Cold…

I don’t know what this means but I certainly found this interesting.  During our recent unusual cold streak only two local churches (Episcopal and Presbyterian)  thought it important enough to open their buildings to aid those without heat and food.  All the evangelical churches simply felt this an unimportant consideration.  Maybe they were too busy planning their next pro-life and anti-gay demonstrations to notice the impact of the cold on those outside their doors.  Love is an action verb.  Talk is cheap.

Chilly Protest…

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Driving through the square in town today I noticed a person standing with a colorful sign held overhead.  Her sign read, “Abortion kills babies.”  I drove away curiously while pondering why on a frightfully cold day would someone choose to stand on a street corner and hold up this particular sign.

While eating lunch I noticed while scanning my phone for some valuable bit of information that today represents the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade.  Suddenly it occurred to me the rational for the lady standing out in the cold earlier in the day.

I certainly respect the view of protecting life, I really do.  Rather than grandstanding my personal views on the subject, at the moment all I can think about is this one quote.  Not really sure who first said it nor does it really matter, but it’s relevance became pronounced as I considered the events of today.  “If you want to have fewer abortions quit making it hard for women to get birth control.”  Seems like such a simple statement to be filled with so much irony.

Sadly, the same indignant folks who beat their chests over the horrors of abortion are the same people who want to limit woman the right to contraception.  For the life of me I can’t get a handle over this bizarre logic other than it remains a means to control women.

Maybe I should get a sign ready for the next time I see someone standing on a street corner concerned about abortion.  Mine should say, “Easy access to birth control prevents abortions.”  I wonder how my sign holding friends would accept me standing in their midst?

Tornado…

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If I hear one more person quote Romans 8:28 (…all things work together for the good) today in response the the Oklahoma tornado tragedy I’m getting out a club and soon will start swinging.  You’ll note my face will be distorted with an evil grimace refleting an inner breaking point has now been met.  My zombie like gait will let folks know I’m coming for them, I won’t be stopped.

Seriously, I struggle with understanding God in times like this.  I ask many questions and find the answers elusive and inconclusive.  Maybe this isn’t a time for questioning, at least some will tell us this, I disagree.

Listening to well intentioned people say God blessed them by sparing their family and friends from the midst of horror… while I understand their appreciation, I can’t help but consider what they overlook.  If your belief allows you to have gratitude and praise for lives being preserved it must at some point focus on the converse.  What about those that weren’t protected, especially those innocent children?  Did the same God not feel it important to protect them?

I find it hard to acknowledge these thoughts and putting them down in print almost seems like I’m shaking my fist at God.  I hope it’s not interpreted that way by the Almighty.  I just don’t understand.  I don’t have the pre-programed faith to just willy-nilly say it’s all part of God’s plan and we just have to accept it blindly.  Offering praise for those who lived and not voicing anger for those who did not doesn’t allow my spirit peace in these challenging times.

I would hope the response to such horrific times as these would draw us close to each other in support.  Either through actual physical help offered or in financial resources for others to help in our place.  Cheap pithy statements of faith offer no comfort in these moments.  Only true actions of love and concern make a difference.  God will be found in the rubble not in the rhetoric.

Late Night Snack…

Deer in the headlights

The beasts were stirred up and not willing to relent.  Shouts of “be quiet” and “no” had zero effect whatsoever.  Unable to cease their expression of concern I put them in the room without a view of the yard allowing them to stare at our neighbors garage.  Even behind closed doors I could hear the low rumblings of discontent coming from the dogs, yet my efforts to quiet them were met with greater resistance.

The sky seemed empty that evening except for the glow of the moon which cast an eerie haze upon objects in the horizon, a dark night resembling a sixties horror movie.  Now all that was required was something sinister.

The beasts continued their warnings without any break in sincerity.  Whatever was out there certainly had captured their attention.  Trying to slowly sneak off to bed and enjoy  a restful nights sleep I glanced one last time out the front window.  Something unusual caught my attention.  Misshapen images appeared in my yard.  The night’s hazy view limited a clear understanding of what I was seeing.

I stood transfixed allowing my eyes to adjust and like turning the focus knob on a microscope, soon I understood what caused my beasts such alarm.  There before me stood half a dozen deer of various sizes taking in a late night snack on my newly seeded winter grass.  It must have been tasty as they seemed to dine in peace without a care in the world.  Rigidly I stood viewing this wondrous sight trying to not make a sound thereby sending my guests fleeing into the night.

About that time my daughter came bounding down the stairs needing my immediate attention as it was now way past tucking in time and she couldn’t go to sleep without our nightly ritual.  As I turned to tell her to be still I feared what I would see when I turned back around to look again at my evenings entertainment.  Sure enough they had gone.  Left for another quick bite maybe this time without any interruptions.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wind…

Wind roaring, sound of fury,

trees swaying, any moment disaster looms.

Watching from the window, a house with no power,

leaves spiraling like small tornados.

The normal rustling of squirrels safely within their shelter,

family dogs unwilling to allow separation.

Brief breaks from danger, the light peeks through,

revealing the splendrous visage of fall’s color.

This is right.

Directions…

I have a really bad habit of purposely not getting directions before adventuring out on a road trip.  For me, the challenge of figuring it out overcomes all need for the security found in written directions.  Sadly, this hobby is not shared with the same enthusiasm by my wife.

Many years ago horribly lost on a bitterly cold winter’s day while traveling through the mountains of North Georgia, we stopped for directions finding ourselves desperately lost. To our surprise we happened upon a dilapidated gas station with an old man sitting inside on a rocking chair.  We told him of our predicament to which he hardly broke his stare on the horizen.  He said we should to go up the road a piece and turn at the big pile of rocks. That’s it, that’s all he said as he drifted back into his deep concentration of the distance before him.  As sophisticated city folks we quickly brushed off his help quickly and got back into our car and searched for another place to get directions. As we traveled for more insight we suddenly saw before us a huge pile of rocks, amazed just like the man had described, we reluctantly turned as advised and soon found ourselves on the way to our eventual destination.

Many years later we moved to the North Georgia mountains and one day while exploring the many vineyards in the area, what did we happen upon? The same pile of rocks.

Turns out it’s a major landmark of the area.

Colors…

Colors once so vibrant and true

reluctantly begin their assent towards the ground.

No longer able to draw the attention of my eye,

instead choosing to wither and drift away.

New shades, much more subdued but no less beautiful

replace the former.

Dancing colors of summer make way for the soothing comfort of autumn,

dark purples, muted oranges, and deep reds painting the billowing canopies.

Hues intended to drawn us close to each other and this lovely creation,

Fall brings out the best in us all.

Storm…

 

Warning came and alerted us to the danger,

tornados heading our way,

Gathering supplies for the long night ahead,

hoping we didn’t have to use them.

Watching the weatherman on TV,

showing our home soon in the storms path.

Is it time to head to the storm room constructed for such an event?

A little while longer, let’s wait,

trying to not accept the inevitable.

Suddenly sirens blared warning of dangers arrival,

into the safe room to ride out the tempest.

Howling winds from outside, branches hitting the roof,

rain pounding away at everything in its path.

Lightening so bright as to be seen through closed doors,

thunder shaking the house to its core.

Huddled together in an anxious ball,

praying for safety and an end to the madness.

Suddenly a change, quiet could be heard,

the storm had passed and taken it’s show down the road.

Be kind to the next family you meet,

my words to the storm.

Give them reason to come together,

but cause them no pain.

Today this one family feels closer because of your visit.