Mike’s Rumblings – 08-04-23
This is an audio version of Mike Murphy‘s Friday rumblings. This is a regular post on Facebook that I’ve turned into a podcast. I decided Mike’s words needed a wider audience. You may agree or disagree with what he says, but there is certainly much food for thought contained here. You can friend Mike on Facebook for the printed version or read it below
1. “Trump loves to play the victim card. Don’t fall for it.” ~ Jen Psaki, MSNBC
Totally self-absorbed people aren’t very good at self-critique. When they face inevitable pushbacks, when their schtick isn’t working, when the law is breathing down their neck, and their backs are against the wall they do what a self-absorbed person often does. They pull out the victim card, start playing the blame game, pointing fingers at everyone but themselves. Instead of owning up to deficiencies and weaknesses, they start playing the role of a victim/martyr.
Psaki is right.
Don’t buy what self-absorbed Trump is trying to sell us.
He’s a man with a long history of well established patterns of willful sinfulness. He’s not a victim and certainly not a martyr. He’s made his bed and now has to sleep in it. Four history making indictments will make sleeping difficult I’m sure. As well it should.
I’m praying with the prophet Amos that “Justice will roll down like a river and righteousness like a never ending stream.”
2. “If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food. It’s a plus for everybody.” ~ Anthony Bourdain
Putting our life into motion, even in small ways, is a good thing. It helps scratch our ‘curiosity’ itch and it forces us to ask questions that we never before thought of. As a bonus we become more interesting. That’s a very good thing.
3. “Church is too often the riskiest place to be spiritually honest.” ~ Pete Enns
I’m thankful for the churches which prove this wrong. We need more of them.
4. Recently, I was reminded that “Bad politicians are elected by good people who don’t vote.” That’s true. It’s also true that those bad politicians are doing whatever they can to keep good people from voting.
5. “If you work with your hands, sabbath with your mind; if you work with your mind, sabbath with your hands.” ~Abraham Joshua Heschel
Good advice. Sabbath beckons us to give ourselves a break from all the ordinary patterns of our lives. It invites us to rest, be thankful and to do whatever it is that breathes life into our tired souls.
6. Florida State Sen. Bobby Powell recently said: “The full measure of African American history is not a handpicked Rosa Parks here and a Martin Luther King Jr. there. It is the sweeping collection of stories spanning several centuries, the lessons of cruelty and inhumanity interwoven in the determination of a people to live and breathe free. It is as much Florida’s story as the nation’s story, and it needs to be fully told.”
The full story does indeed need to be fully told. It can’t be whitewashed. It can’t be dumbed down.
7. “Sooner or later, everything falls away.
You, the work you’ve done, your successes,
large and small, your failures, too. Those
moments when you were light, alongside
the times you became one with the night.
The friends, the people you loved
who loved you, those who might have wished
you ill, none of this is forever. All of it is
soon to go, or going, or long gone.
Everything falls away, except the thread
you’ve followed, unknowing, all along.
The thread that strings together all you’ve
been and done, the thread you didn’t know
you were tracking until, toward the end,
you see that the thread is what stays
as everything else falls away.
Follow that thread as far as you can and
you’ll find that it does not end, but weaves
into the unimaginable vastness of life. Your
life never was the solo turn it seemed to be.
It was always part of the great weave of
nature and humanity, an immensity we
come to know only as we follow our own
small threads to the place where they
merge with the boundless whole.
Each of our threads runs its course, then
joins in life together. This magnificent tapestry –
this masterpiece in which we live forever.” ~ Parker J. Palmer
8. “We have lived our lives by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. We must change our lives so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption, that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and learn what is good for it.” ~ Wendell Berry
9. You’ve seen the meme. It reads: “You can’t worship the child in the manger while drowning the child at the border.”
Barbara Brown Taylor gives us a good compass heading.
“The only clear line I draw these days is this: when my religion tries to come between me and my neighbor, I will choose my neighbor… Jesus never commanded me to love my religion.”
The people at our border, in a biblical sense, are our neighbors. Many are there because they have no other place to go. And yes, our immigration system is problematic at best but that’s no excuse for allowing our hearts to grow cold. Nor is it an excuse for us to embolden elected officials who seemingly delight in treating those at our border with cruelty. These refugees are not subhuman people. Like us, they are made in the image and likeness of a very good God.
It’s important to keep reminding each other that Jesus, Mary and Joseph fled from a tyrant in their homeland and sought refuge in Egypt. Their story is a refugee story.
10. “During our work and other activities, even during our reading and writing, no matter how spiritual, and, I emphasize, even during our external devotions and vocal prayers, we must
stop for a brief moment, as often as we can, to love God deep in our heart …even though this is brief and in secret…
Ultimately, we can offer God no greater evidence of our faithfulness than by frequently detaching and turning from all things created so we can enjoy the Creator for a single moment…” ~ Brother Lawrence
All day, every day, the sacrament of the present moment, is calling our name.