the broadstroke of words

 

I was running through the channels the other night and landed on Bill O’Reilly’s show. I don’t watch Fox much and mostly due to my perception of their arrogance of the only ones being right. And while much of the same is probably said about the other side, I guess it makes for good TV which isn’t reality at all.

At the risk of being another annoying voice in a vast sea of annoying voices of fairly uneducated opinions, I was struck by some terminology Bill was using. In speaking of socially progressive programs, he kept referring to or one could say using bullying verbage to his position that traditional America is gone.

I want to first say, I love this country. It is and always will be my home and my European ancestors have mid here since the mid 1600’s and my Native American ancestors, well for thousands of years ! So I am proud to call America home. I also want to say I choose to listen to as many side of a discussion as I can.

But here’s is the phrase that keep sticking in my craw; Traditional America ! What does that even mean? What does Bill O’Reilly mean by that? Is it the traditional American that came over here in search of religious freedom, yet slaughtered an entire race of people because they deemed them as heathens? Is it the traditional America that wouldn’t let women vote until 1920? Or maybe the traditional America that enslaved Africans. If I thought of traditional America or American values of the 1960’s when I grew up as idyllic, that image soon gets shattered with what it must have been like for Blacks on the cusp of the Civil Rights Movement. To see a human being sprayed with a fire hose, well that doesn’t seem like any tradition I would want to hang my hat on.

We have many a black eye as a Nation, but like individuals, we keep learning and growing. We are a wonderful Nation of neighbors, and when we talk with each other, and see each other trying to make a better life for our children; one of safety and spirit, that’s when America really shines. So in that light it seems only natural that as a country we keep moving and reshaping ourselves to have a view broad enough for all to shine in this country we call home.

I am not commenting on the Right or the Left, on programs or policies, but more on using our language in such broad strokes that it doesn’t include the views of the voiceless and the forgotten. The ones that have not, but really might have more peace and balance. Hard questions, hard answers, but if we begin as “We” like the previous blog post said, instead of “I” and “them”, maybe we could let love and inclusiveness guide us better than rancor and exclusiveness. I hope I have spoke with a kind heart and with a heart that wants to listen and be of peace. Perhaps this will evoke a peaceful conversation about the environment that we share.

A Blessing

Once in a while someone says something that really reflects how you feel. Something you wish you had said ! Such is the case with a blessing that was written and recited by our friend Melissa Greene at church this past Sunday. For me this is high and above religion and politics, and although it brushes against those themes it is more about  choosing a way to live a life. Knowing Melissa, these aren’ just words to evoke an emotion or posture herself in a certain light. These are words she would put up to her own mirror, words not only for us, but for her too. Letting the repeated word “We” settle into your head as you read, reminds us that it’s not an “I” world but a “We” world.

In this loud world full of banter from TV media and where people shout hateful and dividing words behind the veils of social media forums, hearing these words was very moving. My favorite line is “May we get down off of our fences and high posts and come down into the level ground, into the open space where all truly live”. I really believe that we can share with someone in a quiet setting, we find we are much closer than we think, that there is an “open space where all truly live”.

If you find even one line that stirs your soul or sticks to your bones, then the reading will have been worth it. If you find yourself wanting to know more about Melissa’s journey, you can find her at http://melissagreenemusic.com/.

May We Be The Blessing

May we be the blessing today and not the curse.
May we encourage one another towards an abundant life.
May we seek peace and reconciliation in our own hearts and with the hearts of those around us.
May we live humbly.
May we give people, all people; our family, our friends, our neighbors, our communities and our leaders, the benefit of the doubt.
May we let LOVE lead us.
May we let generosity guide our actions.
May we stand for what Christ stood for or rather stand with those whom Christ stands with. ALL.
May we get down off our fences and high posts and come down into the level ground, into the open space where all truly live.
May we dwell in this fertile ground where our lives WILL eventually turn outward toward others.
May we allow our focus to turn from me to them to you and finally to us.
May we live united.
May we seek SHALOM.
May we be reminded of the image of God in all of our lives.
May we seek communion with all.
May we be the blessing not the curse