Patricia C. Wrede on Boston Marathon, here take on Actions speak louder than words

Here is a copy of Wrede’s words on her Blog that respond to Boston

“Boston

The first I heard about the Boston Marathon bombing was when my father called Monday evening to tell me my nephew was uninjured. My nephew goes to school in Boston, and had been watching the race, but not at the finish line. I’d been driving home from out of town, listening to CDs instead of the radio, so I hadn’t known a thing about it. Sometimes, having a weird schedule is useful.

The slight time lag in finding out about it didn’t make the event any easier to process. In fact, it brought up a whole lot of unpleasant memories of hearing about earlier disasters of one sort or another, from Sandy Hook and Columbine to 9/11, from the tsunamis in Japan and the Indian Ocean to Columbia and Challenger, all the way back to Kennedy’s assassination. Some of those horrors were man-made and deliberate; some were the result of terrible mistakes or accidents; some were just nature being nature.  Apart from the fact that people died every time, there’s no connection between them except for the personal one: I remember the same sinking feeling combined with shock as I heard about each of them.

There are a whole lot of known psychological reactions to unexpected tragedy, starting with shock, disbelief, and feeling helpless, but I think the psychologists miss something when they look only at the emotions people have. They miss what people do.

People didn’t panic (which could have caused a lot more injuries, given the crowd). Some of them ran towards the explosion, and not only the police and firefighters and medical personnel who were on the job. A lot of people who were there as spectators did, too, and worked to help the injured. Some of them we know about, and some we don’t.

People who live in Boston signed on to web sites to offer their spare rooms to strangers who were stranded, or who suddenly needed a place to stay while a friend or family member was in the hospital. Others turned up with bottles of juice, water, and sweaters for the bewildered slower runners who weren’t allowed to finish because of the explosions. People who don’t live in Boston coordinated “random acts of pizza,” sending food to the police, firefighters, EMTs, anyone who needed it.

And people talked about what happened, and their reactions to it.  Some of us aren’t in a place where we can do anything but talk…and watch the news, and hope that the death toll doesn’t rise and that they catch whoever planted the bombs. But even that little is doing something, of a sort.

And as far as I’m concerned, doing what one can is important, whether that’s running toward an explosion in order to help, walking calmly away from it so that the EMTs will be able to get in and do their job, or donating $10 worth of pizza to feed the people who are in the thick of things.” Patricia C. Wrede (original link above)

A Parenting Parable: A Fig Tree

“Hurry UP!”

Sometimes I can be a tad impatient with my children, especially my “almost” 5 year old. For example last Friday we were late to school because every single thing I asked him to do he said he would and then didn’t. Making me repeat myself over and over again.

Last week I was trying to nap during my children’s nap/quiet time (quiet time for the older boys for 1hr, nap time for the baby and perhaps my 3 year old depending how good a job we did of wearing him out). My mistake was to try to nap upstairs (my window get a nice piece of sunlight to sleep in midday: I’m part plant you know). Every couple of minutes it was “mmmooooo—ooomm–maaaa….how do I spell….” followed by some word that was somehow related to Dr. Suess–which is our current obsession. My problem was I was so tired I couldn’t follow through on my threats so I kept saying “this is the last time” spell it and inevitably he would return….

What amazes me about this all is that my children’s behavior and its significance for me, the fact of whether they are having a good or a bad day is ultimately reflective of the kind of day I’m having.

Jesus tells a parable of the Fig Tree…In it a fig tree that has been growing for 3 years. It grows, its green, it looks healthy, and yet does not produce fruit. The Master declares it should be cut down, but the caretaker (Christ anyone?) says that he will trim it, give it better soil, and to please let it grow another year and see what then happens. The Master agrees….–Luke 13:6-9

…and that’s it…the story ends, not with whether or not the tree behaves better but the two “parents” of the tree, the caretaker and the master, Jesus and God, agreeing to give it better care. Deciding it wasn’t (entirely) the tree’s fault, and that it probably could produce it just needed more time and space to grow, and more nurturing, and trimming of its bad parts….

If I’m having a good day, the hiccups of a 1, 3 and almost 5yr old are minor and workable. If I’m having a bad day every infraction feels like a personal insult.

https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRG9g5f4tujtVpidSbLAT4Vgmwit9cw7H8qta5FVswcf7r91o3BpgIf I have the wherewithall to take a step back on the bad days then I at least don’t lash out but unfortunately, I am only human. My mom said she used to be really moody/dramatic (Re: my side of the family tends to be) and if one thing went wrong her entire day was ruined. Post-Children, if only a few things went wrong, she knew it had been a “good” day.

So there it is…the promise is that God will follow through on cutting down the bad trees (you know the importance of boundary setting and holding to consequences in parenting), but at the same time, practicing Grace….If my children aren’t bearing fruit that day, maybe I need to look at the care I’m able to give them that day (after all children tend to notice when we are stressed and respond in kind) The focus is not on the consequence but on the gift…let our parenting be the same….not only on my good days, but also on my bad ones

On the other hand on really hard days–where it isn’t about me or the children, but about the world (Newtown and Boston of course spring to mind)–then the misbehavior of small children are put into perspective, and I begin to feel blessed–blessed to be safe, blessed to have children to love, bless to have children who misbehave and are imperfect.

Evil and Christ: How does that work

Just a quick disclaimer: The following poem includes rather strong language. Something I think goes well with Easter. For Lent I gave up swearing … well almost.

A Homily for Easter
by David R. Henson

Goddamn evil
Goddamn abuse
Goddamn injustice, slavery and rape.
Goddamn racism
Goddamn war
Goddamn that strange fruit of bigotry and hate
Goddamn suffering
Goddamn hunger
Goddamn indifference, apathy and waste
Goddamn noose
Goddamn death
Goddamn despair, depression, the wait
Goddamn Good Friday
And a Goddamn cross
Goddamned it all,
Goddamned it too late
Yet we live like it’s Easter
Like God has been raised
We live like it’s light,
In spite of the dark.
We live like there’s joy
With spite in our hearts
For all that remain of our Goddamned days
These Goddamned
Good Fridays.”

Easter’s Rage: A Poem that Will Get Pastors Fired
April 2, 2012 By davidrhenson

In time of hate and suffering, a reminder that Christ is with us & for us

Church is not a…

Church is not a building, a faith or a people–it is nothing more or less than urge for humans to meet together, discuss the theological ramifications of human life and to offer support. Therefore church can happen in all manner of times and places

General Service Announcement

General Service Announcement

“This is a general service Announcements reminding everybody that the best treatment for dementors is CHOCOLATE…in light of the sad events in Boston, in my professional and pastoral opinion I recommend CHOCOLATE for everybody” (Should you be someone who is unable to do chocolate, Cookies may be substituted). Chocolate may not fix our sadness, but it reminds us of the good that does exist in the world and encourages to act out of love not fear.

PS Check out today’s Lectionary Reading from the Bible–remember the opposite of love is not hate but fear, hate grows out of fear
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.”
1st John

Mr. Rogers Does Pastoral Care for Boston Bombing

Returning again to Mr. Rogers words in times of tragedy…let us use this anger and energy to become helpers!

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” — Mister Rogers

Hopefully we too can be part of the helpers

Hopping Hadrian's Wall

boston bombingWhat can I say?  Today has just turned into a Mister Rogers kind of day.

Here are his best-known words of wisdom for getting through days like today:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”

-Rev. Fred Rogers

He also had this advice for parents:

[youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZbXM3Kzd7o%5D

Finally, here is an article with some practical advice for you in responding to this current atrocity:

Boston bombing aftermath: How you can help

May God be with you tonight.

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