Saturday, March 19, 2011

Slow-Moving Saturday

somwhere a mother is grieving her
   child lost in the tsunami
somewhere a young man is grieving his
   friend, killed in a senseless shooting
somewhere an elderly woman is grieving her
   children, dead from AIDS
somewhere a child is grieving the
   inability of his parents to pay school fees
somewhere a man is grieving the
   loss of his job as his company downsizes
somewhere the relentless tide of poerty
   is killing as surely as the tide of the
   Japanese tsunami
somewhere the comfortable sit and contemplate
   what they will do today-
   while worlds away, the poor and stricken
   wonder how they will get through
                                           another day.

And so Saturday i sit here in my comfortable home, knowing i will have enough to eat today, i will be safe and warm,
i will have a comfortable place to sleep, i will be able to choose how i spend my time. Am i ever really grateful enough for those gifts, i wonder? Perhaps, for those of us not directly affected by the earthquake, the tsunami, by the depths of poverty, (though of course we are, in the interconnectedness of all people, but you know what i mean) the "gift" of such events is to heighten our awareness of just how fortunate we are- not by virtue of anything we have done, by any merit on our part, but simply by where we have been born, where we live, by the circumstances of life beyond our immediate, individual control.

And it has nothing whatever to do with God's favor...let's lay that old heresy to rest once and for all. If my life is good, it is not because God has chosen to bless me more than someone else; rather, it is because i have taken the gifts of my life- my talents, my abilities- and honed them for use...ever mindful that where i was born and to whom has impacted that ability forever. Guess i'm not saying this very well, but i'm frankly baffled at how we can justify prejudices of all sorts to ourselves by falling back on "the will of God". Sorry, but i don't think God "wills" poverty- or earthquakes or tsunamis or traffic accidents or any of the tragedies which regularly befall human beings. The God i have come to know is LOVE and wills LOVE...and though we have the capacity to love, too often we fall back on our need to grab and grasp, to have security, to fear the other, to hold the stranger at arm's length, to slide into violence when we feel what we have is threatened. WE do how can we blame the squelae on God?

Okay- enough sermonizing on this lush and beautiful, blooming day.
Actually, i am filled with joy as i contemplate lunch with a dear friend, knowing that my three "big kids" will be getting together in Charlotte for some "face time"...and tonight, the "supermoon"- here, cresting the horizon about 7:30p.m. My heart is overflowing with gratitude for all of you, yet overflowing with pain for the people of Japan and my grandmother friends in Kenya, thankful it is big enough to hold all of the conflicting emotions and still go on beating. May your day be beautiful...filled with meaning...filled with laughter...the presence of friends...all the hugs you need...and may you always know that you are loved. love, linda 

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