Part of my prayer practice includes writing something positive, something uplifting, something worthy of thinking about — I am sad that far too many have been a response to horrific prices to be paid by family and loved ones who have been taken from this earth in a violent action by someone who is AGAINST something.
Yet, the common media response is to highlight even more, the violent and disrespectful responses of those AGAINST something.
It is said that “Problems cannot be solved on the level at which they were created.”
I AM FOR EVERYONE DOING THEIR BEST TO RISE TO A NEW LEVEL in their own personal lives. It is my commitment to do so in my own life, in every way in which I know how. I welcome company in doing this.
My friend was returning from an appointment yesterday and saw police cars racing toward the county courthouse. This is her response.
A letter from Katherine Hempel, writer-friend, resident in Berrien County, Michigan
“I love this space for here is a place where I feel the conversations, prayers and contemplation so needed in the world today are actually being had and encouraged and, thanks to our wonderful Abbess and Prior, taught and studied.
My update on the situation with our shootings and resulting tragedy, effecting so many here in SW Michigan, is long.
I thank you in advance for your prayers and love for a world, though in crisis, that is so worthy of our tenderest vigilance.
Update: our neighbor was not one of those killed or injured. Yet little to celebrate as our beautiful and peaceful Berrien County awakes knowing such can happen “even here.”
I come back again to a realization that we live on a world focussing in large part on all it is against…all it doesn’t approve of. It seems warped, away from any normal thought pattern, but I find myself relieved that the pigment of this man’s skin was not darker…and yet that of the deputy he shot was…why does my mind even go there. Recent events, of course, but I can’t help but wonder, would this ‘no history of violence’ shooter have been taken from his cell uncuffed were he black?
His ex-wife has made the statement that he had gotten involved with the wrong crowd. This is not an impressionable teen we are talking about here but a fully grown, closer to middle-aged man. How does one live that long and still be seem as one to be swayed “by the wrong crowd?”
Which brings me back to my pet peeve. For 8 years we have had a Congress working ‘against’ rather than ‘for.’ In the upcoming election few, either running or (hopefully) preparing to vote speak of what they are ‘for’ but rather what/who they will vote against. Ask individuals what they stand for and often the response is a litany of what they ‘hate.’ Is it any wonder weeks like this past one drifting over into this one now have exploded in the news?
It’s hard to imagine much will change until each of us as individuals begin to talk about what we do want, what we appreciate and take a stand…a well-considered stand, the result of quiet contemplation away from FOX and CNN…a stand that reflects our hearts and not just our fears. Only then, it seems to me, do we create a momentum forward. Only then, do we have any right to protest, in any balanced way, those things we are against and hope to come up with any positive solution to the darkness in the world. For it is only light…even the dimmest of lights…that can show us the way out of the darkness of this tunnel vision of negativity.
So…in the spirit of encouragement…what do YOU stand for? Let’s talk about that.”
When I studied with futurist, evolutionary spiritualist Barbara Marx Hubbard, from all her studies tracing back to “the big bang”, she holds that preceding every major evolutionary turn forward in the earth’s existence that “crisis precedes transformation”. Even the single cell was in crisis. To avoid extinction, it had to divide to become two and do it again and again and again.
Today, it seems more than true that we are in crisis. More and more people of responsibility and office are telling us, we must change. The old ways are not working and they never have. Communication based on I am right and you are wrong lead only to increased voice volume. Officials experiencing and at the center of the pain of recurring violence are saying……come together. What does that mean and how does that happen?
The vibration at the center of this, which is evil, is rippling out to us on an increasing level. There is no such thing anymore as “I didn’t think this could happen here”. It has happened in Kalamazoo twice in a few short months. And now another close by shooting incident in Southwestern Michigan, and one narrowly avoided in South Haven over the 4th of July.
As the Dallas Police Chief challenged us, I ask myself “what can I do to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.” It can be as simple and unassuming as to be kind to my neighbor…or with a regular practice of listening within in quiet…..it may direct me to bigger things. Forgivenesss of hurts and grievances of the past….care of the water, soil, and all living things,…community with purpose…….faith and action working together for the good of all….building up of self and others.
But whatever they are, they are equal in intent. To be in our world as Gift.