We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
“Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some; it is in everyone. And, as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
"And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven; but struck his breast, saying: O god, be merciful to me a sinner. I say to you, this man went down into his house justified rather that the other: because every one that exalteth himself, shall be humbled: and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted."
--Luke 18, 13-14
Sorry, Buddy, but it's the cheesy Oprah, feel-good way that Mandela expresses himself. I am truly sorry that he was persecuted and in prison for so many years, but otherwise he's a colossal bore--a face and voice without much substance like Desmond Tutu.
It hasn't worked well when used by a Jesse Jackson, et al, and his "I am Somebody" rant--except to make city punks feel that they are contributing to society by not shooting innocent bystanders when going about their drive-bys.
This cant is preached to a lot of poor folk--and it might warm a heart cockle for a bit, but it's cold outside, and when one is hungry, lost and down--like Job, the only way up is to know that we exist upon the amazing mercy of God. If I was God, I would have gotten rid of me, for example, long ago.
Buddy and Luther, I have no argument with you, gentlemen, that God created us men in His image and likeness. That we through our gift of free will sullied ourselves is our own sin. And yet, put into the context of God's great gift to us, as His creation, we do shine as Mandela says, and as Jesus told us to do--when we do actually shine through grace.
What comes to mind just now is a quote from a rabbi whose name I can't recall but who is part of Martin Buber's wonderful book, "Tales from the Hasidic". This early 19th Century Polish rabbi was looking at a impoverished young disciple wrapped in dirty tatters and sleeping on the floor by the stove. Of a sudden the rabbi exclaimed to himself, "How great a G_d lives in so frail a human being!"
Hi all. Am w jH on this. It is not our weabras that separates is from our Godl but our overwherning conceit about our strengths. No atheists in foxholes. This quote is great for people like our socially insecure new minister, whose congregatoupb so outclasses him socially, professionally, spiritually, that he can only appeal to such rhetoric in an attempt to suck up to the alphas in the group. Being down and put sucks but at the bottom of a wellOne can see stars that those higher up are blind to in daylight. My congregation needs a Savanarola, not a sycophant!
Although in youthful hubris, iloced Jonathan Edward's similar reminder that "we contribute to the glory ofGod",
sorry about blackberry typos while nervously waiting for barber surgeon...er....dermatologist to wack off wages of sin (supposedly harmless skin cancer from years outdoors). Now that he's got his piranha bite of flesh, can correct:
weabras should have read weakness
overwherning should have read overwheening
So much for auto-text and gritting one's teeth to ignore yammer of palefaces about the perils of the outdoor life...
Hope I am not making a virtue out of necessity, but I have found that the things I pride myself on usually alienate instead of being useful to others. In extremis, we recognize our need of God, and of other humanoids, and sometimes rise above our selfish and cowardly natures long enough to do something valuable for someone else...When comfortable, I know that I become obsessed with preserving that state, more self-satisfied, forget that we are but pilgrims and sojourners here.
Perhaps I am just dour as anesthetic wears off and one reminds oneself how much worse soldiers have it...
Jesus did, after all, promise us that He came that we might "have abundant life." Certainly this week's Luke 5~:1-11 passage was captivating. I just feel like Peter cleaning his empty nets, before the itinerant preacher swooped him away to fish men...Love Peter! His temper, his curiousity, his obedience despite puzzlement, his awe in the face of God, his bravery, his doubts....no plaster saint, no gospel of success for him....Just love, faith, fallible, takes a licking, yet keeps on ticking, etc.