Hope

Wait For It

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“When we demand satisfaction of one another, when we demand any completion to history on our terms, when we demand that our anxiety or any dissatisfaction be taken away, saying as it were, “Why weren’t you this for me? Why didn’t life do that for me?” we are refusing to say, “Come, Lord Jesus.” We are refusing to hold out for the full picture that is always given by God.”

~ Richard Rohr, Preparing For Christmas

Painting by Henry Le Sidaner

We Start Where We Are

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“But where do we even start on the daily walk of restoration and awakening? We start where we are. We find God in our human lives, and that includes the suffering. I get thirsty people a glass of water, even if that thirsty person is just me.”

~ Anne Lamott, Help Thanks Wow

Painting by Camille Pissarro (1877)

Join The Human Family

Reposted from Steve Harper. You can follow his blog Oboedire here on WordPress.

“As many of you know, I have deep concerns about the institutions I have served for decades. And as important as things like this may be, I am struck this morning by the sense that now is a time to live more deeply and work more widely than the issues of institutionalism call forth.

We are living in a time when what happens in one denomination or one seminary is “small potatoes” compared to the degradation and destruction of life going on around us. It is possible to become too consumed by secondary matters and overlook the pain of bigger things.

Now is a time to join the human family and to be one with everyone near and far away. Now is a time to focus on love, compassion, unity, non-judgment, non-violence, and the fruit of the Spirit. Let the schismatics create their associations and let the discriminators discriminate. But let us give ourselves to the things that lead to reconciliation and oneness.

The people around us are not “issues.” They are human beings made in the image of God. They are just like us, and we are just like them. “Do not ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for us all.” We are one humanity on one planet, and we live or die together. Our main task is to personify the two great commandments through the offering of mercy. Do it in the office where you work, in the congregation you pastor, in the school you attend, and in the neighborhood where you live. Be salt, light, and leaven.

Jesus said that peace-makers are blessed (Matthew 5:9), and his turn of phrase means it is not enough to believe in peace, we must work for it. We must pray as St. Francis did, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace” and then personify the kinds of actions that his prayer goes on to describe.

The world does not turn on what is happening in one denomination or one school–even though what happens in any one place does matter, and we must not be silent wherever we have concerns. But we must realize that the world turns on whether we incarnate decency and goodness, and manifest it toward everyone we know and meet. I do not know who I will meet next, but I know what I am supposed to do when I meet them–love them. God help us to give ourselves to love.”

~ Steve Harper

Donald Trump Grows Up and So Does The Nation?

So I had a thought this morning after listening to a sound bite from Donald Trump at a biker rally. What if Donald Trump becomes President of the United States…and he grows up…and so does the nation?

For months the airwaves have been filled with ignorant, uneducated, hateful speech by Trump. His loyal followers are only invigorated by what he has to say while the rest of us shake our heads in disbelief that so many people in our nation find anything he says believable or acceptable for an adult, let alone someone running to lead the United States. He has exposed an angry, unhappy nation of people who are hurting, whether we understand it or not. So many people living in fear. I include in this fear both his unhappy followers and those afraid that a man like him might actually be our President.

But what if he becomes President and once in office and given a chance to see the world in reality, to see what is actually going on, given information from people who are “in the know,” Donald Trump starts to grow up. Maybe he starts to see beyond his name and his egotistical personality to see that there is more to life than winning. Wouldn’t it be something for a guy like this to do all of this growing in front of a national audience and in doing so, allow his followers to see it’s possible to change? To let go of old ideas and regrets and prejudices. To see things from other people’s perspectives. It would almost be like a reality TV show which, let’s face it is how he has remained so popular, and what a large portion of the population almost demands from it’s political representatives.

And what if all the rest of us who fear a man like him becoming President of United States saw that even someone like him could change and grow…might that help us in our fear wrangling and growing? They say things have to get worse before they get better. Maybe this is what they were talking about. I have no idea. Could be the birth of a new nation though.

Just something to think about.