Each day, I remind myself, “We live in interesting times.” A second breath adds, “We live in frightening and uncertain times.” Can we depend on those in power to make positive changes? Maybe and maybe not. Can unimportant, unrecognized people — such as retired senior citizens hope to make even the most miniscule impact? Possibly but probably not.
Foolishly, I suppose, I think that the only genuine answer comes through living from a space of love. My closest friends suggest how silly I sound. I am reminded of the person seen throwing starfish back into the ocean. “Hey, man, don’t you know you aren’t making a difference?” The reply, as he threw another struggling form back to the water, “I made a difference for that one.” I too still want to make a difference.
So, for those of us who worry about:
- vouchers robbing low-income schools of revenue,
- guns overtaking sanity,
- conditions that continue to stack the decks against minority populations,
- wealthy augmenting their troves of riches while those in the middle income and below falter,
- destruction of the environment — the question remains, “What can we do?”
Although I support responsible gun ownership, stockpiling weapons for the purpose of defending one’s home and family seems like a poorly thought through plan. A wiser proposal suggests abdicating responsibility for protection to police and military troops. In an effort to think about a new perspective on personal weapons, please join me on an imaginary time-travel journey as we contemplate the following question:
Can the words of Jesus work in today’s world?
Imagine for a moment that just outside the walls of Jerusalem, we mingle with devout followers of Jesus. The Last Supper has been eaten, Judas departed, and Jesus has withdrawn to pray. Although most disciples sleep, a few of us crouch around a small fire to discuss possible actions to take. All of us realize that danger lurks. Our Master’s life hangs in jeopardy.
As we linger, we hear “Jesus will be arrested. He will be tried and found guilty of blasphemy. We have to do something.” Following a hushed moment, a disciple mutters, “We must arm ourselves. In order to protect our Master and our lives, we must resist. Let every man take up arms and be ready for defense. When the soldiers arrive, we will be ready.” Continue reading