Mike’s Rumblings – 12-30-22
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. “John the Baptist is one of my favorite people in scripture. He knew who he wasn’t (I am not the Messiah) & he knew who he was (I am a voice in the wilderness).
Every day I need to get clear in my soul about who I am & who I am not. Otherwise I find myself living a life God never called me to.” ~ Rich Villodas, Pastor New Life Fellowship, Elmhurst, Queens
Who are you? Who are you not meant to be? I’ve floundered the most when I tried to be what I wasn’t.
2. “One of the great surprises is that humans come to full consciousness precisely by shadowboxing, facing their own contradictions, and making friends with their own mistakes and failings. People who have no inner struggles are invariably both superficial and uninteresting. We tend to endure them more than communicate with them, because they have so little to communicate.” ~ Richard Rohr, Falling Upward
“Why do you enjoy being with those people Mike?” I’ve been asked that question. My answer is basically the same each time. “Because they are curious enough to be interesting. They’ve either dealt with or are in the midst of dealing with their stuff.”
3. George Santos, who pretty much fabricated an entire bio, will be seated as a Republican member of Congress in January. No one in GOP leadership is doing anything of substance to stop him. None in his party are saying he’s unfit for office. Surprised? I’m not. Character, although it’s given lip service, doesn’t seem to count very much with that bunch.
It’s always a sad and bad day for America when yet another self-serving liar is seated at the table and starts making decisions about our lives.
Scripture reminds us, however, that “those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Scripture is vague however about the timetable.
4. “Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
The persecution complex of Americans is over the top isn’t it? We are so easily offended and adept at magnifying anything that looks like a slight. Back in the day it was called “making a mountain out of a molehill.” It’s all quite sad and sinful and immature and unnecessary.
5. I always liked that Saint Kateri Tekakwitha’s name “Tekakwitha” means “she who bumps into things.” What if holiness is a contact sport and we are meant to bump into things? This is what it means to embrace a contemplative, mystical way of seeing wholeness. It gives a window into complexity and keeps us from judging and scapegoating and demonizing. If we allow ourselves to “bump into things,” then we quit measuring. We cease to Bubble-Wrap ourselves against reality. We stop trying to “homeschool” our way through the world so that the world won’t touch us. It’s hard to embrace the world . . . if we are so protective and defensively shielded from it. A homie told me once, “It’s taken me all these years to see the real world.
And once ya see it—there’s only God there.” ~ Father Greg Boyle S.J. is the Founder of Homeboy Industries, which offers jobs, services, and hope to ex-gang members. He’s always pithy.
Drum roll please. “We cease to Bubble-Wrap ourselves against reality. We stop trying to “homeschool” our way through the world so that the world won’t touch us. …What if holiness is a contact sport and we are meant to bump into things?…”
6. I subscribe to Heather Cox Richardson’s daily newsletter entitled “Letter from an American.” It’s free and it’s very good. Writing about the attempted coup on January 6, she offered this gem that aptly portrays and defines the former president:
“He expressed no concern for those under siege that day, and he did nothing to stop the rioters.”
7. After the January 6 Committee’s report was released, Ron Filipkowski, a former federal prosecutor and Republican, tweeted: “All I can say is that those of us who have lost friends, fought with relatives, resigned positions, been called traitor, left our party, all because we saw very clearly what a con-man, huckster and fraud this man is, have never felt more vindicated.”
Vindication perhaps, but still there’s a hollowness to these kind of victories.
Those who gave their life to all things Trump, for the most part, are still lost in the weeds.
All those evangelical ministers who begged for favor at the White House still have to deal with their willful, grievous sin of idolatry.
All those who yelled at their friends and family members, calling them names and assaulting their patriotism, all because they stood against Trump owe their victims a heartfelt “I’m sorry. I was wrong.”
FOX News owes the world a major Mea Maxima Culpa.
All those testifying at the January 6 hearings who took the fifth and declared under oath that “they don’t remember” need to apologize for their willingness to evade and lie in order to aid and abet treasonous activities.
And I can’t help but agree with Liz Cheney who called out her colleagues in Congress for their duplicity in the most searing terms: “There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain.”
They all need to have a personal ‘come to Jesus’ moment. All of them. Every single one of them.
As do I.
For I have done my own share of ranting and finger pointing. My own words have wounded people. I’ve dishonored myself and God.
I resonate with the conflicted Paul when he writes: “And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway…”
That is sobering. It makes me want to curl up in an embarrassing ball of yuckiness. But scripture also reminds me that “With God all things are possible.” The Divine knows how to fill the darkness with light.
If only we ask.
I’ll cling to that Divine possibility and pray that all of us who need a “come to Jesus meetup” will actually do so. Perhaps then, after the shame is dealt with and the fleeting high of feeling vindicated diminishes, we’ll move towards unfurling the banner of reconciliation and then the very hard work of living under it can begin.
8. “God needed women for survival. Before Jesus fed us with the bread and the wine, the body and the blood, Jesus himself needed to be fed, by a woman. He needed a woman to say: “This is my body, given for you.” ~ Rachel Held Evans
Don’t try to explain the Incarnation to me! It is further from being explainable than the furthest star in the furthest galaxy. It is love, God’s limitless love enfleshing that love into the form of a human being, Jesus, the Christ, fully human and fully divine. ~ Madeleine L’Engle
9. On Wednesday, my Pray as You Go app, reminded me that it was the Feast of the Innocents. King Herod, threatened by the birth of Jesus, took it upon himself to kill all children Jesus’s age in and around Bethlehem. His murderous disregard for life is still numbing.
It reminds me of all the ways we disregard and diminish life in our world. What immediately came to mind was the callous political maneuvering of the Texas governor who decided to send three bus loads of migrants to Washington D.C., specifically to the neighborhood near the Vice President’s residence and dump them there. It was a stunt pure and simple. There was little or no regard for the safety and welfare of those being transported, including the children.
There is no doubt we have a crisis along our Southern border. It needs fixing. Congress needs to find a remedy. Playing games with innocents is not the remedy. Calling the people at the border ‘names’ is not a remedy. It is cruel. Using people for political gain, who are only trying to find a better life for themselves, is not good governance. It is very Herod-like.
And for those who snicker and giggle and applaud these stealth relocation strategies —- please, grow up. You wouldn’t want to be used like this, would you?
10. “I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.” ~ James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
Find a hate filled person and in short order you will discover a pain that has never been faced. Help them fix the pain. Then start talking to them about their hate.