We Can’t Be Held Accountable For the Sins of our Fathers

Is anyone else sick and tired of the partisan BS going on in our country? Nothing but hate, mistrust, lies, and deceit everywhere. This is not the country I grew up in, and although I still love her and will stand by her always, I’m saddened by what is going on.

That being said, and lest one thinks I am trying to discredit Kamala Harris, I want to asuure you that I am not, regardless of how I may or may not feel about her as a vice-presidential candidate. This information is less important to me as an observor of the 2020 election as it is to assert a strong belief that no one is responsible for their families owning slaves so many years ago, even politicians. Especially politicians. Kamala Harris cannot be held responsible for her ancestors’ actions any more than any other individual of any color in this country should be held responsible for the actions of theirs. However, the fact that she has been chosen as a vice-presidential running mate should give everyone pause to consider who is (or is not, as the case may be) supporting all of the violence directed towards innocent people because of their ancestors’ heritage as slave owners. Is there any irony to be inferred here or not? If this is a valid argument for all the hate in this country, then it would stand to reason that voters should reject her as one of the leaders of their country, but will they? If they don’t, then this argument for hatred needs to be archived.

It is indisputable that change needs to be made in reference to current events and inequalities, but constantly bringing up slavery and blaming people who had nothing to do with it is counterproductive to the elusive goal of living in peace. Many times I see or hear things that say “don’t look back because that’s not where you are going. Look ahead.” Certainly, one must look back to a certain degree in order to change long-standing bad habits, but that’s where it must end, in positive change, peacefully. Would you cut all your fingers off to keep you from chewing your fingernails? I didn’t think so. How can you change your habit if you permanently destroy the source of the problem? The habit of chewing fingernails may be solved, but soon you will be chewing on your fingers, and so on. You can’t change the bad habits of people through antagonism. You can destroy them but then it will only cause more problems and pain in the future. They just get more angry, and the hate continues. Do you see where I am going here? Our ancestors’ evils must stop being pounded into everyone with a battering ram. It’s making things worse, not better.

What this country needs to do is put it to rest. (No matter who wins the election, since, of course, everything is political.) Put it to rest and move on with real change in mind, based on what’s going on today, not 100 years ago. I know some may say that the violence IS because of what is going on today. Partly true and partly BS. Rioters should not use that as an excuse to unleash their monstrous sides on innocent people, and that’s what I believe much of the “protesting” is, at this point. I wonder how many of them even remember why there are out there destroying lives? We must stop the violence now, in any way we can, if we can ever expect to develop some sense of peace again. https://greatgameindia.com/kamala-harris-slave-owner/

Bloomin’ Thought for the Day: Love One Another

John 12: 34 – “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

When I was planning my new rose garden, I chose 5 roses, each with a different color. I’m not a vanilla kind of gal; I need a variety of flavors in my life. I think that’s why I worked in Emergency Rooms for the majority of my nursing career. We never knew what was coming in, so we had to be on high alert through the whole shift. I enjoyed the challenges each new day presented, and the knowledge I acquired from them. There was always something new to learn.

I’m feeling a bit frustrated right now, though, because the challenges that are smacking me in the head are those that we are all facing, not just nurses and doctors. We are all trying to discern ways to deal with COVID 19. This is something that none of us have ever experienced, and one that seemingly has no end.

There is a larger problem, however, that also seems unlikely to end any time soon. The racial tensions in America are at the highest levels I think anyone has ever seen, and I can’t help but think we are making matters worse instead of better. Hate is spilling over the top from both sides, racial and political, and the chasm between them seems to be growing deeper.  As a child, I never felt any fear or animosity against anyone unless they hurt me, and even then, by the next day the transgression was forgotten. I still give people who hurt me multiple chances at reconciliation.

Now, though, I struggle to understand, or make sense out of, the violence that is poisoning our lives. I’m angry seeing innocent people being harmed or killed or businesses destroyed. So many people have tried to explain that this is in response to many years of persecution that African Americans have endured. As much as I do understand that, no one can convince me that violence is the answer, especially since I believe that the residual riots have little to nothing to do with the initial trigger. Changes need to be made for sure, but it will take time, and we have to be patient. I must believe that peace will come. I don’t know when or how, and the resolution may be painful, but I can’t imagine we can sustain ourselves as a nation with all this hate and anger.

As I was enjoying my rose garden today, I was struck by the fact that, of the seven rose bushes I planted, all are either already beautiful, or showing healthy growth, but one: my Peace Rose. Granted, I planted it later than the rest, but it’s not even showing even tiny signs of growth yet.  I placed it right in the middle of the multicolored roses. As I contemplated the question of whether my Peace Rose will grow or not it, I became sad. Isn’t it a bit like the turmoil of today? Different colors on both sides of the virtual battlefields, and peace hasn’t yet begun to grow.

Just as African Americans are trying to achieve recognition and reparations in the world, God is also at work trying to do the same thing. I believe He is pleading with us to turn our attention to Him and to His sovereign words, the most important of which is love. If we would all do that, “red and yellow, black and white”, and remember that we are all “precious in His sight”, this world might stand a chance at survival. “Jesus loves the little children of the world”, and adults, too, and He charges us to do the same.

Pssst…Do you want to know a secret?

I have a secret, but you must promise to tell everyone you know before I share it with you. You will? Great! Shhh… Churches are open after Christmas! What?! For real? Yes, they are. After yesterday, though, I was kind of afraid some people didn’t know that. You see, a week ago we had five Christmas Eve services with specialized parking plans, a parking lot traffic director, and chairs overflowing out the back of the Sanctuary and the Christian Life Center. Beautiful, stately red poinsettias graced the church and CLC, memorializing or honoring loved ones. An advent wreath accepted the lighting of its candles, each with a different message that was read by families of the church. Beautiful Christmas music filled the rooms, culminating in the traditional singing of the peaceful “Silent Night” as light was shared, one to another, each individual candle illuminating that of a neighbor.  It was wonderful.

Yesterday, the poinsettias remained, and we still sang Christmas songs, but to a scattered congregation, even less than usual for our church, most likely due to holiday exhaustion. To be fair, this is not an admonishment for not attending church outside of Christmas and Easter. Anyone who is acquainted with me knows that I detest mornings. As such, I may have missed a service. Or two. Or three.  (Etc.) Forgive me, Lord, but if I didn’t have to be there to sing, I may have been among the exhausted absentees. More accurately, this is an acknowledgment of the waxing and waning of our spiritual lives that we all experience.

There is a common belief that one does not need a brick and mortar building to have a relationship with God. While I know this to be true, I posit that there is more to the story. God is omnipresent. We can find, worship, and praise Him anywhere we are, that’s indisputable; but there is something to be said for the spiritual food gleaned from clergy, the fellowship of other worshippers, and the satisfaction of serving God, that only a church can provide. We can liken it to the “use it or lose it” theory. If we don’t hone our life skills regularly, we can lose the edge we have on them. The same is true of our relationships with God. The more we practice strengthening them, the more adept we become at being able to hear His guiding voice in our lives when He speaks to us.

Pretty soon, if not already, any signs of Christmas will be carefully packed away until next year, but Jesus never packs us away; He is always with us. Soon the anxiety over decorating, sending cards, shopping, cooking, baking, and wrapping will be nothing more than a blurry memory. Any spiritual highs we felt after attending uplifting Christmas services may now be on the endangered list, but it doesn’t have to be that way. At least once every week the spiritual food kitchens known as churches are open for us to consume as much or as little as we want. Just as we need a regular schedule of healthy food intake to nourish our bodies, so do we need a regular schedule of worship to keep us spiritually satiated. Biblical knowledge, fellowship with other Christians, and service to others are excellent ways to find peace and joy in our lives.

I can unequivocally say that you will find something to feed your soul at church20181230_205326.jpg, if not at any one church, try another one. There is no one size fits all when it comes to churches. You need to find your comfort zone.  Think back a week ago to that light you received from your neighbor before passing it on to the person on the other side of you. Those candles have all since been extinguished, but don’t allow your own light to fade. Go back for more spiritual fuel and share your light with the world. Keep the spirit of Christmas alive all year round. And now you know the rest of the story.