Monthly Archives: May 2022

Only When the Peace of Love Begins in Our Own Hearts Can We Begin to Replace Violence with Kindness

Our society has reached a breaking point of hate. It infuses our lives through social media, the newspapers, the television, the computer games, brutality in sports, our literature, even our religions and our music. It’s time to go back to basics. Violence solves nothing. It only breeds more violence. Violence begins in the heart as an escape from pain, fear, frustration, rejection, loneliness, despair. It’s a spiritual sickness and it requires a personal spiritual cure, not a corporate religious one. Let it begin with YOU and with Me. NOW! Not tomorrow or next week. Begin by praying for peace within, take time to reflect on our own condition, ask and seek grace to grow free to love one another as Jesus did. Focus on this inner journey until it frees us in our lives. Both hate and love are contagious.

I found time this afternoon to sit on my porch listening to a gentle rain and soft sounds of windchimes, watching the trees dance and feeling the breath of a breeze kiss my face, delighting in the bright rich colors of gold and violet pansies and enjoying the sweet smell of the wild roses at the edge of my woods. Joy surprised me in a memory of Julian wrapped in his comforter of silence savoring the wind and rain. It was a time for thanking God for the grace of being loved by Julian and family and friends. And a chance to treasure the new stage of my journey with Jesus.

A half of a century ago I danced in joy as I experienced the overwhelming tender Love of God fleshed out for me and all humanity in Jesus. I treasure every moment of awareness of that Love that began to free me from my self-contempt over my many faults and failures. I have celebrated that love in the good and with grace eventually even in bad times. I have pretty much just “wallowed” in it like a happy little pig! To my surprise, I’ve realized that in the last year, I have become more focused on loving Jesus than on his loving me. I have begun to really recognize his humanity and how he grew as a human who was open to the Love/grace of God that nurtured him through so many human stages that challenge us all. Instead of just dancing in the delight of being loved, I am now often just thrilled in amazement and warm tenderness at how Jesus worked at keeping open to the Spirit of God. How he opened his heart to the Roman enemies of the Jews, to the Samaritan heretics, the unclean woman., And how listening to the Spirit gave him the grace to keep on Loving and persevering through all the challenges and trauma’s of his human life. It even carried him through to saying on the cross, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.”

He didn’t say, “Throw them in jail. Kill them. Don’t let them into the Kingdom of heaven.”

Oh my! How humanly vulnerable, how aware of human sin, how tender in forgiveness, how infinite in his love. He is the Love of God fleshed out for ALL of us, not just when we are being or even just thinking we’re the good guys. As I write this I rejoice and celebrate the Love of God fleshed out in Jesus. Thanks be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

The Paradox of Doing Evil in the Name of Good

I struggle with open season on the unborn, but I can’t buy into indiscriminate punishment of young girls, some even preteens now able to become pregnant, rape victims, women in danger of death in delivery, mentally handicapped women, and emotionally unstable women now knowing early in their pregnancies that their baby may be seriously deformed in inoperable ways.

 I have been horrified over my fifty years of being a part of numerous Christian women’s groups at how many middle-aged, middle to upper class women have been sexually abused at early ages by fathers, uncles, older brothers, friends of the family. Many of the abusers were regular church attendees. I began to hear their stories in the 1970’s and 80’s in Scripture, Prayer, and Sharing groups. None of the women had ever told anyone, not even their husbands.

This all or nothing approach to law is simply terrifying. What a reasonably stable, mature Christian woman with enough means to take care of a child can do knowing grace will be available is a whole different ballgame from many others. I almost died having a child, but I was in my thirties and had experienced a very powerful conversion that gave me a source of strength, so that when there was total chaos in the delivery room because I was hemorrhaging so badly after a C-section, I was at peace. But five years before that, before I had any faith, there is no way I would have made it through the pregnancy or the panic during the delivery.

God did not create cookie-cutter people. We are not all playing with the same cards of health, mental acuity, emotional maturity, family support, financial resources, protection from sexual harm, and strength of faith. It is not a level playing field in almost any way.

Wake up Christians, your vote may make you an active partner in incredibly un-Christian harm to innocents. We have to find ways to protect not just the unborn, but preteens, teens, the mentally handicapped, the emotionally disturbed, incest and rape and other innocent victims. And for every pregnant woman there is a partner in crime. No virgin births in over 2000 years.

There may not be a perfect answer, but there has to be a better one than punishing victims, the crippled, the vulnerable and helpless.

Fight now to force legislators to recognize what harm they will be doing and challenge them to work toward a reasonable and humane solution to this conflict of values.