#changetheconversation

I just came in from my morning walk.

My devotions led me to this.

We got back from our most recent trip to Haiti about eight hours ago. I, and three very humble, gifted, generous, funny, faithful friends had a full day of travel and retrospection. As is true after pretty much every trip the conversations kept steering to what could we do to “fix Haiti.” We didn’t use those words but that is the bottom line.

There are many responses rolling in your mind right now.

“Heal thyself” might well be one of them.

I digress.

By “fix” we are pretty much skipping over some of the greater truth to chase an economic solution.

Economic change is greatly needed there.

That’s exactly the thing we cannot fix.

To dwell on that is to come to a level of frustration that leads to spiritual stagnation that leads to defeat.

There is a line in a Book I read fairly regularly that says “the One who began a good work in you will see it to completion…”

We aren’t called to finish the job. We don’t even have a good grasp of what the beautiful result should look like. We are simply called to be participants in the project.

If we lose sight of this we also lose sight of something very sweet.

The good work is exactly that.

We can’t fix Haiti (or Anderson for that matter) but there are over 600 children going to school through the work that was begun in us. That means something.

We can’t fix Haiti (or Washington for that matter) but there is a young woman with new clothes going to college. New clothes and college weren’t even an option, not even a dream. That means something.

We can’t fix Haiti (or even change one hair on my head) but there is a very bright young man who is back in classical (secondary) school who’d dropped out because he didn’t have the $250 for the annual tuition. That means something.

We can’t fix Haiti but I also can’t get the image out of my head of several people leaving our outdoor woodworking area with chairs, tables, stools, and HUGE smiles. That means something.

We can’t fix Haiti but there is a freshly painted building with new pews to sit on where people gather to praise and draw strength and find hope in a place where these things are as essential as air and food. That means something.

I can’t fix Haiti but I can believe in a Friend who is in the process of doing that very thing - and fixing me in the process.

I got to the church building here in Rogersville about 11 last night. I checked my messages and mail. There was a note from a sweet lady who had a serious injury and several surgeries last year. She had no money for food - or for Christmas gifts for her children. You gave generously to her. The note she sent included the words “you have no idea how much that meant to us.”

She’s right.

As our Friend and I were winding up a fairly brief stroll this morning I felt compelled to confess the part of my life that wants to see everything fixed. He smiled at me the way he does and said…

“I prefer to look at the fixers.”

Your move.

Brother Pat

#changetheconversation

I just came in from my morning walk.

My devotions led me to this.

I gave my grandson one of those flashy gold tokens you use at the car wash vacuums.

I told him it was a Bitcoin.

We are both blissfully ignorant of what a Bitcoin is but I am fairly certain you can’t finance a car vacuuming with one.

Or maybe you can.

I saw where another “major player” fell victim to a cyber attack yesterday.

It is being held hostage by ransomware that launched an assault from some shadowy “criminal ring” in Russia, or Neptune maybe.

My sole defense against a cyber attack is an abundance of poverty.

And Baby Yoda.

I don’t care to return to outdoor toilets despite the nostalgic memories so many seem to have about them.

I’m quite happy with air conditioning.

I don’t think we would have survived the last year without Amazon Prime.

Does this mean I want it both ways?

Am I wishy-washy?

Is my comfort zone shrinking?

What?

Perhaps it is best to make progress.

But at a slower pace.

On the other hand, I sing “Old Time Religion” with a smile on my face and doubt in my heart.

In many ways the old time religion held folks captive to a lesser life.  It reinforced prejudices that handicapped us all.  It built walls that are taking a mighty effort to bring down.

I don’t want to tarry even a nanosecond if I can get closer to the ground of my being, the Creator of all things good, and the lover of my wishy-washy self. And I certainly want to do more for those folks we’ve pushed away from religion.

I want to throw myself with abandon at a deeper spirit, and broader acceptance, and a warmer welcome.

I even want to rush my ability to forgive as I am forgiven, accept as I am accepted, and be at peace with Daily Bread.

I am picky about my pursuits I guess.

Eh?

As our Friend and I walked after that deluge we were talking about getting ahead - and falling behind. He heard me out before smiling gently at me the way he does and saying…

“There aren’t many Bitcoins showing up in the offering plate.”

Your move.

Brother Pat

Posted 9 weeks ago