Whether you turn to the right or to the left,

your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying,

“This is the way; walk in it.”

Isaiah 30:21

Just a few thoughts ...

I haven't written for awhile.

We hosted our son's wedding in our yard a few weeks back, which was lovely.

Then a huge oak tree fell on our house, which was disastrous.

Immediately after these events, I took two weeks off from work and on the first day of my little vacation I fell down several stairs whilst carrying 5 books, a yoga mat and a 15-lb. kettlebell.

So I've had a bit going on.

But I have been watching what is happening in our country.

And I have been listening, especially to young people.

And I have been reading and educating myself and trying to learn.

And I have been deeply saddened by so many things.

1. ) Black and brown people are being murdered and abused in our streets, our courts, our jails, their own homes.

And white people, myself included, have been too busy, too privileged, too distracted by life to care until we were literally forced by social media to watch a black man die over the course of almost 9 minutes  in broad daylight.

It is time white friends, to wake up and pay attention, listen, learn and practice being allies with our black and brown neighbors. We have no excuses. None.

And white people of faith ... please explain to me how on God's green earth the bible was ever used to justify human slavery.

The second book of the Old Testament kicks off with good ol' Moses enlisted by God to set the enslaved and abused Israelites free. Then the New Testament opens with Jesus quoting the prophet Isaiah, saying about himself:  "The spirit of the Lord is upon me ... he has sent me to set the oppressed free ..."

How did our forefathers and mothers use the bible to justify kidnapping and enslaving human beings  created in God's good and beautiful image?

And how on earth do we read that same bible today and not immediately affirm that Black Lives Matter?

And see with our own eyes and acknowledge with our own minds that systemic racism still exists and it crushes our black and brown brothers and sisters?

And that it is past time to do something about it?

2.) And then ... the pandemic. 

Over 120,000 Americans dead.

And scientists and doctors begging us to do one or two simple things - like wear a mask.

Not mainly to protect ourselves, but to protect our neighbors.

And we can't be bothered to do that? 

Because we feel "our rights" are infringed?

Jesus said, "Greater love has no one than this, that they lay down their life for their friends."

The apostle Paul said, "The only thing that counts is faith working itself out through love."

There is nothing in the bible that calls on followers of Jesus to fight for their own rights.

Nothing.

The only thing we are called to fight for is the good of our neighbor.

The good of our enemy.

The good of the marginalized, the persecuted, the poor, the excluded.

Which leads me to one last thing that I am noticing ...

3.) The church is crushing young LGBTQ folks.

I am not going to say any more about this here, except to say that it is wrong, and it breaks my heart.

Jesus always, always, always stood on the side of the people being crushed by those in power.

Jesus always, always, always stood on the side of those being crushed by religion.

We are called to do the same.

No. Matter. What.

 

 

Top 10 Post - #5

So appropriate for today. I posted this in 2017

A Mary Oliver poem for today ...

The Morning Paper

Read one newspaper daily (the morning edition is the best for by evening you know that you at least have lived through another day)

and let the disasters,

the unbelievable

yet approved decisions,

soak in.

I don't need to name the countries,

ours among them.

What keeps us from falling down,

our faces to the ground,

ashamed,

ashamed?

A prayer for today ...

God whose name has been used to enslave those who bear your image,

God whose name has been used to steal this land and kill those who bear your image,

God whose name was called upon by Moses and Miriam and Martin Luther King Jr and Sojourner Truth, Brionna Taylor and George Floyd.

God who raised up prophets to speak truth to power, and poets to speak truth to stupid,

We call on your holy name to give us what we need to undo what has been done in your name.

We call on your name to bring your fierce mercy upon us and remove our complacency and our complicity.

We call on your name to heal the wounds of those whose daily reality we do not understand.

We call on your name to give us a holy curiosity about what being Black in America is really like, Lord.

We call on your name to free us from our cherished notions of being “good” that keep us from hearing this truth,

We call on your name to give us this day our daily truth, our daily humility, our daily rage, our daily hope.

This country is burning Lord…may it be a cleansing Holy Spirit fire.

Guide us to believe that the true name of God is stronger than what has been done in God’s name.

Come, Holy Spirit.

Amen.

(Nadia Bolz-Weber)

It could happen anytime ...

I love poetry that reminds me to savor the moment.

That forces me to stop running around worrying,

and to enjoy what is happening right here, right now.

William Stafford is one of my favorite poets.

I don't have to work hard to try to understand what he is saying.

His poems move me to be a better person.

Here is one example of his poetry - I hope you like it.

It could happen any time, tornado,
earthquake, Armageddon. It could happen.
Or sunshine, love, salvation.
It could, you know. That's why we wake
and look out––no guarantees
in this life.
But some bonuses, like morning,
like right now, like noon,
like evening.

(William Stafford, 1914 – 1993)