In the 9th chapter of the gospel of John, we find a man born blind from birth. Christ was asked “Rabbi, who sinned?” It is a powerful question, one that many ask in their own lives. We ask, “What sin did I do to deserve this?” or “Why am I suffering for the sins of my parents?”
The truth is much more of a mystery. We cannot pin the results of sin on any one person. We cannot pin the results of sin upon ourselves or upon others. Creation suffers due to the community of sin, past, present, and future. Sin is communal, and the results are communal. We all suffer from the combined results of a sinful and broken world. Not only humankind, but all creation suffers.
Thankfully, the cure is communal as well. Christ brought the Kingdom of God to Earth to heal the results of the communal nature of sin. He brought healing to all, he is bringing healing to all, and he will bring healing in the fullness of time. Through Christ, we too are to provide healing to all.
The Bible and the Christian tradition speaks much of trust in the Triune God, but not at all about trust between humans. Every human relationship depends on trust, yet our tradition says nothing at all.
This is essential to the timelessness of our faith. Our trust in the Triune God should be present across all adversities and all cultures. But, we must adapt our notions of trust between humans depending on the culture and social structures within which we live.
We are told to live in the present. We must be a good parent today, we must manage money well today, we are to exercise today, we are to enjoy today, we are to enjoy this meal at this moment. But, we are so much more than today. We are past, present, and future. We consist of those who have gone before us. We consist of all that has happened in our lives. We consist of hopes and dreams yet to be experienced.
In our relationships, we often try to experience them in the moment. We are told to forget the past and only focus on today. Relationships are not built in the moment. They are built on experiences past, experiences of the moment, and the hopes of experiences in the future. Relationships are built on trust, built on experiences in our lifetime as well as experiences passed down from generations before us. We so often try to build relationships based on the present, but they are only a shadow what might be.
The most beautiful and awe inspiring sight, a hawk riding the mountain updraft to ever increasing heights.
New lesson for today, squirrels enjoy eating mushrooms :)
One of the gems of Northeast Huntsville is Lewter family park at the corner of Windham and Wellman. One of Huntsville’s smaller parks, it makes up what it lacks in size with character. It reminds you of a time before cars so permeated our society, a time when children walked or rode bikes to the local park to play. Over recent years, the city and volunteers have refreshed the park. The swings are in good working order, and a new slide and climbing area for small children are available. Clean picnic tables are inviting someone to enjoy a picnic. Some local neighbors have donated plastic basketball hoops for the little ones.
Several garden spots have been added with the support of Huntsville’s operation green team. They have already been planted with a variety of spring lettuces and kales. I expect spring vegetables will be planted as soon as the threat of frost has passed.
If you haven’t been by lately, stop and check out one of Huntsville’s gems. If you don’t live within walking distance, there are a handful of parking spots along the side. Bring your children or grandchildren and enjoy a beautiful day outside.
“Why are things that are so easy for others so difficult for me.” It may not be a direct quote, but I heard this from a close friend a few months ago. It is a sentence that now stays in my mind. A lack of empathy is often a result of not understanding this truth.
Most of all us have a weakness for which this is true. It may be the ability to control our appetite, control alcohol consumption, or maintain a regular exercise routine. It may be anxiety in social situations or a fear of stores. It may be the ability to get an education or work a job with a regular schedule. It may be the ability to keep track of and manage finances. Those who are around us do not understand, asking “Why don’t you just….” They do not understand that thing that is easy for them is so difficult for others.
Understanding this is essential to living an empathetic life.