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My daughter is in a relationship with her first somewhat serious boyfriend. She often wonders aloud whether I approve, whether I want her to break up with him, whether I support the relationship. One day on the phone, the topic came up again. “Mom, do you want me to break up with him?” she asked. […]
“[F]or he makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” — Matthew 5:45b
Somehow we survive on this small blue planet, we fragile bipeds vulnerable to the elements, to disease, to time, and to each other. Logically, our lot is sustained misery, ended only by a merciful death. Yet mankind has done far more than survive. Our life experiences are a rich intermingling of joy and angst, satisfaction and boredom, love and suffering. We look back on our early years and we remember carefree, secure innocence. Centuries’ worth accumulated knowledge was ours to study. Next we loved, and married, and cherished children. We are paid well for skills that we are pleased to perform. And all this while we are nourished with good food, warmed with comfortable clothing, and aided when we are ill.
The remarkable courtroom events, following the sentencing of Amber Guyger to 10 years in prison for the murder of Botham Shem Jean, called to mind the similarly remarkable courtroom events in 2015 in South Carolina. These, together, called to mind the famous passage in the Gospels about lighted lamps. Politically aware readers will at least recall President Reagan talking about America as “a shining city on a hill.” In an era of oppressively negative news, we were reminded at the beginning of October 2019 that an individual can make a significant positive difference.
Christians were challenged by the faithful witness of a young man this past week. Brandt Jean is the brother of the man murdered in Dallas. Botham Jean had graduated with an accounting degree from Harding, a private Christian college, and was working for the accounting firm PwC.* He was the first to speak in the victim impact statement phase, which comes immediately after the sentence (the time to be served) is pronounced. The sentencing phase follows the jury’s finding of guilt for one or more specified crimes.
The jury had given Amber Guyger 10 years. This is the top of the range for what she would have got if convicted of the lesser charge of criminally negligent homicide with a firearm (mandatory 3rd-degree felony sentence, 2-10 years). This is also less than half what the prosecutor demanded for the murder conviction. The prosecutor had been playing to the identity left, crucial for election in very low turnout local elections. The prosecutor asked the jury to sentence Guyger to at least 28 years, one for each year of the age Botham Jean would be if Guyger had not been shot him in his apartment.
With very few exceptions over the years, I’ve never minded being defined in terms of my familial relationships. Dad’s daughter. Mr. She’s wife. Peachy’s granny. Sam, Mike and Jenny’s stepmother. I’ve never thought of myself as an appendage or a cipher, nor do I function as anybody’s foil. Although by no means perfect, I’m generally appropriately assertive, fairly well put together, and reasonably rational. Those who are determined to find fault certainly will, and I’m happy to keep them occupied; but I always try to keep in mind that they’re not perfect either. In general, I believe it’s better to get along than not, so I try to go through life as prescribed in Romans 12:18 (insofar as it “lieth in me,” anyway).
Some of the roles I’ve mentioned have, in fact, been among the most rewarding “jobs” of my life, and I’d much rather talk about them than my multi-decade career as an IT manager. Some of those roles have brought immeasurable joy; some of them have ended in heartbreak and tragedy. Some of the stories’ endings aren’t written yet, and the coda won’t be played until I pass on to my eternal reward (or not). All of them live in the chaos that is my feminine brain on a daily basis, and all of them are among the elements of what makes up, I think, a pretty well-lived and generally happy life.
Today, I’d like to tell you about one of those elements. If reminds you of the plot of a Hollywood movie, well, it does, doesn’t it? But every word of it is my story, and every word of it is true. I promise. And my father’s daughter does not lie.
As far as Christmas Carols go I’m mostly a fan of the old hymns. The older poetry had to conform to a stricter set of rules. You have to spend a lot more effort on your word choices when you’re constrained like that, and the effort shows in the quality of your writing. They also […]
Note: @garyrobbins issued a challenge to match his upgrade of level on Ricochet. While I could not upgrade to meet his challenge, I proposed to meet his challenge in another way. I would provide uplifting spiritual fodder in our mutual Unity tradition to give him a reason to see Ricochet as a place of spiritual, […]
Today, December 8, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the solemn dogma declared infallibly by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854, in his Apostolic Constitution Ineffabilis Deus, that Mary was conceived without the stain of original sin. We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, […]
So glad The Pilgrims held their fire when Samoset approached. And so glad Squanto wasn’t resentful about being made a slave in England. He could have had The Pilgrims destroyed for it when he first heard about their arrival. Instead, he helped them. http://townhall.com/talkradio/weekendjournal/699264 Preview Open
I cannot love God except through His graces. So can I choose Him without His impetus? If I ask Him to change me, to open my heart further to Him, will He certainly do so? Will He immediately do so? Or might God expect more than a mere moment’s desire and words? Preview Open