Monday, October 18, 2010


The buried alive miners in Chilli are resurrected and the world rejoices with them.  Now  we turn our attention to two new frightening events--Halloween and the national elections, both featuring the scarers and the scared. Scaring each other and being scared are Halloween games we play in costumes and masks. Except for those making big bucks off of it, this holiday is mainly play. So we have crowds at haunted houses, costumed parties, and scary movies. It’ s all great fun, just plain play. On the other hand, the elections are deadly serious (except for those clever, blessed humorists that help us laugh at ourselves). Character assassination, for example, is not play.  Both of these big events dramatize our normal craziness, the dysfunction of the human race (sin). Our fear leads us along a predictable slippery slope. We begin with name-calling, then slide on down to yelling and screaming and then phyical violence. But the Bible teaches us how to stop this very human reaction to our insecurity: “mature love casts out fear.”                                                                                                                                                           

Monday, October 11, 2010

Charlie Wonders: SASHA THE TEACHER

Charlie Wonders: SASHA THE TEACHER: "Meet our live-in teacher, Sasha. She instructs us by meaningful behavior and congruent non-verbals. She gets her basic needs met through..."


Meet our live-in teacher, Sasha.  She instructs us by meaningful behavior and congruent non-verbals.  She gets her basic needs met through polite, but persistent requests for help--showing us effective ways to ask for help. Her most effective subject is unconditional love, perhaps because she has no opinions, no judgmentalism, makes no demands (except at 7 a.m. and 5: p.m).  All she needs from us is almost constant attention and loads of affection.  She even makes that easy for us by positioning herself where we can hold or support her with little effort on our part.  She teaches us the art of simplicity as she lives in the “now,” meaning she holds no grudges or unrealistic expectations.  She shows us the virtue of patience, waiting hours some days in the window for us to return home. She reminds us to exercise, eager to take us on our walks and encouraging us to pick up the pace.  This morning I was doing a little yoga-- my version of downward-facing dog.  I opened my eyes and Sasha was facing me , two inches from my face, looking perplexed.  I must not have been doing the dog part right.  She growled softly and I gave up.  I will learn and, as I said, she is patient with us.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Maybe it is because I really am getting old and tired, but Charlie wonders where all the energy for warfare is coming from.  It is too negative and hostile to be God-breathed. It seems to be driven more by fear than love.  Is it from ego-driven greed or anger? Energy is energy so it has no moral qualities. On those rare occasions when I breathe deeply and go into the stillness within, I can sense a quiet energy. Here I can experience the Christ within. Here is the peace He promised us, the subtle force of love, humility, compassion, truth. In this quiet space there is no conflict. For now, at least, it is only win-win. The Chinese military genius Sun Tzu said, “You’ll win the fight if you avoid the fight.”

Saturday, October 2, 2010



Martha sometimes reminds me that I have often expressed my desire for balance throughout our 58 years together. This is September, the season of balance or equinox.  The clarity of daytime hours are equal to the nighttime mysteries. High energy daylight is balanced by restful, healing of the dark. One is not superior to the other.  They are just different gifts.  They are, as the word “equinox” reminds us, equal. Ecclesiastes says, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose.” Where  joy and peace are concerned only the present--regardless of what the clock says--is the preferred place. So right now I am at peace.  Crisp and energizing mornings.  Warm, nurturing afternoons. So Charlie wonders if his love of balance and equity is what has made his life situation (including finances, politics and religion) turn in a more moderate direction. This does not lead me to simply find the middle ground and stay there. Those of us who choose to walk down the center of the road  are not playing it safe. We get rocks thrown at us from both sides of the street.  Aristotle pointed out that eating 100 pounds of food a day was obviously too much. Eating no food at all was obviously too little. Therefore, to eat fifty pounds of food a day was not the moderate alternative!