Refuge Is A Noun to Ponder
Refuge is in our news, our minds, our hearts lately. Since Christmas has been upon us,we cannot help but think of refugees of that time... historically a precious family....a mother and babe. Today, refuge as a noun still means a shelter from danger or hardship, an act of turning to for assistance, a safe place. Would we not provide such a place if called upon again to do so? Maybe not.
In a recent letter to the editor in our own local paper, one wrote that a particular different religion ‘worships a false God’ (God in capitals), and that would be an ‘antithesis of our ideals of Americanism.’ I did not know that one God differed from another, or that one God could be false? Is another true? Our interpretations, yes, may vary of words spoken or written, and ideals may vary, but who is to say God’s ideals align with our American ideals anyway? And aren’t our ideals about religious freedom?
I know that there are many questions to ponder, so let me give you some wiser writer’s thoughts:
A dear friend, Peggy Natiello, recently wrote on the relationships between and among people: “I am convinced that every relationship, every behavior, every value will inevitably change when our consciousness can embrace the oneness of all reality. We could not pollute the earth with garbage. The earth is part of us. We could not build warheads to annihilate ‘the other.’ The other is us. We could not bear oppression. The oppressed are us. We could not sustain the divide between rich and poor. The poor are us. If our consciousness shifts into a deep awareness of oneness, we will no longer have to count recycled plastic bottles or negotiate wars, we will behave entirely differently from our past. We will love and protect one another and our natural world with the exquisite respect we deserve.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote:
” Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it.
Hatred confuses life: love harmonizes it.
Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.”
Mother Theresa said: “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
And Terry Hershey from ‘The Sabbath Moment’, December 7, 2015, wrote:
“I know that on this ordinary day (post Paris attacks) when our world has been shaken and we know that chaos can be real, we do have this: A meeting place. On common ground. And I would say, on holy ground. And while we know that we can never be perfectly safe, we know that even there we can reassure one another and look into the eyes of one another, and remind one another that there are truths greater than fear.”
And, “ Be open to the gift of conversation. Even if that conversation is presence without words. Be open to the spirit of consolation. Be wholehearted....we all need to have our spirits - and our hearts - replenished.”
And one final thought from Thich Nhat Hanh: “ I am a child of God who believes that we are all children of God and we are all part of each other. May we all know peace.”
Now may you yourself take a moment to ponder and consider writing what you believe...for it is that which will touch your heart, your mind, move you throughout your day, sustain you throughout your life, and connect you to all around you.
May you be blessed.