CLOSURE

 

“For on June 12, after the worst of humanity reared its evil head, I saw the best of humanity come fighting right back.  I never want to forget that night.”

Dr. Joshua Corsa M.D. EMT-P
Orlando Regional Medical Center

With those words from Dr. Corsa we must begin the healing process. Not only the immediate family, friends, and loved ones of the victims but, also America and the world must draw from this horrific act the realization that although the shooter accomplished his plan to carry from the pits of hell his hatred and ideology and inflict immeasurable suffering and pain on Orlando, he is dead. The balance of the world’s citizens who live their lives promoting compassion, tolerance, and peace have survived and we are more determined than ever that this world shall find the necessary means to eliminate hatred and terror. The words of terrorism, the thoughts of terrorism, and the acts of terrorism cannot stand in the strength of a world united in love and peace. We shall prevail.

Now, it is time to move on. Undoubtedly we shall mourn again, another city, another part of the world but, we shall be victorious because we know the forces of evil cannot survive when ‘the best of humanity come fighting right back’. We should never forget that night in Orlando because we know that darkness cannot exist in the light of an enlightened humanity.

VIGIL IN SMALLTOWN

 

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Tonight was one of those moments in life when existence takes on new meaning.  We labor under daily drudgery, shattered dreams, and worldly turmoil.  The moments which rekindle the fires that make life exciting and meaningful are to be cherished, embraced and remembered for future reference.

Tonight I participated in a prayer vigil for the Orlando victims, the 49 beautiful people who were gunned down while celebrating life and youth in a place which they considered to be a safe haven for the LGBT community.  They gathered at Pulse to dance, sing, and party with peers who came from all walks of life, all professions, all creeds.  They were murdered by a disturbed man who allegedly  shared their passion but could not reconcile his religious tradition to their lifestyle.

America’s response has been predictable.  There has been a great outpouring of sympathy and love for the friends, families and loved ones of the victims.  God bless America.  There has also been a response from radical Christian and Muslim sects cheering the deaths as the direct intervention of a vengeful God pouring his full wrath upon a sinful nation. And then there was Trump polarizing America, inciting even deeper Islamophobia among the voters.

But, tonight was a very personal directive in my life.  Those 49 victims will not have died in vain as long as I have breath in my body.  You see, almost 100 like-minded people were at that vigil.  100 people pledged to live life offering love, peace, honor, and respect to all races, all creeds, all ethnicities, all religions, and all sexual orientations.  It’s not too late; we can save mankind from self-destruction and I will be an instrument of that saving peace.  That is my personal promise to those who died too young in Orlando.  They have not died in vain.  They have inspired ordinary people at my vigil here in Smalltown, USA and vigils worldwide to stand up to the hate-mongers and the hatred they intend to spread. Our loving God of peace will prevail.  Amen.

FORGIVE?

 

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the shooter,
Orlando,
shall not be named,
the nameless shooter,
not with Allah,
too bad, nameless shooter,
thought you’d be with Allah,
but you’re not,
you’re in hell,
murderers go to hell,
Allah doesn’t condone murder,
I guess the shooter didn’t know that.

God tells me to forgive,
don’t want to,
can’t,
won’t,
need to be angry first,
then grieve,
cry,
shooter’s in hell,
good,
my brothers and sisters,
gone now,
but I’ll see them in heaven

the shooter murdered them,
cold blooded,
happy people,
lovers,
friends,
brothers and sisters,
gone now,
I’m angry,
won’t forgive,
never,
does Allah forgive?
probably not.

No, can’t forgive yet,
wish I could,
Jesus tells me I should,
it’s for my healing,
the grief,
the pain,
the anger,
it’s for my healing,
but Lord,
what about the shooter?
“Trust me, son,
vengeance is mine.”

Thank you Lord, maybe tomorrow I’ll forgive.

THEY HAD A DREAM

 

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John Lennon was an English musician who gained worldwide fame as one of the members of the Beatles, for his subsequent solo career, and for his political activism and pacifism. On 8 December 1980, Lennon was shot by Mark David Chapman in the archway of his residence in New York City.

“you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”

 

excerpts from Martin Luther King speech,  August 28, 1963, steps of Lincoln Memorial

“I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, ‘My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.’

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.”Isaiah 40:3-5 New International Version (NIV)


 

REALITY

scan0034Many years ago I found myself at a crossroads in my spiritual life. Having been sober for several years I began searching for an extension of the entity I called HP. Believing that sobriety had cleared my mind sufficiently to venture into the world of theology, I found what I believed to be a true path to a better understanding of God. Sincerity and fervor was not an issue; I wanted to be one of those ‘normal’ people who worshipped in churches.

A local community church promised to be the answer to my searching; it offered to me the ‘black and white’ of every issue which life raised; there were no gray areas. Promoting itself as inerrant, literal and true to the Word of God, this fellowship of Godly believers covered me with their version of righteousness.

Unfortunately, it did not accept the recovery program of AA as Biblical and I was encouraged to abandon the AA fellowship. They told me the AA program was an unacceptable theology for a true believer. In retrospect I know today that it was only by the grace of God that I continued to stay sober while worshipping in their version of godliness.

The dilemma of breaking away from AA and then leaving the church was not part of the sobriety script. It left me with a foot in both doors; neither fellowship fulfilled my need to fellowship or worship. I learned from this experience that theology, religion, and spirituality are not interchangeable words.

Theology is knowing about God or a God-belief system; religion is a personal walk with God; spirituality is the inner change as a result of that walk. Thirty years after that near fatal encounter with the inerrant literalists I joyously practice religion, graciously accept spiritual blessings, and warily keep an eye on theologians.

This evolution leads to the gist of my post: gaining knowledge about varying theologies is important to discernment, practicing religion is soul food, cherishing spiritual gifts from differing sources honors God’s inherent intelligence.

My self-identity as a Jesus follower does not ascribe me to any particular faith or theology. This journey I am undertaking has led me to revere and trust the historical Jesus as presented by numerous non-religious sources as well as the writings of early Jesus followers. It is my personal belief that when Rome established Christianity as its state religion, theology overshadowed religion and spirituality; thus resulting in the loss of the true message of Jesus Christ and the 1st century disciples.

My quest for spiritual sanity demands that I learn about other faiths and their messengers who have presented the truth of God to an unbelieving world; the God of my understanding, my HP, is universal and omnipotent using differing avenues to approach the unbelieving world.

“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”
John 14:2 kjv

The author is not speaking in terms of the physical world, rather in the spiritual realm which in essence is what all scriptures are about. It is the spiritual manifestation of our desire for God. This verse speaks to me very clearly that my HP has room for differing religious persuasions, that there are many differing relationships with the Supreme Being.

FORGIVENESS

 

 

 

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Columbine 1999, Aurora 2012, Sandy Hook Elementary 2012, Charleston 2015.
Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, James Holmes, Adam Lanza, Dylann Roof
“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do……..”
Luke 23:34 kjv

Oh, Lord, bring it on.
Bring us to the day when we shall never again bear this devastation.
Let us witness your final triumph over Satan and his forces of ungodly evil.
Wipe from the face of your earth the heartache, the tears and the pain.

Love us when we feel we’ve been emptied of love and forgiveness.
Strengthen us when our immense sorrow leaves us lifeless.
Fill us with your hope when we have nothing to fight our despair.

Show us how to forgive when we don’t want to forgive.
Grant us mercy when we desire vengeance.
“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others.”

There is only one place to go for understanding.
His cross on Calvary is where sin and death were defeated.
Only there shall we find that which will comfort us.

“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”
1 Corinthians 15:55 kjv

FAITH

GRAND TETONS

our lives confined by experience,
history,
common sense,
reason,
logic,
proof,
knowledge,
truth,
spiritual desolation;
the limits of existence defined by limited words.

beyond this world’s realm is faith,
abundant,
blossoming,
empowering,
enriching,
unseen,
unknown,
unproven,
mythological;
impossible to explain within terms of logic.

we innately need to believe,
trust,
esteem,
love,
hope,
desire,
persevere,
sacrifice,
dedicate;
it is the manifestation of an indwelling God.

unknown,
unproven,
unseen,
unrealistic.

That is faith.