William Hicks and Perspective

I have discovered that after working with computers all day, the best intentions go astray when I enter the house.

Rather than a place of continued work, the house becomes a place to play, whether by puttering around in the garden, watching a Yankees baseball game, Keith Olberman on Countdown, sitting in the pool reading book, reading the Sunday Times, playing with the cats, or (God forbid) cleaning.

I cannot tell you the number of times that I have actually written out lists of things to do

Finishing filing my 2008 Income Taxes.

Writing on the blog.

Working on the raffle for Sudan.

Planning for Disciple Bible Study beginning this fall.

Maybe I am channeling Lee Iaccoca, though I in no way think that I am in the shape that Chrysler was in.

That said, maybe I am channeling someone. Possibly Jim. It appears that I can work very well sitting in Borders, as I am now.

Okay. I do remember why I loved being in Borders. It is people watching, something I know I share with my sister.

There is one male employee that walks around with pink hair. Then, there is this man in the corner that has pen to paper and writes and then looks up to his right. Continually. This man either has a tick or is drawing the woman sitting on his right with her back to him. It is very odd. If he had a focusing problem, it might have his head turned right but staring straight ahead at me. YIKES.

I love this place. However, since putting myself on a strict budget, I can only afford coffee, no books. It is like an addiction with me, the purchase, want, need of something new to read, a book to own.

Can I say library?

OK, mystery solved. He is drawing. I think his coffee cup. And yes, I have kept staring.

No tick, no fascination with the woman's back, no off-kilter sight.

Speaking of sight. Today, I am a woman with a new eye.

On Thursday, I had my right lens replaced due to a cataract. I can see well (20/30) as of yesterday. And it is bright and clear and white is white and not dingy yellow white. It is like having a blue white light bulb instead of a yellow white light bulb. I will have the left one corrected on October 6.

It is truly a miracle, the way science, medicine and technology have come along. Just years ago, this operation would have required stitches, more recovery time. Now, there is a small incision, old lens broken up and removed and a new one inserted like a ship in a bottle. And, I would have been driving that same day, if the anesthesia I had received did not prohibit it.

So now all that I will eventually need is a pair of $5.99 readers out of the local drugstore.

Of course, this could all lead to a discourse on perceptions. Mine vs yours vs theirs.

In the US, the big topic leading to so perceptions, read opinions, is Healthcare Reform. It is enough to make us all dizzy.

Just one page in the proposal, 435, is a point in fact. For a funny, strange not haha, example of this, log on to www.comedycentral.com and watch Thursday's episode of The Daily Show. It went on for so long, that they had to add the balance of the interview to internet viewing only. The show was heading out for their August vacation.

One person reads and fixates on the phrase life sustaining. Another reads the same sentence and fixates on the phrase shall report.

I read the entire sentence and I am sure that there are others that do the same thing and still come up with different observations or conclusions.

It is the same with Christians and our Bible, Jews and their Bible, Muslims and their Koran. Take the same story and you will get at least two interpretations, two reasons for why the story is being told.

This should make everyone excited, that another reader can bring their experience, their needs and wants to a reading and provide us with another insight.

It should.

This fall I am facilitating a weekly course on Disciple Bible Study. I use the term facilitate because I am not the teacher. I am another pupil/participant. However, someone has to arrange for the meeting space, start and end the meeting, arrange for and play the video, start the discourse.

My energy will come from hearing the many variations on the same story. To nurture each other. To be respectful of each others point of view.

For me, as I learn how to do this praying and listening and evolving around Bible study, one of my goals is that I will be able to do this around politics and other life issues.

From John 8:31:

If you make my word your home you will indeed be my disciples.

Imagine “a church focused on addressing the”why” questions of God's purposes before engaging the “how to” questions of church practices.

Imagine “the members of the body of Christ shaped by a shared knowledge and understanding of the whole biblical story and its connection to their story.

“The nature of discipleship, Jesus says, is like the lifetime of labor it takes to establish a place of growth and nurture, refuge and redemption, trust and hope.”

Finally, I have come upon a quote that has rapidly become a favorite of mine. It is a quote on religion by a stand-up comedian, William Melvin “Bill” Hicks (12/16/61 – 2/26/94). Mr. Hicks wrote this on February 7, nineteen days before his death. Mr. Hicks was introduced to me this past February 26 by Keith Olberman on Countdown. Mr. Olberman has a segment on his show that highlights something that took place in history on each particular day. I look forward to this part of the show because I almost always learn something new. Or I get really excited when I can say (yell) I knew that.

Here is the quote:

I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit.”


Step it up, Just do it

One of my challenges is to take what I believe in, what my faith tells me, and relate it to what is happening around me. The past few days, weeks, and months have provided me with numerous examples, but I have so far been silent.

Not any more. For some of my family or friends, warning, I will probably annoy you.


One of the tenants of my faith is the forgiveness that is abundantly given to all of us. We humans who make mistakes. Often. Some rather large. Some repeatedly.

My faith in this forgiveness comes from the teaching of Jesus, out of the Christian books of the New Testament.

It is therefore difficult for me to hear "Christians" not willing to allow human mistakes be forgiven, rather to be calling for strict punishment. Once again, my fellow "Christians", whose faith appears to be grounded in the Old Testament with a little of Jesus thrown in, separate themselves from me.

There are consequences for our actions, but what is the sense of welcoming Jesus, who proclaimed a new way of looking at the world, of relating to each other, of caring for each other, if every time a challenge comes along, Jesus is forgotten or pushed aside.

Why is there so much clamoring for a pound of flesh?

Why the emphasis on the negative?

This anti-Christ crap? The birthers?

I am astonished to hear the furor over the release of the two journalists recently held in North Korea. Rewards for bad behavior is what John Bolton has said.

This was not a case of not eating your vegetables and still getting dessert. This was hard labor, wives and mothers separated from husbands and child. Rewards?

If the case for saving was to have been deserving where would we all be?

Remember Jesus talking about separating us into two groups, those welcomed into heaven and those not? Remember him preaching that by taking care of the least of them, feeding the least of them, welcoming the stranger,that by doing so, we did it to him? He never said that the qualification for assistance was that the receiver believe in anything that the giver did.

Working towards caring for all of our citizens by reforming health care?

Nah, Jesus didn't mention health care. Or, why should I care about "them". Or, I work hard for what I have, let "them" do the same. I have mine, let them get theirs.

The time to live up to this is now. Step up to the plate.

Just do it.

On a personal note, my mother did not have health insurance in the latter part of her life until she could get on Medicare. At 64, she could not afford a policy.

She would have liked to have had an option, any option, that she could have afforded.

At 65, she died.

What about your mother, or his, or hers, or theirs?

What about your sister, or his, or hers, or theirs?

Father, brother, cousins, friends.

What about them?

Just get on with it.

Rush Hour

Monday through Friday during the summer, the route that I take to work changes.

During the summer, schools are closed and therefore, students, parents and teachers are not traveling on the roadways. Without buses and all those extra cars on the road I can take the shorter distance, travel the same speed, and get to work much quicker.

(God forbid Americans would design public transportation to take the majority of travelers where they need to go. Delaware should design a high speed rail line up the middle of I-95 as well as providing adequate bus or train lines in the southern part of the state. But, I digress.)

Each morning I am reminded about a particular story in Matthew's Gospel. Each morning those of us exiting at Concord Pike gather in a long line.

When I was younger I would drive as far as I could up the middle lane, then cut to the right when there was a break in the line.

At other times, those waiting in line endured those that cut their waiting time by driving up on the right shoulder. At those times, several of us would move to the right straddling both lanes taking away this short cut. So self righteous.

Then, I changed my driving habits. I tended to get in line, travel up slowly and take in the view of the river and woods along the Brandywine River. However, I would seethe at those that still maneuvered their way at high speeds, cutting in or driving up the right.

All in a hurry to get there first. My way was the right way, the correct way to get off the exit.

Eventually, all of those traveling get off the exit. No matter which way we travel, we all get off the exit. Slow or fast. Left, center or right lanes. We all get there.

I do not know when it happened, but I came to care not about when I got off the exit.

Rather, I came to care that I got off the exit.

The last shall be first, the first last. But, they all enter.

Matthew 20:1-16