Don't you just hate contradictions? Things are going along, the way they're supposed to, and suddenly the halves of a whole just don't meet.
Contradictions can also be beautiful. For instance, when I met my husband, I was quite certain that we would never be more than friends. After all, I am, what some people would call, a dreamer, with an artist's temperament. Whereas Louie is practical, a realist. How different we were, and yet, we shared the same faith, although different religions. And I had children who arranged for us to fall in love. We did, and we've grown deeper in love ever since.
A paradox is something that inexplicably happens. Miracles. Faith. Love. Friendship between exact opposites. Growing up in a violent home, and rejecting violence. A relationship with God our Father, when everything you know about your earthly father, makes that connection impossible.
The picture above is a paradox. The pale-pink, Blushing Knockout rose, and the almost red, Double-Knockout rose, are both from the same shrub. Only one branch, of the pale-pink shrub rose blooms red. That strange happening, in gardening circles is referred to as a "sport." In scientific communities, this event is referred to as a mutation. I call it a miracle.
You see, everything is personal to me — my relationship with my family and, especially, my relationship with God. I see Him everywhere. I thank Him for breathtaking sunsets. I thank Him for the rosy glow of dawn. I thank Him for my wonderful family. And I thank Him for you.
I have no idea who follows this blog. Nor do I know where or to whom it is forwarded. I just know that someone, somewhere feels defeated, hurt, and alone. In my heart of hearts, that is where I go with this blog.
I have shared with you my journey, prayerfully, and paradoxically, humbly. I have shared my journey through the longest Presidential campaign that I have ever experienced in my forty years of voting. I've lost friends, because, as a Conservative, I haven't been "conservative" enough, and, as a "Caucasian," I haven't been "white" enough. For me, that is truly a paradox.
I have never judged people by the color of their skin. Yes, in spite of his cruelty, in later years, my father taught me, that no one is better than me, but I'm no better than anyone. That has stayed with me, my entire life.
Growing up in the segregated south, I never understood segregation at all. It hurt me, deeply, to witness that suffering. It was cruel; it was ugly; and it was dumb. In my whole life, I have never identified myself as belonging to a race, except for the human race. And the racism surrounding our present election, is the ugliest thing that I have ever seen.
The ignorance about Senator Obama's ethnic origin, and especially about his faith, coming from Christians who insist he is a Muslim, is downright sickening. If I call myself a Christian, and I don't recognise a Christian, well, I have bigger problems than who is going to be the next President.
We live in a garden of God's creation. Some of us have been given darker skin, and some of us have been given lighter skin. We have different colored hair, curly or straight. We have different faith's. Even within the Christian faith, there are differences. However, according to Scripture, we are all in the family of God.
Racism of any kind, is a slap in the face of God, who created each of us. I can't do it. God has blessed me with so much. And as I was growing up in the south, the kindest people in my life, were African Americans. So, how could I? How could anyone? How could I hurt anyone that way? I am tired of the way things have been. I am tired of seeing someone sell his soul for the power of the Presidency. I'm tired of the lies and the distractions, so that the electorate will not see the ugly truth.
In my region of the Appalachians, there is land that has been in one family for hundreds of years, that have been foreclosed. My husband's 401k has shrunk astronomically. Banks are not lending, so small businesses have not been able to meet their payroll. I see it. We've experienced it. I get it. My vote will not go to those who act like they have no heart. What did Jesus say? What does it profit someone, if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?
I'm not playing the game. I see the reality. Yes, this dreamer does see what is. It has been obvious for a long time. Power, in the hands of someone who worships power, is not Godly. And I wonder about the soul of a person who throws around accusations, merely to muddy the waters. Jesus said, that we should remove the board from our own eye, before we try to remove a speck from someone else's eyes.
Finally, I must say, that a paradox can be either beautiful, like the roses in my picture; or a paradox can be ugly, professing faith in God, but not following His commandments.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
You cannot say you love God, but hate your neighbor.
These are the teachings of Christ, the Son of God, my Savior. His words are always to be obeyed. I must search my heart and fight the monsters of bigotry and racism. I must, or I am doomed.
Father in heaven. I have offended You by the thoughts that I have allowed to fester in my heart. How could I? Please forgive me. Grant me the grace to understand that each of us is precious in Your sight, and may we all seek to be obedient, especially if the result is a paradox. May we be like these roses, both beautiful, yet so different. Two, and yet one.
Monday, October 27, 2008