Ode to Boxing Day

It’s a humble holiday, tucked in between
Christmas and New Year’s, but it’s really keen.
Things look a little bedraggled, it’s true
The tree’s a little droopy and no longer new

The movies and music of the Christmas season
Are getting on our nerves now, and we’re seeing no reason
To eat even one more sugary oversweet sweet
It’s time for broccoli and carrots (maybe hold on the beets)

The pressure for perfection comes off on this day,
The toys have been opened, and it’s come time to play.
And if before we were wearing faux holiday cheer
To blend in with the others and not Scroogey appear

It’s time now to be genuine, and honest and real
The food banks are empty, people still need a warm meal
The homeless and hungry and jobless and alone
Still need love and caring, still need a home.

So maybe we can celebrate the day after Christmas –
By keeping the spirit of hope alive, we might make that our business.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

 

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Good Wall or Good Will?

I took a course in Peace and War one time. One of the things the instructor talked about was how a country’s security depends on the prosperity of its neighbors. Helping our neighbors (on the other side of the border) have what they need to prosper makes it less likely for them to want to invade our country, or seek asylum in it. In other words, according to my instructor, it’s not walls that create safety – it’s caring for each other and “Good will to all…”

“Peace on earth; good will to all.” – Luke 2:14

earth NASA

Someone to Blame

There once was someone else to blame –
– “Toblame” was the name of the game
– the Millennials, the Boomers,
and media with “fake rumors”
were targets for the blame and the shame.

There once was someone else to blame –
Just fill in the blank with a name –
the Jews, Muslims, Christians,
atheists, or immigrants from immigrations
were handy to blame when they came.

And then one day there was a metacognition
we shared in a moment of clear vision
when we saw we each held the key
– a better world could start with each “me” –
and we laid down the blame for our mission.

There once was something else to blame –
Anonymouses or those who had fame,
the poor and the rich,
or a computer glitch
– things never got fixed
when we had something else we could blame.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

earth NASA

The Cosmos Couldn’t Have Picked a Better Tool

The cosmos couldn’t have
picked a better tool
to rouse her people
from their slumbers
a caricature of a fool –
word-lazy money-crazy
who’d

unite all thinking folks
of every gender and race
against a common foe
and brace each one
to pick up the pace
and move past  color,

sex, religion and non-
religion, political party,
and geographic location,
to save the earth, save
the ocean – can’t be tardy
to revive the notion that

everyone matters – not
just the rich, nor the white,
not just the”Christians”
or reality stars, or corporate
bigwigs – time to do what’s right
for the rest of of the folks, too.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

light in the forest

Lake Padden Forest (Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell)

 

We Forgive

“…old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
II Corinthians 5: 17

We forgive because
we no longer need the pain.
We forgive because
good is all that we gained.
We forgive because
love is all that remains.

Struggling to forgive old sleights and slingshotting
words sent to us, and sent by us, too, guilt
and hurt having a heyday in our hearts.
But how do we let go of the memories of mean
-ness and the bullying of those years when
we were the targets, the receivers (or givers?)
of hate? How do we let go, move on, forgive?

“…if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature…”
Can we really start new? How…?
Accepting all the good that comes from being
the target of envy, bigotry, hate – the strength
and confidence and empathy that comes
from surviving the bitter times – accepting
the healing, means an acknowledgement
that the rest is done and over. It served its
purpose. Judas to Jesus: It brought our
ascension. Led us to better times. Hate’s job
is done now – a cheap plastic toy from our
childhood – we put it down and move on –
no longer interested.

“…old things are passed away; behold,
all things are become new.”

We forgive because
we no longer need the pain.
We forgive because
good is all that we gained.
We forgive because
love is all that remains.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Love Hath Made

Sunset over flooded fields in Skagit County, Washington State. Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.

 

 

The Medal in the Artifact Box

A Veteran’s Day Story –
Years ago, when I was doing a long-term substitute gig for a high school social studies teacher, I came up with a lesson wherein my students brought in a special object to class and we used that as an “artifact” – we pretended we were archaeologists from the future unearthing these artifacts and trying to guess how they were used and what they meant. At the end of the period we went around the class and the students claimed their “artifact” from the artifact box and shared what their “artifact” actually meant to them.

There was one student in my class – a young man – who was very quiet and reticent – sat in the back of class and never spoke. When we came to him, he went up and collected a medal from the artifact box. Quietly – but clearly – he explained why the medal was special to him.

He told us the medal had been given to his father after his father’s death in Vietnam. His father had died before he was born. It was the only thing he had left of his father. And that’s why it was special to him.

I don’t think any of his classmates had known this about him. I remember tearing up, and seeing tears on the faces of his classmates, too.

When I think of the sacrifices our veterans have made in their lives – I always think of this young man. I don’t remember his name any more. But I remember him. And I remember the gift he gave us all that day by sharing his story – and the story of his father – with us.

To Those Who Serve –

Adventures of the Madcap Christian Scientist

Originally posted in 2013 –

On this Veteran’s Day I want to take a moment to express my gratitude to all the men and woman who are faithfully and bravely serving around the world in the armed services, the Peace Corps, the Red Cross, and the Foreign Service. I want you to know that we remember you and appreciate you. You have made a difference. Every word spoken with love, every thought of kindness and compassion, and every gesture of good will, brings mankind that much closer to “peace on earth.” Your work is not in vain, and you are not standing alone.

In the chapter titled Peace and War in Prose Works, Mary Baker Eddy writes: “The characters and lives of men determine the peace, prosperity, and life of nations.”  A little later she writes: “Right thoughts and deeds are the sovereign remedies for all earth’s woe. ” As we…

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