For thee, not ye

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I’ve been troubled all week, for the sake of my friend: He’s a young mission intern, stationed (so-to-speak) in Bethlehem, on the Palestinian side of the Wall.

I first heard of the trouble in Gaza a week ago by way of my Facebook News Feed. It was getting mighty noisy, comin’ out of Bethlehem.

Last night I read on Facebook that my friend was drained of emotional energy from it all. So this morning when I got to work, I asked a friend or two to pray for him.

Then I checked Facebook again and discovered that the missile-lobbing was right in-his-face, and that he and his cohorts were probably evacuating, six hours previous.

Well then I got totally alarmed, and pulled out all the stops. I set the whole dang Michigan Methodist prayer chain in motion.

Came home from work at 1 p.m. My husband told me, don’t worry – Hillary’s on her way over there.

Me? I continued just in prayer.

And as I did the dishes, I was thinking: If Jesus came to calm the tribes from fighting, He could separate the peoples into their clans and give them each their apportioned land.

But what would he do with those of us who, like me, are mixed-breed people?

And I thought, well maybe he’d have us choose a clan.

In which case I would choose aboriginal American, I think (i.e., Indians).  If they would go back to old-fashioned ways, that is.

But I don’t suppose anybody is ever going to go back to living more harmoniously with nature, are they? And Jesus is probably NOT going to come physically back here to calm the clans and settle the land disputes anytime soon, either.

So meanwhile, setting aside my daydreams as I wash the dinner dishes – finally, about 2 p.m. (give-or-take) Eastern Standard Time, my iPhone starts chirping as my Twitter alerts start feeding me news that my friend is alive and shooting off his mouth re-tweeting all sorts of mid-eastern tweets.  Thank God!

So I calmed my own fears a bit, and finished out the afternoon. And realizing that SOMETHING must have happened “over there” I googled the words “cease fire” to see what was up. And yes – there was a cease fire between Hamas and Israel at 2 p.m. ET.

So my friend is safe. And I see this peace – as a gift of God – through whatever means it was brought about, be it Egypt, Hamas,  or Hillary Clinton. A peace for the answers to INDIVIDUAL prayers, for the sake of individual pray-ers. Because I guess I don’t figure God looks so much at us nationally as what He looks at us individually.

So the peace is for THEE, not for ye.


The sky is NOT falling

Listen up, kids. I have suffered under self-proclaimed prophets. I have lived through a number of losses of various sorts. I fed a family of five, plus 2 dogs, on $30 a week in the late 1980s. I have been promoted beyond my wildest dreams, then had the whole office closed in a corporate restructuring. I have gone from well-paid management to learning how to make donuts at minimum wage, and then back up again to corporate accountant, and then laid off by a whole new company. I have built my own house with my family, and then lost both the house and the family in a divorce. There’s more, and I ain’t gonna tell you. But the sky is NOT falling.

I am not a pollyanna. I am realistic. People can survive without a lot of things. A LOT of things. Some things matter a lot. And some things just don’t really matter much at all, even though they take up a lot of time and energy.

If you have a particular gripe with religion, or even with God himself — get over it. You’ve probably bought a line of bull. Prayer is a GOOD thing. You should try it. You don’t like the way it’s gone for you before, or you don’t like the way some people who have preached to you in the past have done their preaching or their teaching or whatever — get over it. You WOULD be better at coping with all this latest nonsense on earth if you knew it was okay for you to talk to God as if you mattered to him.

Give it a try.

I’ve got other practical advice I’d be willing to hand out free for nothing. But the thing you need to know most is what I just told you. God made you. God does care how it goes for you. Have a word with him, even if you start out by yelling.