Reblogged from “Random Words,” by Tracy Seekins; originally posted 2015-01-03.
1As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him.”
The disciples want to place blame. Their posture can be referred to as fault-finding, judgment and condemnation. Jesus calls attention to the opportunity to heal, to do good, to make a beginning.
Here is a short list of things I can be grateful for.
|✓||A clean sheet every night*|
|✓||A clean pillow case every night*|
|✓||A blanket every night*|
|✓||A pillow every night*|
|✓||A hot shower every night|
|✓||Clean clothes available every day|
|✓||A good supper every night|
|✓||Financial resources: At this time, anything I want, I can get.
(Anything I can’t get, I don’t want.)
|✓||Moral support from my family, my friends and my church. A ton of people are pulling for me, hoping for my prosperity.|
|✓||The best problems in the world. (See next Wednesday’s post.)|
*(To my knowledge, no other shelter in Baltimore City provides these things. If you don’t bring your own, you sleep on a bare mat. A change in that situation is something to earnestly hope for.)
Originally posted Christmas Eve 2014.
On Tuesday 12/02, my therapist asked for a thumbnail summary of my overall situation.
I know no way to account for this but the exact scenario I set forth in “Chaos overwhelms the poor:” I pay attention only to the concrete here-and-how, and to what I myself can do. (Related: Here – Now – Can.) From the farthest reach of my right fingertip to my right, to the farthest reach of my left fingertip to my left: within that range lies all my responsibility, everything that I can control. Here, the world appears orderly. Here, I can order and manage my affairs. Here I have power. I can act effectively. I can easily find hope.
I originally wrote this as an introductory passage for “What the New Testament means to me.” I wound up leaving it out as I didn’t think Ezekah would care for a whole lot of abstraction.
As I view the world right now, I see three elements: (1) What Is, including the material (seen) world, the spiritual (unseen) world, and all possibilities of events that can possibly occur. I may as well call this “God.” (2) A single set of principles that govern existence and all events that can occur. What we call the laws of physics are an example of these principles. I may as well call this “God’s will.”
(3) Human activity. It may be that there are no commandments, and no such thing as sin. Rather, God’s will is inviolable; and it is how we interact with What Is, inevitably in accordance with those principles, that brings weal or woe. If we act this way, we can have a world of harmony, beauty and joy. If we act that way, we’ll have a world of poverty, violence and bloodshed.
So far, there is neither need nor room for teachings of John and Paul that deviate from Jesus’ teachings in the Synoptics: no need nor room for a Son of God, perfect sacrifice, “belief in” Jesus, or heaven or hell — aside from the heaven or hell we create for ourselves in this life, here and now.
“What the New Testament means to me” points to ways to create, in effect, heaven on earth. The opposite path is described in “A living hell.”
Originally posted 2014-12-17.
A post re-blogged from Tracey Seekins’ “Random Words;” originally posted 2014-12-15.
Garner was middle-aged, as we are. He had not just robbed a cigar store, rough-handling the clerk; he was selling “loose ones,” as we all do. We all buy and sell them all the time. There’s some risk to it, as in Baltimore this activity in public can get you a $150 ticket (and you must appear for trial).
Death, however, isn’t normally in the scenario.
Continue reading My white friends are upset about Eric Garner
Given a glitch with my tablet, I’ve been viewing this blog a lot lately without being signed in. IOW, I’m viewing it the same way y’all do.
And I am finding the ads REALLY OBTRUSIVE.
At the same time, WordPress has started offering me monetization options, which I have not yet checked out. I do mean to check out that, and other options, that may make the blog ad-free. If it winds up costing me money, donations may be welcome.
I welcome your suggestions.
For the next little while, Saturday posts may be sporadic.
Jeanette is a pleasant, demented homeless woman who frequents St. Paul Plaza and the library.
She’s always immaculately dressed. I don’t know how she manages that.
One day, I think in May, walking through St. Paul Plaza, on impulse I approached her and asked if she’d sell me a cigarette. (At that time, I was buying “loose ones.”) Instead, she gave me three Newports.
And she’s done the same thing again almost every day since.
She’ll cross the street in the rain to bring me three Newports.
On the one hand, I’ve pondered whether I’m taking advantage of her. It seems instead that it’s a blessing to her to be able to do this for me.
On the other hand, you don’t want to have a conversation with her. She has a long, long list of public figures whose scandals and deaths she says have been blamed on her.
I am tempted to wish I knew the karmic basis of schizophrenia, that I might pray for her more effectively. But I need to use the tools I have.
God bless Jeanette, and heal her; in this life, or the next.
(Originally posted 2014-11-08.)