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The week leading up to Father’s Day has been unsettling to put it mildly.  Last weekend, I was on retreat.  The abbey has no televisions, no telephones and wifi only in the library which is open about 7 hours a day.  Sure, I could occasionally find service if I wondered around staring at my phone but I decided to go with the spirit of things.  For approximately 48 hours, my cell phone was nothing but a glorified clock.

It also means that I had no clue what had happened in Orlando until after I got home.  We were out picking up dinner when I saw the news.  My son had to explain to me what had happened.

This was followed by a week of blogs and ads about Father’s Day.  What to cook.  What to buy.  The ten best things to grill.  After my stay at the Abbey and then Orlando, it all felt . . . trivial. No, I’m not saying my husband, father-in-law or father are trivial.  But this?  It was all about being Pinterest-worthy.  Not about being real.

So how are we spending our weekend.  Friday night, we went out for Father’s Day dinner.  Yes, two days ahead but it also meant that we didn’t have to cook after work.

Saturday we are going to a family reunion.  I’m really looking forward to seeing my father-in-law, the uncles and the cousins.

Sunday we have church and we’ll be taking a treat over to my dad at his apartment.  It won’t be particularly Pin-able but we’ll be spending time together.

When God directed us to honor our fathers, I don’t think He had a day of lavish spending in mind, a day of gaudily wrapped gadgets or ties.  If you’re into those things, that’s fine.  We’re more of a fishing and pick up trucks kind of family.  But overall I think it has more to do with listening and spending time together.  Breaking bread and sharing a cup. Spreading His warmth and love and grace. What better way to celebrate our Father than to do as His Son did among the peoples of Palestine?



Right after 9/11, I did a strange thing — I wrote a funny Halloween story. It was part of a contest, sponsored by our local PBS radio station. I wrote it because it occurred to me that horror had suddenly become such a routine part of our lives. We were living horror every day. What we needed, desperately, was laughter. My story was later read on air…but that’s not the point. The point is, here we are again. And I haven’t got anything funny to say.

It isn’t funny that LGBTQ persons have been attacked in what was, for them, a safe space…perhaps the only one they had.

It isn’t funny that they still need safe places in this day and age.

It isn’t funny that, among the huge outpouring of love and concern over the deaths in Orlando, there are still a few bad seeds who so misread the Gospel as to believe that God does not love everyone, no matter whom they love.

It isn’t funny that no matter how many people are killed by firearm in this country, we cannot effect meaningful dialog on gun control.

It isn’t funny that I am certain our founding fathers did not mean for this to be so.

It isn’t funny that the easiest way (by far) to murder so many people in so short a time is by gun.

It isn’t funny that the NRA is happy to accept money from terrorists and the mentally ill.

It isn’t funny that someone on the “no fly” list can buy a gun with ease and that so many of us refuse to even discuss why this isn’t funny.

It isn’t funny that the idiotic hysteria of “They’re coming for our guns!” still seems to work. When has anyone come for your guns? When has that happened?

It isn’t funny that we can wait for a marriage license, a driver’s license, for the ability to buy the car we want with the options we want, but we can’t wait a single minute to own a gun.

It isn’t funny when a politician’s takeaway from a mass murder is “I told you so.”

But the least funny thing of all is that this will happen again. The US suffers more gun deaths than any first-world nation on earth — innocent people, little kids. And we won’t even stop for a moment to analyze why because we’re too afraid to. Not funny, folks. Not even a little.


Have a Mary Little Christmas

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