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Consider the following: A woman decided that whenever she saw a man walking towards her, she would not deliberately get out of his way. She ran into 28 men in short order.

Consider also: During a prayer ceremony, a box full of beautiful, hand-forged glass beads was passed from person to person. Each bead was unique and connected to a prayer; the bead you chose indicated which prayer you would read aloud. Out of dozens of beads, I chose the bead for “silence.” Oh, the irony! I have always been a quiet person — a good baby, an obedient child, never prone to expressions of emotion or even strong opinion (except in my writing). Loquacious friends know they can call me, and I’ll listen for hours. So what was my reaction to choosing that particular bead? “Fifty-three years of being quiet, Lord. When do I get to speak?”

Clearly, the questions need to be asked: Who always gets out of the way? Who gets to speak and who remains silent? And why do we simply accept these answers?

When it comes to politics, the loudest voice wins. The voice doesn’t necessarily represent the majority; it doesn’t have to. If it makes its point loudly enough and with enough aggression, the others will back down. We are seeing this on a daily basis with our current government. Who is allowed to speak when it comes to immigrants and immigration? Not the immigrants themselves. Why? The story is about them. So why are their voices largely unheard?

Who drives policy and who is expected to step aside, even when the policy has nothing to do with the drivers and everything to do with the conceders? Why? Because the drivers have the power. Is that fair? Is that even logical? And if it isn’t, what will it take for the conceders to stand their ground?

I want you to think about this. Are you the person who steps aside or the one who expects others to get out of the way? Are you a loud voice or a silent one? And most importantly, how does God expect us to treat the other? Is God a walk all over people God or a considerate God? Whom did Jesus side with — the powerful people or the silent people (women, the downtrodden, the poor)? And when the silent are enjoined to be “civil,” to not make a fuss, is that what Jesus would do?

What we do with the answers to these questions will say a lot about who we are. It may even determine what happens to us in the next life. I have a feeling that Heaven is where the silent finally speak.

When you decide to help someone or not, do you examine their situation with love?

Now I’m not talking tough love.  You know the kind I mean – you made your mess, now go deal with it yourself.

What I mean is the love that you would show your grandmother.  Or your best friend.  Or your dog.  Yeah, that’s quite a variety and I’m being a bit cheeky but pick whichever being you love the most.

The love we show each other should resemble the grace God has given us.  I always imagine that God is a lot like my Dad.  When we went into the city after he told us not to, he didn’t make us tough it out when we locked our keys in the car.  When I leaned all crazy in one of mom’s good chairs and got my elbow stuck through the slats . . . well, I did get a comment after that one.

But he always approached the situation with grace.  That’s the love we  need to have in our hearts for each other.

Now I think I should go make something special for Dad.  I may have been the easiest kid but that’s probably because I didn’t argue before I did something ridiculous.  I just did it.

Thank God for grace.




Have a Mary Little Christmas

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