“On Earth as It Is in Heaven”
I ask myself today how can I inspire in these troubling times. I wonder if anyone has hope enough to listen or faith enough to see. What is faith but the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, at least that’s what it says in Hebrews 11:1. It was the faith of two blind men that opened their eyes to see. As they came before Jesus asking to be healed, he simple said to them, “Do you believe?’ “Yes Lord,” they replied. He touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done onto you.” And their eyes were opened. Matthew 9:27-30.
I think of myself as having a lot of faith. I am where I am today because of the hope and faith I held onto. Yet even when we’ve experienced miracles we can become complacent in our faith. I ask myself, do you have the faith of a mustard seed? That always boggled my mind. That all it takes is a tiny bit of faith to make good things happen in our life. Maybe it was the innocence of a child’s faith that allowed me to believe in what my mature adult self gets in the way of now. Maybe that’s the way we need to look at things…through the hopeful eyes of a child’s faith. Maybe then we can begin to experience all the good that God wants for us. Maybe then what is done on earth…will be as it is in heaven.
“Being “right” is the easy part. Finding the “rightness” within the opposite point of view is the challenge.” -Barry Johnson “Polarity Management”
I read this quote and thought of all the controversy and rhetoric that so many of us were caught-up in just a month or so ago. I don’t know about you but I’ve taking a step back lately needing to catch my breath and move onto healthier hopeful positive things that bring some goodness back into my life. It’s created some wedges between me and some of the people I care about. I find it’s unfortunate because it’s behind the wall of the internet that so many things have been said, misunderstood, taking out of context and assumed without the advantage and respect of a face to face conversation. Body language and facial expression play a big part in expression our passions. But more than that don’t we owe at least the benefit of the doubt to those we loved and cherished for so many other reasons that go beyond politics?
I looked at the front page of the Lancaster newspaper today. Jeff Hawkes a reporter for the LNP had a perfect article called the “Bridge Tables” to go with the thought provoking quote above. It’s about a way of bringing people of different political views together in a way that they can discuss their differences in a respectful way with nothing between them except the table they sit at. The event is called the Left/Right Café and the premise behind it is to heal America’s political divide. The organizers Eric Sauder and Jamie Beth Schindler’s idea is for liberals and conservatives to come together for a respectful conversation getting past stereotypes and broadening understanding in a safe comfortable environment. Breaking bread and sharing food often has a way of bringing people together in a non- threating way. The hope is to find some understanding and a place of common ground, and from the article it appears that’s what these willing conversations did. It opened each other’s eyes that sometimes what is right to us is not so different from what the other persons believes, but even if it’s not giving one a chance to explain themselves can allow us to better agree to disagree. And who knows maybe we’d learn a fact or two that holds some truth within it giving us a chance to broaden our perspective on beliefs.
For local readers, I’ll pass on that if you want to know more you can contact Jamie Beth Shchindler at LANCoalition@gmail.com
My Tom opened the windows this morning. I love the fresh air and all the smells it brings with it. I also hear the sounds outside much more louder, as if everything is much closer than it really is, like the dogs in the neighborhood. We are all very protective of our tribe and territory and sometimes we overreact because we feel threatened. It’s easy to be tough when I have a fence dividing me from them, but if that fence is open I could get myself in a bit of trouble if I overreact. Calmly taken a few moments to sniff things out I am able to realize that even though we all look different we’re still the same specious. We’re all dogs. For us smells speak loader than barks.
I wish humans had a better smell factor. I hear the violence that goes on between them on the TV. It grabs my attention as I hear load popping sounds, people screaming and yelling at each other. I can’t smell the things that I see flashing before me, so I pace back and forth jumping up at it growling trying to chase them away from my tribe. It’s exhausting and I’m glad when my people turn it off.
I’m so glad I’m a dog, being human is so complicated. I see now though why the dog God made us man’s best friend. We have a calming effect on them and when they relax their better able to think things through, the same way us dogs do when we take the time to sniff things out. Getting along is so much better than having dog fights all the time. Why can’t we all just look beyond the different fur we wear and sniff things out before reacting? Why can’t we all just get along?
Sunday’s with Ollie
Do you ever ignore the voice in your head that says, “bad dog, don’t do that?”
I listen good when I want to. However, sometimes I ignore the voice because the need to do what I want turns the voice off. Things like eating cookies out of the grandkids hands. They hold them at a level so close to my sniffer that I can’t resist doing what the voice in my head is telling me not to. Than I justify it by saying to myself, it’s their fault, they should know better.
“Ollie get in your box,” my Connie yells at me. My favorite person in the world yelling at me breaks my heart. I walk slowly with my head lowered for I know I am guilty of my crime. Worst of all I’ve disappointed the one I love the most. I should know better than to mess with the grandkids. That’s something she doesn’t take lightly. My cozy little room becomes the “box,” and as I hear the click of the lock it becomes my “jail cell.” I admit my guilt as I sit with my head bowed in shame, whining in sadness and sorrow. Oh why didn’t I listen to the good voice that always knows best. Now I don’t get to enjoy all the other opportunities that having guest bring. Why couldn’t I have been satisfied with the many things the grandkids drop freely without thought. Those are the true gifts of the dog God. But no I had to take things into my own paws. Dog gone it why do I let temptation get the better of me? I’m guessing it’s because I’m a dog. I don’t have the sophisticated mind of a human after all. Why with a mind like theirs I bet they don’t have any trouble at all listening to the voice when it tells them to stop.