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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Fear and Wonder

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. ~Psalm 139~

The biblical psalmist says that humans are "fearfully and wonderfully made." It's a phrase that seems to adequately capture the paradoxes of humanity we see in the world today, as well as human history.

  • We live in a world of wealth and plenty while poverty and scarcity abound. 
  • We see imagination, skill, tenacity, and bravery rescue a soccer team and their coach from a flooded cave, while lack of imagination, cruelty, prejudice, greed, and cowardice keep hundreds of children imprisoned because they and their parents seek freedom. 
  • No telling how much money and resources went into fireworks displays around our country last week while much of Peurto Rico remains without power from a storm nearly a year ago. 
  • We buy meals at drive through windows, some of which equal an hour's wage of the person serving the food. 
  • We can send rovers to Mars, but can't seem to figure out adequate housing and health care for all people. 

The list goes on.

We have the capacity to marvel and terrify, create and destroy, love and hate. Most importantly we have the capacity to choose between fear and wonder.


Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Celebration and Lamentation

...From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.  ~Jesus~

I have started and discarded several drafts of today's blog because I find myself conflicted and perplexed on the mother of all national holidays.

On the one hand I celebrate the freedom we enjoy as citizens of the United States of America and offer to others in the world. And, on the other hand, I lament the increasing escalation of the loss of freedom in our country, and our isolation from others in the world.

I find myself less proud, and more privileged to be an American. Pride is easy and carries very little responsibility while privilege is difficult and heavy ladened with responsibility. 

Have a happy and grateful Independence Day. 





Wednesday, June 27, 2018

A Parable For Our Time

Two days ago while on my early morning walk I came upon an amazing event. As I approached a street intersection I saw and heard on the perpendicular street ahead a group of small birds flying in a straight path as if on a mission. Right behind them were two large crows. At first I thought the crows were chasing the birds, but then realized the smaller birds appeared to be leading them somewhere.

When I turned the corner, I heard what sounded like hundreds of birds chirping frantically, some were perched on utility lines, most were unseen in the trees. The crows then led my eyes to the source of all of this commotion. They were diving at an enormous hawk that was sitting stoically atop a utility pole. A predator was in the neighborhood.

At least four crows that took turns, two at a time, diving down at the hawk. Occasionally one flew away as another took its place. The chorus of alarm from the other birds continued. Some even joined in the diving process. The hawk appeared annoyed but not threatened.

After watching for a few minutes, I walked on, but about fifty yards down the sidewalk I turned back to watch again. The hawk was gone and nowhere to be seen. One crow circled the area. The cacophony of fear subsided into the beauty of normal morning birdsong. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Pause


Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life... can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? ...do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today. ~Jesus~

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling kind of trapped in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" Catch 22 of wanting to be informed and relevant, but also needing to disconnect from the day to day information frenzy that is consuming us. To turn away from the worries of the world seems irresponsible, but staying engaged is exhausting.

So right now I'm going to step away from this keyboard and screen and take a walk. I suggest you do the the same. Whenever and wherever you are reading this, in whatever manner you can, pause for a few minutes. Step away from the screen. Go outside if you can. Look up at the sky. Take a deep breath. Tend to your soul.

Do it now!

It will all be here when you get back.