Today’s blog is my article that’s posted on the website for The Christian Science Monitor. Here’s the link: http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Articles-on-Christian-Science/2013/0130/Handling-really-big-jobs?nav=413-csm_subcategory-leadStory .
I loved the day my daughter, Erika was married for many reasons, but there was something that happened after the ceremony and reception as people were leaving that I will never forget. Erika and her husband, Mike had a very rambunctiously energetic dog who loved to meet people and share her enthusiasm. If she saw someone she knew or even someone she didn’t know coming into view, she would leap repeatedly into the air and she could leap and bound three or four feet straight up and down. Her name was Carly after Carl Yastrzemski the slugging, 1989 Hall of Fame star of the Boston Red Sox.
One of the most significant events during my lifetime is known as the Velvet Revolution that took place in what was then Czechoslovakia in 1989 and ended over 40 years of communist rule without a shot being fired, which followed a period of spiritual awakening in that country. Adding to the personal significance is the fact that my grandfather came to the United States of America from Czechoslovakia in 1907 in the month that my father was born in this country. The Velvet Revolution inspired me to be on the lookout for situations where spiritual ideas provided a significant focus to drive human history. Until recently I did not appreciate the role that Vaclav Havel had played in the Velvet Revolution and other events still playing out in the world today.
Initially Havel was a part of the Prague Spring that took place in 1968 and ended with Russian tanks rolling into Czechoslovakia to shut it down the open expression of artist and political freedom that were breaking in and around Prague. I was in college at the time and since my grandfather was from Czechoslovakia, I thought seriously about going over to fight the imposition of a repressive regime. For a variety of reasons I did not go, but my heart I was with the spirit of the Prague Spring.
When is it appropriate to take steps on behalf of peace? When is it appropriate to show support for peace? What about during a war?
Here is a report of some events that took place at Green Acre Baha’i School in Elliot, Maine during the First World War to illustrate answers to there questions. They occurred after Sarah Farmer had passed on and Henry Randall was the school administrator. It was reported in Green Acre on the Piscataqua (Baha’i Publishing Trust, 2005, pages 67-68). Continue reading
One of the prophets of the Old Testament in the Bible was Elisha, and he was a towering example of peacemaker and is relevant for us today. The sixth chapter of II Kings describes how he took part in and witnessed the quick and harmonious end of what looked to be a protracted war between Israel and Syria. It states that the king of Syria made war against Israel and sent his army to pursue their army. Through his prayer Elisha was able to discern their plans and warned the king of Israel at least three times where the Syrians were in order to avoid them.
When a community is facing a challenge such as homelessness, we may think of a host of possible solution approaches. Examples include reporting on the situation in the media to bring attention and focus to the problem, developing shelters for the homeless, bring in more law enforcement resources to enforce ordinances, and developing organizations that can provide or coordinate resources to help move the homeless into a more productive role in society.
Another approach that became known as the Prayer Warriors proved effective as the Jointly-Maintained Downtown Christian Science Reading Room in Sacramento, California found out over the past couple of years. What began, on a cold October day, as a visit by a group of ladies from a nearby Christian Science Senior residential facility became this healing prayer team.
When I think about some of the world’s largest problems including war-torn hot spots, I am tempted to be overwhelmed. The underlying problems seem so enormous and they have gone on for so long with cycles of violence and revenge that a solution or resolution seems impossible. Even knowing where or how to begin seems beyond reach.
As a child and a young adult although I felt safe in a loving and protective family situation, there was one area of great concern to me which felt totally overwhelming. My parents, especially my dad, were collectors of everything imaginable. His thought was grounded in his experience of coming out of school during the Great Depression. He believed that having things was of great advantage in case you need them, especially if they came to you on sale or from a local retail store dumpster or from things that other people have thrown away that were still useable.
I would like to point you to this post in James Early’s blog “The Bible Speaks to You” He tells of how he was healed of fear and hatred, but more importantly, he experienced a sense of love he had never felt before.
I would like to point you to Dave Hohle’s blog post titled: “Spiritual Diplomacy.” He states: “We can all contribute PRAYERFULLY to harmonious international relations!” His post outlines other specific prayerful and practical steps we each can take to see peace come to the world step by step.
As we look at Libya today, we witness a dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, trying to survive using cruel and unprincipled tactics including intimidation and murder of his own people. Yet we know that right now God is governing his creation absolutely and that his government is totally good. How do we distinguish what we know to be true in the spiritual domain with what is happening on the human scene?