As I type this, pictures of my daughters, grandchildren and friends make up both my audience and my life and I say a prayer. It is just a small meditation into the universe, gratitude for what we have shared and what I hope is still to come. There isn’t any religious overture or doctrine; it is just my heart speaking the love that lives there and all that has come before this moment.
I also sigh as I write, because of how the written Word is blamed for most of the wrong in our world. It is misquoted by the misguided, used to prove points by otherwise dull brains, and worst of all used as an example for living by people I wouldn’t want to even sit next to, let alone live by. If you haven’t guessed by now, yes I am talking about the Bible.
After the horrific winds calmed down in Oklahoma this week and lives were changed there, as well as across the world forever, it was time once again for those with nothing useful in their own lives to start talking. When people have nothing to say they usually go after The Word, and by God they use it. “So why are you praying now because people are safe? If there was a God wouldn’t he have already made them safe – little late don’t you think? What great being kills for fun?”
These comments and others like them twittered across the face of our social media circus, quick bursts of hot air during an emotional and painful time for mankind. No different sadly, than the conspiracy folk who recently proclaimed there were actors at the deadly Boston Marathon, so a terrorist plot could be staged making our government look effective. Indeed, it is so easy to speak out when you’ve done nothing that matters, so easy to capitalize and criticize the plight of others when they are down. To quote a rapper – WORD.
The Bible and our faith or lack thereof, have been the central ingredient for such simmering, stewing, and spewing for as long as people have walked the Earth, and just like a melting pot of soup if you look and taste long enough you can place any flavor you want into the blending. This is particularly obvious to me, since I have people in my life who are free spirited, religious and gay – yup, there I said it, the big H, so double hockey stick me to Hell right now. What gets overlooked in the words behind Seek and ye shall find is that is was never meant to be a literal blueprint for faith, innocently resting between yellowing pages waiting to be preached by misguided individual interpretation.
Life is quite simply an individual journey with maps known only to our souls, and none of us can be certain where they will lead. It is however, through our actions and faith that we are able to take new steps each day, even if unknowingly for some they will be the last ones taken. It is up to us alone to make a life that will matter, leaving behind something of ourselves to help another knowing that the Bible is not an instruction manual with an answer key in the back. It is however, a tool of faith for anyone needing comfort and hope or guidence when we are unsure. It is also a great read if you like mystery, drama, violence, sex, poetry, love and humor – but again, that is all in how you read it and of course, depending where your Lot in life might be at the moment.
If I were to find myself at the scene of a deadly automobile accident, the furthest thing from my mind would be to pull out the owner’s manual of the car and find fault with the driver, because he or she obviously did not follow page 6, which clearly explained the fault in over correcting a turn. So why is it during times of human suffering God and the Bible are blamed for not having the right answer, or in the case of happiness in a gay relationship it has the only right answer – well as extremely right as possible, which is which is very wrong.
We read to enrich our lives, and through written words find comfort and satisfaction. We learn there are pearls of a great price, love that is patient, spiders that spin webs to save friends and others that do unto one another as they would want done to them. Maybe however if we took a little more time to live the words instead of just reading them, there would be a little more right than write in the social media that surrounds us.
My heart aches for the lost families suffering in Oklahoma, and also those in other cities where phone calls and police visits will deliver news every bit as devastating that won’t make any wire service. Individuals who unknowingly walk their last steps, do so for a reason and it is up to us to see past the event and look for their legacy. There will never be an all powerful hand dramatically reaching down from the skies to take a stand and make things good, that part is up to us. We are the voice needing to be heard above the storm, the winds of change and the ever-changing climate, which of late is far too political.
There isn’t a rule book for life, we can’t second guess why we are here or why some of us leave in the way we do. However, what we can do is listen to our hearts, before our mouth has a chance to repeat or speak words from pages never intended for the moment at hand. We are one, we are mankind and it is time to act upon that kindness, and time to stop judging covers or wanting to guess the ending simply because we have a book in our hand.