Friday, October 28, 2005

... Suggested Reading ...

I just realized that I did not include the referenced blog: You may want to check it out as well as the Peggy Noonan editorial it references (the link is included there).

And a Happy Feast Day to those who call on St. Jude, Patron of Impossible Causes and the Hopeless, as their patron!

The Current State of Affairs

Another blogger posted a link to an editorial by Peggy Noonan discussing the current state of national affairs and the internal challenges facing our society and its government.

The point of the editorial struck a chord with me and I posted this response which I would like to share here:

In many ways she is on point as far as the precarious spot in which our society finds itself right now. I am not sure we have not been here before, in a different era and under different circumstances, but each time we reach here we face a real challenge. The question is -- what path will we take?

Today's headlines are announcing the pending indictment of a senior White House official and the media is speculating it is the Vice President's Chief of Staff. Time will shortly tell. In the meantime, I cannot help but think of the recent episode of the popular television, "West Wing."

The hypothetical posed in the storyline of "West Wing" is similar to the real life episode being played out today in the public arena. But since I have been following the detail of the real life episode less closely (perhaps than I should be), I would like to pose my questions in relation to the related hypothetical:

What is it about human nature that enables us and ultimately allows us "to go there"?

What strikes me most about the alleged real life episode is how the leaked information potentially put so many real lives at risk.

So a final question for the moment:

And at what cost?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

... God of the Winds, God of the Rains ...

Since my last post, Nature has again showered down upon the earth via Hurricane Wilma. The temptation is to be overcome by the extent and reach of these recent natural disasters. But beneath it all, a question emerges: "What is it that you ask of us in the midst of this?"

In the words of Micah, "to act with justice, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with God" or as it has been put elsewhere "to live simply so that others may simply live."

Indeed a challenge! What does it mean for each of us? Something different and unique, I imagine.

Beyond that, I believe God is calling us, challenging us, to reach in and unleash our goodness in a world hungry for goodness and wholeness.

Something to think about, that's for sure.

Bless us, O God of the Winds, God of the Rains,
God of all the earth, have mercy on us!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

A Sunny Sunday

It was already light out when I took the dog for her morning walk. The sun had just begun to shine gently, the air cool and light. As we walked an extended walk this morning, it dawned on me quite clearly how today is not so sunny a day for so many people around the world, both literally and figuratively.

This week New Jersey had a share of rain and flooding. Many people dealt with the inconveniences of power outages and water where it should not have been. Although our development had flooded streets and our storm drains had risen to the point of looking like lakes, thank God we did not have to endure flooding of our personal space. However, many people did. Their losses this week are real.

This local experience of the rains and floods this week really calls us to not forget the unsunny days still being experienced by those who have lost so much in the wrath of Katrina and Rita. The goodness of the rest of us may ease their pain and help them move toward wholeness, but we should not forget that their pain and losses remain real AND that there are still many people out there who have not even begun to start to consider healing as they are still very much in need for the basics.

We are well into autumn now, and with half of October behind us, our minds are quickly entertaining thoughts of the winter to come (at least, mine is - we finally bought a snowblower this weekend). Yet at the same time we cannot forget - nor should we completely - the bruise which summer's end laid upon the Gulf Coast of the United States.

Still, let us not forget either those who have suffered losses and deaths in the face of the quakes in El Salvador and India and Pakistan.

Contemplating these realities, I hear the refrain from David Haas' "We Are Called" playing in my mind and leave for each of us to fill in the blank, We are called to _______________.

Peace-filled and blessed Sunday!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

On Blogging

I can't believe it's been two weeks since I last posted to my blog. I always have lots to say, but with the busyness of the days, it seems like I don't have much time to say it.

There's always so much going on in the world around us. It leaves one wondering where to begin.

For now, my focus is on those suffering losses due to the series of narutal disasters around the world. With the US still trying to emerge from the floodwaters of Katrina and then the hits from Rita, my focus next went to Stan's punch on El Salvador and then the 5.5 earthquake that hit El Salvador, as they say in Spanish, "en seguida." Not fully comprehending the needs there in light of the floods and quakes, I heard the news of the 7.6 quake that hit India and Pakistan. The news clip I heard reported that 200 schoolchildren (all girls, I believe) had died from the quake. And reportedly, those were but the beginning of thousands of deaths expected there.

The power and violence of nature, especially with these recent natural disasters, can seem overwhelming. In many ways, they hit with a power much like a "sucker punch" to the stomach. One can wonder what the purpose of such violent expressions of nature. It's hard to grasp at times and easily we can blame the power of nature. I think, however, we have to take responsibility for our care for the natural environment and how our lack of care contributes to nature's outbursts. That's not the end of the story either. The real lesson that keeps speaking to me is the call to see how good we can be -- and remain -- to our fellow humanity in these times of need, in the face of disasters, and how we respond to the call to conversion of our heart, mind, and spirit.

The test posed by these natural forces is not really the trials faced by those who suffer nature's forces but the challenge set before us who are in a position to respond to their needs.

The question before me is: How do I respond?