I sat in the backyard on a sunny midday just before the weather turns cool, beginning a march toward winter. I think on my last statement of protests and contempt in the unfolding of events. Little events are what I am talking about. The goings on in my small personal universe. I was angry about one door closing but very grateful another opened. I was frustrated about a situation but the wheel comes around and a situation becomes something positive that I did not expect.
Then, while watching the songbirds begin to eat on the newly refilled bird feeder, I think on big events. The goings on of the world. Population explosion, melting ice caps, scarcity of food or water, world hunger, climate change, pollution of the Earth and of the Spirit. All the calamities that our people are living in these days. And I feel a bridge in understanding. A bridge of thought realizing that no one knows what is for the best.
As a parent, I often fall to comparison between of Maker and parents of a child. A child does not understand. A child cannot comprehend being denied one thing because something much better may be waiting. A child cannot understand suffering and destruction so that something else may grow and flourish. I can’t understand suffering and destruction either.
I can surrender my misunderstanding and allow truth to take its place. It is not my lot to understand or control. I feel directed to act according to my nature. And to make an effort to express the parts of my nature that heal and serve and help. I am not to understand, though I may try. I am to express my medicine and leave the plan to the Planner.
Thanks for reading.
Holding Our Breath
Like many people, I watched the Superbowl last Sunday I stood by the couch folding the weeks clean laundry When the voices of Jim Nance and Phil Sims suddenly fell silent, my attention was pulled from the clean towels to the upper deck of the Superdome. He heart sped up. I waited for the worst. Blessings come in abundance and a thousand a one prayers were answered There was no catastrophic event, no horror waiting in the darkened seats. I feared the worst. Didn’t all of us fear the worst.
This should be a mark of the times. How our attention, our awareness has shifted. Shortly after September 11th, the government made a colored code for the level of concern and fear we be at in our daily lives. Once the level was set at emergency, did it ever come down? How can we ever lower the level of concern. We can’t. Once we react by placing armed guards in kindergardens, they will never be dismissed. Horror has broken through to the realm of possibilities. Events of terror fantasy and violent fiction has become reality.
A few weeks ago I stopped by the store on my way home. I had a rough sinus infection that kept me awake the previous night and wanted to get some nyquil so I could sleep. The machine buzzed an alarm when I ran the bottle through self check out. An attendant came over to me to check my ID.
She spoke in the grocery store small talk, ‘What’s the world coming to’, she said ‘when I have to card you for cold medicine? Can’t trust no one for nothing. I have a little boy myself, hardly a year old. what kind of world will he have I wonder’ she said.
I don’t know any answer to that. But that making the world better for my children starts with me. Teach the children how the world is and how we hope the world would be. What can we do about the amount of fear and doubt and greed in the world? We start by not becoming hard, or cold, not succumbing to the fear. People have guns but the answer is not to get a gun myself. People fear each other but we can’t join in that and close off to relations.
These are no answers. i have no answers and I would not presume to tell anyone how to live. But for my family, we will hold faith, share love, starting in our own home and in our own neighborhood. I feel that is starts in my own garden, in my own heart. Amen
Holding Our Breath
It is dark early in the evening. I walk off the elevator. The hospital is sterile, brightly lit, quiet but only muted. There is a emotion vibrating beneath the hard tiles. The floors above are full of held breath, choked back tears, silent waiting moments.
I cross the courtyard which is vacant in the evening. The crossed brick patterned reflects the fluorescent sheen. The night shift staff is settled in their chairs and the day shift are all ready in traffic. I have been waiting for a close friend and teacher to live or die. I have been waiting to learn that a child will soon join us. I have been waiting for my shift in the Emergencyt o be over so I can go home and hold my wife.
These three or four blocks between the hospital towers, two red paper dolls and the expansive deserted parking lot with my truck waiting by a honey colored street light, these blocks are my time out of waiting. I walk step after step in the frost of late autumn and the dark that holds before the advent. I try not to rush. But my pace cannot fall too slow either. For there is too much potential change to linger on this walk.
Instead I walk in a regular pace, breathing deeply. Try to control all the worry and doubt and fear of not knowing what is around the next corner. The pain and concern of the unknown is the worst just before the turn is taken.
As a boy I feared the head lights of the oncoming cars because I could not see past them. And the fear and doubt builds and builds and reaches a crescendo to the instant before the car passes.
These times of waiting are unending. That car never passes. The corner is never taken. And the greatest fear though never realized is never out of range to possibility. But I walk the same steady unhurried, tense pace. I keep awake in the darkness. Eyes open to the coming change. I had vowed to stay awake but this is exhausting.
I look up and wait. I pray and hope and Wait. The advent is approaching.