Praying for a Kind Solution in an Unjust World

A Year of Being Kind blog – Monday, November 24, 2014

JUSTICE do, think

Praying for a Kind Solution in an Unjust World

I looked at Twitter tonight, after things really broke loose. What I saw there made my heart break.

For those of you who have not been following the news in the past few days (or weeks), the Grand Jury made its decision, concerning the (white) police officer who killed a (black) teenager several months ago. The Grand Jury found the police officer not guilty on all five counts.

After viewing the reactions for some fifteen minutes (and clicking on a few links), I posted my own response on Twitter: “St Francis’s prayer comes to mind: “Lord make me an instrument of your peace.” Praying for justice, clarity of mind, open ears. #Ferguson

I do not have much else to say, other than 1) thank you to Michael Brown’s family for recommending that people find positive, responsible ways to change society and change the justice system; 2) God be with everyone who is on the streets tonight, no matter who or where they may be—protect each one; 3) some fool was foolish enough to release the grand jury findings so late in the day. (Foolish, to the nth degree!)

That’s all. Except, with this addendum. I ask God to allow cooler, more sober heads to prevail. And, I repeat a portion of my tweet, “Praying for justice, clarity of mind, open ears.”

Dear Lord, help me to be of service to all those who are struggling for justice in an unjust world. On many, many fronts. So be it, Lord!

@chaplaineliza

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Showing Love by Updating the Bathroom

A Year of Being Kind blog – Wednesday, February 19, 2014

bathroom - Roy Lichtenstein, Pop art, 1961

bathroom – Roy Lichtenstein, Pop art, 1961

Showing Love by Updating the Bathroom

What would you do if you got a sum of money? What would I do, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you.

First, I’ll give a little background, so you understand just why I asked that question. I received a small inheritance recently. I thought about it, prayed about it, and gave a portion of it away (to my church, and to two missionaries I’ve known for many years). One of the decisions I made was to update and renovate the bathroom in our condominium. Our building is about sixty-five years old, and the bathroom has not been updated in all that time. Everything still original. Everything still works, but things are a bit scruffy around the edges.

The contractor came over today. He and I talked, and I’m several steps closer to making this prudent decision a reality. The contractor blocked out the time in about five weeks, and I’ll start researching exactly what I want to purchase. Not really expensive, but certainly not super cheap. Pretty much middle of the road, except for the plumbing fixtures (which I very much want to be of excellent manufacture and condition). So, Home Depot? Menard’s? Here I come!

As I reflect on our modest condo, I cannot help but be reminded of how much this story relates to me and my physical self. My spiritual self. My emotional self. I’m in decent shape, too, if a bit scruffed up around the edges. Everything in my life and experience works and fits, for sure. But I am not certain whether I want to tell God, “hands off! That’s quite enough.” At least, I don’t think I want to.

Let’s stretch this analogy a bit further. I can think of God as my general contractor. I am the condo (or, small house). Sometimes, I get up the gumption (or, some might think it the foolishness) to have God redo a room or two. More often than not, God takes the initiative to do some remodeling.  I do not always agree, but God is my General Contractor, after all. I may not want the “kitchen” stripped down to the studs, or the “first floor windows” reframed, or the “sewer pipes” rodded out. Gosh, I may have smaller, gentler, kinder contracting jobs in mind, like washing the “outdoor wraparound porch” or changing the” light bulbs” on various appliances.

The verse that I am focusing on in February is 1 John 3:18, “Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” What could be more loving than making certain that the bathroom in our condo is a warm, welcoming, fully-functioning place? This particular room is a basic need, true! But when it’s done, remodeled and up-to-date, I will feel real satisfaction. I wonder whether God feels the same way about me, when a “remodeling job” is finished in my internal dwelling place, too?

I’ll need to consult some more with my General Contractor. God willing, I’ll do just that, when I pray and meditate tomorrow morning.

@chaplaineliza