Tag Archive | Gospel

The Parable of the Timeless Melody

I would have loved to write something like this. But I found it instead. So now I’m pointing you to it. Because it will make your tired spine tingle. It will make you think of a poet and smile at his collapsed bridge. It will make you look at your preacher and he will never be the same again in your eyes.
Please access “View original” below, the link in pink, and listen to the melody.
Have a nice day! 🙂

P.S.   Hi again 🙂 If you’d like a “certain” reference for this story then please look up that part of what is called The New Testament entitled “John”, specifically in the chapter numbered 3. You may find that like the learned expert Nicodemus things will just fly over your head, I mean, if you just take things from there, unless you’re willing to go just a nudge of a bit crazy …

Advertisements

The Parable of the Good Taxi Driver

Hello everyone 🙂 happy Sunday. I’d like to share with you a very powerful but not-so-nice story. It’s an updated version of The Parable of the Good Samaritan.

Okay, if that name puts you off then consider that I didn’t mention it at all and just take the story by its given name as posted. It doesn’t change the potency of what it has to say. The title, whatever it’s called, won’t even matter after you’ve read it all. Because after you’ve done so what will remain with you are the pictures that the story bring out and cause to be echoed and re-echoed in your memory bank.

Its setting is the present England. That means everything is different from the original Jesus of Nazareth the Teacher’s setting. Unless you indeed believe that the Jewish worldview two thousand years ago, if such a thing can be called so, is a bit similar to the present-day rich-Western-nation worldview, if such a thing can also be called so. Let me emphasize at least one basic thing here: that Jesus of Nazareth the Teacher did not speak English and so that follows that he did not think in the same manner that so-called native English speakers do. For the non-native English speakers I have nothing to say. You might want to study the language the original parable was written in, in order to find out for yourself.

One way of checking if you’ve indeed understood the essence of that good parable, the one that’s in Luke 10:29-37 only, is to compare if the feelings you got after reading that is similar to the feelings you get after reading this post that I’m pointing you to. If not then that means you haven’t understood The Parable of the Good Samaritan all this time that you have been calling yourself a Christian.

At this juncture I wash my hands of the matter. Read it at your own risk, most especially if you worship the Bible or that version of the Bible that your exalted circle has legitimized.

If you have no idea at all what The Parable of the Good Samaritan is, I apologize for my long-windedness. Please, I highly recommend the story that I’ve been trying to introduce here, the one that you can access by clicking on the link “View original” below. If after you’ve read that you’ve become curious enough as to ask for the remote origins of the core idea of the story then you will find lots of information on it on the web. Searching for “the parable of the good samaritan” will suffice for a start. But please don’t be confused by the diversity of opinions on it. If you’re really interested in knowing more about it then you’ll find along the way that somehow you are able to discern which explanation makes sense. If you have gone that far then I suspect that, somehow, the story has taken root in you and that, somehow, you have become more courageous than you were before. What’s more, you’ll discover that the story will keep on increasing in value for you… Peace… I wish you the best.

Many many thanks, Mr. Francis Garfitt (Fran) for your work, and for sharing.

Dear everyone, I wish you a happy reading, through that link in pink, way down below, beneath the first parts of the original post that you can see here. Ciao 🙂

Christmas Doesn’t Have To Be That Glittery

1.  big Chrsitmas tree      If I don’t feel like joining in the extravagance of the Christmas celebrations would I be betraying those who think that the glitters are essential?

I don’t feel like profusely thanking God that I’m forced to stay away from sweets, yet it’s something my folks would call a “blessing in disguise”. The reasons why I wouldn’t buy even a single chocolate yummy isn’t only emotional and mental but physical as well. It seems I now have a safety lock in my resolve to not do the usual things that I would be looking forward to for Christmas — that’s largely involving yummy yummy food and nice new things.

Then there’s also the decorations to be set up even when the Christmas tree is just a plastic imitation, there where I have lived all my life, and Santa with his thick clothes and reindeers in their sleigh are nothing more than just illustrative and illusions. The great majority of my folks have totally no idea what a real cold season means, and are not even aware of the great variety of conifers that exist or ever seen more than one kind.

Then we’d sing “Silent Night” along with “Winter Wonderland” without having the littlest idea of the theologies on Jesus of Nazareth, without the littlest idea of the hazards that snow and other solid forms of precipitation can bring. Would I be betraying those who feel that the extravagance of Christmas celebrations is essential when I say that, well, the great part of it is, uhm, a hoax? When one looks at the disparity between the real reason for Christmas and its popular image, globally, one can’t help but conclude that the bulk of it is irrelevant.

2.  Christmas tree decorsI did more than once heard it preached, by priests and pastors alike, that Christmas is supposed to be a daily celebration. But, man, how can that line of wisdom compete with the overwhelming sights, sounds and smells of the giddy frenzy of buying and cooking and eating and partying by only those who can? What about those who can’t afford to do so and at the same time have no idea that all these are, in fact, dispensable?

Oops, don’t read me wrongly. I do not mean disrespect. I value tradition and culture, in the way they bind communities and affirm living. I do like giving and receiving presents. I love to see my family gathered together in a special meal knowing that other families are gathered as well and that there’s general goodwill in the land and in the ones across oceans. I love the riot of colors and glitter that spring up everywhere many weeks before Advent. But where I have lived all my life electricity is expensive and so the Christmas lights is at the top of the list of things that make me cringe. “Fairy lights” are wonderful in the setting where they originated but transported into my tropical impoverished land they only make me think of unwanted heating and misplaced funds that should have gone to food and health.

3.  Santa in the airIt’ a blessing-in-disguise that I have no choice but to stay away from sweets, otherwise I would not be strong enough to resist perusing the arrays of enticing foodstuff inside an ordinary grocery store, here in the country where I find myself in now, which is one that employs nuclear energy and the best of technology; otherwise I would feel myself heroic in trying my best to be one with many of my suffering countrymen (over the recent hurricane and earthquake disasters). Dang, I really acquired a liking to those Turkish honeyed treats and now I can’t have them. Oh, well, half of my people can’t afford even a pint of ice-cream for years and years so why should I complain?

The issues involved are already much studied, such as poverty and wealth distribution. There’s an ocean of academics out there on these things. But man is man. Unless he chooses to pay attention then he cannot be coerced into engagement. And so life goes on. No one knows exactly where to. Would everything end up the way the movie A. I. (Artificial Intelligence) pictures it out to be, where the bios are no more and the world is run by software? As for now, for me here my comfort foodstuffs are just coconut, salted peanuts, and brewed coffee. With all the facts on poverty that I unearthed today my claim to these “comfort food” has become even a bit embarrassing.

I know I’m not alone in what I feel. I did find a newspaper article that I agree with in this, by a fellow countryman, and I’m glad that he and many like him think of things this way, too.
——————————————4.  tropical Christmas

 

from an article by Mr. Allan S. B. Batuhan (Batuhan: A stolen Christmas?)
(copied from:  http://www.sunstar.com.ph/cebu/business/2013/12/21/batuhan-stolen-christmas-319946)

“Mostly for the simple reason that many people don’t feel like celebrating, in the midst of so much suffering. Yes, suffering. Ordinarily, we Filipinos are accustomed to seeing hardship all around us.

Our political institutions are corrupt, our politicians steal our money, and our people hardly have enough to make ends meet. Contestants join TV shows not for fun, but because they are the only means they have of raising funds for whatever pressing need they have in their lives. Wherever we turn, there are always those who are in need of something.

But the events of 2013 have made even what is commonplace and normal, extraordinary and abnormal. The sight of a beggar on the side of the street is something, but the horror of looking at pictures of devastated homes, and hundreds of dead bodies piled up beside the road is entirely another. Hearts not ordinarily moved by the endless parade of street urchins caroling beside one’s car while stopped at traffic, are wrenched and gutted by the grim footage flashing on the evening news.

So the usual Christmas extravagance goes out the window. And in its place come gestures of generosity hardly ever seen in a country already so jaded by suffering.

Which in the end, is probably just as well, because it reminds us all of what Christmas really ought to be—to share what we have with the least, and the last in life. And as long as we are in this spirit, Christmas will always be alive and well.

Dr. Seuss said it very well indeed: “Christmas Day will always be, just as long as we have we.”
—————————————–5.  Mandela on poverty

[SOME FACTS FROM THE NET:]

 

Number of hungry people in the world
(copied from: http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/Learn/world%20hunger%20facts%202002.htm)

 The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that nearly 870 million people of the 7.1 billion people in the world, or one in eight, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2010-2012. Almost all the hungry people, 852 million, live in developing countries, representing 15 percent of the population of developing counties. There are 16 million people undernourished in developed countries (FAO 2012).

The number of undernourished people decreased nearly 30 percent in Asia and the Pacific, from 739 million to 563 million, largely due to socio-economic progress in many countries in the region. The prevalence of undernourishment in the region decreased from 23.7 percent to 13.9 percent.

Latin America and the Caribbean also made progress, falling from 65 million hungry in 1990-1992 to 49 million in 2010-2012, while the prevalence of undernourishment dipped from 14.6 percent to 8.3 percent. But the rate of progress has slowed recently.

6.  very hungryThe number of hungry grew in Africa over the period, from 175 million to 239 million, with nearly 20 million added  in the last few years. Nearly one in four are  hungry. And in sub-Saharan Africa, the modest progress achieved in recent years up to 2007 was reversed, with hunger rising 2 percent per year since then.

Developed regions also saw the number of hungry rise, from 13 million in 2004-2006 to 16 million in 2010-2012, reversing a steady decrease in previous years from 20 million in 1990-1992 (FAO 2012).

The above is based on the new estimates of world hunger by the FAO using revised  proceedures. It is worth noting that the new estimates give a different answer than the old estimates as the graph below shows (Lappe, 2013).
——————————————

 

(below, copied from: http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats)

 “According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.”Source 4

Water problems affect half of humanity:

    Some 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water, and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation.

    Almost two in three people lacking access to clean water survive on less than $2 a day, with one in three living on less than $1 a day.

7.  Mahatma Gandhi on poverty    More than 660 million people without sanitation live on less than $2 a day, and more than 385 million on less than $1 a day.

    Access to piped water into the household averages about 85% for the wealthiest 20% of the population, compared with 25% for the poorest 20%.

    1.8 billion people who have access to a water source within 1 kilometre, but not in their house or yard, consume around 20 litres per day. In the United Kingdom the average person uses more than 50 litres of water a day flushing toilets (where average daily water usage is about 150 liters a day. The highest average water use in the world is in the US, at 600 liters day.)

    Some 1.8 million child deaths each year as a result of diarrhoea.

    The loss of 443 million school days each year from water-related illness.

    Close to half of all people in developing countries suffering at any given time from a health problem caused by water and sanitation deficits.

    Millions of women spending several hours a day collecting water.

To these human costs can be added the massive economic waste associated with the water and sanitation deficit.… The costs associated with health spending, productivity losses and labour diversions … are greatest in some of the poorest countries. Sub-Saharan Africa loses about 5% of GDP, or some $28.4 billion annually, a figure that exceeds total aid flows and debt relief to the region in 2003.”Source 10
——————————————         —————————————–

Regardless that things are always turned inside out and beaten willy-nilly I’d continue to affirm, by the grace of The Almighty, that life is good, and being alive is beautiful. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, wherever you are, whatever it means to you, even if you don’t celebrate it at all. Peace!

♥♥

Thank you to the owners of the pictures.   ♥♥

♥♥

Buddha Luther Happiness the Sun

It’s not easy to talk about Christianity when it’s wrapped up with centuries of jargon. Most of the time it frightens me to approach even one topic among the myriads in it. Having grown up in a cultural pot heavily influenced by community existence plus animism/fatalism and Roman Catholicism no wonder it came to my mind that should I abandon the family’s religious affiliation I might be condemning myself to a lifetime of ostracism and most probably the fires of hell.

Okay.

waterdrop on leafSo when I say that Buddhism says “Life is suffering” I am in the position to acknowledge that I certainly have not come to grasp all the nuances that Buddhism offers about this topic. But, to be sure, I know what suffering is. I haven’t gone hungry for a day but I know what suffering is. I haven’t been confined in hospital (thank you, Lord) for a minute but I know what suffering is. I haven’t had a toothache ever (thank you, Lord) but I know what suffering is.

As I was turning into an adult what has gradually become mystifying for me is the figure of the crucified Jesus prominently displayed in churches, even on the altar. (On the aside, where I grew up it was of St. Sebastian’s at the altar, partially disrobed and stuck with arrows, with the accompanying crimson paint for the dripping blood at his sides.) In the church where I tend to go to while I’m here (in a place very far away from home) it’s a painting of the Crucifixion so gloomy, so medieval Europe, right there where you would see it looming large before you as you wait for the minister to administer the bread and the wine to you, and especially when you happen to stand (some kneel) in the middle of the row. (Another aside, not that I’m an expert on paintings, and I still am ignorant on who the respected artist is, but I have it in mind to respectfully ask from an elder in resident as to why the proportion of the figures seem a bit lacking lengthwise, while I assimilate whatever aspect of beauty I could take away with me from such an agony-inducing representation.)

Now, life is suffering, I say this is true. I cannot overemphasize on the billions who go hungry everyday. I could imagine that for those who haven’t had a material lack in life there would still be the agony of not being able to obtain the latest car model the soonest time desired, or the temporary irritation of having lost a million dollars in a business transaction that would be rectified anyway in the hundreds of million dollar profit in other transactions. For girls, probably a run in the stockings, a glitch in the make-up, a boyfriend who seems to wane or simply the lack of one, a brand bag beyond the momentary budget, the bitchiness of another girl. Crazy life. Of course there’s more, and more to it, but I’m just randomly picking up from popular commercial images.

…back to the Cross and back to Buddhism… :

Whatever joy there is in the world
Arises from wishing for others’ happiness.
Whatever suffering there is in the world
Arises from wishing for your own happiness.

―Shantideva.

ladybug and leavesPutting it another way: All who are unhappy are so because they looked for their own happiness. All who are happy are so because they looked for the happiness of others.   — I ran into this quote earlier in the week and I recalled it as I was reading something on Lohr’s paper**. This was what I read, and I really need to copy the two paragraphs from pages 250-1, with which I need to include the notes, too, emphases and italicizing mine (…and… a beautiful excerpt from the consequent paragraph is in yesterday’s post) :

This concept of suffering is different than a sympathetic affiliation with those less fortunate or the common association of Jesus with those who suffer in society – the downtrodden and overlooked.[1]  An image of Jesus in solidarity with the oppressed provides an excellent model for Christians who want to walk in the footsteps of God in Christ.  It entails a not-so-glamorous path of self-effacement and humility and leads to a sense of liberation.  But, the concept of a suffering God in the theology of the cross goes further than this.  It indicates that God intimately knows the depths of human sorrows and pains.  It also juxtaposes the violence of execution with the glory of resurrection.  “The horror of Golgotha is the only way to the kingdom.”[2]  This is a theology of the cross.  It has to do with, among other things, atonement, Christology and salvation.

A theology of the cross is also a model of God’s grace.  It represents a “reversal” of direction: “God comes to us; we do not mount up to god. Atonement occurs when God succeeds in getting through to us who live under wrath and law. …  A ‘happy exchange’ takes place:  Jesus takes our sinful nature and gives us his righteous and immortal life.”[3]  There is no theology of the cross without the person of Jesus, and in it one finds a model of going out from oneself and partaking in suffering.  The theology of the cross teaches self-denial – putting oneself in the place of the other – and sacrificial love – the kind of love that is at the heart of the activity on the cross.  This implies that the Godly model is one of active engagement – of assuming the context of the other – a concept that certainly has implications for interfaith relationships.


[1] For a statement on Jesus’ “solidarity and compassion with others, that is, the deviant, the irrelevant, the marginalized, the oppressed, all in all the lowest of the low” see Paul Chung’s, “The Uniqueness of Christianity in Relation to Buddhism” in Christ the One and Only, Sung Wook Chung (ed.), (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005), 176.

[2] Braaten and Jenson eds., Christian Dogmatics vol 2, (Philadelpiha:  Fortress Press, 1984), 58.

[3] Braaten and Jenson (eds.), Christian Dogmatics vol 2, 47.

—————————————————————————————

a rice fieldI’d say that within these two paragraphs a wide range of in themselves ‘wide’, and crucial, topics are encompassed. There’s Liberation theology, asceticism/monasticism, biblical anthropology, pluralism, religious dialogues, as well as the ones explicitly mentioned within, and more. Whoa, that’s all way too much to handle at once…

Anyway, for now, what struck me the most was this: Buddhism and Christianity (respective branches or denominations aside) have the concept of suffering as a basic foundation in their articulations. So I was thinking that if one gets to the root of it all it really is suffering that is the most gripping reality to human existence. I could formulate it this way, too: the best way that God can get across to our consciousness (feeling and thinking combined) is through ‘suffering’. It’s the phenomenon right on the spot of urgency. It has to be on this medium that an effective communication, so to speak, can happen. So, I say to myself, wow, Christianity and Buddhism (sorry, I haven’t reached the stage of exploring the other areas yet) see each other eye to eye in this. Amazing.

Hahaha on second thoughts I see myself as very naive here because, well, if you really get rough on it why the heck do humans seek this numinous if not to, well, ‘get away’ from angst/emptiness/suffering/whatnot? Hence all the religions and mysticisms et cetera. Even Miyamoto Musashi who depended only on himself was I say a person of a deep sense of the numinous, along with all the samurai who took their swords really seriously. Chincha.

Anyway again, on happiness now… When I was younger I took for granted all these quotes on happiness that I would come across from time to time. I didn’t have the consciousness of ‘wanting to be happy’. I guess it was because I was yet very ignorant (I still am but a little less so, meaning that I’ve just discovered that I really don’t know anything, haha). Moreover there’s family and friends and relatives and neighbors and everyone around in the city in the island in the country and so what’s there to be unhappy about? There’s always something to eat and something to do and something to look forward to, and so what’s there to be unhappy about? I could not appreciate the idea of “wanting to be happy”, seeking/pursuing happiness, because I did not perceive it as something lacking in our lives where I grew up. Moreover, if laughter is a measurement of it we sure have lots of opportunity for it regardless of the situation. Chincha. Sure there was sadness and anger and gloom but at least for myself I did not associate it with being ‘unhappy’ or that happiness has gone and I needed to ‘have’ it again. Hehehe (… there you go… 🙂 … well, whatever… ) and although until now I still have this ‘steady’ disposition (yup, despite everything, and as measured by the amount of aid-less continuous sleep I get every night, at least 7 hours, thank you Lord) it has come to the stage where I’ve begun to sincerely appreciate the wisdom of the simplest of quotes, like Buddha’s:

Joy grows in us not out of possessions or wealth.

True joy of life comes out of a wise and loving heart.

strawberriesWow, so simply put, even cheapened by the casual use of it commercially, but I could only imagine the amount of suffering, or the sense of it, that had to be ruminated on before such a realization is reached. Siddhartha Gautama and those who have the kind of heart he had are awesome. What does it take to have a wise heart? What does it take to have a loving heart? Who do have these, and if so then how do they look at life, and how do they deal with their existence, how do they lead their lives? These are really the biggies.

Suffering, the perception of it, the experience of it, is a prerequisite to life’s realizations. It is those who have no sense of ‘suffering‘ — what it is like, how it feels, how it is like — who are not able to appreciate the value of life, of another human, of friendship, of presence, of being…

I don’t know how to wrap up this introspection. Perhaps it’s best if I simply don’t attempt to … or have I already wrapped it up…? …whatever…. Incidentally today is the celebration day for the Reformation. So it’s a holiday and all the shops are closed, all the students have dragged their suitcases across the hall since yesterday already and are now home for the weekend, since tomorrow is Friday and only the nerds go to school on a Friday (haha, you can debate on that). Incidentally, too, there are scholars that argue that the religious affiliation I belong to now cannot be strictly traced back to the Reformation. Whatever. And the Reformation itself was a source of angst for Luther himself. Haha, crazy world. No wonder I find myself deeply appreciating Zen Buddhism many a time.

a book on Martin Luther by Prof. Hans Schwarz

a book on Martin Luther by Prof. Hans Schwarz

Again anyway, I’d like to dedicate this composition to the contributions of Martin Luther to humankind. I for myself, granting how I grew up, can understand a bit the pressure that he underwent when he was formulating his 95 theses, and so for now I’d situate myself more on the positive end of the spectrum of like-vs-dislike for him. But, as how life is, shikataganai (for my favorite Korean drama characters it would be otoke? = what can one do? ), Luther couldn’t possibly have expected to be able to control all ‘the particles surrounding him that would naturally move in the Brownian motion way’ — poor Luther, his name has to shoulder much of the responsibility for all events that can be said to have stemmed off from his actions and words. It’s good to know (anyway) that Lutherans do openly acknowledge his faults and are in fact confessing that the institution’s (if it can be spoken of as that) actions do consider this phenomenon as an important part of the ‘background’.

Ah, what a happy day. And the sun is up and strong! Hahaha I sound like I’m a worshipper of the sun, but many times I feel I could understand why this phenomenon, worshipping the sun, has existed across the globe and all throughout history. The sun just being there, so powerful, it’s really wonderful I could feel all my cells rejoicing!

** can be accessed from:  https://ore.exeter.ac.uk/repository/handle/10036/86921

— this paper is by Mary Christine Lohr entitled Finding a Lutheran Theology of Religions: Ecclesial Traditions and Interfaith Dialogue submitted to the University of Exeter in 2009. I still have a few more pages to read. It’s very good, speaking from a seriously-researching layperson’s point of view, and I’m very happy to have found it. So generous of Exeter to have it available for everyone.

froggy

old pond —
— frog-jump-in
!splash
by Matsuo Basho

P. S.   There’s this 2003 movie Luther that has Joseph Fiennes in it, of course it’s not enough to show about Luther but it’s good. There’s this 55-minute documentary (An Empires Special) Reluctant Revolutionary, it’s also good. Though just take time to research on your own because perspectives and articulations vary and are relative. The nailing of the theses on the castle church door may not have happened and other tidbits like that could be important for a serious student. Nevertheless, for his time Martin Luther was one awesome personality. Miyamoto Musashi lived in the late 16th century Japan and is a respected historical figure by his many accomplishments in swordsmanship, the arts, and philosophy. Zen Buddhism is a major component of Japanese life ever since its practice there (as a separate school it started there about the 12th century). It is said that Musashi had a Zen priest for a teacher — I read up about Musashi from a 5-part novel by Eiji Yoshikawa, but that was many many years ago; recently I got to watch NHK’s 49-episode Musashi drama and it’s said to be faithful to the novel — but more on this next time, and not that I really know much … whew 🙂  [dear different websites, thanks for the lovely pictures, if it’s yours and you don’t want them here just please tell me… thanks again!]

Ciao!

We Are Worth Dying For

tall tree“The theology of the cross … is nevertheless first of all a statement about God, and what it says about God is not that God thinks humankind so wretched that it deserves death and hell, but that God thinks humankind and the whole creation so good, so beautiful, so precious in its intention and its potentiality, that its actualization, its fulfillment, its redemption is worth dying for.”

leaves and sky— Douglas John Hall (The Cross in Our Context: Jesus and the Suffering World. 2003. Minneapolis: Fortress)

🙂  I picked this up from the doctoral paper of Mary Christine Lohr entitled Finding a Lutheran Theology of Religions: Ecclesial Traditions and Interfaith Dialogue submitted to the University of Exeter in 2009  🙂

I can’t get enough of reading the part God thinks humankind and the whole creation so good, so beautiful, so precious in its intention and its potentiality, that its actualization, its fulfillment, its redemption is worth dying for again and again. I can’t help but be emotional while I think of the biosphere with all the rain forests and the fauna therein, white and yellow plumeriaall the continents and the peoples in their varied songs and dances, all the music of articulated languages, all the dreams recorded in words and works of art and thriving organizations, all the curiosity bursting forth in scientific theories, inventions and space exploration that has now reached beyond the Solar System. The human is beautiful. The biosphere is wonderful. To see that it is so is just as lovely.

Months ago I met a physicist who was a bit at a loss for words when I asked point blank on his views on the world-apparently-being-slowly-destroyed. fall magicFrom his response I gathered that there are movements in nature that we haven’t perceived yet. He seemed to tell me that science knows that what we have found out for now is not enough to speak of what’s real. I felt then that I was listening to a scientist who had been humbled by what he has so far perceived of the structure of nature. I also felt that there was a hint of naive hope in his tone. In turn, I, too, was humbled in that I saw my ‘greediness’ in wanting to put markers and pointers and enclosures to things and phenomena in accommodating them into my scheme of understanding.

I understood a bit more then of how I could not do that with Creation. Creation is awesome, and that’s why it’s beautiful. Something that leaves us awestruck isn’t something that can be easily boxed, a mountain village reflectednor can even be boxed at all. Life and living cannot be outlined just within sociological formulations, nor ideological dogmas, nor faith systems that render us constrained and betrayed. Especially that Creation is a reflection of God.

There’s got to be more to Creation than just objects that ‘need’ to be defined, classified, organized, and manipulated. In the phenomenon of the Cross is a picture that could help make it clear to us how radical the valuing of Life, of Being, is…

…may everyone of us find that which keeps us breathing, gives us space for growth, and so Live…

[Thank you to the webpages where I got the pictures above from. Peace.]