Monday, November 29, 2010

Wiki, Westminster and Waiting

Anything I say tonight is superfluous to the fact that Denise, her siblings and mother are waiting, keeping vigil at the bedside of her dying father. It could be tonight, it could be tomorrow. It is surreal for whoever has gone through this as I, and millions (if not billions) have. An awful suspension hanging loosely between what was and the inevitability of what will be no more. Of course the no more is simply the being in this physical world as it is or was. Those with souls go on and will be again in a more perfect form . . . yet it does not dampen the grief which gazes warily from behind the slowly opening door—ever so slowly, opening to the full vent of its content. Grief is the normal, healthy, human greeting that we must lay down before that terrible loss. I will say more when the time is due.

This segues into my experience tonight here on the west coast, far from removed, unfortunately from Denise.

I just returned from a men’s prayer group, which meets at the home of one of the men of my new church, Westminster. This is only my second meeting, outside Sunday morning, with my new church. It was a gift. I haven’t been in a group of men like this in many years and I was hungry. There were no lectures and no domination of the conversation by a single person. We seven men came, shook hands, sat down and did the work of prayer for ninety minutes. We prayed earnestly and honestly. I prayed for my wife and her family. One prayed about his grief of loss of a wife taken far too soon and now his wrestling with God over that unfortunate fact. I’ve been where he is (not loosing a wife, but having a great disillusionment), and I had to give him a hug. I felt quite comfortable there among strangers.

On Sunday I noticed an amazing thing. I’ve never been much of a Sunday morning church person. I had always looked for an excuse not to go to the service (which was rare). I don’t believe that the present concept of Sunday morning church is meant for everyone and I do believe that there are emerging forms from which many (maybe including myself) will be better suited. However, Sunday, I had a clear excuse not to go. My kids were with me and we were having a marvelous time at the coffee shop. Two of the three didn’t want to go. It would have been natural for me to stay. But, I actually wanted to go. I wanted to hear the classical choir, the pipe organ, the message about world peace and God’s mercy.

I reflected back on my decision to change churches a few months ago. I did the right thing. Those were/are good people at my old church. But I had come to a dead end. I think back through life and all the big decisions that I’ve made. Every single one had people who stood in opposition. That must be one of the cardinal sins . . . trying to block someone from making the right decision for their life. I hope that I’ve never done that.

All the media outlets today were talking of Wikileaks and their . . . well, leaks. As I’ve listened to the “cables” I had to chuckle about the absurdities of life. There are bad things about the release, especially when it comes to endangering the lives of people. However, the silly comments made by one diplomat about the other was what made me laugh. The reason is, the cables of course were expressing their true feelings . . . which they thought were private. So, I’m sure that the leaks were far closer to the truth than the “public statements” which the diplomats say. But quickly they are scrambling to put the best face on their very true statements. I just wish we could live on that level of truth.

1 comment:

NOTAL said...

Well, it looks like I will be seeing you this weekend. I hope the Hermansons are able to grieve well.

Regarding Wikileaks, I do find some of the absurdities to be amusing; like Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi's "voluptuous" blonde nurse. I really think that Assange, Manning, and the Wikileaks organization are extremely heroic. Because of their choice to do what they believe is right for the sake of truth and accountability, all face extreme danger to their own personal life and limb. Bradly Manning is already locked up because of the leaks, and I would be surprised if he doesn't spend the rest of his life in prison.
It's not the human gossip bits that are important in the leaks. It's the lies and cover-ups of killing/murder. Things like the "Collataral Murder" video showing US troops gunning down unarmed reporters and children, and the revelation that the US was the one who bombed Yemen, killing 41 civilians. I doubt that those responsible for killing these civilians will ever face justice. But hopefully the leaks will at least bring some justice in the court of public opinion.
I am a little concerned that Wikileaks will be declared a "terrorist organization" (there is talk of it already). If that's the case, people like me who have donated to wikileaks will be guilty of "providing material support to a terrorist organization". I have friends here in Minneapolis who already being investigated for "providing material support to terrorist organizations" for their work in the peace movement and support of Palestinian peace groups.