May Goodness Define Us

Two Sundays ago, during our live-streamed worship service, many left comments and greetings. Among them were the words in today’s post title: May goodness define us. A member of our congregation wrote these words for all to read. His choice of words jumped off the computer screen at me. And I knew at that moment what I wanted to do with them.
 
I wrote them out on a small Post-it note and placed it near my computer. When I felt judgmental about someone’s words or actions toward others, I’d read these words. And I’d stop myself from throwing out a quick rebuttal with four words: May goodness define us. Friends, it is working. 
 
Today I share them here in the hope of others doing the same. How you ask? By spreading thought-provoking reflection throughout the land. Here’s a suggestion to begin.
 
Take a few moments to look at the image above. Its creator calls it a photomontage of human faces.
 
Look closely and find one or more of the following in the image:
 
  • Young and old;
  • Black, white, and other colors representing a variety of ethnicities;
  • Male, female, LBGTQ+;
  • Doctors, nurses, lawyers, accountants, politicians, teachers, ministers and more;
  • Parents and grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins;
  • Some connected by DNA and a family tree;
  • Others connected by a relationship founded in friendship;
  • And the list could go on forever.
And yet, in the Creator’s eyes we are all the same. We are His children. 
 
Too often we judge others in haste. We get caught up in a short-tempered state of mind. Usually, we base our feelings on differences among us or as a means to stay in good standing with someone else. These actions are disgraceful, morally wrong, and vile. My words may sound harsh to you, but imagine how your words or actions sound or feel to the person you judge.
 
In order for goodness to define us, we must return to our center. We have to get back to the Source of light and life. Move through today’s crises and uncover a new justice and reality and allow goodness to define you. So dig deep to find where the light shines forth. It is the place where you can find the inherent beauty of those around you, whoever and wherever they are. And here we will celebrate the wholeness and unity in our diversity. From there perhaps we will find the peace we all long for.
 
In the Book of Micah, we read these words:
 

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8 (NIV)

Featured image attribution: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

Cool June Days

I dedicate this post to Rev. Joshua Dunham, our former Associate Pastor and Youth Leader. Joshua brought light and understanding to the words of Micah 6:8 in a sermon a few years ago. Since then, I have read it, studied it, and prayed on it. God bless you, Joshua!


These are cool June days.

First thing each morning, our black Bombay kitty, Ignatz aka Iggy, cries to go outside. He doesn’t like being indoors, but he complies with our nightly wishes to stay in. Depending on the weather, he may change his mind.

Today and for the lasts few days the morning air is cool, the sky gray. Occasionally, a beam of light slips between these tall trees, and then it’s gone. Continue reading “Cool June Days”

What’s Happened to Writing?

 

The word “writing” above could refer to many forms of writing. Handwriting, cursive writing, writing checks, writing the grocery list, writing a book, and I could go on.

But the writing I’m talking about isn’t listed above. I wonder what happened to handwritten letters and notes. You know–the kind you place in an envelope and mail with a stamp?

I remember as a young woman in college in the mid-1960s running to the student union where our mailboxes were built into one wall. A peek into the small glass window revealed whether or not to waste your time unlocking the box. 

Most of us longed for letters from anywhere or anyone, even our parents and siblings. Letters from our parents were at the top of the list if a check was also enclosed.

Favored above all were letters from high school friends or friends serving in the military. For me, it was a cousin serving in the Navy who told of exciting days and nights while stationed off the coastline of Greece.

Wayne could tell me of things he saw and visited that I would never travel to see. He wrote of Greek meals that made my mouth water. His description of life on the aircraft carrier was almost as foreign as the culture of the Greek people.

I rarely receive a handwritten letter or note anymore. It’s an element of our social upbringing that I truly miss. Email and the Internet have effectively almost eliminated this custom.

Image attribution: Via Pixabay; no attribution required.