Tag Archives: religion

The Doorsill II

The door sill begs for recognition, for acknowledgment.  It spills out the stories of people who crossed its stone border, the echoes fading into the solid oak door and creaking, wide-planked floors.  It whispers, “Here is where a mother carried her daughter to a rocker,  lulling her quiet, to breastfeed and hold her small, precious hand, knowing only too well the time would come when she toddles away to dreams of her own making.”  But for now, in the hushed silence of the deep night, she croons out her lullabies and fills her child’s head with glorious tales of gods and goddesses, of protectors of the hearth, the garden, the home.  Each deity has its own function – one to meet every challenge, every need. Rocking softly, keeping beat with the tap of her toe, she spins the yarns of her foremothers, of lands near and far, of goddesses no longer needed and ones who voices still resonate with power.

The Mother knows, instinctively, that this daughter will not be content with the gods of her Fathers.  She is the one tied to the Moon and Earth’s gravitational pull.  From her earliest days, when she played in the garden, this young one who would lay on the earth, dig fingers deep into the crumbly moistness and draw wisdom from seasonal cycles and unspoken knowledge.

She would demurely go to Church in her Sunday best only to yank them off as she crossed the doorsill, hastily pulling on everyday clothes, to run into nearby woods where she would dance on her toes in her sacred grove, swirl with the bees, sing,  and float in the pond whose womb protected her.  She’d call out to the Blessed Ones to come join her.  And while the menfolk watchful with cautious trepidation, wondering is she was a touch daft, Mother secretly smiled, knowing the unquenchable thanksgiving which could only be experienced in the realm of imagination of the Goddess.

Men might hear the words but they would fall on deaf hearts.  Theirs was a God brimming with fire and fury.  Powerful beyond reckoning – strong enough to provide succor in the face of any challenge.  But for women, this God was one of respect and protection, certainly a nurturer.  That was the domain that existed solely in the hearts of females.

Her mother showed her the places where sacred herbs grew – ones that could heal, stop the pain, mend a broken spirit, help close open wounds, and give a sense of well being to those who knew their secrets. Neighboring farms held those with suspicious eyes and sharp tongues but who, nonetheless, crossed the doorsill when healing needed doing.  All knowledge carries its dangers but a woman’s lore of medicine and mending brought the insidious threats closed minds can bring.

It is always hard to walk the least chosen path.  But the doorsill provides safety and nourishment to those who dwell within those walls.

 

 

 

Allu Akbar

Allu Akbar
and others
swallowed in the dust
of death

Allu Akbar
and bicyclists die
on a bike path
away from a road
as truck speeds
twenty blocks
spewing bodies
hither and yon

Allu Akbar
when did a phrase
of Mohamed’s love
become a curse word
spit out in triumph
at death’s cruelty

Allu Akbar
and a political war
replaces religion,
a President using
the tragedy
as a platform
for rhetoric

Allu Akbar when
did it loose
it’s place of peace?

Fontanels

Born open –
to the presence
of the Lord –
becoming human
we close off,
shutting away God’s
active voice.

Lost, feeling alone,
by age two separate,
exclusively homo sapien
we yearn to hear
comfort, peace,
needing to learn
turning inward
for the still, small voice
requiring special listening

Perhaps the reason
some babies colic
screaming, in pain,
is inward rage
at separation
from the Godly presence
they just separated from
while others emerge
at peace,
nestled in assurance
of God’s continued love.

Free Will

God granted us the Right of Free Will when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge. Yet, these days I find myself in a quagmire of thoughts about that act. Knowledge has led us far. We are not the Innocents we would have been without it. And yes, I am also a firm believer in Evolution. Justifying the two is an interesting balancing act on the scales, particularly the Scale of Justice.

When I pray these days, many times it is that God intervene and fill the hearts and souls of all aggressors with Loving Kindness so they could never imagine conducting acts of aggression again, and that those who have been persecuted not rise up in retribution should that happen.

But then I circle back to Free Will. Frankly, I think it has not helped us in many cases. We have only to look as far as ISIS and the treatment of Refugees. Of the girls raped and children turned into child soldiers. Or child brides. Or the Racism that pervades our society and the acts it generates. Of terrorism in all its facets. Or torture. The list goes on . . .

And then I look at the ramifications of not having Free Will. Would research for advances in science and medicine continue? What about the right of abortion and birth control? How would population control be handled? What about all the cultural distinctions of tribes, religions, and countries all over the world? Would the intricacies of our personalities cease to exist? What would happen to uniqueness? Would mental illness be eliminated? Would we all be committed to cherishing and protecting the environment and all beings – flora and fauna? Would Religions in all their varieties still exist or would there be a uniform one or none? Would atheists still believe as they do?

What would God’s will look like? And ultimately, would God choose to have both Good and Evil after all?

What’s the Answer?

I’m a Christian, no doubt about it.
Or, shall I say I believe in the Trinity
well . . . the Jesus rising to Heaven
sometimes rocks my boat.
He was definitely God inspired
although I wonder, as a child,
with brothers to contend with
how could he pass through this life
without Sin?

I can’t get through a day it seems
without a damaging thought flitting
through my mind . . .
As someone with Bipolar disease,
Depression and a life of poverty,
it’s hard to rise myself to the standards
set by God Almighty.

And I wonder, was the same God
who was so angry at the Jews
when they swerved from the path,
the same God of the New Testament
who says all I need to do is repent?

So many people in the World
have never heard of God as Christians
claim God – how can they be not saved?
Those who worship loving Gods
and live in kind and compassionate ways –
how can they not be saved?

How can all the people who are traumatized
by life – who are victims in war,
who suffer in all manner of pain,
who love their children and family
and respect with kindness their elders
and those who cross their paths
not be saved?

I am so very tired of the struggle
of men who rage against other religions.
Of those who act in violence and cruelty
against others who live by different principles.
We have been doing so since time immemorial
in the name of our religions and governments.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if God –
for I have to believe that God sent many
messengers to nations around the World –
filled the Hearts of everyone,
particularly those who carry on Wars,
with Loving Kindness,
filled to the brim, bursting out their
arms and legs and minds . . .
so they could never again imagine
raising a weapon or hand against another?

Yes, Yes, free choice needs to be considered.
But I’d love to see what such a World
would look like, would have the chance to be.
Where saving the World and each other
became the most important principle
by which to live?
I wonder . . .

Unanswered prayers

So often God,

I begged, pleaded, cried,-
for men, money, success, fame
wanting so desperately
to know my purpose here
why I had to live through pain
ongoing medical and emotional
traumas – I prayed.

Time’s passed.
Dreams of long ago
are shadow figures now
and though my days are long
and my nights are shared
not with a man I prayed for
but a cat’s purr
I live with irony and resolve.

Younger years were the prevail
of two men who tore me,
split me into pieces and spit me out
bruised, battered, alone.
There were others for a time, but
all showed the true measure
of their worth far too soon.

It’s taken this long for me
to come to terms with my
inadequacies and limitations
who I am, what this skin
and my sin
have designed for me
there was no room for
more distractions

So when crisis or change winds blow
I pray for his wishes
Oh, I let Him know how I feel,
what I think and want
but I shut up and listen
and even if I don’t hear
I par for his will to come to pass
and know I don’t know the answers
or what’s best for me
or why I have spent so
many years alone –

Muttered Musings

Another day
God, help me make it through
have no one hit me today
let there be a cease fire between
relatives, families, friends,
countries . . .
I can’t keep living with
this hole in my heart.

Let this day be about blessings
make the whole world stop
and pray an hour, a day, for
refugees, Aleppo, child brides ,
untouchables.
the battered and beaten,
defeated and aching
sick -mentally, physically,
emotionally, especially spiritually.

In the busyness of the day
let all peoples remember
this is not just about them
there is something greater –
feel awe, revel in gloriousness,

Not gonna happen anyway
World’s too crazy for Peace
Too many BAD people –
in homes, communities,
We deserve better
Tired of waking with chest pains
second guessing God
being scared . . .
why are so many people
so Stupid!!
My prayers go unanswered,
God looking down and shaking her head

 

 

 

Mindfulness in the Holidays

The holidays are here . . . there is hope, my friends, hope to enjoy the memories being created, hope to share in joy and thanksgiving, hope to walk away with a smile instead of trying to shake off negative thoughts and feelings. For many of us, the holidays bring stress, anxiety, perhaps anger.  But, in times like those, it is good to remember . . .

The tingling of a stream running through a forest                 A cozy fire to warm up our increasingly older bones                 A blanket which feels cozy and secure                 The passion in the eyes of a lover, even if it was many years ago                 How the Grinch stole Christmas and Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer Those are just a few things to reflect on when life seems interminable, frustrating, depressing.  There are people who can offer comfort. Or, wait for it . . . you can give comfort to others and to yourself.  There is positivity to offer renewal – of our associations with others and our relationship with ourselves.  This is especially true for those of us with thought disturbances and/or mental and emotional ones.  When you are sitting at a table with more than 5 people, just remember you aren’t the only one – 1 in 5 people have some sort of mental/addiction/biochemical challenge – you are likely not as alone as you may think.

When you yearn to change your thoughts, move a muscle:

Volunteer or share the meal at a Shelter or Food Kitchen Exercise – max out those endorphins Watch some of the old charmers – Bells of Saint Mary, Christmas Carol, Christmas in CT . . . Call someone who understands and remember crisis centers if need be Calmly but clearly express your feelings, share those feelings where it matters Go to the Religious organization of your choosing and practice the traditions you grew up with

Don’t be afraid to leave the holiday gathering – go in another room to compose yourself, go for a walk, smile (just using those muscles changes your mood, even just a little). Feel the love you have for your friends and family, even when they disappoint you, you’re not the only person who can benefit from a hug.

Most of all, remember the meaning of the holidays . . . religious/spiritual, loving, sharing, giving of oneself to others.  Remember . . . whatever your circumstances, you are Blessed.

Slave

A single word which evokes so many feelings, thoughts and actions – horror, despair, pain, dismay, “holier than thou”, profane.  On the flip side, being those who have or want or are crass and debased enough to have slaves – egoism, acceptance, deserving, powerful, rightness.  And those of the slaves themselves?: – fear, rage, manipulation for survival, complacent, worn out.

I think of the typical American viewpoint, there always seems to be a great deal of finger pointing rather than looking within themselves at hidden, locked tight feelings they may have themselves.  If they look within our national borders, they may think of criminals who bring sex slaves from other countries here for profit. Finger pointing. But there are others – wealthy people who “adopt” children only for us to find out, if we are lucky, those children are really slaves, sexual or as housekeepers. And there are men who use children for porn or sex – those children are slaves.  Even those who have no passport ot Visa laboring in sweat shops and fields for little pay, certainly not enough to sustain a productive, safe and healthy life.  And what about the millions of us who read or watch TV or go online to witness slavery in other countries, saying “what a shame.  Someone needs to stop that.”

Our souls can never be clean until every bit of slavery and genocide is iradicated within our borders and we are striving to make an active difference in those countries where slavery is a way of life.  Our God demands it and I have to believe the core of other religions demand it as well.

Where have all the Prophets gone?

As the world becomes more radical on one hand and more oblivious on the other, I look for prophets to guide us. The muslims seem to have a great deal more than the Christians. The need of prophets in our world, or what they address, may be changing.

Certainly Martin Luther King Jr. was a prophet. Ghandi, in our celebration of the 50 year anniversary of his death, was a prophet. Mother Theresa was that I consider a prophet. Each of them, in their own ways, devoted themselves through the course of their lives to God and doing for his people.

Matthew Sweet wrote “Prophets of the 21st century” on 12/2/96. In it he listed 40 people he considered Prophets. These included people from Quite a few fields. Under religion he only listed two men. David (Paul) Yongi Cho, a pastor with a flock of 700,000 who uses faith healing and prophecy to stir his audience. I’d find it hard to believe all those members are devout. Yet his writing is scooped up by other Evangelists hoping to grow their own churches and are read by millions. He says only members of his church will be those who go to Heaven during the Rapture. The other person he notes is Matthew Fox – called the Nostradamus of the Digital Age. Neither of these would make my definition of a prophet.

My pastor recommended Rev. King, William Coffin, and, in some ways, Billy Graham. William Coffin’s career was an odd mix, a CIA agent turned Evangelist and Chaplain at Yale Seminary and member of Skull and Bones, the highly elitist group our Presidents and other leaders coming from Yale were part of. William was a very active proponent of peace talks during the Vietnam War and was an advocate of gay rights. He led a war-torn country to a place where peace was given a chance to grow.

Billy Graham was founder of BGEA – an evangelism group with the mission of spreading the word of God to as many people as possible. He used global media to spread his word, with four huge meetings per year and internet programs. He knew how to spread the word. Many who read or heard or saw him may have been influenced to believe in God due to the mass scale of his organization’s dissemination of God’s word.

There are others – ones who I haven’t heard of myself. And some I am suspicious of. Marianne Williamson has written a Course in Miracles which she says was channeled by God and was very popular for a few years. I’m not sure she was prophetic or not. I didn’t get feedback from God on it.

When the Bible spoke about prophets like Issiah, it was about a smaller world, fewer people. In our time, we need more evangelists and prophets to bless this world with their understandings. This is a crowded, angry, hungry and frustrated world. We need those who can lead us.

We need all the help to find ourselves on the path to God’s Way, to Peace and understanding of the other humans in our world. To be protectors of the environment for wildlife and for future generations. To be messengers our-selves. Not necessarily prophets but pointers to the Way. May your life and all others be blessed.