Monday, June 20, 2016

Unless Each of Us Does Our Best

"For the world is in such a bad state, but everything will become still worse unless each of us does our best."          --Viktor Frankl  "Man's Search for Meaning."
Words by Viktor Frankl came barreling into my life again. This time, they were read by a woman as she and her husband finished addressing the church  I attended  yesterday.  They had recently returned to America after working abroad.

Part of their presentation included video of natives from Papua, New Guinea. Not long ago, tribes from this area were constantly at war with one another.  Part of the message of Jesus that they have taken to heart, is this: all human beings are part of the same tribe.

The husband narrated a slide show, picturing people they'd met from different cultures all over the world: "This is your grandmother, your son...your crazy uncle." Laughter. Then a picture of the two presumptive Democrat and  Republican presidential candidates. "Also, your brother and sister."

It's often very difficult for Westerners returning from work in poorer parts of the world. Usually the culture shock comes from re-exposure to Western luxury and its contrast to the grinding need for the basic necessities of life elsewhere. I couldn't help but wonder if for this couple,  the more shocking contrast was the one between the grace manifested in Papua, New Guinea and the atmosphere of deep division caused by the many battles of the Culture War: 
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It would be such a relief to say, "I'm done with the Culture Wars!"
What does adding my voice to the chaos have to do with doing my best? 
What does keeping silent have to do with doing my best? 

And what? IreneAthena? And what, ye gal who has recommended sitting quietly before God and expecting "coincidences!"
 
Keeping silent, at least part of the time, has everything to do with doing my best!
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My husband showed me a picture he just took of the monarch butterfly come to rest on a butterfly bush we planted last year.  I haven't seen a butterfly around here, any butterfly, in years. Perhaps I should plant some milkweed next to that bush. The bushes attract them, but the weeds are where they'll multiply.
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