A Real Life Hero

It has been a year and a half since Mom died. Dad had been in the hospital, suffering from delirium caused by an infection, when Mom passed. When he was released from the hospital after her death, he never returned to the apartment they’d shared together before he went into the hospital. He, basically, woke up from his delirium to find himself in a new home and without his companion of 62 years. I know he’s been working hard in the last 18 months to make some sense of it all. His courage since Mom’s death has been awe-inspiring for me to witness. I always knew he was brave – his mountaineering adventures are proof of that – but I never realized the amazing depth of his steely inner resolve until the last year and a half. I think I finally understand now how he survived those weeks on K2. I finally understand why so many people look on him as a hero. He is one. A genuine real life hero. And he’s my father.





Every single one of you who ventures forth into a new day in America is a hero. It takes courage just to walk out the front door these days – and you’ve got it. Go out there and shine like the sun shines. Love like that’s all you’re made of. You’ve got this.

“To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, today is big with blessings.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

Sunrise Over Skagit County, WA

The sun rises over a field in LaConner, WA. Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.


Something happened this weekend…

Something happened this weekend that really touched me. The eldest son and his girlfriend came over to watch the first Harry Potter movie with us. And when it got to the part where the students were being divided into their different houses, I asked the son about this – did the different houses each represent a different trait or characteristic or something? He said that one house valued intelligence, another courage, a third valued kindness, and the fourth valued ambition. I asked him which house he thought he’d fit in and he said the one that values kindness probably (which was cool to me because the eldest son is brilliant – but he chose kindness over that). He asked me where I’d go, and I said maybe the scholarly one – or the kind one.

And then we sort of mulled over the idea of any of us going to the house that values courage and we decided that, yeah – we’d probably all be okay with that one, too. “I’ve climbed mountains…” I said – trying to blow my own horn  – “and traveled and had adventures…” and then – and this is the part that really touched my heart – the son said, “And you’ve gotten in the middle of a fight and stood up to bullies before.” And his girlfriend asked, “Really?!” – trying to picture me doing that.  And the son said yeah, he’d seen me walk into a ring of gang members before and seen me try to yank one guy off another one.

And this is true. I did do that. I saw a young man sitting on top of another young man, pounding his head into the parking lot pavement when I came out of a movie theater once – and, without thinking, I walked into the ring of spectators watching this happen, and tried to pull the attacker off his victim. I yelled, “Stop it! You’re killing him!” And one of the spectators said, “Lady, you better be careful. This guy could have a knife!” And I turned on him and asked him why he was just watching, why he wasn’t trying to help. And then I put my hands on my hips and announced, “I am a teacher!” – like that was going to make them all stop. And the guy who was smashing the other guy’s head into the pavement sort of paused, and looked up at me for a minute, and then went back to doing what he was doing. Pretty soon the police came out and took care of it all.

But… I didn’t know my son had appreciated me doing that, or had admired it. He’d been watching me from a distance with his friends and their parents – he was only nine or so at the time – and I always kind of wondered what he’d thought about it all. Had he thought I was crazy stupid to get in there and try to break that fight up (which I probably was, in retrospect)? Had he been embarrassed by me?

And last weekend he told me I had made him proud that night.

Isn’t that cool?

We Have the Power

My dear Humoristian hooligans,

Yea and verily and stuff. Now is not the time to surrender our joy or feelings of good will. Now is not the time to lay down our weapons of wit and wisdom. No, my friends, now is the time to fasten on our armor of courage and kindness and march forth into the fear-filled fray (try saying that one really fast). (Bring up the epic background music here – maybe *Fanfare for the Common Man* – the camera should be angled up, scanning noble Humoristian hooligan visages as they line up for battle, Superman capes flying in the wind, Groucho glasses and whoopee cushions at the ready.) Let us go forth and shine our love like the sun shines – without discrimination or condition. We have the power to bring something positive into the day. How cool is that?!



“Rise in the strength of Spirit…”

“Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“Casting out evil and fear enables truth to outweigh error. The only course is to take antagonist grounds against all that is opposed to the health, holiness, and harmony of man, God’s image.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

On Sunday morning my United Methodist husband agreed to read the week’s Christian Science Lesson-Sermon with me – he took on the role of First Reader and I was Second Reader – and it was just… it was just very dear.  The Lesson-Sermon on Sunday was really powerful and brought me healing and hope. I’m going to post excerpts from it below, so’s I can return to it when I need it.

“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world…”
– Revelation 12

“Truth and Love prevail against the dragon because the dragon cannot war with them.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“God being everywhere and all-inclusive, how can He be absent or suggest the absence of omnipresence and omnipotence? How can there be more than all?”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“That evil or matter has neither intelligence nor power, is the doctrine of absolute Christian Science, and this is the great truth which strips all disguise from error.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour…”
– I Peter 5

“Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep; So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.”
– Proverbs 6

“The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”
– Romans 13:12

“So secret are the present methods of animal magnetism that they ensnare the age into indolence, and produce the very apathy on the subject which the criminal desires.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“Peals that should startle the slumbering thought from its erroneous dreams are partially unheeded; but the last trump has not sounded, or this would not be so. Marvels, calamities, and sin will much more abound as truth urges upon mortals its resisted claims; but the awful daring of sin destroys sin, and foreshadows the triumph of truth.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“Evil thoughts and aims reach no farther and do no more harm than one’s belief permits. Evil thoughts, lusts, and malicious purposes cannot go forth, like wandering pollen, from one human mind to another, finding unsuspected lodgment, if virtue and truth build a strong defence.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“The Christian Scientst has enlisted to lessen evil, disease, and death; and he will overcome them by understanding their nothingness and the allness of God, or good.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“Expose and denounce the claims of evil and disease in all their forms, but realize no reality in them.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“We should follow our divine Exemplar, and seek the destruction of all evil works, error and disease included.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“Casting out evil and fear enables truth to outweigh error. The only course is to take antagonist grounds against all that is opposed to the health, holiness, and harmony of man, God’s image.” – Mary Baker Eddy

“No hypotheses as to the existence of another power should interpose a doubt or fear to hinder the demonstration of Christian Science.” –
Mary Baker Eddy

“Christian Science silences human will, quiets fear with Truth and Love, and illustrates the unlabored motion of the divine energy in healing the sick.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.”
– Psalms 33

“Let the lying lips be put to silence…”
– Psalms 31

“Greater is he than is in you, than he that is in the world.”
– I John 4

“In a world of sin and sensuality hastening to a greater development of power, it is wise earnestly to consider whether it is the human mind or the divine Mind which is influencing one.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“The exterminator of error is the great truth that God, good, is the ONLY Mind, and that the supposititious opposite of infinite Mind – called devil or evil – is not MInd, is not Truth, but error, without intelligence or reality.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“All must sooner or later plant themselves in Christ, the true idea of God”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”
– Zephaniah 3

“The Scripture, ‘Thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over man,’ is literally fulfilled, when we are conscious of the supremacy of Truth, by which the nothingness of error is seen; and we know that the nothingness of error is in proportion to its wickedness. He that touches the hem of Christ’s robe and masters his mortal beliefs, animality, and hate, rejoices in the proof of healing, – in a sweet and certain sense that God is Love.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

Guest Post from a Wise Young Friend

My young friend, William, a fellow Christian Scientist, gave me permission to share this post. It was the first post I stumbled upon when I awakened in the middle of the night all shivering and scared a couple days ago. I found it really helpful. I’m hoping it will be helpful to you, too –

“It’s taken me a while to process my thoughts on recent events, as I’m sure is also the situation with many of you. I am really trying to apply my faith to this situation and see the good at work- it’s hard, but it’s worth it. I’ve been holding to the concept that ‘Divine Love alone governs man…’

“Every generation faces a challenge. 70 years ago, the Greatest Generation faced the spread of fascism over the globe and rose to the occasion- nothing like it has been seen before or since. This is our moment where we get to decide if we are the next greatest generation, or the ‘whatever’ generation that didn’t get out and vote in great enough numbers to stop this from happening. We are confronted with a frightening human picture- one where an administration that bases its power on xenophobia, hatred, racism, sexism, homophobia and dismissal of sexual assault has taken over all the branches of our government. But if we are afraid, then that means we have truly lost. As long as we don’t let fear win, there is hope. I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but it is our responsibility to ensure that our friends and neighbors are kept safe and loved, that our environment is not destroyed, that entire groups of people are not deported, demonized, and victimized, and that our country doesn’t turn to the dystopian future that seems so popular in Hollywood these days. If the law and the government won’t protect everyone in the United States, we will. We can’t leave for Canada or anywhere else. We have to stay and fight. But we can’t fight fire with fire. Hatred must be met with love, fear must be met with courage, violence must be met with forgiveness and peace.

“Along these lines, we can’t stoop to demonizing people, especially if we are resisting an administration that got where it is by doing so. We need to acknowledge the good in everyone and find ways to constructively work together, without excusing bad behavior. Half of our country isn’t monsters. I still believe that. And many positions that those take on the opposing side are understandable and sometimes even laudable. I myself was nominally a moderate before the last few months permanently changed how I viewed this country. We must strive to understand what led them to make this decision and find ways to constructively address their grievances. At the same time, it is up to our generation to finally confront and permanently destroy the systemic racism, bigotry, intolerance, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia that is still apparently a major part of the fabric of this country. Previous generations have tried and have made great strides- now we must finish the race. It’s heartening to me that, if only under-25 votes had been counted, she would have won over 500 electoral votes. This demonstrates to me that there is hope in our generation.

“I still believe that we have a shining future ahead of us. One where we are completely powered by sustainable energy, where we have advanced technologically and spiritually enough to stop destroying our environment, where our nation has grown up enough to look past outward appearances and different opinions and love everybody, no exceptions, where we have left Earth and explored the stars, where we have saved all of God’s precious endangered creations here on Earth, where nobody goes hungry or without needed care, where the income gap is narrowed, and where anybody can be anything they want. All of this WILL happen if we make it happen. Let us take this election as a wakeup all that galvanizes us to redouble our efforts towards a brighter future. We CAN do it!

“Fight the good fight, and surely we shall prevail!”
– William Whittenbury