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

Wednesday, September 13, 2023


See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God, that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble and through it many become defiled.

          Hebrews 12:15


Refrain from anger and forsake wrath.     Do not fret—it leads only to evil.

          Psalm 7.8


Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice.

          Ephesians 5:31


“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. ”

          Carrie Fisher, Malachy McCourt and others have used this.  It evolved.



I have often noticed

Just how we human creatures love to hold on to hate

And blame

And resentment


It is a sadly human trait

That shows up in the cautionary tale of Cain and Able


One of those early stories

That reveals, starkly who we are as human beings

Blessed children of God (Adam and Eve)

Power hungry and foolish (Also Adam and Eve)

Resentful, jealous, and violent (Cain and Able)

Ambitious and arrogant (Tower of Babel)


The problem with hate, and resentment

Those feelings that focus our enmity on others

Is that they rob us of ourselves


They consume us and blind us

And make us less


The wise (and not-so-wise) writers of the Bible

Make it pretty clear

Resentment and hate pave the path to evil


Do we dare doubt it?


This past week we “remembered” 9/11

This was indeed a horrible event


I do remember it.

I was preparing for a trip to Azerbaijan when the planes hit the towers

And it was a long while before we were allowed to make that trip

to work with Azeri doctors on delivering better medical care


It hit close to home

As I was only days from boarding a plane to Washington DC


I too was angry, appalled


But over the years I have come to understand some things

How our behavior, a nation, planted the seeds of 9/11

How our arrogance and heavy-handed interference

And exploitation of that region created



Resentment and hate


This event came out of resentment and hate

And we responded in kind

And our response tore the world apart.


We responded poorly

We responded violently

We responded by believing, by embracing, lies to justify our action

We wanted to “get even”

And so millions died.

Millions more were made homeless

We even hurt ourselves (how many Americans were killed or damaged, permanently)


And now we still


But do we remember the right way?


Are we taking care so that no root of bitterness springs up?

Are we refraining from anger and forsaking wrath?

Have we put away all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice?


Or are we still drinking the poison and waiting for the other person to die?


We need to remember!

We need to remember the pain of that day

The buildings crashing,

The people dying

Those heroes making the ultimate sacrifice

Those whose lives would never be the same


But as we vilify the perpetrators

We also need to see how we as a nation planted the seeds of hate

By our behavior

We need to remember that our leaders lied (and were willfully misled)

We have to remember that our response was violent and excessive

We have to remember how many innocents were killed

Because of us


We have to remember the destruction we unleashed


When we carry resentment and hate in our hearts




We do not see their humanity, their pain

We do not see our culpability


Our world is being torn apart by hate and resentment

Our nation is being torn apart by hate and resentment


And into the winds of hate

Jesus comes singing love

Living Love


Jesus comes preaching forgiveness

And entrusting us with the ministry

Not of vengeance

But of reconciliation


Always, reconciliation


All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us (2 Corinthians 5)


Every day I see the power of resentment and hate

Every single day


It leads only to evil

To abusive politics

To guns

To lies and graft

To oppression and death

To vengeance


Every day I see the power of resentment and hate


I would like to see the power of love

Today I would like to practice forgiveness

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