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Monday, December 05, 2005

weeds and other ideas

~~from a Peanuts strip, date unknown, but it was a long time ago.~~
Weeds have a wide tolerance for environmental conditions and the rare ability to exploit recently disturbed territory.
I don't recall the characters involved, but one asked the other, "What does that mean?" The reply: "You can roll with the punches!"

A couple of other favorites—a funky sometime-1970's era mag ad plus a Dutch return to reality:
Have you ever had a BAD time in Levi's®? (Remember the once-Ebonics idiomatic BAD that went mainstream?)

Geen vogel vliegt weer hoog of hij moet zijn kost op de aarde zoeken! Werkelijk!!!
Weeds, Peacemaking...
Bible verse of the Day from Augsburg Fortress for Friday, November 11, 2005: Matthew 5:9:

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
I am not sure how adequate this link is, but when I lived in Salt Lake City I served on the board and (needless to say?) did some writing for Interfaith Peacemaking/IPRCU. IPRCU wasn't very interfaith at all: a bunch of protestants and a unique New Ager whose biz card read, "Palmistry and Hypnotherapy"!

Readers of this blog likely have figured out I've been trying to work through some life stuff theologically (the only way I know how!); at times I can be extremely codependent to the point of near self-negation—in the past my (sometimes) over-concern for others coupled with (sometimes) disregard for my own needs has gotten me a lot of compliments from people who perceive me as relatively selfless, but ultimately it has cost me. Ages ago someone said of me, "overdeveloped skills in reconciliation, accommodation and peacemaking!" I'm reading God's Politics by Jim Wallis (here's my blog about it,) and Wallis reminds us Jesus calls us not simply to love peace but to make peace. Only Jesus of Nazareth did absolutely everything right all of the time, but it is one thing to determine other people's words and actions aren't going to wag you, and it's something else altogether to persist in remaining in settings that have no benefit whatsoever for you (for me, that is) because you don't want to give people power over your life! And, of course, by doing that, a person does give others power...you know!

"You can roll with the punches!" Indeed I can, probably too easily compared to many people, meaning I can survive in situations that might flatten the average, more-coddled person. But ability to keep on keeping on in some sense does not quite equate with thriving, does it?

Peacemaking, making shalom

Biblical shalom means not a passive absence of conflict, not a feel-good surge of endorphins or serotonin, but fullness of life for everyone because of each person and every community having enough, possessing sufficient for their needs but not excess of anything. Those needs would include food, water, shelter, meaningful work, friends, community, recreation, ethical government and worship; it would include someplace (at least one place) they could be truly at home, as well as absence of armed conflict. Looks as if I'm remembering my Thanksgiving Eve blog and the Daily Bread taxonomy from Luther's Small Catechism, where Luther tells us Daily Bread includes Peace. To wish someone shalom - as a person-to-person greeting or in a more formal liturgical setting - means to desire they live in the fullness of life that bestows "enough" on everyone.

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