Spiritual Sense

You are in a sailboat
out on the water far
from the familiar.

The wind ceases. It is
so quiet you can hear
yourself thinking.

The only other sound
is the water slapping
the sides of the boat.

You pray.

Common sense would
dictate that you row
the boat home.

You can if you want.
Faith grows choice by
choice.

Spiritual sense would
dictate that you wait.
You choose to wait

and pray.

There came a whisper.
“Sail on, sail on.” Then
came the wind.

Odds and Ends 5.20

“Same stuff, different day.”

Another late afternoon break
after a late lunch. Too full to
sip water.

I could see my neighbor’s
fire through the slits in his
backyard fence.

We talked briefly once maybe
twice in the last two years. He
is burning, boiling, or cooking.

Today’s chaos is winding down.
I saw him drink from a can. The
heat of the sun is pulling back.

I sat and had these thoughts.
Something bothered me. Did I
take it to the anger level?

It is a misconception that
anything or anyone “makes”
us angry. We are responsible

for what we feel and how we
act or respond. Anyway, I
thought some more.

God’s grace doesn’t make it
impossible to sin, or be angry,
or things like that.

We must make choices. The
difference is this if one does
any of the above.

If you do not know God, you
may not know what you have
done and may not care.

If you do know God, you know
what you have done. You care,
repent, and

ask God for forgiveness because
God forgives all our sins. We can
choose to walk away from God

or walk with God. “Same stuff,
different day” will be back again
tomorrow. God too.

Just the Weather

with the hurricane season
drawing to an end well at
least I pray so I was thinking

night is coming as is the cold
and more rain that cannot be
controlled or stopped

all creation or nature or the
weather are daily reminders
of God’s power and promises

the wind whips and the trees
sway in a chorus of prayer to
turn humanity back to God

before the Holy Spirit is told
to no longer hold back what
is to come

all that remains will have
exceedingly more to worry
about than just the weather

Odds and Ends 4.20

I made dinner and cleaned up the kitchen.
Then I stepped out back to take a break.
I made rainy day red beans and rice and

Cajun baked chicken thighs that my love
loves and a few breasts. The late afternoon
nap was not for me.

The rain falls slowly but continuously on
the metal patio roof behind me playing a
disjointed tempo all of its own drowning

out any other chords of rain. No wind
really and it is getting dark. I can hardly
see my steno pad. I am not sure what I

expected the Saturday after Thanksgiving
to be like, but this wasn’t it. The light over
the kitchen sink is on. Nap must be over.

Someone just closed the kitchen blinds.
I am sitting here in the dark, but I give
thanks to God for another day of life.

A moment of joy on this dreary dark day
comes to mind as I give thanks that it may
be too dark to see but I walk in God’s light.

Odds and Ends 1.20

After a few hurricanes, it was one of those rare truly beautiful days between the heat of summer and the cold of winter. I thought I would sit out back and think about stuff. Maybe even write. The neighbors’ unintelligible voices floated over the fence. The smell of K coffee and cigar smoke floated over mine.

I opted to use a steno pad and one of those cheap pens you buy twenty at a time. It didn’t take me long to realize that after all these years I still can’t read my handwriting seconds after the ink is dry.

How long has it been since I wrote anything in longhand! Makes me think back to when I bought my first typewriter. It wasn’t much different than the Army mills I used for transcription in ASA so long ago. I couldn’t afford typing paper so I bought cheap newsprint. Sometimes off white, sometimes yellow. It was in my Army years that I was introduced to prejudice and hatred firsthand as a Jew. I wasn’t trying hard to be Jewish; I was trying hard to excel as a sergeant. How did they know? Where did all this hate-for-nothing come from?

I am not pursuing the answers to those type of questions here. I just wanted you to know that I know what it is like to be hated just because. I will spare you my hundred and fifty million or so examples of such. Hate may be one reason why I have no desire to read much news today. Most news media in any form seems to be hate based or hate driven these days.

Let me clarify. On my phone almost every morning before my world is up and running I scan the news articles and seldom read anything unless it strikes me as important because I know that I am being tracked when I am on any electronic device. Well, that is the high level reason. The other reason is this. Why would I want to read articles that are filled with hate or so biased I want to throw up? How I miss my early NY Times days and newsprint on my hands! (There is no going back, Alan, focus!)

Take this morning. I saw an article headline from The Hollywood Reporter a few days ago that read: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Trump and Biden Are Irrelevant in This Election. This was the first sentence in the article:

This is the first presidential election in my lifetime in which the candidates are irrelevant. For the first time, an election is not about content of the candidates’ character, it’s about the content of the voters’ character.

It struck a nerve. So, I read the whole article. It made me question my own voting history. It made me think; it made me question a lot of things. It made me revisit a lot of things. Is something changing or is it me? Two questions came immediately to mind. “What have I done?” And, “What will I do?”

I wish I would have known this MLK Jr quote in 1973 when I was stationed in Thailand being totally hated by this Arian sergeant. I thought we both served in the same US Army. Gave me the creeps.

So, I believe it was MLK Jr who said: “Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.”

Then, if it is “about the content of the voters’ character”, please remember that MLK Jr didn’t see the world through black and white glasses. He saw the world and people through eyes of faith. Our God is bigger than that. Our God is faithful and full of grace.

I wonder if MLK Jr would approve of the current state of our civilization and who we have become today regardless of ethnicity, religion, etc.

Thank you, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Yes, it is about the content of our character. Our character formed in the image of God or in the absence of God, we are all still accountable before God—before and after this election.