Sunday, August 28, 2016

"I simply want to be the builder of a great affirmation"

"I don’t want to be an anti, against anybody. I simply want to be the builder of a great affirmation: the affirmation of God, who loves us and who wants to save us." -- Oscar Romero

I read those words this first day of a new week. It's a new week that on last Tuesday I wasn't certain was in store for me. A series of medical events, resulting in a diagnosis of congestive heart failure and pneumonia. On last Tuesday afternoon I had such trouble breathing that I did think I might be near my end. Happily (for me at least) I am still around and mending.

As I've done some maturing in the Spirit these past years, I have endeavored to be a more generous and affirming man. It's not my nature -- I'm rather self-centered and opinionated. But I've been trying. I only wish I would have started earlier and succeeded more.

This political season -- and I don't care whose side you're on (okay, so I do -- I am opinionated) -- has been especially on this endeavor. There is too much rancor. Too much hatred. To much polarization. To much "anti". Too little love. Too little care for others -- especially toward those who are "other" than "we" are.

Today, as I sit here short of breath (and maybe breaths, who knows what time we're given?), I don't want to waste my time being "anti, against anybody." As a Quaker I believe there is that of God in every person. The "light that gives light to everyone" and can lead them to God as they respond to the work of that Light in their lives. For whatever time I have left in this world (and I hope for another 20 years or so at least!), may I live up more fully to Romero's words. May my life be one of affirmation. May my words bring encouragement. May my deeds create wholeness and beauty. "I simply want to be the builder of a great affirmation: the affirmation of God, who loves us and who wants to save us."

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