also His happiness.

Because we think our sorrows are for ourselves alone, and do not believe that they are much more than that: they are His sorrows.

There is nothing we can steal from Him at all, because before we can think of stealing it, it has already been given.”

– Thomas Merton, Raids on the Unspeakable