Coffee thoughts: morning ramble

After having nightmares all night, I deleted my blog post from yesterday trying to soapbox about the origins of racism. I don’t have a reason for why, but I feel like somehow I’m wrong, can’t pin-point exactly how though. So I took it down. I rewrite it some other day, if I ever do figure it out.

In the meantime two quick thoughts: I frequently end up thinking as if the world is divided into “good, decent people” who are nice, and “bad people” who hurt others. But sometimes there are situations where both sides are “good, decent people” who have genuine grievances against eachother. In other words, you can be mostly in the right and still wrong someone else. It’s impossible not to offend, even if we are all honest and loving. “Love suffers wrong” says the old shakespearean translation of that first-century paean to love. I always assumed it was because someone on the other end was a jerk. But maybe they aren’t. Maybe everyone has to be self-sacrificially kind, if we are going to get at justice. These are my thoughts about recent arguments about race in midwest America. Both sides make sense, both sides feel unjustly oppressed, and both sides do suffer. Maybe the key is to stop seeing it as sides.

And another thought. It’s been rough times for those who believe in family and religious freedom. I don’t like secularism, I don’t like splintered families. I want faith and family and all that. And right now Abrahamic co-religionists in the Middle East are slaughtering and raping in the name of God. Yes, they are Muslim and not Christian, but it is still too close to home, like a relative gone nuts. And so secularists wring their hands and encroach on “fundamentalists” back home (and we fear for our freedom to raise our own children). In westernized bastions of democracy, prostitution and infanticide are becoming the norm — all in the name of human rights, of course.  It is like watching your field of wheat burning from all sides. The walled city is crumbling from within and without. I memorized this as a small kid (for an icecream cone reward at Friendly’s). It keeps coming back into my head:

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.

 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
 God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

 Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations he has brought on the earth.
 He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Somehow, the most comforting lines for me is always there is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place, where the Most High dwells. That is the line that runs through my head when I am most discouraged, or when things look the bleakest.

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