a harbinger

Come, fair repentance, daughter of the skies!
Soft harbinger of soon returning virtue;
The weeping messenger of grace from heaven.

Thomas Browne


(red amongst the summer green /Julie Cook / 2020)

Harbinger as a noun: something that foreshadows a future event:
something that gives an anticipatory sign of what is to come

Harbinger as a verb: to give a warning or prediction of

I’ve written about harbingers before and usually, those posts were related to changing
seasons and or weather.

However, when I was out in the yard, picking ripe tomatoes in the heat of an early August
afternoon, sweat dripping from my face…finding a fully red, fall-like leaf, sitting alone
and somewhat forlorn in the green parched yard of summer…well,
things seemed a bit out of sorts.

My thoughts were not of a coming Fall, along with the changing of leaves and cooling temps…
but rather my mind wandered elsewhere.

When I think of the word harbinger, I don’t think of a heralding of sorts but rather I think
of that which is more foreboding…as in ominous.

A shadowing of sorts.

Seems about right given our current state of affairs…

More on the subject soon…

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves,
and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 7:14

Update– wee beasties abound

A sly rabbit will have three openings to its den.
Chinese Proverbs


(a nest or den hidden in the pinestraw)


(the fur lining is a clue)


(a wee beastie nestles at the doorway_


(a bestie makes a mad dash)

Yesterday we had a really bad thunderstorm around lunchtime.
Once things cleared, I rushed outside to check on the rabbit den and the tiny little
baby I had met the day prior.

Low and behold, as the sun broke through the clouds, there was
indeed that one familiar little head poking out of its den—
it was my little friend.
Yet I noticed something else.
Nestled around my wee friend’s head, it appeared as if he had company.
There was an additional two to three little backsides—
Making a total of either 3 or 4 wee beasties…I couldn’t quite tell.

I was relieved knowing my wee little friend was not alone.

So now I’m blaming what happened next on my friend Kathy.
“Take more pictures” she implores, “they’re so cute.”

Well after supper I headed out to see if I could indeed snap a picture or two
of the wee clan living under the fire bush.

Crawling on my hands and knees, easing my way to the small opening, I gently reached
toward the little brown bottom sitting at the opening of the den.
Suddenly baby rabbits came barreling out of the hole running every which-a-way.

“What are you doing?! my husband hollers out while watching babies scoot
here,there and yon.

“Stop that one” I yell, as I watch my husband just stand there watching a brown blur
race alongside the rock wall, racing for dear life seeking shelter under
the masive viburnum bush.

“Why didn’t you stop it? I wailed.
“I didn’t want to step on it” he quipped.

Rolling my eyes I began to scrunch and inch my way under the giant viburnum bush…
gently moving the straw, while hoping to get the baby so I could put him back in the nest.

I eventually managed to get one of the babies back in the nest but one remained under the
viburnum bush while the other baby was on the opposite end of the shrubbery bed
under a butterfly bush.

The tiny sparrows hopping about kept looking at me, wondering what in the world was
this latest creature in the yard who was crawling around on all fours.

I searched and searched..and searched in vain.
The missing two babies had seemed to disappear into thin air…or more aptly
disappeared under a mass of straw and spent leaves…perfectly camouflaged.

I will go back out in the morning to check on them.

But oh what a blessing.

God is so gracious…so kind…so thoughtful.

I’ve been so consumed by the latest current events of this world.
Those of our dreadful woes and seemingly guaranteed demise…and yet here is God, granting me
a tiny look into His world…a far cry from the world I am a part of… that of
man’s world…a world full of strife and frustration.

Granted, nature at times can indeed seem cruel and harsh…but for now, I will simply
glory in the Grace I’ve been afforded–that of watching a few wee beasties
learn about life in a world full of bushes and plants… and an odd creature
teetering about on all fours cooing like a nut to a handful of wee beasties.

He has made everything beautiful in its time.
Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what
God has done from the beginning to the end.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

a wee beastie concern

Still thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me
The present only toucheth thee:
But, Och! I backward cast my e’e.
On prospects drear!
An’ forward, tho’ I canna see,
I guess an’ fear!

last stanza to Robert Burns poem dating 1785

The other evening I was out watering the plants.
We were babysitting our grand-dog while the kids had gone to the beach
with our daughter-in-law’s family–so the old black lab was right by my side.

I have two fig trees in pots nestled within my shrubbery and while I was watering,
I was also picking a few ripe figs…

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a tiny wee little brown beastie came wobbling right
in front of me.
Half wobbling and half hopping.

Luckily the old black lab, Alice, didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary as
I told her to go back toward the house.
One thing she is, is a mindful dog—I quickly threw down the hose.

I had to do a double-take because I wasn’t certain I was actually seeing a baby
rabbit as it was just so tiny.

He kept coming toward me and instinctively I picked him up and drew him close to me.
He nestled into my warmth.

His fur was irradescent…he was that young.

I called out to my husband to come quick.

“What do I do, what do I do” I practically wailed while holding this tiny brown bundle.

“Are you sure that’s a rabbit” my husband quips.

Yes, I sardonically replied…we have had a wealth of rabbits in the yard this year and
I know my rabbits. This was no mouse or squirrel.

The rabbits I’ve seen have been in the back of the house…I’ve not seen any upfront
so close to the house.

My husband pulls out his phone and turns to google to read what’s out there about
finding a baby rabbit.

“We need to find its den, its nest” he explains.

Den??? Nest??? What???

I don’t see a den or a nest, just a baby rabbit wobbling about in the pine straw
near my potted plants.

I also look for some information and everything I read emphatically says to
“put it back where you found it.”

I know from heartbreaking experience, baby wild rabbits, despite our best intentions,
are nearly impossible to raise to adulthood.

I gently put down “hoppy” and said a little prayer.

I always ask St. Francis to come help when I find baby wildlife.

Sunday we headed over to Atlanta to take Alice back home since her people had returned
from the beach blessedly in one piece and COVID free.

Once back home, late Sunday afternoon, I hesitantly ventured out into the yard,
looking for little “Hoppy”.

Low and behold, my small bundle heard me making my way over to the shrubbery and he,
or she, came tumbling toward me.
And the thing is, he didn’t hesitate…he actually kept working his way toward me.

He reminded me of when I first found Percy as a kitten.
I was reluctant yet tiny Percy kept making his way toward me as if to say…
I am yours.

I put this tiny baby back down while running inside to bring out some lettuce, just to
see if he take to it…knowing he was still most likely nursing.

I read that mothers will leave the dens during the day to feed and return only briefly
at night to nurse their “kits.”…and sadly not all kits are meant to live.

Crawling around on all fours through the pine straw, in and out of the bushes,
I did a little investigating thinking surely there must be a hollowed-out spot near a bush…
a nest of sorts.

When low and behold, I watched my little friend as he headed toward a small opening
camouflaged in the pine straw.
There was a tiny little hole, with a good bit of soft fur around the opening…
“Ah-ha” I heard myself exclaim…. finally there was indeed a nest!

I felt better knowing he’d not just wandered away and was alone.

My husband asked if I could see any other “kits” down in the hole but I wasn’t
too keen on poking my hand down into a hole in the pine straw.

I left some lettuce and walked away, once again, saying a tiny prayer
for my tiny friend.

We’ll see what tomorrow might bring…

I’m truly sorry Man’s dominion
Has broken Nature’s social union,
An’ justifies that ill opinion,
Which makes thee startle,
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
An’ fellow-mortal!

Robert Burns

We need a hero….Captain America or maybe.. someone else

“Pray as though everything depended on God.
Work as though everything depended on you.”

St. Augustine

I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night
He’s gotta be strong
And he’s gotta be fast
And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ’til the morning light
He’s gotta be sure
And it’s gotta be soon
And he’s gotta be larger than life!
Larger than life

Bonnie Tyler lyrics / Hero


(a young Captian America with his “Da” / Julie Cook / 2020)

According to Wikipedia:
Captain America is a superhero appearing in American comic books
published by Marvel Comics. Created by cartoonists Joe Simon and Jack Kirby,
the character first appeared in Captain America Comics #1 (cover-dated March 1941)
from Timely Comics, a predecessor of Marvel Comics.
Captain America was designed as a patriotic supersoldier who often fought
the Axis powers of World War II and was Timely Comics’ most popular character
during the wartime period.
The popularity of superheroes waned following the war,
and the Captain America comic book was discontinued in 1950,
with a short-lived revival in 1953. Since Marvel Comics revived
the character in 1964, Captain America has remained in publication.

In 1964, when he made a bit of a resurgence since 1941 and 1953,
that’s when I discovered my love for this superhero.

What greater superhero could there be but a Captian America?
The seeming hero of our very own nation, our very own national superhero?!
One who fought the Axis powers—Fascism, Communism, Socialism…

As a young kid in the early ’60s, I loved Captian America.
Who wouldn’t during those early uncertain days of the Cold War.
We needed a hero.

My son seems have fallen not far from the tree as he too loves Captian America–
as his son dons the tee shirt.

And so it seems that we need more Captian Americas in our world.
Someone who fights for our Nation and for her principles.
A defender of our Constitution.

And so yes, we need a hero.

But the only true hero, the only one who can save us from ourselves…
Jesus Christ.

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin,
so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5:21

about as civilized as a baboon

“I know your race.
It is made up of sheep.
It is governed by minorities.
Seldom or never by majorities.
It suppresses its feelings and beliefs and follows the handful that makes the most noise.
Sometimes the noisy handful is right.
Sometimes wrong.
But no matter, the crowd follows it.
The vast majority of the race, whether savage or civilized are secretly kind-hearted,
and shrink from inflicting pain.
But in the presence of the aggressive and pitiless minority, they don’t
dare to assert themselves.”

Mark Twain

Baboons, despite having rather cute babies, are not known for possessing a
very civilized demeanor.
Baboons are indeed social creatures, just like we are…
They can be, at times, loud and raucous just like us…
Plus they are very territorial…what’s theirs, is indeed theirs…end of sentence.
They are physically strong and can oftentimes be temperamental and even quite mean.

Sounds familiar.
Think rush hour traffic and road rage.

And sadly, much like us, they even possess a darker side…
they are known to be cannibalistic…
meaning that they can kill and eat other primates…also killing and eating their own…

Yep, they eat their own.

Now, where have I heard that before???

‘They will eat their own’…??

Oh, I think it was in reference to our oh so “woke” world.
They are beginning to eat their own.
Think the cancel culture and it’s hearty appetite for those now
wishing to bow out of the culture club…J.K. Rowling comes to mind…

For better or worse I suppose, we and baboons don’t seem to be too far apart.

Besides that whole opposable thumb business, when it comes to primates,
mankind has always prided himself on the fact that he alone has achieved a
sense of civility as compared to the rest of the animal kingdom.

We were civil beings.

And it is in that smugness of civility that we have long touted being ‘greater than’
and far superior than the animal kingdom.
We have rules for heaven’s sake—we have laws, and we even have decorum…
therefore it just makes sense that we are truly a far higher and more intelligent being
than our animal kin—right???

According to the dictionary,

Civilized:

1.at an advanced stage of social and cultural development.
“a civilized society”

2. polite and well-mannered.
“I went to talk to them and we had a very civilized conversation”

Advanced, developed, polite, well mannered…
Certainly higher than baboons—right???
Given the past couple of months, I’m beginning to wonder…


(Woman defecating on an overturned police car/ Reddit)


(Minneapolis riots, The Globe Post)


(The Atlantic)

In the past God overlooked such ignorance,
but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.
For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed.
He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”

Acts 17:30-31
New International Version

itchy ears, a small diversion…

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine.
Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers
to say what their itching ears want to hear.

2 Timothy 4:3


(Naked security)

Today is a slight diversion from our week’s train of thought but the heart of the matter,
in the end, remains very much on track.

So an odd thing happened this afternoon when I out was watering the plants.
I say that it was an odd thing but it was actually more like a sheer panic sort of thing…

There I was, in the sweltering sun, minding my own business as I mindlessly watered my plants…
Suddenly, out of nowhere, some sort of flying creature flew up from a bush—
it hit my glasses and next, how I have not a clue but, it ricocheted into my left ear.

Yep, you read correctly, right into my ear.

Well, I instinctively thought that it would fly right back out as bugs tend to fly in
and out and all around this time of year but this bug was in my ear and it
did not immediately exit.

I’ve heard of these sorts of things happening before to other people but in my actual
real life…surely not.
Yet happen it did and I thought I would die.

Die from panic mind you and not so much because of the bug,

So to put it mildly, I confess that I began to freak out as I could feel
vibrations deep in my head.

AGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH, I screamed like a banshee as I dropped the
running hose and ran like a crazy woman into the house.

I was screaming so frantically that my husband came running expecting to see a severed appendage.

I stammered something about the bug as I raced passed him,
running straight into the bathroom.
I grabbed a Q-Tip while my husband tried to stop me…
I shoved that thing into my ear hoping to pull out the bug.

Since that didn’t work, and if the truth be told, I probably pushed that sucker deeper
into my head, I could still felt vibrations.
Next, I grabbed a bottle of rubbing alcohol and proceeded to turn the bottle up,
pouring it into my ear.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!! screamed my poor husband???
“KILLING THE BUG” I screamed in response…praying it would now “wash” out of my ear
while alcohol ran down my face and neck.

Yet there was nothing.

“THE ER”, I screamed, “WE’VE GOT TO GO TO THE ER!!!!!”

But suddenly the thought of the pandemic swirling around the hospital,
calmed my brain long enough for me to think of my ENT…
the Ear Nose and Throat doctor…
Call the ENT the small voice in my head calmly said.
And no, it was not the voice of the bug.

Frantic, I grabbed my phone and put it up to my bugged ear.

When the gal at the doctor’s office answered, I practically screamed into the phone…
“A BUG FLEW IN MY EAR AND IS STILL THERE!!!

“How fast can you get here?” she asked.
“5 minutes” I responded.

I had hoped the alcohol had drowned the bug but I could still feel fluttering
from time to time.

My husband told me he’d drive as he feared I’d wreck if I drove.

I practically jumped out of his truck, running into the building.
It was right at 4 PM and they were about to close for the holiday weekend.

The nurse came to the door and called me back—
I was still in my ‘work in the yard’ clothes and I was holding a mask that I’d thought to
grab if they said I needed to wear one.

But with a bug literally in my ear, masks were the last thing on my mind.

When the doctor came in, I screamed
“YOU’VE GOT TO GET THIS THING OUT OF MY EAR, NOW!!!!”

He proceeds to look in my good ear while I explained what happened.

I told him about the Q-Tip.

“Ahh, a stick of Satan…”
“Huh???”
“Do you like Satan?”
“Of course not!”
Then DON’T USE Q-Tips!!

I’d always heard ear doctors didn’t like Q-Tips.

“Do my ears look bad???” I stammered, worried I’d done something terrible by cleaning my ears.
“No, they’re clean as a whistle but if you had a little ear wax, that bug probably wouldn’t
have gone on in.”

Oh…

He takes the light and shines it into my left ear.

“Yep, there’s the little sucker alright.”
Can you get it???” I wail…
“Tilt your head as I don’t think we need the scope.”

Two seconds in and out with the long tweezers and he had the bug.

“Well, I’ll be, that looks to be a baby lightning bug” he triumphantly announces
as he shows off his catch.

“Great,” I thought, my head could have blinked all night.

$45 and 10 minutes later I was out the door.
Flutter free.

And so yes, after this terrible episode was over, the verse about itchy ears came racing
to the forefront of my thoughts.

And that verse is exceedingly applicable given this past week’s musings.
Our entire culture is scratching at their itchy ears…
and only yearning for more…and so I offer an interesting article regarding
this problem with our itching ears…minus the bugs mind you…

Got Questions–Your Questions. Biblical Answers. explains this verse further:

The apostle Paul wrote a warning for the church:
“The time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.
Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them
a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear”
(2 Timothy 4:3).

The Greek word translated “itching” literally means
“to itch, rub, scratch, or tickle.” To want one’s ears “tickled” is to desire massages
rather than messages—sermons that charm rather than challenge,
entertain rather than edify, and please rather than preach.
The people Paul warns about will have, as one commentator put it,
“ears which have to be continually titillated with novelties.”

“Itching ears” is a figure of speech that refers to people’s desires,
felt needs, or wants.
It is these desires that impel a person to believe whatever he wants to believe rather
than the actual truth itself. When people have “itching ears,”
they decide for themselves what is right or wrong,
and they seek out others to support their notions.
“Itching ears” are concerned with what feels good or comfortable,
not with the truth—after all, truth is often uncomfortable.
Paul’s warning is that the church would one day contain those who only
opened their ears to those who would scratch their “itch.”

Those with “itching ears” only want teachers who will assure them that all is well,
teachers who say, “Peace, peace . . . when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14).
Where there is a demand for something, the suppliers are not far away.
Paul says that not only will there be great demand for watered-down,
personalized messages, but there will be “a great number of teachers”
willing to provide such pap and steer people away from “sound doctrine.”

Evidence today of people having “itching ears” includes the popularity
of messages that people are not required to change, as if repentance were outmoded;
that people are basically good; that God is too loving to judge anyone;
that the cross, with all its blood, is not really necessary;
and that God wants His children to be healthy, wealthy,
and content in this world. As people turn their backs on the truth about sin and condemnation,
they disregard their need for repentance and forgiveness. And a craving for
“new” and “fresher” ideas grows—even though there is “nothing new under the sun”
(Ecclesiastes 1:9–10)—
accompanied by a longing to feel good about who they are and where they’re going.
Messages that tickle ears can fill a lot of churches, sell a lot of books,
and buy a lot of time on cable tv.

Some of the early followers of Jesus complained about some of the Lord’s words:
“Many of his disciples said, ʻThis is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?’…
From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him”
(John 6:60, 66). Walking away from hard truth is easy to do.

In today’s postmodern church, we see many walking away from the hard truth.
Some churches that once preached sound doctrine now teach as acceptable
the very evils the Bible condemns.
Some pastors are afraid to preach on certain passages of the Bible.
“Christian feminists” deny God as a heavenly Father, calling Him a “she.”
“Gay Christians” are not only welcomed without repentance into
church fellowship but into the pulpit, as well.

The church’s remedy for those who have “itching ears”
is found in the same passage of 2 Timothy: “Preach the word;
be prepared in season and out of season; correct,
rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2).
It is a solemn charge, made “in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus,
who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom”
(verse 1).
And it contains all the elements needed to combat the temptation to tickle ears:
preach, correct, rebuke, and encourage. The content of preaching must be the written
Word of God, and it must be preached when convenient and when inconvenient.
This takes “great patience and careful instruction,” but sound doctrine is worth it.

The church’s quest to manage the comfort level of its audience must never take priority
over preaching the Word. The fear of offending people’s sensibilities can never supersede
the fear of offending God. Rather, the church should follow the example of the apostles:
“We have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception,
nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary,
by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience
in the sight of God” (2 Corinthians 4:2).

The church today, more than ever, needs to re-examine the teachings it endorses.
We need to ask ourselves the following questions:

• Are our teachings truly from God or simply itches we want to scratch?
• Are we standing on solid biblical grounds, or have we allowed the world to influence our thinking?
• Have we guarded ourselves from the schemes of Satan (Ephesians 6:11)?
• Are we keeping ourselves “blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”
(1 Thessalonians 5:23)?

The truth is, God is not concerned with scratching our itches but in transforming
us into the image of His Son (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 4:4).

How do you know?

“Jesus Christ came not to condemn you but to save you, knowing your name,
knowing all about you, knowing your weight right now,
knowing your age, knowing what you do, knowing where you live,
knowing what you ate for supper and what you will eat for breakfast,
where you will sleep tonight, how much your clothing cost,
who your parents were.
He knows you individually as though there were not another person in the entire world.
He died for you as certainly as if you had been the only lost one.
He knows the worst about you and is the One who loves you the most.
If you are out of the fold and away from God, put your name in the words of John 3:16 and say,
“Lord, it is I. I’m the cause and reason why Thou didst on earth come to die.”
That kind of positive, personal faith and a personal Redeemer is what saves you.
If you will just rush in there, you do not have to know all the theology and all the right words.
You can say, “I am the one He came to die for.” Write it down in your heart and say,
“Jesus, this is me—Thee and me,” as though there were no others.
Have that kind of personalized belief in a personal Lord and Savior.”

A.W. Tozer,
And He Dwelt Among Us: Teachings from the Gospel of John


(Rosemary Beach, Fl /Julie Cook /2020)

Yesterday I was musing over the thought of knowing one’s calling.

Knowing that I, you, me, us… were doing what we were meant to be doing.

With the question being…are you, me, we simply going through the motions or are
we feeling that we are where God has always intended us to be?

I am almost 61 years old and I have never ever been certain of my calling.

Over the years, I’ve shared this thought many times before.
I’ve never been good at hearing God’s words…His whispers.

A sledgehammer might be helpful.
Yet He remains the true gentleman.

I became a teacher…but I never felt that that was hands down my “calling”
I became a wife and later a mother…was that my calling?

I’ve been a teacher.
A caregiver.
A wife.
A daughter.
A mother.
A grandmother.

Where has been the peace in knowing that I was indeed doing what God had called me to do?

Yet there is now a swirling maelstrom that is taking us all by storm.

Pandemics, civil unrest, mob rule, racial strife, lawlessness, violence, anti-Christian rhetoric,
persecution…

And so I know, now is the time.

This is the calling.

More concerning this calling tomorrow.

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling
to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness,
with patience, bearing with one another in love,
eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Ephesians 4:1-3

Pandemics and pandemonium

It is urgent for the modern world to regain a faith perspective.
Otherwise, mankind is headed for its destruction.
The Church cannot confine herself to a merely social vision.
Charity has a spiritual meaning. Charity is closely related to God’s silence.

Robert Cardinal Sarah
from The Power of Silence


(within the all cosumming seaweed are a few little gems /Rosemary, Beach / Julie Cook / 2020)

I got away for a few days…away from most of the distractions of our time.
I saw little in the way of a pandemic and I saw less in the way of civil pandamonium.
I was thankful, relieved and found some needed clarity, of which I will share in the coming days.

But what I do know is that time is of the essence—
the time for decision making is now…

There is a terrible and all encompassing suffocating mass now washing up on
the shore or our world.

It threatens our very existence.

Yet most who call themselves Believers are opting to ignore what has
washed up at their feet…pretending nothing is there.

They step over it while ignoring the rotting stench.


(masses of seaweed washing ashore / Rosemary Beach, FL / Julie Cook / 2020)

A decision is looming.

It will require conviction.
It will require resolve.
It will require fortitude.

More to follow…

And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve,
whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River,
or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.
But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Joshua 24:15

Justice for what???

“Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death.
And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them?
Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment.
For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”

J.R.R. Tolkien


(a buckeye butterfly rests on a noodle / Julie Cook / 2020)

Enjoying a bit of quiet reading and reflecting with some of my favorite folks out in
blogland this afternoon, I stopped by to see what gems of wisdom our friend IB had
to allow this fine Friday in June.

It is fine, isn’t it?

I don’t know…maybe it’s not.

It’s Juneteenth, so says my phone’s calendar and now, so says thousands
gathering in the streets of Atlanta, as well as across this nation, peacefully
marching and celebrating.

It seems we’ve all received a quick tutorial on the significance of Juneteenth.

And so we hope all things remain peaceful.
But we really must wait until the sun sets and then we shall see
if the peacefulness carries itself through the night.

Their voices now rise in a crescendo chant of “justice.

But what is this justice for which they cry?

Our friend IB mused over the very same notion.
What is this justice for which these crowds so long?

Perhaps it is what I too long for—.

IB was actually writing a post about having seen a movie that was a bit of a
soothing balm when this idea of ‘what is justice’ popped in.

I’ve not seen the movie, so I can’t say…but it moved IB and thus a post
sprang forth.

I honestly don’t know what makes me cry more, happy things or sad things?
There are lots of both in this movie and it’s hard to tell the difference sometimes.
I mean, it’s not good for your heart to be shattered, broken, for you to be wounded, right?
Except, if that’s how the love pours in, through all those cracks,
if that’s how the Lord moves into your life and brings healing,
well then, thank God for broken hearts.

Thank God when we are wounded, willing to feel the pain, rather than hardened.

It was a really validating movie too,
because I’m looking around at a world that often doesn’t make any sense and trying to talk
to people who are totally tone deaf.

I feel a bit like a broken record sometimes, always talking about meth, fentanyl,
and heroin addictions, in an area that is so pro-drugs, so pro-addiction!
People are out on the streets right now crying out for justice, but justice from what??
And what does this “justice” they crave even look like?

I spend half my life trying to forgive addicts whose behavior does nothing but steal,
kill, and destroy all that is good, and the other half of my time trying to forgive
those in leadership who have enabled and condoned the whole situation either through
their incompetence or their corruption. It’s really painful, it’s really frustrating,
but it’s not a bad thing at all, because it is all about learning to love others as
Jesus loves us

“Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown.
But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
Both Matthew and Mark take note of the fact that this is the gospel,
that this truth, the reflective nature of grace, is so vitally important that,
“Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world,
what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

“Healing River” did a really good job of capturing the essence of that truth.
When we have been forgiven much, we love much.

We have been forgiven much.

https://insanitybytes2.wordpress.com/2020/06/19/healing-river/

And so I too think about this odd innate need for justice—
this thing we always seem to cry out for—

And this justice of ours seems to be whatever perceived notion we might be feeling at the time,
It springs from deep within our being—and there is indeed a longing.

A longing in each one of us.
We often can’t put our finger on it.
We think with our heads, trying to figure out our heart…
but we most often misread those inward groanings.

I decided to go explore the Healing River’s official site.
It is a faith-based film that sounds extremely powerful.

One reviewer noted that “the message of redemption, forgiveness and mercy
coming from and through our Lord Jesus Christ in this movie is one of great importance,
especially in our troubled world hungry for a message of hope and courage.
Well done!”
Fr. Patrick McMullen, St. Therese Catholic Parish, Cincinnati, OH

And so I now think I know what this cry is.
What it is we always seem to turn to when life seems overwhelmingly
unfair, unjust, and simply undone…
It is not so much for justice that we cry as it is for mercy.
It is not so much for justice as it is for forgiveness.

Sadly there is not a whole lot of forgiveness or mercy running about these days…
days which are so full of protests, anger and violent riots.

Yet those two elements are the key to quelling the painfilled groans within our beings.

Anger and rage are exhausting.
They steal one’s light, peace, joy, hope…

Mercy and forgiveness allow us to finally exhale and finally rest from the fight.

he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear** him;
Psalm 103:10-13

**remember the word fear often translates to respect

lunatics at large!!! Where have all the sane people gone?????

“Sane people did what their neighbors did,
so that if any lunatics were at large, one might know and avoid them.”
George Eliot, Middlemarch


(edvard-munch.org)

About 8 years ago, when I first began this little blog of mine, I posted a little disclaimer …
that being—as a newly retired teacher, I still felt as if I had a few things left
in me to teach..things that still needed to be studied…

Two key components to that need of continuing education were–
A) the history of our Western Civilization and that of her Judaeo Christian bedrock
on which it was built—as well as…
B) the importance of knowing from whence we came in order that we could know where
we were going.

There were also other pressing issues but knowing one’s history,
as well as one’s foundation, were the lynchpins.

And yet we are currently watching our culture throw that proverbial baby out with the bathwater.
All because our oh so woke world cares not about her past but rather only about her
own selfish agenda.

And that my dear students, is what we call ignorance.

Or maybe it’s what we call stupidity.

Or maybe it happens to be both—ignorant stupidity.

Madame Speaker has demanded that all the portraits of all Civil War era
Speakers of the House be removed from public view.
Much like that crazy uncle who needs to be hidden away from the guests during the holidays.

Statues around our Western Civilization…statues of Columbus, Winston Churchill,
and all Confederate leaders are being defaced or toppled.

Rioters are commandeering our cities, claiming swarths of city blocks as new sovereign lands.

Our police have lost all due process and are leaving their posts.

Lawlessness rules supreme.

Face maks are mandated.

Rioters do as they please.

Where is our sanity in the midst of this chaos?

Your history matters people.
It defines you–for better or worse.
We pray that the worse part is what will serve to make you better.
But if you continue to stick your fingers in your ears, ignoring the facts,
then you are bound to the ties of failure.

Let me share an intimate look at history.

When our two-year-old granddaughter comes to visit…in order to
consolidate the hurried pace of getting ready for bed, she and I
will hop in the shower together.

If ever a kid loved water, it is her.
She could stay in a tub or shower all night if possible.
Happily turning into a wrinkled prune.

She will sit on the shower bench telling me to sit beside her,
this as the warm rainfall showerhead gently rains down over our heads.

I’ll scrub her little feet and lather her head as we style
soapy hair into fun and fanciful shapes.

She asks that I cup my hands together, filling my hands full of water so
she can try and take a drink.
She asks that I fill her pink water pitcher full of water so I
can pour it over her head.

I think of us sitting together in this shower, warm and happy…
an intimate setting when everything seems right in the world…
all within our happy little world.

And then I think of a different time…
a time when other women and their children and grandchildren
huddle together, all awkwardly and yet intimately naked, thinking that this
was to be their last sacred time together.

They had been herded into “the showers” ridiculed, naked, and afraid.
Holding tightly together in a final intimate last moment before
the deadly ‘showers’ began.

I am removed from their nightmare by 75 to 80 years.

At this moment, I am happy and feel a deep sense of gratitude to be able to
share in this rather intimate night-time ritual with my granddaughter…

Yet there were other women who would have also relished in such an opportunity…
but rather theirs was to be a final solution to a culture’s perceived problem.

Madness.

Yet madness still prevails.

Learn from your history and your past my dear students.
Do not repeat the same errors of previous “woke” generations.

However, I fear your pride has blinded your eyes and chilled any hope of compassion
from your heart.

Continue on this path and we are all doomed.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar,
and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved,
and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought
you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming
of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved,
and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise
we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

2 Peter 3:10-13