Cook’s Corner July 1, 2017

Information comes in so many forms and I nd myself overwhelmed at times. Choosing among print and internet news sources, radio, blogs, podcasts, articles shared by friends and colleagues – who has time to read it all, much less absorb it.

All that to say, I am going to share a couple of my recent discoveries with you. One a blog written by Dr. Wil Gafney of Brite Divinity School. I share just a portion of her writing:

“Our nation and our world are full people who choose hate and death for others, and sometimes for themselves. The Alexandria shooter who hated Republicans for being sexist and racist also chose hate and death. He too took it upon himself to decide who should live and who should die because of his personal and political beliefs.

The Pulse shooter represented a particular ultra-conservative ideology and the Alexandria shooter an über- progressive one, and what they have in common is the self-righteous justi cation of their own lethal violence. They share a belief that other human beings with whom they don’t agree have neither a God-given right to life nor a constitutionally protected right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They both chose hate and death, but God o ers us life and love.

God proves God’s love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. [and]…God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:8, 5). We have the Spirit of God within us. She breathed us to life with our rst breath and she was poured into us at our baptism. And the de ning characteristic of that Spirit, of God, is love. God is Love. And God loves. God loves all, without exception. God loves those who hurt and hurt others and God loves those who hate. God loves those we do not yet know how to love, those we do not want to love, and God loves those we hate. Some of us hate. It’s hard not to in the cruci ed and crucifying world.

Love is a choice. In the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony we ask if the beloveds will love and they answer, “I will.” The real question is not “do you,” today, but “will you,” next week, next year, in some cases, once all the guests leave. Will you love? Will you love when it’s hard? Will you love when you don’t want to? Will you love? That question is not just for those who take vows of love, marriage and life-partnership.

The question is for us as well. Will we love? Will we choose life and love?”

I was moved by Dr. Gafney’s use of the image of marriage. With all the talk, writing, lamenting of our current cultural climate, the use of the marriage covenant with the focus upon the future gave me new insight and a new shaping of the conversation. The entire can be found on her website wilgafney.com June 18, 2017.

The other inspiring piece I found was a TED talk, by Anne Lamott. In this talk, she o ers 12 truths, she learned from life and writing. https://www.ted.com/talks/anne_lamott_12_truths_i_learned_from_life_and_writing. It is 15 minutes that will have you laughing and crying, nodding your head and giving thanks.

The power of both of these works for me was the honesty and thoughtfulness of each. Each was speaking from experience and from faith. Each has a vision for the future. I was challenged by both, encouraged by both, and chastised by both.

I am thankful that both of these pieces pulled me away from my usual skimming of articles and invited me into listening and re ection.

We are constantly making choices in this season called ‘information overload’ – even if we choose to ignore our options and not listen to any voice. As we wade through this season, may we hear what God is saying to us this day. For as scripture con rms, over and over, God’s word can come from very surprising sources.

Grace and Peace,

Dottie

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