Of Pea Soup and Spinning Heads

(Reworked from a post originally published in 2014.)
I’ve never seen The Exorcist, but I have seen that scene with the pea soup and the spinning head – and lately I’ve seemed to encounter a lot of what I would put in the “pea soup and spinning head” category. There have been times, recently, when personalities have seemed to spin themselves out of alignment with the individuals they really are, spewing out all kinds of hell – anger, frustration, jealousy, fear, revenge, hatred, finger-pointing. And I’m embarrassed to say that on at least a couple occasions recently I myself was the spewer – feeling really angry and hurt about someone I felt had treated me unfairly.

It none of it felt good.

But then I came across yet another spewing-spinner on a discussion board, and found myself just stepping back and kind of observing in interested fascination as the pea soup flew and the vitriol sprayed. The pea soup and vitriol had been intended for me, but they were so over-the-top and spewed so high in the air that it simply erupted above the spewer’s head and ended up landing back on her. It didn’t touch me at all. And, standing there on the outside of the mess, it became really clear to me that the spinning-spewing personality was not at all the real individuality of my fellow poster. It was obvious that what I had just witnessed was nothing but a spinning-spewing counterfeit of the real man and woman, made in God’s likeness – made in the likeness of Love.  And it also became clear to me that I had no desire or need to spend my time engaged in conversation with a counterfeit. I was able to step back and move on and find other interesting dialogues that better served me.  I didn’t give the counterfeit the power to push me OUT of a space where I belonged, and nor did I give the counterfeit the power to pull me INTO a space where I didn’t belong. I didn’t have to react or respond to the counterfeit at all.

This encounter with the counterfeit poster helped me come to terms with my feelings of anger and wish for vengeance towards the personality who had treated me so poorly in the past. I had to recognize that the real man is the child of God – that God loves him no less than he loves me – and that God is instructing him, and leading him down his own path in life, with its own lessons waiting for him. And none of that is any of my business.

My business is keeping watch on my own thoughts and actions. Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Christian Science commands man to master the propensities, – to hold hatred in abeyance with kindness, to conquer lust with chastity, revenge with charity, and to overcome deceit with honesty. Choke these errors in their early stages, if you would not cherish an army of conspirators against health, happiness, and success.”

As Paul says, we all must work out our “own salvation.”  It’s rewarding work. It’s satisfying work. And it’s also enough work to fill my moments and my days for eternity. Who has time to worry about working out someone ELSE’s flaws and foibles, when I have enough of my own to worry about?

Spinning heads and pea soup, be gone!

A Lesson from Cows

Enclosed in man’s fences
ears numbered and tagged
their bodies may be owned
by humans (as some humans
might brag) –
but the fences and tags
can’t heed the flow
of Soul, put boundaries
on Love. Still they know
Love, still they show
Love.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

(Cow photos by Karen Molenaar Terrell.)

What I’m Feeling Right Now

How many black men have to die for things to change?

What’s on your mind? Facebook asks.
And I look at the little box and wonder
how I can possibly put into words
what I’m feeling right now –
I’m not sure there are any words
big enough for my feelings.
Our world is in desperate need –
in desperate need of love,
of honesty and kindness and wisdom.
And my heart breaks for our world
and for all its creatures.
Love bless us all – each and every one.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

“Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

Politicizing COVID-19

I’m guessing that pretty much all politicians – including the ones we like 🙂 – have found a way to politicize this current challenge. And I don’t blame or judge any of them for doing it – that’s what politicians do. But I think we need to be aware of it – and I think we need to each be honest with ourselves about our own biases, too. Wouldn’t it be great if people just wanted to do right by each other – without concern about political parties and agendas?

love is what is true

I’ve Been Looking at Polls

I’ve been looking at polls
looking at graphs
trying to determine
if our world’s going to last.
This poll says this
and this graph says that.
Does it look like the curve
is starting to go flat?
And which of our leaders
is gaining support?
What type of leader?
What flavor? What sort?

I guess I could spend a lot
of time looking at graphs –
looking for hope there
looking for laughs.
But maybe instead I should
go right to the Source –
go to Life, Love, and Truth
and feel the Force.
Everything can change
in a moment, you see.
But I don’t need a poll
to know Love is the key.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

love-is-with-you

Ahmoud Arbury’s Murder

I’ve been struggling to find some way to respond. I’ve been tempted to stay off the internet, dodge every source of news, isolate myself in every way from the world. But I realize none of that is going to make this go away. So. Yeah. Here we are.

When Ahmoud Arbury was chased down a suburban street in Georgia and shot in broad daylight – that was murder – plain and simple. He was innocently jogging. He had committed no crime. He had done nothing wrong. The only reason he was chased and killed was because the people who killed him didn’t like the color of his skin.

The murderers were (finally- months later!) arrested. And now there’s a group on Facebook called “Christians Against Google” that supports Ahmoud Arbury’s killers. There is so much wrong with that I can’t even wrap my head around it. “Christians”?!! What part of Jesus’ simple instruction to “love your neighbor” is so hard for his professed followers to understand?

The group’s description says: “These 2 God fearing men were only trying to protect their neighborhood” and “this man… did not comply with simple commands.” WHAT THE HELL?!!! Ahmoud Arbury was under no obligation to “comply” with the commands being given by these racist sociopaths intent on killing him – and if you’ve seen the video you know it wouldn’t have helped Ahmoud Arbury to “comply,” anyway.

The inhumanity, the hatred, the insanity, the sheer brutality and senselessness of it – there is no way for this to be justified. No excuse for Ahmoud Arbury’s tragic murder.

It needs to stop. There’s no place or time for racist hatred in our world. We were all made for better things. We were all made to be DOing better things.
– Karen

Universal Love

“I Believe in Obeying the Laws of the Land”

To answer any questions folks might be having about how Christian Science churches are responding to government restrictions during this time of sheltering-in-place, I thought it might be helpful to bring in the words of the founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy: “Whatever changes come to this century or to any epoch, we may safely submit to the providence of God, to common justice, to the maintenance of individual rights, and to governmental usages…When Jesus was questioned concerning obedience to human law, he replied: ‘Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,’ even while you ‘render to God the things that are God’s.’

“I believe in obeying the laws of the land.”
– Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellany (p 220)