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Archive for April, 2020

As Sparks Fly Upward

There are many truths that we take for granted each day but we still rely on them to remain true. We rely on the sun breaking the Eastern horizon every morning and bringing us light for a new day. We rely on gravity to keep us grounded but not so excessively that we are not able to move around. We rely on our senses to tell us something is hot, cold, wet, sharp, painful, sweet or sour, odorless or putrid. We trust when we feel “heat” something may burn us. When we feel rain, we know we are going to get wet.

 

There are other truths that we recognize regarding our feelings and emotions. Love, hate, indifference, foreboding, happiness, Joy, and justice. These are the intangibles that we call intuition, gut feeling, or our inner voice. We know something is wrong but we don’t know why. We sense someone is insincere but we can’t put our finger on it. We connect with someone almost immediately and we call it chemistry. Each of these are real and true even if we can’t give a tangible reason of proof.

 

Some of these intangibles are the anchors in life. Love, beauty, Faith, justice, hope and friendship: these are defining factors in our lives. I would even say they are life-sustaining. Life can become very dark for us all some times, and at times it can become totally blackened. Wars, depression, death, destruction, natural disasters, all of these try the human soul and spirit. I have often said that such times and circumstances bring out the true character in each of us. As the song goes, “I see your true colors shining through.”

 

The bullys will bully still. The takers will be takers with a vengeance. The fearful will cower and jump at every shadow. The manipulators will make full use of the opportunity to gain advantage for themselves. The haters will hate even more and look for someone to blame. But…

 

…But, there will always be those who find the light and shine it all around them for others so that it isn’t quite so dark. The giver’s, the helpers, the peacemakers; for in these we see love, beauty, faith, justice, hope, and friendship. Truth and light that we can rely on in our darkest hours. 

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The Power of Touch

The power of human touch

I never thought that I would see the day we were under a pandemic. My generation has been the one that has made movies about pandemics, written scores of books, produced hundreds of TV shows about outbreaks, zombies and Contagion, martial law and post-apocalyptic worlds never realizing that we would be the ones who would actually live through it.

This has been a real wake up for most people. All the things that we took for granted, things that we did just out of automated response, we can no longer do. Places we can no longer go, things that (in order to keep from inadvertently spreading the virus to others) now we can no longer participate in.

Take for example the handshake. It’s a simple gesture, yet it’s one of the most powerful things in the universe: a human touch. Because of quarantine, or social distancing if you will, we can no longer shake hands, we can no longer hug and for those of us who are tactile oriented it hurts. There is something about human touch that has a power of its own… it’s healing, it’s human.

The hug: the hug is two human bodies in close proximity to one another exchanging energy and life. Hugs are healing, they’re restorative, they are life-giving. Yet here we are unable to get within six feet of one another in order to share the experience of being human for the time being.

Then there’s dancing: dancing is one of the most social activities known to man. It’s a time where we celebrate life. We celebrate with one another, we celebrate with movement, with companionship and socialization. Dancing is a time where we connect in a cultural setting that allows us to be more than we normally are, to participate in life through movement and music. Even the scriptures (contrary to Baptist doctrine) tells us that dancing fills the soul of mankind and is a form of worship…”And David danced before the Lord with all his might, wearing a priestly garment. So David and all the people of Israel brought up the Ark of the Lord with shouts of joy and the blowing of rams’ horns.”

And finally the kiss: whether it’s on the cheek or on the lips the kiss is one of the ultimate shared human experiences. Kiss is one of the most intimate expressions of feeling between two people, especially lip kissing. It’s that proximity of face-to-face interaction completely invading another person’s space and you allowing them into yours. Specifically, they have allowed you into theirs at such an incredibly intimate level, that is so close, it conveys more than just casual acquaintance it says they have given you access to their being at a VIP level.

So, here we are, living in days where we have become islands in and of ourselves by necessity. Doing so in order that we don’t infect one another. Hoping and praying that soon we’ll once again be able to reach out and touch one another in these meaningful ways. Hoping to restore that human contact, that human interaction, which means so much to us … as humans.

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Will We Ever Learn?

So I’m wondering if we will learn from all this.
That no life is any more… Or any less than the next.
That sanctity of life applies to all…
Or it applies to none.
If we mourn the entertainer more than the homeless, if we care more about the million dollar athlete than the frontline care givers….
Then we are hypocrites of the worst order.

I pray we learn the lesson as a people.
I pray that our sudden desire to protect all life doesn’t dwindle after our fear of the unknown is passed and we begin to imagine that we have death under our control again.

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