Tag: hope

A Suffering That Leads to Rest

 

We went to a church in my old hood Sunday. It was in the backyard of the pastor’s house, set with a mish-mash of folding chairs and patio tables, including one with coffee, kid drinks, and other treats. I’m guessing there were around 20 or so people there, another dozen or two online via Zoom, and a kid’s group doing its thing on another side of the house.

Why am I telling you this? At this point, I have no idea. Things usually become clear at around the 600-word mark. We will see.

I grew up in the south area of the city and, given my unsupervised freedom, I regularly (and without an inkling of fear that can only be born of wisdom), walked into or came close to taunting my own ruin via treacherous situations involving criminal types and other hoodlums who were usually up to no good thing. I did not make it out of there unscathed.

Watching Her Walk

 

I watched her walk down the hall toward her bedroom, her right heel falling short of the hardwood floor, each step jostling her little frame to the left in an exaggerated sway, the next step shooting her spine straight and vertical, and then falling to the sway again as the pattern of her gait repeated. She disappeared through the door. I’d asked her to go change her clothes, wondering if she would or not. She often protested, leaving me to wonder if she might be looking for my help just to get a few extra moments with mom.

I turned back to the mirror to finish curling my hair while listening to the morning news. The nation’s capital building had been breached a few days before, and I couldn’t help but search for encouraging words, a glimmer of hope, a ray of light. My uncertainties about almost everything had escalated, and now given all the rumors about bad things happening, even my phone seemed like a sudden stranger, and a new mystery. I felt the energy of a struggling hope begin to wane. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw that she had returned.

She was there, standing still and waiting for me to turn and inspect her ensemble. I did, noting the much-improved coordination of colors between her chartreuse t-shirt and a more muted collage of greens on her leggings. She waited for my smile of approval, which I gladly offered, and then she nodded downward toward her new shoes, a pair of black suede Ugg ankle boots. They were on the wrong feet. I’d told her yesterday that the zipper goes on the inside, but she hadn’t quite caught on. Or maybe she had and was only making things work. She’s good at making things work.

Member Post

 

While I believe most people are shocked and upset by yesterday’s events at our Capitol, we have to keep our wits and move forward. We cannot control the behavior of others and events that come and go, beyond our control.  This includes yesterday’s breach of the Capitol in Washington, DC.  I’ll give my thoughts briefly, […]

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QoTD: Push Polls and the Wrong Answers

 

Hi Thomas, I’m Mercedes w/ For our Future WI. We’re conducting a survey and want to hear from you. Our first question is simple. With everything that’s going on right now, what’s the biggest issue facing you & your family right now?

Spammers texting me without even getting my name right. Or were you thinking less immediately than “right now?” Well, the intersection between what’s possible with digital technology and what kind of human interactions are fundamentally destructive (mass push polls for example) ranks reasonably high on my list of worries. Is that one of the options? Somehow I think you’ll have to tick the “other” box on your form.

Member Post

 

In a recent post, another member used the two words, “hope” and “optimism” as synonyms.  But they are not the same, and there is a crucial difference between Hope and Optimism. That difference is that Hope, while a positive emotion, is passive.  Optimism, however, is active. Preview Open

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Epidemic of Hopelessness

 

We have been trapped for years by a minority in our society that thinks that we live in a despicable country. Recently they are also making clear that the only solution to this “fact” is the destruction of our country. I believe that the deluded people who profess this worldview experience nothing but hopelessness in their lives. Unfortunately, those of us who don’t agree with them are slowly becoming infused with this sick approach to life. If we don’t wake up, we risk succumbing to this life-threatening disease.

The Federalist, in an article by Nathanael Blake, helped me diagnose the sickness of hopelessness of the Left. Many people have tried to understand the viciousness and destructiveness of Progressives by pointing to the draw of Marxist theory, the corruption of education, and the immaturity of many young people, to name a few. But these reasons only answer the “what” questions—what they are doing; they don’t answer the “why.”

‘Its Effect is to Hold The World Together’

 

The whole neighborhood is home and the grills are going. I sniff the air like Yogi Bear and start pulling things out of the freezer to grill for the week. My cousin from Vegas called to check on us. She is 10 years older and, if there was a liberal chart, she would fall off. We have been closer in touch since the passing of her sister, my other cousin, 15 years older, a couple of years ago. We don’t breach politics. We skirted the issue when she revealed her “psychotic event” when Trump was elected – sigh. So we keep it light. I love the sound of her melodic voice that reminds me of childhood.

She called yesterday and in our five-minute call, as I said we were on our way to pick up food, lamented that Las Vegas is a ghost town. It thrives on crowds — the Strip, gambling, sports events, concerts, conventions — now all gone. Then she suddenly began to rail on Trump, and how his “slow” response to the virus caused our current situation. I asked what about all the other world leaders and their responses? She said, but we are the greatest country, and he dismantled Obama’s emergency response team! I won’t go there but I dismissed it with, “Well, glad you are all ok, and can I call you back?” I don’t feel like calling her back.

I wrote this Saturday, and today is Palm Sunday. The whole world is experiencing Lent, like it or not. Lent is a time of reflection, remorse, a seat on a cliff in the desert, alone. It’s dry, prickly, and scary. Palm Sunday was mentioned by our Vice President, Mike Pence, in Saturday’s briefing. Before that, Dr. Fauci and President Trump, along with his Emergency Response team, gave a conference. It was encouraging. He takes his cues from his team, and gives not only information but whatever else is needed by our country’s governors.

Winter of Our Discontent: The Darkling Thrush

 

The Darkling Thrush
By Thomas Hardy

I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-grey,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

The land’s sharp features seemed to be
The Century’s corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.

Member Post

 

Barack Obama and his cohort did more damage to the Republic in his two terms than did all the combined evil of the world in any other eight-year period of our history. One could say the Civil War had some constructive aspect; it at least resolved the otherwise-impossible issue of chattel slavery. Slavery is incompatible […]

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I Just Read ‘The Great Good Thing’

 

When Ricochet member @andrewklavan posted about his new book called The Great Good Thing – A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ, I was curious. I was curious why he took a little flack from a few Jewish members of Ricochet when he posted about his new book, who didn’t feel he gave Judaism a fair shake. But that’s not why I ordered the book.  As a Christian, I was born into the faith, but came to a more personal faith backward and sideways, sometimes kicking and screaming. I was curious to hear about another person’s journey of faith – was it worse than mine?

So I ordered it and threw it up on my bookshelf for another day.  Published in 2016, I am three years late in picking it up, but not really. I read it at the perfect time. There are times in a person’s life when a book like this is profound and quite frankly, more appreciated, than other times. The recent deaths of people I love and thoughts about mortality and immortality flowing through my mind, rapidly changing world events, including challenges to people of faith, especially Christians and Jews, with the dramatic rise in antisemitism, religious persecution across the world, and the upcoming peace talks in Israel made it the right time.

This book is a story of a soul – we’re all born with one, and Andrew Klavan, an atheist at one time, then an agnostic, could not shake this truth. His awareness seemed to start at around eight years old. Then there was the abusive father, along with the distant mother. In the midst of great suffering, somehow his spirit was never extinguished. I am amazed at how some people can put in words what cannot be put in words. It’s like he turned himself inside out. Andrew Klavan found the words to hold his heart and soul out to the world, that others might find comfort. This book teaches how fragile children are, how innocent, and how parents especially, form their mental and emotional health and well-being.

Member Post

 

I’ve walked in the fields, and I’ve trod light for daysSeems I’ll do that old rag, takes me all kinds of waysExcept the way I’d be headed if I knew where I was goingBut I’m from the country, and it’s better not knowing.  I do not pretend to know much about life. I have read […]

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Veneration and Vulnerability: Suicide in the Midst of Prosperity

 

Man does not live by bread alone. As bread was being earned at a record clip, and more people got off the dole, more people in their prime years cut their own lives short. Reflecting back on the U.S. military’s Herculean effort to end suicide in the service, an unwon battle, I am painfully aware there is no clear solution, no magic pill or words. And. I wonder if our changing societal habits and beliefs make vulnerable people more vulnerable.

2017 brought unbroken good economic news, and not just for stockholders. President Trump repeated at every occasion the good news for everyone, including demographic groups who had been lagging in employment. Wages started to rise. And in the midst of all this, the suicide rate increased to a 50-year peak.

[I]t’s deaths in younger age groups — particularly middle-aged people — that have had the largest impact on calculations of life expectancy, experts said.

Member Post

 

“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year” ~ E. Scrooge We have arrived at December at last; I trust we can all agree that Christmas music is at now acceptable. For me it started in the summer.  My Pandora commonly shuffles over to ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ […]

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The Calm Between the Storms is the Time to Prepare

 

TL;DR: This might be a moment that you feel good and satisfied in, but it is at precisely this moment that you should start making calls and knocking on doors for Congressmen. Nemesis hangs over us, and and it is likely that there will not be a better opportunity to make a difference. If you don’t already have a good candidate in mind, I’d recommend signing up to make calls for Peter Roskam (R-IL 6th).

Kavanaugh made it. It’s hard to predict precisely what will come from having a Court with five conservative justices, but it seems safe to say “a lot”.

Hope on the Islam Front

 

Two little pieces of what looks to me anyway like hopeful signs: that Europe is looking to Australia’s model for how to cope with immigration, and that there may be more atheist, agnostic or otherwise apostate Muslims than we know.

From Quillette, an interview with a Pakistani-Canadian Muslim writer, Ali Rizvi. A few good quotes to give the flavor:

Member Post

 

@bethanymandel did a post on her friend’s new book called, ”Leaving Cloud 9”, By Erica Anderson. http://ricochet.com/532746/when-you-leave-cloud-9/ I ordered a copy and just finished it. The story is about Erica’s husband Rick, who grows up in a broken home, broken in every way. The trailer, the parent, the poverty, the terrible abuse, a story repeated in […]

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