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
via T’was Two Weeks Afore Christmas
T’was Two Weeks Afore Christmas
T’was two weeks afore Christmas and all through Eff Bee
not a creature was stirring – not a she, he, or me
We were prostrate and spent from the holiday bustle
not a twitch could be seen from the teeniest muscle.
We lay all unblinking in our respective beds
while visions of gift-wrapping swirled through our heads
And clad in our jammies and our way cool madcaps
we had the vague hopeful hope our bodies would take naps.
Holiday jangles and jingles pinged through our brains –
Presley, Crosby, and Mathis taking us down memory lanes –
and would we remember every member to be gifted?
We mentally went through our lists, hoping none were omitted
There were homes to be decorated and cards to be sent
parties, caroling, and cookie-making, and we hadn’t made a dent.
But with a collective sigh we remembered there and then
that it’s really about good will to all creatures, women, and men.
And so our thoughts finally settled and our bodies relaxed
as we thought of those we love and a world festooned in pax.
With our hearts wrapped in kindness and the world as our ‘hood
We’re all brethren and sistren – and verily, It’s all good!
– Karen Molenaar Terrell, from The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Christmas Book
“Follow your leader, only so far as she follows Christ.”
– Mary Baker Eddy, Message to the Mother Church, 1902
About a month ago I changed my “Way Cool People for Bernie” FB group to “Way Cool People for Progress.” I’ve never been someone who followed personalities – I’ve always tried to follow ideas – and I realized that when I made my group I was doing the opposite of what I’ve always done. I was following a personality. That never works for me. Never. And on the flip side of that – it has never served me well to demonize personalities, either. And I’ve found myself doing THAT in the last couple years, too. So. I’m going to work really hard to get back to my roots. Wish me luck.
“…ever follow that which is good…” – I Thess 5:15
“Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace…” _ Romans 14:19
“…follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” – I Timothy 6:11
“Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good.” – 3 John 1:11
(Skyline Divide Trail, North Cascades, Washington State)
The sunshine called to me this week during lunch: “Karen… Karen… come out and play…” Here in western Washington we’ve had sparkly days of azure skies and fresh spring breezes; the daffodils are smiling at us; and blossoms are starting to pop open on the early-blooming fruit trees. How could I possibly resist a lunch-time walk downtown?
On Wednesday my feet led me to the walk along the Skagit River, down a side street, and then – as if propelled by their own power – my feet brought me to the Forte Artisan Chocolate store in Mount Vernon. Yes. That’s right. It was my feet, I tell ya. My feet took me into the chocolate shop. And, of course, once I found myself in the chocolate shop I HAD to buy something, right? I chose two truffles and a chocolate-covered caramel and as the young man was bagging my chocolates up for me, he smiled and asked me if I was “Mrs. Terrell.” And then he told me his name – and I realized that he was one of my former middle school students! Ohmygosh! It was so fun to see him again! Ryan had just come back from all kinds of amazing adventures in southeast Asia – and as he shared a little about his adventures with me I found myself grinning from ear-to-ear. I cannot tell you the pleasure it gives me to run into my old students and see the amazing lives they’re making for themselves. As I was ready to leave, Ryan said, “Come here!” and he came from behind the counter and gave me a big hug. I left the store with a smile on my face and a heart full of happiness. Also a bag of award-winning chocolate. For later. (It lasted two whole hours.)
It was another sunny day today, and I ventured back into downtown Mount Vernon during my lunch break. This time I bought myself a green-topped St. Patrick’s cupcake from the Shambala Bakery and Bistro. As I was leaving the bakery and heading back to school I ran into John the Peace Man. I’d met John a couple years ago when I’d joined up with the little group of weekly demonstrators in front of the Skagit County Courthouse to wave my “LOVE RULES” sign for an hour. The demonstrators have been standing out there every Friday at noon for years now – maybe decades. When I saw John I realized that he was probably walking to the noon-time demonstration, and fell into step beside him. When I got to the Courthouse I found my dear peacenik friends there, waving their signs. I love these folks.
I brought sunshine and love back with me to school after my lunch-time walks this week. I’m thinking lunch-time walks on sunny days should be, like, a requirement for all teachers. Right?
Tucked into a little table for one
in a corner of the Colophon
Cafe after a brisk walk along
the windy wave-tossed bay –
I’m feeling mellow and at peace
with life. It has been a lovely day.
The human-song falls and increases
in waves around me – soft exchanges,
and loud rolling laughter, female
and male blended together – ranges
from bass to soprano dance and sail
into my ears and gently tickle my soul.
In front of me a pot of steaming green tea,
African peanut soup, a soft, warm roll,
and slices of cheddar and Swiss cheese.
It is a moment of perfection.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell