22 03 2017

There are some days when pieces of life seem egregiously out-of-tune with one another.

 Last night we received word that the daughter of dear friends had lost her extended battle with a particularly vicious disease. As I have sat in my home throughout this morning one of the pairs of cardinals that make their home in the trees along our property line has been vigorously, relentlessly singing. I thought to myself, they cannot know that today is not a day for song; their song does not fit with the anguish of the loss of a daughter, mother, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin, aunt, and friend.  Today, they should be silent.

 As the morning has progressed, and the cardinals have continued to sing I began to wonder if perhaps their song is being sung across a wider expanse than our current, physical line of sight allows us to view. Perhaps there is, on this day, a hope that has been realized, a wholeness that has been reached, a peace that has been found, a life that has been finally and forever restored. Perhaps, in the unknown and indefinable space through which we move from this life into eternity the hand of Immanuel, God with us; our ever-present help in time of trouble reached out again, and was grasped with joy. Perhaps that is why the cardinals are singing today; perhaps they are in tune with an eternity that we cannot yet see.  Perhaps, on days like today, their song is the evidence of things not seen.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  Hebrews 11:1

Equality – What if we weren’t afraid?

8 03 2017

 We as humans have a tendency to live from a position of self-preservation, we are fearful that anything gained by, or given to, another will occur at our expense so we carefully protect the things we already have; things like possessions, positions, places, power, rights and security both real and perceived.  On days like today, International Women’s Day, when we take a closer look at gender-based differences in that list of things I wonder how much of those differences continue to exist because of fear.

As a woman in a male-centric vocation, and as mother to three daughters I live with a very present awareness of gender-based inequalities.  I had a whole bunch of statistics bearing testimony to the actual inequity that is real-life for women in America in spite of all the right things we say on paper; the stats for the majority of women living outside western democratic cultures are even more profoundly sobering; but you can see those numbers easily in lots of places today if you choose to look so I won’t list them again here.  And, if you believe we as women are misrepresenting or exagerating the inequality we experience daily, my handful of words added to the others is unlikely to change your mind.

However, if we do recognize the continuing inequality that exists between genders, knowing that inequality enacted between people is out of alignment with the model Jesus gave, what if we truly acted from what we say we believe?  What if we stopped guarding what we already have?  What if we viewed our rights as resources to be shared?  What if giving has less to do with money and more to do with privelege?  What if we thought about generosity as it relates to our power?  What if we really were as concerned about others as we were ourselves?  What if we were willing to risk everything for someone else?  What if we weren’t afraid?