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Photo by Joe Grant © 2016

Photo by Joe Grant © 2016

Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back. Luke 6:37-38

Seeker,

Do you worry and wonder at what is happening to us?

 

In times of frustration, fear and fury

we are tempted to protect personal assets,

throw walls around territories, stock up for scarcity.

 

The manipulation of messages

preys upon silent masses, milking the venom of vindictiveness,

heightening our instinct  to hold back.

 

With disgraceful insinuations and petulant pronouncements

some strive to segregate or scapegoat—

so easy to conquer the so-well divided.

 

Others storm the bastion of righteousness

to poison youthful passion with hatred and horror

guised as honor or holiness.

 

As the bar of acceptable human behavior sinks,

insults and ideologies

spiral into violent idolatries.

 

Bluster builds to an acrimonious squall.

Hatred fuels a whirlwind of flapping flags,

fiery crosses, prideful parades of power…

 

And lodged deep, in grainy black and white,

a memory of dread-full times (not so long past)

stirs up a disorienting dose of déjà vu.

 

A great gale arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?’ Mark 4:37-40

 

What bridge can span

the canyon of bitter segregation,

amid a hailstorm of threats and taunts?

 

Who dares display

the necessary remorse

that gives way to mutual pardon?

 

No holding back tears now!

Only mercy’s unction can

unhinge the encrusted doorway to peace.

 

With courageous resolution

the reckless risk of love-over-control

gently uncaps a well of great-fullness.

 

Now,  generosity and gratitude

overflow at the bounty of blessings

received and given and shared.

 

Try saying this silently to everyone and everything you see for thirty days: “I wish you happiness now and whatever will bring happiness to you in the future.” If we said it to the sky, we would have to stop polluting; if we said it when we see ponds and lakes and streams, we would have to stop using them as garbage dumps and sewers; if we said it to small children, we would have to stop abusing them, even in the name of training; if we said it to people, we would have to stop stoking the fires of enmity around us. Beauty and human warmth would take root in us like a clear, hot June day. We would change.  Joan Chittister

 

Will you bare

a listening heart

to a torrent of tirades?

 

Will you uncover the font of forgiveness

and dwell in abundance

till fear itself dissolves?

 

joe

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Still In the Storm

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