How Can I Conquer Hate?

I do apologize. Somehow I managed to totally mess up the formatting on this post. I have now, at least, got the poetry set up to look like a poems. Problem is that now it is all spread out and I cannot change that. Sorry. Janet

 

On my birthday, I woke up grateful for my life. In response, I wrote the following little poem:

Show me what I am God,

The gifts that make me, me.

Show me what I am God.

My gifts all come from thee.

Lead me in your Grace, God;

To share and bring great joy,

To be your blessing for each day,

 

To man and woman, girl and boy.

Since Sunday, my daily readings have encouraged me to repeat that little prayer poem, no matter what happens. One of those readings by Madeline L’Engle on the birth of Jesus offered me the following piece of wisdom: “Only the absurdity of love can break the bonds of hate.”

Putting these two together, I have decided that the best way to bring peace into our chaotic world is to fill our world so full of love that there is no longer any room for hate. What a wonderful goal. Of course, it means we must co-operate. We could never achieve such a goal alone. I offer the following prayer:

Loving and forgiving God,

I offer my love to the world.

Gather my love, and the love offered by others

To surround and fill the leaders of this world.

 

Loving and creating God,

I know it’s not too late.

My dream it is that you will use

Our gathered love to fill

This troubled world so full of love

There is no room for hate.

St. Paul tells us: Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people…(Galatians 6:9-10)

The Impossible Is Happening Everyday!

Balancing Rock
Picture taken by Chris Oates

When we were in Vancouver, our Grandson Chris took us for a walk along Vancouver’s English Bay, to watch the sunset. Even though it was cold, the walkway along the ocean was busy with people soaking in the sun’s last rays.

“Look,” Chris said, “they’ve been balancing rocks.” He hopped over the sea wall to take a picture. All along the shoreline was a trail of large and tiny rocks standing on their edges and points. I have tried this myself. Determination, patience, skill and belief in the impossible are required to balance a rock on its point so solidly that it survives the force of the spring breeze.

When we, as individuals, put that same kind of determination and faith into our efforts for peace, we too leave a trail, a trail of kindness, acceptance, forgiveness, that is even more beautiful than the stone sculptures we saw with Chris. Too often, we feel as if our peace paths are washed away by the sea of fear and violence that seems to be flooding our world.

As I studied Chris’ picture, I remembered a headline from the Vancouver Sun:

“Water, Water, everywhere but is it safe to drink?” The article stated that IC-IMPACTS, a Canadian international bilateral research organization has teamed Canadian engineers, research scientists and business people with their counterparts in India to develop cheap, safe water purification for isolated villages in India and in Canada. For me, this bit of news speaks of practical efforts for peace that are happening on a large scale.

In our world, where fear seems to be the biggest commodity sold, and isolationism is accepted wisdom, it’s wonderful to learn about co-operation between countries for their common good. There are wide trails and narrow trails. gradually building a network of love in our world.

As I gaze at Chris’ picture of the impossible, I am reminded that even though we may feel that our values of loving and caring for others are being put to death, resurrections, small and large, are happening the world over. God’s new life is coming. With God, anything is possible even peace. Let us celebrate Easter this year, with confidence, because we know that with God, anything is possible, even world peace.

 

 

 

 

 

Love Can Win!

 

Above the front door of our home hangs a simple plaque, a wedding gift from friends. At the time of our wedding, I hardly knew these people, but Tom did. They are ‘sort of’ family – cousins of a cousin. They travelled all the way from Massachusetts to our wedding celebration. Although they are people of deep faith, I am sure they were not aware at the time that they were bringing Tom and me God’s inspiration for our lives.

“May the love that surrounds you today give you the strength to face your tomorrows.” For nearly fourteen years we have experienced the Truth and Grace of that blessing.

Today is Good Friday. This morning I sat down in my favorite chair to pray, to reflect on this day in our Easter story. The sun blazed through our living room window, filling my soul with God’s light and warmth. The scripture readings presented the horror of Jesus’ crucifixion in vivid detail. I couldn’t avoid the cruelty. I didn’t want to feel the pain. Yet as I read, I could think only of the plague of torture, cruelty, greed, violence that seems to be sucking up the goodness in this world as quickly as it is created. Calvary happens over and over again. Family violence, workplace abuse, residential schools, war, cruel dictatorships. Yes, Jesus’ crucifixion happens somewhere every day.

Last night our house overflowed with love. Our daughter, two of her grandchildren and two of our most cherished friends enjoyed food, conversation, memories, hugs. Each one of us was truly surrounded with God’s love. This morning as I think about Jesus, Good Friday, and our world, I am drawing on last night’s love, on the love that God has showered upon us as a family. With that love as my foundation, I have the strength to face the supreme cruelty of humankind. I can give thanks for God’s endless love shown to us through Jesus’ forgiveness from the cross. That love gives me the strength to offer myself in the struggle for goodness and peace.

I read our plaque as I step through our door, and know God’s love has given me hope for tomorrow.

Winter’s Last Gasp!

In Peterborough this morning, we woke to blowing snow, the ground once again wrapped in its wintry blanket. My mind went to my daughter and granddaughter on the highway to York University in Toronto, to her last hockey games of the season. I am grateful they have snow tires on the car and Connie has lots of experience with winter driving. I sent them a text. Take your time, I’m praying for you.

We thought spring had arrived. Although it’s been chilly, especially at night, the rains were waking up the world. The grass, once again, was gaining the green of new life. And now, this. I don’t want it. I trust it won’t last long.

I’ve been thinking about our world today. Up until last year, it felt as if our world had finally started on a journey toward peace and love. Oh yes, the war was producing refugees by the millions, but as human beings we were finally responding with love. Violence and hunger still prevailed, yet the world seemed to care. More people were sharing. It seemed as if the green of new life was finally springing forth in our troubled world.

And then fear began to rear its ugly head. We see isolationism and prejudice becoming national policy in some western countries. Is this fear’s last gasp in God’s beautiful world? God has given us the skills we need to teach love and harmony. We have experienced the joy of caring for one another. As Easter approaches we are reminded that nothing, not the worst we can do as human beings, can defeat God’s drive for new life.

This morning I am praying that we can open our hearts to God’s guidance so that we won’t hide our light under a bushel. God grant us the courage and the wisdom to use what we have learned on this journey towards peace. We have the skills. We can do it. God’s new life will not be defeated. Peace will come to our world.