Saturday, October 03, 2009


I just finished watching Ken Burns film The National Parks...America's Best Idea and it has left me thinking about many things. Whether it be a National Park or maybe a National Scenic Area like the Columbia River Gorge with their natural beauty...or a national monument like the Lincoln Memorial that represent some of the worst moments in our history along with some of the much needed corrections to things that should have never happened...

these locations the people of this nation have agreed to protect are some of the best examples of the best use of government we have. I'm so ready for something to emerge that will bring the best out in us that will work to bring us together instead of what seems to be the kind of things that continue to divide us along ideological lines. Something that would help us see beyond our present situation so as to see all people as valuable and equal and that it would be in a way that finally makes those ideas reality.

If we have not eyes to see and ears to hear, we like many before us might just find ourselves on the wrong side of history...on the wrong side of justice and equality, and those who will follow us will be left wondering how we could have been so blind so as to be left defending and supporting the status quo of a system that still leaves many behind while others live with more than anyone would ever need.

The rally cry we need is not one that stirs our fears of an external or internal enemy that we need to ban together against, around the age old failed idea that through violence we can carve out for ourselves and our children and their children a peaceful world. What we are in need of is a people that understand grace like Richard Rohr describes in Hope Against Darkness....a radically different world. "Without radical and rule-breaking forgiveness-----received and given----there will be no reconstruction of anything. It alone breaks down our damnable world of trying to buy and sell grace. Grace is certainly the one gift that must always be free, perfectly free----to work. Without forgiveness there will be no future. We have hurt one another in too many historically documented and remembered ways. The only way out of the present justified hatreds of the world is grace."

While watching this film on the national parks and the struggles that often were a part of their establishment, a struggle between those who saw God's creation as providing something necessary and healing to the people, that would only be realized in the enjoyment of the natural beauty and tranquility of such places and those who saw these places and saw just more land to be exploited for personal gain in the form of wealth...I found myself always siding with the former group. I've come to realize that unless we can make the shift from the fear driven, self centered, profit-seeking over people-loving paradigm we will stay stuck in the long dark corridor that humanity has been stuck in now for a long time, nothing will change. But if we can somehow make that shift...who knows what might happen? We might just find ourselves one step closer to the realization of the Creator's dream for his created.

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