Daughters of Abraham…

One day a daughter of Abraham
will meet another of the same
in some quiet place, away from the noise of life.
And it may be in passing that they catch each other’s eye
or perhaps just sitting together waiting for a bus.
And they will talk.

Probably pleasantries at first,
the weather or how the garden is doing,
and then perhaps of children, husbands,
family, and home.
And thier eyes will catch again to see, even for a moment,
a secret thing inside.
And they will talk.

Of how it is to lose the life they gave,
and if it matters at all in the larger shape of things.
How the voices seemed so right at the moment
but now everything just goes on and on and on.
Wondering whether it was worth it to make thier
children pass through the fire of Molech to satisfy
an anger that never changes.
And they will talk.

Until the bus comes, or the phone rings, or some other
noise calls them back to the life they have chosen.
Daughters of Abraham, alone and together, givers of
birth and feeders of the fire. The day moves on but in
a moment it comes to them how strange and close they
are to each other, beyond the noise, waiting for the bus,
or standing in line, or any place they can talk.

Why…?

What would happen if people asked why?

When the government comes and asks us to kill other human beings that simple word “why” cuts through all the patriotic blather and manipulation of baser emotions and asks for a reason, a real reason, why some person must be horribly killed for our convenience.

“Why” requires that those in power show cause, a good cause, a just one, a profoundly necessary one for the killing of others. Surely if the common law says that a person cannot be executed without proof beyond a reasonable doubt it stands to reason that the execution of hundreds, sometimes thousands and millions, should require that same level of conviction.

“Why” is the question that gives people power when asked to kill. Wars cannot be fought by the unwilling and if there is no good answer to the question “why” perhaps there is no good reason to commit to the irreversible action of taking human life, especially when those who are ordering it have taken great pains to immuize themselves from the actual effects of thier decisions.

“Why” requires all of us to really look at the other human being as a person and resist the calls of power to dehumanize the other to such an extent that we feel thier life is expendable because they have determined it to be so.

Now I am not a pacifist. I understand there are times when war happens. But I believe there are too many times when the common people, those asked to kill and be killed, forget to step back before the hostilities commence and simply ask themselves, thier nation, and those in power “Why?”. The end result has too often been millions of lives extinguished for silly reasons.

Things will change if people just pause for a moment and ask “Why?”





Give me a shout…

I have a map at the bottom of this blog’s sidebar that tracks the locations of visitors to this site. I frankly amazed at some of the places where this blog has been seen.

I have no idea, of course, about your specific IP address and frankly couldn’t care less. But I am interested in knowing, in a casual way, how you found this site and your critique of it’s contents would be welcome.

Give me a shout, if you want, via the comments section.

Fr John

Walking forward singing…

My travels take me to Bemidji, Minnesota today for an all class reunion of members of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at Bemidji State University.

In the college scene of the 80’s , IV, as we called it, was part shelter, part club, part dating service, and part home for Evangelical Christians (mostly) on campus. It was sort of our frat. There were other campus ministries, of course, but in IV there was a distinct shortage of tweedy, elbow patch, fading 60’s hipster type ministers and that made it special. Praise songs, Bible study, sharing, and then out from the safe harbor to the bumpy ocean of college.

I suspect that my wife and I may be the only Eastern Orthodox Christians there, although I am prepared to be surprised. We crop up in some very unusual places these days. But my gut tells me we will be quite alone and that’s okay. It was worth the journey, every step.

So many times people who come in to Orthodoxy feel they have to throw some level of trash back at wherever it was they came. Perhaps they feel a need to decisively break with the past. Maybe they feel that somehow its required. It could be they really are angry and feel deceived and want some sort of payback. And some really have been ostracized by thier families and friends and have trouble expressing that pain.

I just don’t feel that way. Everything I went through was for this time and place and none of it is to be rejected. It was important for me to have been where I was so that I could be in Orthodoxy as I am. Twenty years ago wasn’t the right time but seven years ago was. It’s all in higher hands than mine.

And someone once gave me some very good advice which I remember to this day. Come in to Orthodoxy walking forward and singing and not walking backward and shouting.

Behold I am making all things new…



A thought on the object of life…

“The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and stoic philosopher, 121-180 A.D.

From an editorial by Tony Blankley in the August 2nd “Washington Times” on the nature of world opinion and the propaganda wars of our time.

I wonder what I did with my copy of…

An interesting link to “end times” speculators through the ages.

Since the Middle East is in the news again I suspect the usual suspects will be cranking out the prophecies and a little background may be in order.

I wonder what I did with the copy of “89 Reasons why the Rapture will happen in 1989” someone (anonymously) sent me when I was a Baptist Pastor in Milwaukee.

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