Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Monday, January 6, 2020

Don't send forth stones

“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
                                                              Robert F. Kennedy

How do we effect change?
How do we bend history?

It is a question I often ask myself
Because frankly
I feel pretty damn powerless most of the time!

I want to be one of those people who
Stands up when it is time to stand up,
Who advocates for the vulnerable,
Who strikes out against injustice.

I want to be a person who “sends for a tiny ripple of hope”

But most of the time I feel like
I am just spitting into the wind

Actually it’s worse than that!
I feel like I just get sucked into the hurricane
Sucked into the vortex of hate and anger

I talk with someone who steadfastly disagrees with me
And I react
To all those things I believe are problematic
I read a response to an article or a post
That to me seems just dead wrong
And I react

I see the other as closed
And full of prejudice and bias
I see what I considered twisted priorities
And warped beliefs

I see hate, and greed
Shaping their words, attitudes and actions

And I react
Becoming, all too often
Unable to see my own prejudices and biases

And I want to throw stones
I want to batter
To win

All too often
I send out the very energy I am reacting against!

As I thought about this I could not help but remember
The story of the woman in the hands of an angry mob
Her story was not a good one
And she was being judged
And there were all too many there ready to cast stones

To throw out judgment and destruction
To hurt, to punish

And then Jesus came in
And was just…


Jesus came into that atmosphere of retribution, even cruelty,
And sent forth something else, grace, forgiveness, hope, possibilities, love?
And bent that moment of history

In this time
As I seek to be one of those people who
Stands up when it is time to stand up,
Who advocates for the vulnerable,
Who strikes out against injustice.

As I seek to create change
To bend history
Toward Sacred, toward love

I understand that I will really only do that
when what comes forth from me
is not stones
not anger, or harsh words, or hate
is not domination

but calm, compassion
generosity, love

yes I can confront
just as Jesus, in that moment
stood in front of a retributive crowd
(he could have been killed)

but I’ve got to do it
by sending out what I want to create
not what I want to counter

By being a person who sends forth
Not hard stones of rhetoric and passion
Not hard stones of anger and arrogance

But something else
Let’s just call it love

(Do not overcome evil with evil, but overcome evil with good – Romans 12:21)

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