Sunday, January 10, 2021

 

Mystical Moment

Relentless

     news

          noise

Heart

     eroding

          dis-ease

Clogging

     caring

          apparatus

Ushering in

     redemptive

          silence

Quietude

     expanding

          space

Formless

     breathless

          calm

Crystallizing

     clear

          interval

Room for

     God to

         impregnate


Breath restored

     emerge

          love equipped

Monday, January 4, 2021

 

Letting go and holding on


At the age of 12, I jumped, for the first time, into water over my head at Scout Camp, dog-paddled across the pool and was declared a swimmer. I was ecstatic.

At the age of 21, on orders to return to headquarters in the south, I confiscated a jeep, drove all the way across Korea at the 38th parallel, forged papers to catch the train back to Taegu. I was safe.

At the age of 50 I ran a mile, then 5, then 10 and one day had the wild notion to run 26.2 When I did, I was overjoyed.

At the age of 58, I loosened my grip on the wing strut of a Cessna 186 and floated to the ground in Reno, Nevada. I was tranquil-ized.

At 83, I played a 9 hole golf course in my mind while the doctors repaired my heart. I was re-lived.

At 89, I sometime walk the treadmill at 2.5 mph for ten minutes, eleven if I'm up to it. I am grateful.

Now, my wife drives me to the Blood Bank to donate every eight weeks. Life is good.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

      My wife, Maurine, stays in touch with United Church of Christ ministerial annuitants (pensioners) on behalf of the Board of Pensions to let them know their service is valued. I asked her to share her holiday letter to them to remind us of deeper dimensions of Advent/Christmas. 

                                                                                                                                Max



For Such a Time as This
     Esther 4:14


Dear Annuitants,

          Ah! What a difference a year makes!

          As we have visited this year – all by phone of course! -

               you have shared different realities.

                    Frustration; wonder.

                   Goodness; pain.

                    Anxiety; creativity.

               Covid – 19 has created a different way of living for us.

                    Facemasks; social distancing; hand-washing.

               Yet the blessings of God' presence abide

                    in some unusual ways!

                    Zoom! Walks in the beauty of creation,

                    Quiet times to reflect. Face time.

               God's presence abides as it always has.

         This Advent/Christmas 2020, as we stay home and adjust,

               My mind wanders to the event that began this tradition -

               The journey that became Advent/Christmas 0000 -

          The year Joseph & Mary, instead of staying home

               as was customary for the birth of their child,

               traveled for the Census, and there delivered

                    the one we know as Jesus, the Christ.

               How different that must have felt to them,

                    and yet, they managed.

               As will we.

          God has blessed us “For such a Time as This.”

          I am certain that each of you

               will continue to embrace opportunities

               to share the love, joy, and peace of God,

          and I thank you for sharing those gifts!

          Happy Advent! Merry Christmas!! Blessings in 2021!!!

          We'll speak again next year – and in the meantime,

               you know how to be in touch in the need arises!

                                                                                        Maurine   

Friday, December 4, 2020

 

Set Us Free

Our world needs truth, lies take a deathly toll

We hear the cries of those in deepest pain

Bring tyrants down let a just love prevail

May those be judged who prey upon the poor

Raise up for us leaders both bold and true

When justice reigns we will be free to love



     This year I will add a candle of Justice to my virtual Advent Wreath.

Our nation may survive Covid-19. Thousands of people won't. That fills me with deep sadness. That so many suffer and die needlessly because of callous indifference, greed or malice makes me angry.

Scientific creativity with the help of health care professionals will give us the choice to end the pandemic.

A fresh slate of political leaders will provide the same choice for a societal reformation. I applaud the desire to unite and heal our dysfunctional democracy.

But if we ignore the evil and refuse to hold perpetrators who caused our distress accountable, we will be telling ourselves and our children that unjust and immoral actions are only normal.

Love without justice has a hollow ring.

                                                            Max

Saturday, November 28, 2020

 

Dealer's Choice


Then I could

     have said

          yes ma'am

Attitude was all

     I had to

          change

Today's sign

     hope wanted

          apply within

Heroically

     embrace

          hopelessness

Search

     backward from

          the dark

Wear a

     mask to show

          our strength

Dream and fall in

     love as long

          as it takes

Reset the

     holy in

          turbulent times




Saturday, November 7, 2020

 

Move


They said it

     would be hard to

          leave

Warm strength

     of principled

          notions

Stuff and

     the chance to

          assemble hope

With those

      who think

          and feel alike

Well tried

     useful

          pragmatics

Well ordered

     efforts to

          succeed

Still

     hemmed in

          soul stifled

Pretending no hurt

     beyond

          frescoed walls

Spirit worn down

     by cultivated

          uncaring

Fatigue complicit

     eroding essence

          of compassion

Lest imperative

     dissolve to

          suffocation

Better rootless than

     wingless vision

          hoarded

Go now

     shift the

          paradigm

A

     risk dial

          to hope

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

The Day Auburn Was Integrated

Auburn was just never going to be kind or even fair to Harold Franklin, Jr. in 1964. The faculty had been warned by Governor George Wallace and by the President of the University to make it as difficult as possible for Auburn's first ever African American student to succeed. His professors were complicit. When Harold and I reminisced thirty years later about his historic entrance into the University, he talked little of his pain and anger or of the blatant discrimination that finally forced him out without a degree. But I knew. And I knew it was all the more painful because the injustice of it all had yet to be addressed.

Then in 2001 the University gave him an honorary doctorate. Fourteen years later a historical marker commemorated the integration of 1964. But still there was no attempt to address the racism Franklin endured. He had to wonder if anyone really wanted to hear his story.

This year, over a half century later, Harold Franklin, Jr, now 86 years old, was invited back to defend his Masters thesis, which he still had. He claimed the time to tell his story. The usual committee of four faculty members was joined by the entire faculty, including the dean of the graduate school who listened, thanked him, and awarded him his Masters Degree in History.

 I didn't see any mention of an official apology in the news release.