CounterCulture: A subculture whose values and norms of behavior deviate from those of mainstream society, often in opposition to mainstream cultural mores. A true counterculture includes a significant number of people and persists for a notable period of time. A counter-cultural movement expresses the ethos, aspirations, and dreams of a specific population during a well-defined era.
This is where my country is right now…millions of caring and compassionate citizens are mobilizing to resist the deconstruction of US democracy, and the barrage of assaults on the US Constitution. It’s a long shot. And it’s no time to ‘go along to get along’…
It’s a moment in time where a follower of Jesus is being asked to choose. It’s a moment for radical Gospel living, in a time of chaotic forces aligned to crush the poor, the disabled, the marginal, and the stranger. The Beatitudes compel us to choose->between mercy and greed, between compassion and active contempt, between faithful stewardship or destruction of anyone or anything that impedes commercial profits. It’s come to a choice, between dissembling or honesty.
I want to choose wisely. My anger and outrage sometimes obscure the road ahead. I’m not sure mercy and kindness are the best tools for this war of the worlds, but I do not ever want to be the oppressor… It’s a hard road to walk. Jesus, I’m sorry my country is so anti-Christian, anti-life, anti-stranger, anti-mercy… I’m sorry I sometimes become part of the problem. Lord, forgive us and heal our nation, please?
Today I’m making an effort to find things to be grateful about, mostly because my heart is dragging…nothing uplifts my spirit like remembering the gifts life gives me.
And, to help my attitude-adjustment along, I’m trying to find the motivation to do some seriously past due spring cleaning.
So, about that title? The author is a 14th century Christian Mystic, Dame Julian of Norwich who, according to some sources, was the first woman to actually get a work in print. I’ve appropriated her book’s title, to signify the state of ‘unknowing’ that I’ve settled into, having decided that with my human limitations, I have no way to see or really understand the mind of God, or his Reality. I’ve stopped measuring my understanding by what I know, since I/we/you know nothing… We exist within the limitations of our own minds, experiences, lives, and characters… I have come to believe that embracing this ‘state of unknowing’ is the only way to reconcile who we are with who God is, and why our versions of reality falls so far short of His…
A lot has happened since the last time my blog was active… I am no longer affiliated with a local church community, I’ve changed my voter registration to Democrat, I’ve adopted two really wonderful rescue dogs who have, in turn, rescued me from isolation, loneliness, obesity, and lovelessness. I now know all my neighbors! Life has improved for me.
Life is like that, huh?
On broader issues, my country appears to be headed for a series of state-sponsored pogroms, under an all-Republican governmental structure–presidency, Congress, the Cabinet, the Pentagon, the Supreme Court, US Security and Intelligence agencies, and most states. The targets of these pogroms, according to the president-elect, his communications director/handler, and congressional majority leaders, are anyone who disagrees with their agendas, the media, immigrants, Muslims, democrats, the disabled, elderly, sick, minorities, and the bottom 98% of US citizens. We are in for a very difficult four years…
Are any of you out here in this cloud with me?
Ecclesiastes 3 begins with “There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens…”
I’m feeling that this year. There have been monumental changes in my life and relationships.
Friends have moved on or died, my faith community ties have become more fragmented and strained, after the election of President Obama and local hostility to his presidency. The abrupt dismissal of my lead pastor, a man I know to be seriously smart, talented, and on fire for the Lord sent my expectations tumbling into chaos, as would-be ‘christian’ friends took offense to his activist, inclusive interpretation of discipleship. One day I realized that I could not support their views. I became intolerant of their intolerance. Go figure…
On the positive side, from my viewpoint, a family wedding last June brought some healing and restored relationships between family members long at odds with each other.
I’ve noticed that life evolves around us, whether we are ready or not, whether we want change or resist it. The cycles of life go on in endless rotations without the consent of the living or dead… I can see why some folks settle into a fatalistic attitude. If we can’t control events, why fight the tides, why swim upstream, why resist the inevitable… But some of us, myself included, are born to buck the tide…it’s genetic. Like salmon, we are hardwired to swim against the current of common understanding, and to chart our own course. We’re instruments of change too…
“…So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?…” (Ecclesiastes 3:22)