Tuesday, November 15, 2016
I took some time to exercise, sprucing up around the church, and found myself singing "Come and fill my heart with your peace; you alone O Lord are holy . . . Come and fill my heart with your peace; Alleluia." After singing that a few times I opened the back door to sniff the air and spotted a magical creature tip-toeing along the sidewalk by our parking lot. A fox? It has a horn and wings. A foxicorn dragon? Whatever it is, it gave a big smile. As an answer to prayer, I will think of it as a manifestation of peace. When I thanked it for occupying our neighborhood, it thanked me, in return, in a small, musical voice. Its paw when it gently shook my hand was velvety soft.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
I feel myself galvanized today, determined to be a contributor to a safer, more humane world. Rather than live and preach against what I disagree with, taking a negative, adversarial view in an American culture which has grown more dangerous in recent times, I hope to keep walking forward with my head up, eyes clear, and my arms open to conciliation. I invite my friends and readers to join me in a commitment to living by three simple rules. They are easy to remember, harder to practice, but potentially transformative. The three simple rules are: First, do no harm. Second, do good. Third, always stay in love with God. Doing the first well is an important beginning. I appreciate what Ruben P. Job says about how this practice of doing no harm affects my relationships with adversaries. "Each of us knows of groups that are locked in conflict, sometimes over profound issues and sometimes over issues that are just plain silly. But the conflict is real, the divisions deep, and the consequences can often be devastating. If, however, all who are involved can agree to do no harm, the climate in which the conflict is going on is immediately changed. How is it changed? Well, if I am to do no harm, I can no longer gossip about the conflict. I can no longer speak disparagingly about those involved in the conflict. I can no longer manipulate the facts of the conflict. I can no longer diminish those who do not agree with me and must honor each as a child of God. I will guard my lips, my mind and my heart so that my language will not disparage, injure or wound another child of God. I must do no harm, even while I seek a common good." I hope you will join me.
Friday, November 4, 2016
The rain has poured buckets on us here in Western Oregon this October. So wherever I choose to walk on grass or ground I sink and squish. I am not happy with the sogginess, but mushrooms are. I spied a large, orange cap across the church lawn and squelched over to investigate. The warm, wet conditions hatched a batch of very large mushrooms. King boletes are edible and delicious. Raccoons had chawed the largest one mostly to bits, but left a smaller one, a mere 10" across, well enough alone that I could pick it. I dismantled it in my kitchen and set bits to dry in our food dehydrator. The house has a wonderful, rich mushroom smell. I am not fond of grey skies and showers in general, but remembering, from my childhood wanderings, the fun of mushroom hunting in the woods lifts my spirits. When it rains, wonders appear.