Crazy Making 2017

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“I’m not strange, weird, off, nor crazy, my reality is just different from yours.”

― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

I never thought I would have to live through the insanity now issuing daily from the White House. I thought things like refusing Jewish refugees and rounding up Japanese American citizens and putting them in concentration camps were agreed on by all Americans to have been wrong. I believed that we had learned from the mistakes we agreed we had made in earlier times. I actually had fallen into the seductive idea of progress.

Now as the Twitter King sits and like a dictator issues daily orders, it is difficult to believe that we have gone back to World War II ways of governing. I have tried to keep my sanity throughout these past 10 days, but it is very challenging.

I return to Adrienne Rich, the author of the quote which heads my home page. From her poem Transcendental Etude:

“But there come times—perhaps this is one of them –
when we have to take ourselves more seriously or die;
when we have to pull back from the incantations,
rhythms we’ve moved to thoughtlessly,
and disenthrall ourselves, bestow
ourselves to silence, or a deeper listening, cleansed
of oratory, formulas, choruses, laments, static
crowding the wires.”
I am determined to evict Donald from my head where he insists on living rent free. Instead I will cleave to the truth(which exists and doesn’t allow for “alternative facts”) and daily pray for the wisdom to know what action to take minute by minute. Today my action is to let my readers around the world know that a majority of Americans are heartsick about the current actions from the White House. They do not represent us. We do not see Muslims as a monolithic threat, but rather as a religion which descends, as does our Christianity, from Abraham.
Peace.

 

Meeting the Face of Jesus

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Arthur Roberts

Long before I was Catholic, long before I was Christian even, I was a deist. That is, I believed there was a God, but thought that Jesus was a good man who lived a long time ago and had good things to say to us. The only religious education I had ever received, and that very very occasionally, was Unitarian. The Unitarians, as revealed in their name, rejected the idea of Trinity and spoke of Jesus, when they did at all, in similar terms as my own.

A fellow graduate student attended a place called Reedwood Friends Church, and he invited me to attend it. This was an Evangelical Friends congregation which meant they were Quakers who had a pastor. They had long periods of silent worship and they adhered to all the testimonies of the Quakers such as peace and social justice.

I visited with great trepidation. Most of what I knew of Christianity was negative, informed by street preaching and door to door evangelizing. To my surprise, a distinguished looking man came up to me after the service and welcomed me. He asked me why I was visiting. I explained I was not a Christian but was intrigued by Christianity.

He said, “You are welcome to sojourn with us as long as you like. You don’t have to do anything else.” With all pressure off, I attended church there for many years, gradually having a conversion, quiet and true, to Christianity.

Arthur Roberts, a now retired professor from George Fox University, was that welcoming face of Christ.

Thanks to those who share, rather than impose, their faith.