Wednesday, February 23, 2011


"Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our consciences, but shouts in our pain. It's His megaphone towards a deaf world", C.S.Lewis

Leprosy victims die ultimately not because of their leprosy--but because their nerve endings are no longer responsive to pain; as a result, a leper may step on glass, get an infection and never know it. My twin brother has diabetes and resultant neuropathy, resulting in no sensation in his left foot. A deep foot wound, of which he was unaware, resulted in a year-long infection and ultimate amputation of a toe. He could not feel the pain that would have signaled trouble.

We are experiencing pain as a nation. It is a good thing because it signals we must do something, or the resultant infection could spread disastrously and result in our decay and, ultimately, our demise.

*We are in pain because we have overspent on self-indulgent pursuits and are now reaping the whirlwind.

*We are in pain because we ignored an inflationary bubble that burst--just as we knew it would--and inundated us with reality.

*We are in pain because our moral license has produced a generation of dishonest politicians, greedy financiers and compromised public servants.

*We are in pain because the fragile peace held taut by dictators and despots is now being challenged and overturned with more frightening alternatives.

*We are in pain because we are bankrupt and the cost of financial restructure is more than we are willing to pay.

*We are in pain because we have mistaken material prosperity for personal happiness, and the benefits are as fleeting as yesterday's property values.

*We are in pain because we have foolishly exchanged our faith in God and our commitment to an meaningful work ethic for the alluring gods of governmental provision and subsidized pensions.

*We are in pain because we have mistaken the difference between "equalitarian" and egalitarian, and the lack of distinction has led to unbridled entitlements.

*We are in pain because we have allowed marriage--the basic unit of our societal structure--to be redefined by a bellicose minority, leaving in our trail an uncertain confused generation.

*We are in pain because we have ignored the dissonant shouts for substantive change and have substituted the temporary fix of cosmetic anesthetics.

We can walk away like the unsuspecting leper, and proceed as if there is no cause for pain...or we can heed the screaming pain of a body under viral attack, and act courageously, no matter what the cost. It might be ewcruciating...but it could be a matter of life or death.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Blog update

Problem fixed. E-mail address is Hope to hear from you...don't give up on me because site has been down and not operational for comments. Anxious to hear from you!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My blog

My blog needs to be reconfigured so that people can respond--currently, there is a glitch that keeps responses form being posted. My apologies. I keep hearing about people who are looking sat the site but unable to log a comment. Work in progress.

Friday, February 04, 2011

an exercise in futility: undoing what's done

I voluntarily confronted a misunderstanding from my past this last week--a situation that I thought I had handled correctly but have since discovered was, for the other person, unresolved and an apparent source of bitterness.

It started with a facebook recognition on my part, and then a search for an address, and, ultimately, a letter written to "check in" and to see how we were now doing, many years later. What I received in return was an angry letter, filled with vitriol and bitterness, and laced with hurtful accusations about my handling of the situation in question. The party had pretty much decided to write me off as a Christian imposter, an untrustworthy friend, and a poor excuse for a pastor.

When things like this happen, it is difficult not to adopt a defensive posture and to, I think, carefully seek to evaluate the behavior in question. As I look back, there are things I would do differently now, but in the moment, I responded (I think) in an appropriate way. But that is clearly not the issue--I failed this person, fell short of their expectations, and have forfeited any kind of standing I might have had with them as a fellow believer, friend and pastor.

I responded to the letter apologetically, repeating my desire to so whatever I could to make the situation right. However, I fear the obvious--what was done cannot be undone. And it may be an exercise in futility to continue to try to pursue reconciliation.

Except that I must obey God.

Romans 12:16 tell us to "live in harmony with one another" and verse 18 adds, "If it is possible. as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."

I feel compelled to do that, with no promise of my desired end of reconciliation, but, hopefully, with the confidence of an obedient heart.