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

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

A dog's life

So here we are Still struggling along with this virus And let’s face it, as we struggle forward We are all on the same path And yet, we aren’t We want this to be over But we do not all have the same idea about what it will look like, should look like when we get to the end of this. And we do not all have the same idea about how to get there You know this would be easier if we had approached this the way dogs approach life I live with a dog I know A dog’s agenda is simple, fathomable, overt: I want. “I want to go out, come in, eat something, lie here, play with that, lick you. There are no ulterior motives with a dog, no mind games, no second-guessing, no complicated negotiations or bargains, and no guilt trips or grudges if a request is denied.” (of course there are those eyes) With Finn the dog its ball, ball, ball Food, food, food Cat, cat, cat – he loves his cats- not so sure they love him, but he loves them Car, car, car – he loves his car rides But we are humans Alas and alack So here we are, wanting to move forward And it is complicated We have epidemiologists and medical people who see it one way And we have people, fueled by YouTube and FaceBook who see it another way We have people who take it really seriously And people who aren’t too sure And people who think its all a scam, a hoax We have people whose priority is safety And people whose priority is the economy And people whose priority is face to face worship We have people who frame the guidelines being set as an assault on freedom And people who see them as reasonable attempts to save lives We have people who are afraid And people who are angry People who are actually responding to the virus And people who are loading all kinds of others things on to this situation that seem to have little to do with the virus Like guns And partisan politics And white nationalism And the end result is that we are fragmented And there is a whole lot of ugly stuff going on People who wear masks are shamed. People who don’t wear masks are shame People march around with guns and Nazi flags I read an article today, which came from my denomination, and a person who is a experienced immunologist says this is not going to be over any time soon… And we are already tired On edge But here we are Communities of faith Communities of people gathered together in geographical places The larger communities that are our States, and our Nation. Communities of diverse people all stumbling along toward the same goal But wanting to go down many different paths And we are struggling how to deal with each other How do we talk to each other? How do we work together? How? I think this passage from I Peter for gives us some help Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called—that you might inherit a blessing. For those who desire life and desire to see good days, let them keep their tongues from evil and their lips from speaking deceit; let them turn away from evil and do good; let them seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” Think about that! We were called to inherit a blessing And we were called to be a blessing And we are a blessing when we come together, rather than scatter When we come together in love, with tender hearts rather than in anger When instead of isolating and encapsulating we seek as best we can to hear each other, respect each other, protect each other It is too easy to get angry and repay evil with evil, abuse for abuse But no matter how we see this, that is what we cannot do We need to listen to those, care for those, hurt with those who are fearful they will lose their business. Lose their house. Be unable to support their families We need to listen to those, care for those, hurt with those who are fearful that they will get this virus, and because they are vulnerable, die I don’t know that there are any easy answers to this crisis. But I do know that as we search for answers, there is no place here for hate, ridicule, or selfishness. No place for behaviors that minimize and marginalize others This is a time for unity, sympathy, caution, intelligence, This is a time to use every bit of real information we have And every tool we have But above all this is a time to have tender hearts This is a time to strive, in whatever ways we can, to love each other We start I think, by listening to those who know the most, and trusting them And then we move forward listening carefully to the Holy Spirit Which is a Spirit of love and life No easy answers are available. But if we go into this the way Peter suggests? With tender hearts? We will come out the other side Still a community And hopefully we will come out with no one missing

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