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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Another Perspective

(please follow the links)

When will we ever learn? 
- Pete Seager, "Where Have All The Flowers Gone"

Aurora:  morning's first light, Goddess of Dawn, Dance of the Spirits, charged particles illuminating the atmosphere, a city in north central Colorado.

It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race, though it is a race dedicated to many absurdities and one which makes many terrible mistakes: yet, with all that, God Himself gloried in becoming a member of the human race. A member of the human race! To think that such a commonplace realization should suddenly seem like news that one holds the winning ticket in a cosmic sweepstake.

I have the immense joy of being man, a member of a race in which God Himself became incarnate. As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now that I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.         
 -Thomas Merton,  "Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander"

When will we ever learn?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


…God created humankind in God’s imageGod saw everything that God had made, and indeed, it was very good.”     Genesis 1:27,31   

“Yes is the answer and you know that for sureYes is surrender you got to let it go.”     John Lennon, “Mind Games.” 

Our spiritual stories tell us humans are created in God’s image and proclaimed along with all of Creation as “very good.”  The discoveries and stories of science tell us we are literally connected to one another and interconnected with all creation in chemical and molecular ways.  Our imaginations lead us to dream, create, and accomplish wonderful and amazing things.   And human consciousness allows us to be aware of all this wonder, as well as the choice to embrace it or not.

Human experience shows us that when we embrace God’s goodness within us, recognize ourselves in the other, and nurture imagination and creativity the results are abundance, compassion, empathy, cooperation, provision and peace.  When we say “yes” to our true humanity one might even call it “heaven on earth” to use traditional religious language.

On the other hand when we say “no” to our created goodness, interconnectedness, and creativity the human story is one of scarcity, greed, isolation, protection, fear and violence.

I recently heard it said that because of human consciousness people are the only participants in Creation who have the ability to say “no” to our created purpose.  A dog can’t say no to it’s nature, nor can an elephant, or tree, or stone – only humans have this ability.

Each and every moment of every day we live with what we call free will, which basically comes down to a simple “yes” or “no” response to our created purpose as human beings.

Why not give it a try?   Say “yes!” to Life and see what happens.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

God Particle(S!)

“I will be what I will be.”     
       --God to Moses at the Burning Bush

The announcement recently that the Higgs Boson particle, the building block of reality, has been empirically verified seems to have come and gone with a giant “ho-hum”.   I wonder if not for some people labeling it the “God Particle” would we have even cared or noticed that much.

Instead of pursuing the wonder and awe that the entire universe is literally connected and interconnected by a common particle, and then exploring the implications and possibilities for reconciliation between people and nature, we choose to remain embroiled in our self-created illusions of division and strife.

Even the naming of the particle the “God Particle” seems to be just another human attempt to single out and define in religious terms what cannot be defined or explained.  Instead of engaging and listening to science as a means of experiencing the reality we call God, some folks are using science to say, “We told you so.”

Personally I can’t help but wonder if still again a major revelation is occurring from unexpected places opening up new understandings of our place, meaning, and purpose in Creation, and we immediately begin to put it into our various boxes.  In a way I even do so as I write these words. 

To resist defining further I ask a simple question, “Are not all particles “God Particles?” 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Divesting or Invest?

I went to sleep last night troubled and confused over the PCUSA General Assembly voting by the narrowest of margins to reject divesting from companies profiting from the oppression of the Palestinian people.  Instead a substitute motion to invest in Palestine was approved. It was difficult to take.  Upon awakening this morning I began to see some light in this decision and a glimmer of hope appeared as I remembered Jeremiah's purchase of the field at Anathoth. 

Of course, we should invest in Palestine.  How else, except by putting our money where our passion, compassion, hope and rhetoric are, will we truly know the pain and horror the Palestinian people experience?  When their stories become our stories, when we and our investments are kept under constant surveillance, when we are denied free passage to and from our investments, when our investments are bulldozed before our eyes, then and only then will we truly know the need for the roll and flow of justice and righteousness.

Invest in Palestine?   By all means!  And while we're at it we need to take a look at a few fields in Kabul, Mogadishu, Port a Prince, and Al-Fashir.

So, let's begin investing, and if we do so with peace and not profit as our goal the divesting will take care of itself.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Time it was, and what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence, A time of confidences...

-Simon and Garfunkle

When I was a kid in small town Georgia the most anticipated day of the year (behind Christmas, of course) was the 4th of July. Our little town, Douglasville, pulled out all the stops with a parade on Broad Street, then barbeque, Brunswick stew and Little League baseball games all at the City Park. This was before the park was named "Hunter Park" in honor of the town's most famous Viet Nam War casuality. It was truly a time of innocence that I'm wondering was perhaps a genuine embodiment of the spirit of independence and freedom we celebrated. It was also a time of confidences as there was, at least in my memory, little if any patriotic posturing, but rather partriotic participation in a community celebration. There was confidence in freedom that need not be proclaimed and pronounced, but rather lived and shared.

Here in Washington, DC on Capitol Hill I experienced a similar innocence and confidence this morning as my wife, Peg, and I stood on the curb and watched friends and neighbors parade up 8th St. SE. Kids of all ages were everywhere both in and watching the parade which had way more bicycles, wagons, strollers, pickup trucks, and walking groups than floats. The parade was led by The Marine Corp Band, just another neighborhood group, because the 8th and I Street Barracks is where they live.

All over our country today similar activities are taking place, parades, picnics, ballgames, fireworks, concerts, boating...from mountains to beaches, from cities to villages we join together as families, communities, and nation not to proclaim liberty and freedom, but to confidently live them in community, interconnected, and interdependent.

Happy 4th of July!