Daily Thoughts, October 9, 2005
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Clear Picture

Everyone wants to feel good.  It is as if we all share a common mantra: mask the truth, never say anything which might indicate you have made a mistake, and play the game.  Win at all costs!  Keep hope alive!  Let the good times roll!
 
In moments of peace I wonder if I am seeing everything.  There must be trouble somewhere, if only I could see clearly.  Yet when I see everything I am overwhelmed!  In the midst of the beauty and wonder there are a lot of ugly sights.  In the presence of love and compassion there are those who are out to exploit anyone and anything they can for their god of self.  In the shadow of community and relationship one can find pain and death flourishing.  The complete picture is really confusing.  Is it possible to see everything and still hold onto hope?  Can I acknowledge my weakness and failures and still hold my head high?  Will others give me the forgiveness and acceptance I so desperately crave? 
 
The conundrum, a wicked problem which seems to defy any solution, isn’t new.  Individuals and communities have and continue to struggle with the life they know.  From my perspective the key lies in an observation made centuries ago; “Shame!  Misguided God-dropouts, staggering under their guilt-baggage, gang of miscreants, band of vandals—my people have walked out on me, their God, turned their backs on The Holy of Israel, walked off and never looked back.” (Isaiah 1.4)
 
Do we, you or I, need to struggle of the guilt baggage of yesterday?  Do we need to grabble with the karma, hell, of our own creation?  Will the ugliness we find overwhelm the best of our dreams, aspirations, and hopes?
 
Life doesn’t need to be overwhelming.
 
Life is ugly.  We have choices.
Life can be brutal.  We still have choice.
Life is often messy.  We will decide.
 
The picture is complex.  We have the opportunity to add hope, compassion, and mercy to wherever we find ourselves.  Whatever, regardless, and in all things, love clears up our view.

October 8, 2005
October 10, 2005