A Time Out


When you were a child, did you ever get sent to your room for a “time-out?” If you did, you know that you didn’t go there with the friend you got in trouble with. You also didn’t go there with the brother or sister you were fighting with. You were basically “in solitary” for a while.

We are at a time in our world when we have all been given a time out. The difference is that we are not in our rooms alone. The whole world is basically in a forced lockdown. When we see photos from friends and relatives around the world, we realize that we are all in this together. This should give us a feeling of solidarity and unity. This epidemic is a world-wide event  and it is something that we will all remember together.

What can we do while we are experiencing our “time-out?” We can keep our perspective and realize that it will not last forever. We can think about and pray for those essential workers who are working in the public arena, doing more than an ordinary public service. They are literally keeping things running, i.e. our medical workers are keeping the hospitals and clinics open for us. The retail workers are keeping the grocery stores open and those in the transportation industry are keeping the flow of  goods moving where they are most needed. We can also pray for our government officials who are trying to figure out the best way to keep the public safe. They are under a tremendous strain as they attempt to navigate this public health crisis. When it is over, may we never take any of them for granted again.

Yes, we are in a time-out, but it doesn’t have to be an unproductive time. May we use this unexpected gift of time to lift up and encourage our neighbors and friends. May it draw us closer to those near and far as we experience this unique time together.

Image by Lauren Lafond. Courtesy of Pixabay.

Going A.W.O.L. from the UnCivil War

No matter who wins in the elections today, I just want my friends and family to know that I am going A.W.O.L. from the UnCivil War.

two person holding white and green peace wreath

Photo by Anastasiya Lobanovskaya on Pexels.com

There has always been an UnCivil War going on in politics, but I became acutely aware of it when Bill Clinton was elected. I had a girlfriend whose mother-in-law ran in high circles in society; she called and told me many spurious things about the Clintons. I then heard many of those things repeated on radio talk shows and later from other people who were only too happy to repeat what they had heard in the news media. The upshot of it all was that, in the end, the opposing political party was only too happy to impeach him for strictly political purposes.

George Bush was elected and the same thing happened. He was demonized for getting us into the  Iraq War. Funny thing was, he couldn’t have done it without the approval of the Senate. None of the Senators seemed inclined to take any responsibility for their own part in getting us into the War, so when we became entrenched in the quagmire of Iraq, he was continually demonized and made into a laughing stock.

Barak Obama was elected and it was the same thing. Terrible things were said about him and people kept hammering him from the moment he took office. Demonization and innuendo were the hallmarks of the War against him. His opponents would not or could not say anything positive about him.

Donald Trump was elected and the War has escalated into almost unbearable proportions. Both sides of the political spectrum have begun to demonize those that don’t agree with them. This lack of civility has reached epidemic proportions, dividing people at work, in their families, and affecting their relationships with other members of society.

This War has got to stop. If we want to get anything done to improve our society, we must work together with those of another political persuasion and become A.W.O.L. from the UnCivil War. This UnCivil War has damaged the fabric of our society. People on both sides of the political map view the other side as enemies, instead of brother citizens who disagree with them politically. I, for one, do not want to be part of this War, so I am officially going A.W.O.L.

Today is election day. We all get the opportunity to vote our beliefs and values at the polls. I will try to respect those elected to office and not malign them. I will believe good about them until proven otherwise. I will not send negative political emails around to my friends and family or post negative political remarks on my Facebook page. In other words, I am going to be an American who respects her fellow citizens regardless of their political beliefs, race, religion or ethnicity. 

“These are the things you shall do:

Speak each man the truth to his neighbor;

Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice and peace;

Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor;

And do not love a false oath.

For all these are things that I hate;

Says the Lord.”

Zechariah 8: 16-17


Living On the Corner of Unity and Diversity

pexels-photo-935872.jpegA while back my husband and I moved to a new town. We chose a house in an older neighborhood thinking it would be a perfect fit for us. While looking at the house we spoke to Nick, the man living across the street. He assured us that it was a pretty good place to live. We moved in mid-Spring and hoped we had made the right decision.

A few days after we moved in, my husband and son were hooking up the washing machine. One of the fittings on the faucet would not unthread and so it had to be replaced. My husband had not unpacked all of his tools and asked me to go next door and see if the neighbor had the one he needed. I meet Justin for the first time. He was younger, had tattoos on both arms and seemed pretty nice. He got the tool we needed and asked to look at the problem. He proceeded to fix the faucet including doing an indoor weld on the pipe, which is not an easy job. We were so impressed with his kindness.

Summer came and my husband decided to put in a garden. He was hauling dirt into the backyard when Brett, another neighbor, decided that he and his daughter would help him. They helped haul all of the topsoil into the garden area. They made an all-afternoon job into one that took about forty-five minutes. I couldn’t bake them a batch of cookies fast enough.

Winter came and it was a bad one. We had snow continuously day after day. In the mornings the men in the neighborhood would get up early and come out to shovel the snow. They shoveled their own driveways and also those of the elderly and disabled. Again my heart was touched by the kindness I saw.

My neighborhood is made up of a diverse group of people. They are diverse in age, ethnicity, race and religion; they are truly a heterogeneous mixture. There is one trait that they all seem to have in common though: they are caring decent people. They are not our friends in the traditional sense, i.e. in the Fall we don’t hang out at each other’s houses and watch football games and have barbeques. But we are all united by a desire to care for each other and help each other as needed.

Nick was right; it is a pretty good place to live here on the corner of Unity and Diversity.