Saturday, November 15, 2008

Are You For or Against?

In this country, we've had the war on Poverty, the war on drugs, the war on terrorism in the past 40 years. If there is a problem, we declare war on it. Strong feelings elicit strong reactions, which ultimately contribute further to the problem.

But, the poor are still among us, and in this recession, there are more than ever. There are more drugs than ever, and we have clearly not won the war on drugs, nor do we have a ceasefire or peace treaty. Sorry, Nancy Reagan, it was a worthy cause, but, applying more of the problem multiplies the problem.

Now we have a war on terrorism, which is insane when you stop to think about it. Where does it stop? Where does it end? I for one, do not want to increase the problem of terror in our country, or our world. Fear is the problem, and declaring war on fear is to multiply fear and terror. It is not the solution we need.

If you respond with hatred, when hatred is directed your way, you have become a part of the problem of hatred, rather than the solution which is love. Love and forgiveness inspire people to work at what they are "for" rather than what they are against. If you're against violence, you'll fight it with you're own brand of violence. If you're "for" love and peace, you'll bring those energies to the presence of violence and discord, and ultimately dissolve the hate.

Mother Teresa was invited to march against the war in Vietnam. She replied, "No, I won't, but when you have a march for peace, I'll be there."

She also stated, "God does not command that we do great things, only little things with great love."

It's no wonder she is a saint. She spent her life working the solution, not the problem.

The next time you declare war on something, think about it from the solution end of it and work backwards. And think about the Man from Gallilee who advised us to "Love your neighbor. Do good to your enemy." Then on the cross, when the Roman soldiers were killing him slowly, and his best friends had abandoned him, he forgave them with these words, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." He blessed them who murdered him in a torturous, public death, while his mother watched, and the spectators gambled on his clothes. Forgive them. They don't know what they are doing, because they are killing in the name of God, killing God's very son. He blessed them, interceded on their behalf for their very souls, because they had lost their good soul, and he knew their darkness as nobody else on earth.

I think the point I am trying to make is that Jesus did not retaliate, or curse them, he forgave. He cut the cord of revenge because he knew, "Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord." He did not even complain about his murderers, his fair weather followers, he prayed for the others, for their peace and forgiveness! He prayed for the solution, even while completely embroiled in their problem, as they crucified him to death.

Think about it the next time you are against something. I want to be a part of the solution. I want to be a peacemaker. But, I have to begin small....I have to begin with me, and as I am peaceful, I will send waves of peace where I am. I am "for" peace, and I know it must begin within me.

Are you "for" or against?

Friday, November 14, 2008

You Were Early and I am Late

You missed shinnying up the apple tree,
cowboys and Indians, skinned up knees,
"come out now, ollie, ollie, oxen free,"
because you were early, and I am late.

No tattling and catching big fish,
summer star gazing and making a wish,
grownup plans to accomplish;
see, you were early and I am late.

Melancholy regrets float on thin air -
tossing baseballs and pulling my hair.
I wonder if your hair was also fair?
Bro, you were early and I am late.

My reluctant brother, if you're able,
save me a seat at the Lamb's table;
but Fate spoke first and wrote this fable,
for you were early and I am late.

I dedicate this to my older brother, Kent Eugene,
born Sept. 11, 1952 - Sept. 12, 1952.

Daily Rx

Each morning I gaze into
my cup with the chip on the rim,
and begin my morning ritual,
filling it with fragrant liquid
and imbibing it's warming elixir.
Marred by accident,
my lacerated heart resembles
this chipped cup, functional,
but with piece missing.

Imperfect, lacking strength,
I turn to God to fill me
with what I need this day.
I am willing to be useful.
I am willing to tap God's grace.
And so it goes, I become
whole only when I offer
my emptiness to God.

Cup cradled in warm hands,
I open to quiet hope
intertwined with it's rising steam.
I am ready to accept this healing potion.
I am ready to meet the day.

~Tami Vrbas~ 2006
published in Summer '07 Inspirit Journal

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More Birthdays!

Happy Birthday Greetings to my daughter, Missy and to my granddaughter, Peyton. May you have many, many more and all the love you can hold.