...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Saturday, January 16, 2010

In: Backlash

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Ephesians 4:14

Does the proverbial pendulum ever stop swinging from one extreme to the other? Whatever happened to reason and moderation? Or keeping your thoughts to yourself? I really hope that "I rage, therefore I am" is NOT the byline of the new decade.

2010 is year of the backlash voter. They are driven, in part, by the outrage of being on the minority side of a majority rule democracy. Those who don't see the big changes they expected are also aghast. Regardless, the rage and rant clowns of political punditry chime in with their own special brand of "me saw it too."

In religion, like politics, extremism sells lots of media coverage. But why project hate and rage onto God? Why add to the harm? Leaders who speak of God's rage betray their own wounds, nothing more, nothing less. And that becomes the basis for heaping on others and claiming that God did it.

Jesus' ABBA doesn't do earthquakes! In Haiti or anywhere! Not even if an apostle of hate craved the attention the statement would generate.

God of all people, Lord of the universe, deliver us from our foolish ways. Forgive our misuse and abuse of your holy Name. Heal our brokenness that spawns hatred and violence of any kind. Help us to pray daily for the grieving, the injured, the homeless of Haiti. Help us to pray every day for the relief workers in their efforts. May no one grieve alone. Send your safety and peace on all. For the sake of Jesus' love and grace. So be it.

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Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

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