Thursday, February 4, 2016

Connecting the Dots

I love the metaphor of connecting the dots, and I love it that Carolyn and Lily-Anne are making their own dot-to-dots.  Of course the trouble in so-called real life is that there are way too many dots and hardly any numbers.  Lots of different pictures emerge, or none at all, and some are pretty scary.

The famous Moynihan quote, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts" just complicates things, since nowadays we get our "facts" (the dots) from virtual universes constructed in the image of what we want to hear, which pictures we've already formed, which meet our needs for comfort, hope, scapegoats, coherence.

Part of my morning routine, most days, is to ponder the dots floating around in my awareness, and try to tune in to which ones the Lord might want me to look at more closely.  The two that seemed extra vivid an hour ago were "Thy will be done" in the Lord's prayer, and an interview with one of my favorite writers who has a new book that in part explores the factors that helped determine which groups of European Jews managed to survive the Holocaust:  who was saved and who was not.

Surely it is God's will that all of humanity be saved.  Caring people wish we could save all the people in the world from every bad thing.  Day to day we try to do what we can, we do what little we can to give the children of the world the daily bread and love and peace and hope that we know in our hearts must be God's will.  No matter how hard we try, the needs far exceed the provision.

Luke 11:2-13 (KJV)  And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, 

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. 

And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.  

And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?  Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? 

Amen, and amen.