Thursday, November 16, 2017

Grateful


For as long as my children have been grown and have had children of their own, we have had to be flexible at the holidays because of individual schedules and other family commitments. We’ve gathered to celebrate Christmas as early as December 11th and as late as December 29th. The day on the calendar was not as important as our being together so we made the calendar a somewhat fluid concept. 

Same with more than two dozen Thanksgivings. Some on the actual day, but just as many on another. Sometimes it’s a huge crowd, sometimes a small but elite group. Over the years, as our tribe has changed and aged, we’ve added and subtracted to our numbers with the inevitabilities of moves, marriage, divorce, births and deaths. Regardless, somehow we always bring it together to acknowledge through our traditions that we are grateful. 

And grateful we are. So grateful.

Thanksgiving 2016 we pulled together as many as were able to enjoy our traditional turkey feast on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Proving, yet again, that we are not beholden to a printed calendar.  On the actual designated day, as the tribe dispersed to celebrate the holiday with others, Poppy and I escaped to our boat on Lake Lanier for the start of a long quiet weekend. I planned a scaled down mock turkey dinner for us to chow on. Seemed like the normal thing to do, not sure why, likely more to do with honoring tradition than desire to eat more turkey.

As I was preparing our little representative meal, suddenly I found myself fighting off a tug of sadness. I soon rationalized it as empathy that comes from immersion in a circumstance. It washed over me that there were likely uncountable others who, without family to share the day/meal with, would be all alone, to eat whatever, endure and cope as best they could. I let the slideshow roll in my head reviewing our boisterous, happy, too-much-food to consume gathering on the previous Saturday and stood there temporarily immobilized in my small galley in a swirl of emotion. 

I offered up a prayer for those alone, no matter the reason. And then I offered up a prayer of gratitude, not only for the blessings of family and friends or for more than enough food and homes to gather to eat it in, but also for the opportunity that comes with those blessings abundant. Opportunities to share and care - opportunities to praise God for more than merely being spared some of the trials others face every day - but thankful for obligations of heart. The ability/honor to be God’s hands and feet to bless others.

After our scaled down repast we bravely sat, bundled up on the back deck. The norm for the busy marina is motion and noise so I’ve never experienced such stillness and quiet there. I could easily imagine the other dockers elsewhere eating too much and hooping it up with their favorite people as the two of us simply embraced the abnormal peace. 

Looking out to the undisturbed polished patent leather water reflecting a fringe of the last remaining rusty golden trees of autumn I understood, in the briefest flush of insight, how deep and wide gratitude could be. How being grateful is not what you are at the end of being blessed. It is the beginning of what you do to show it.

As a winter gull took advantage of an updraft overhead, questing for his favorite meal, I pondered my opportunity.

For Him,

Meema

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Testing



When we are in school we study and practice to learn a thing. And then we are tested to  demonstrate we have mastered it.

And so it goes in our spiritual life as well. We study the Word, then we have opportunities to practice what we think we have learned. But then final test day comes. We are cornered, trapped at our spiritual desk, pencil in hand, moment of truth set before us to prove ourselves. Have we committed the skill to long term memory, truly learned the lesson?

I had such a test recently. As old as I am, I continue to be examined. 

Our chimney needed cleaning. I did a small amount of research and, of course, I opted for the least expensive offer. I had a coupon, which made it a bit cheaper still. I set up the appointment and the day arrived.

Two very nice men came and within less than a minute the lead guy informed me my chimney was in very bad shape and needed more service, a chemical treatment that would cost $39.95 extra and additional ongoing treatment with chemicals in a tube added to the next three fires, at $20 each, that he could provide, of course. In retrospect I can see the speed at which this diagnosis was made and then applied was orchestrated to prevent me from having too much time to think about it. That the whole service was quick is an understatement.

In less than 20 minutes, the two skilled workers vacuumed the ash from my fireplace, shoved a wire brush up the two floors of chimney pipe, supposedly sprayed a chemical up into the darkness, turned on the gas jet ‘to warm it up’ and left to go over to my daughter’s house to do the same thing. Not too surprisingly they found all sorts of things wrong with her chimney as well. When she called me to complain they had dropped ash and coals on her new rug and yet she had to ask them to clean it up, I started to feel as though we had been had. But when she said they were gone and I realized they weren’t coming back to finish the job at my house was when fury welled up in me.

I called the number to see if they were returning to put the heavy grate back, that they had left outside on my front steps, and recheck the job the ‘chemical’ had done and then turn off the gas. He answered and seemed shocked I had called and replied they were finished. I am not a hot head and never have been but I instantly responded in angered tone, asking him if putting the grate back was not part of the service I had paid for. He said, as though he were doing me a favor, that he would come back, and I replied, no thanks I’ll do it myself and hung up.

So this was the multiple answer test before me on my spiritual desk:

A) Call the company and make a formal complaint.

B) Put a one star rating and rant on their website

C) Let it go.

I chose C because deep inside of me there is a well of knowledge that has been building for seven decades into a fine-tuned instinct. This knowledge was not gained or is even knowable without practice. Lots of practice. Like doing a 100 math problem sheet or writing a 2000 word essay with proper grammar, the embedding of ‘how to’ comes only from practical experience.

The deep knowledge that must be tested in order for us to know that we have graduated to the next level of learning is revealed in how we respond but it’s also complex and the answer isn’t always as absolute as math or conjugating a verb. Sometimes the test is about our willingness to let go and let God handle the ending and sometimes the test is about our strength of will to stand up against evil. 

Discerning which is which is a language arts skill. Listening to and correctly interpreting the still small voice and then responding appropriately determines our advancement to the next grade.

For Him,
Meema


Hebrews 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Inspiration from a Cemetery



It’s been yet another blurring-by week. Time wears a jet pack, I think. I worked on the cemetery directory book project for three of the days. It’s mind numbing for me, a right-brained artist type confined to manipulating data, listings of names and locations so it’s statistical information that I am trying my best to fit into the allotted pages/space with my creative muse in lock down. Every time I adjust a column of numbers the type jumps further down and then I have to go work on that accompanied by not a small amount of groaning.

Sometimes I must admit to the frustration of not how tedious the job is but knowing that no one really understands what it takes to get a book formatted other than the one who is wrestling with the type. You just have to take my word for it. Type is self-willed and ornery. Sort of like herding cats.

Thursday I had finished enough repair to the text to see I had some space that begged to be filled and I wanted something artistic for the cover anyway so I decided I needed to go to the cemetery myself and get some pics. The town the cemetery is located in is about 20 miles away and I had never been there so the first challenge was to find it. Once I found a spot to park and started walking around I suddenly remembered why I hate cemeteries. It’s so... final. Like punctuation at the end of a sentence. This one goes way back though. Been final for a long time. There are gravestones of soldiers from the Civil War. Imagine that! 

With no plan, I walked aimlessly, stopping to read what looked like the oldest stones. It’s not flat, quite hilly actually, so I had to climb and weave around a bit, hoping I would not stumble and find myself in a disabled heap in an old cemetery no one knew I was in. I snagged a few snaps of old markers still looking for the cover shot. Then, just as I was ready to leave, I spotted a bench sitting under a huge old oak tree and I knew I had accomplished my quest.

As I was driving home the words started pestering me, a phenomenon I am quite familiar with. Poems come. I couldn’t stop them if I tried. 

My sixth grade teacher, Mrs. MacMillan introduced me to the art of emotional storytelling with poetry. She did it so cleverly, teaching us by doing. She entered the classroom, after recess, reciting a poem, glass of water in hand. The woman could make taking a draw of water from a glass look like performance art. But it was her words that calmed us to silence. No other way to say it - she graced us. Every word issued with such mastery we were held like muted hostages in our seats. 

This word artist planted seeds that changed everything. She awakened something that beckoned me to create, to make something from nothing, to splash color into a black and white world, even though the world may not appreciate it much less understand it. The siren call was  - do it anyway. No matter what and just because.

Consider being 70 years old and just realizing that a single person, so long ago, was the one to credit (blame?) for your peculiar life path. 

As I drove home from the cemetery, the words came, and I thought of Mrs. Ella Macmillan, teacher, mentor, poet extraordinaire and in my sweet reverie, she was yet alive. 

So, apparently, even when the sentence is punctuated, it can live on to inspire as though it was not finished. 

For Him,

Meema

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Just Had to Say It


I’m officially over it. So tired of the rhetoric, So tired of the puffed up self-righteousness. So tired of the claims that NFL players have the right to express their opinions, their right to demonstrate their deep concern for what they see as miscarriage of justice. 

Right. 

The most rascally, law-breaking bunch of neanderthals alive are incensed about injustice for - something or other. No one is really sure, at this point, what it is they are taking a knee for because the meme has been hijacked. Who didn’t see that coming?

Let’s get real. NFL is a business. Its product is referred to as a game but it’s just a business, a multi-million dollar one at that - not to mention tax exempt. Not sure how that happened. Who knew? Interesting that this sort of truth comes out in the kicked up dust that adds to all the violent coughing. Regardless, and nevertheless, NFL players are just employees of the company. That’s all they are. Highly paid employees who also happen to be entitled with full access to a very big stage and audience.

And yet, private businesses, practically unknown, like a bakery for example, that have to pay through the nose for the right to be in business, gets fined and/or shut down for standing up for their rights to express their opinions and beliefs.  

And so the hypocritical god of self-righteousness is fed and kept fat and happy. 

But I digress, continuing my quest to get real, while the employees of most businesses (Christian business excluded) are certainly entitled to their opinions and beliefs, they actually do not have the right to express these during working hours, if the employer has house rules against such an act. Further, and perhaps most importantly, if the rule of thumb is that a customer has a right to purchase a product without being preached to, then that rule must be applied across the board. Doesn’t this seem fair? Or is fair a concept only applicable to the self-righteously endowed?

But, you know, it’s all good so long as those who worship and feed the beast get to feel sooooo good about themselves. Because they are right, after all. Facts do not matter and actually get in the way when the self-righteous are laying sacrifices at the clay feet of their god. Rules can be tweaked. Words can be redefined to fit the narrative (cause) du jour. 

As my mom used to say, what goes around comes around, and it all comes out in the wash. Self-righteousness is but a shallow imitator, after all, and runs out of steam as the other god of this world rears its ugly head and roars that it needs to be fed too. That would be the god of commerce. 

In pagan circles I think that is referred to as karma. I, of course, see it as completely predictable conclusion because once you know how to identify the enemy, you understand it’s been around since the very beginning and pretty much sticks to a script. 

For Him,
Meema

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Ordinary Clay


One of my favorite things about writing is that a wordsmith never knows how or from where inspiration will come. Several  exchanges with others in the past several weeks has caused me to pause for a bit of introspection. 

I conclude it’s time to confess what I discovered. 

I may not wear my theological convictions as slogans on a t-shirt, but I am about as Christian as one can get, if by definition one who believes in and seeks to follow Christ can claim to be. However I am also a lone wolf, so to speak. For reasons unnecessary to list, while I am a member of the Body of Christ, I don’t belong to a religious group/denomination/church. It has taken most of my seventy years to be 100% comfortable and okay with that.  Perhaps because the world has its own definitions of how to identify a Christian and I don't fit.

Since one is rarely an ‘outlier’ by choice, I freely admit I used to long for like-minded Christian fellowship.  But the longer I have remained in the wilderness of being outside of organized religion, first by being forced, then remaining by choice, the more I sought to learn, the more difficult it became for me to have meaningful fellowship on a spiritual plain. I certainly can interact socially, but neither can I share what I also cannot now unknow. This sounds arrogant but I do not mean it to be. It’s simply describing the difference between requiring nourishment by milk or meat. I’m in the meat stage now. 

Disclaimer note: Getting to this point in one’s spiritual walk is not inevitable and not a requirement for salvation. 

Think of it as graduate school. You have your diploma and now you want to go further. Growing in Christ is as individual a process as each person’s testimony. The conundrum is - it can’t be taught but only experienced. Though some truly anointed teachers, such as Tozer, T-Austin Sparks, Oswald Chambers, etc., have each put out the syllabus for seekers to follow to their own higher education.

I understand the human side is to desire to share and connect, to uplift and be uplifted, to maintain accountability to something. Humans are hard-wired for this. But some of this is just a natural yearning for confirmation from others, that you are on the right track. Birds of a feather flock together for a reason. In my personal journey, that I know has no real end until my last breath is exhaled, I finally realized that the only confirmation I really need is from Jesus. If I am pariah to the world, if I do not nor ever will ‘fit in’ as long as I know I am pleasing to Him, I can do His bidding and no one else has to see or acknowledge it. In fact, given the state of the world nowadays I think I would be somewhat alarmed if suddenly the world noticed or understood me. God forbid! :-)

When I was younger I assumed there was a specific calling for my life. As I grew up in the spirit I finally understood that I am simply called to BE His will. Every small, unnoticeable call that I have stepped up to is all that was required of me. It is my opus, my body of work. As simple as a prayer, as complex as a physical reaching out of a hand up. God is not bound by our definition of size or meaningfulness. It’s not the doing it that matters as much as the willingness to say,  "Here am I, Lord. Send me!”. This still amazes me.

It's another of those great mysteries though - to grasp that nothing we are or do matters as much as the act of simply obeying, even if you never know why, even if ‘going’ means staying right where you are and silently praying as you are prompted. 

So, here I am, just a lopsided, lumpy, empty vessel at the ready to serve, whatever that might be. Nothing grand or noteworthy. Nothing to share with or teach anyone else. But this, then, is also my consolation for lack of fellowship. Those several degrees of separation also protect me from the slings and arrows of the madding world. I am grateful.

Thank You, Lord!

For Him,
Meema


Romans 9:21 - Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Thing About Dreams



Ever so often I will read a thing that stirs up my longing to share my peculiar perspective hoping it might inspire someone else. With history as my go-by, I know it’s a risk, particularly for me, because I have never been in step with conventional wisdom so there’s a high probability that the reaction to my contribution to the topic will produce either the sound of crickets, a rebuke, or a gracious pass. I know I’m the only one who gets me, that’s why I talk to myself. 

This has worked for me, but, as usual, my way is rarely right for others. 

The recent topic was about dreams and how long one has to wait sometimes for them to be realized. I shared that I conditioned myself early on to keep expectations on the down side even as I continued to allow myself to day dream, preferring to be pleasantly surprised over being disappointed. I do attribute this, in large part, to my personality type. I’m nothing if not severely practical. But also I believe I had to devise my own coping skills so that I could live here happily, preferring to be happy over being in a constant state of moony dysfunction. 

For me, the glass is not just half full - it’s refillable. It comes down to attitude and definitions of what dream fulfillment actually is.

As a child, I dreamed of  being a ballerina. I spent most of my preteen years on my toes, swirling, pirouetting all over the place but the tough truth was that my parents could not afford ballet lessons. So, by default, that dream simply was not going to happen. At least not in the way the world might define ballerina.

When I entered high school I found my niche in the drama department. One year I played Essie in You Can’t Take it With You. I was on my toes for six weeks through rehearsals and three night performances and one matinee. 

By absolute definition, I was never going to be a ballerina but I did get to experience what it would be like on a real stage in front of a packed house thus I got a taste. My kind of dream fulfillment - good enough! Better than nothing! Move on to the next dream - be an artist, a builder, a designer, a writer. Are those not subjective titles?  

All humans have hopes and dreams, a bucket list. As well they should because this is the stuff of human innovation. It’s also where the color flushes into an often black and white world. 

But too often I meet people who are still clinging to a dream that they hold in a sealed box. It has rigid boundaries, no variation allowed. It has to be a certain way or it can’t be at all. I’ve had this discussion with quite a few dreamers of seeing their names on a printed book. This is why I started my own publishing company more than a decade ago. I wanted that too - to be acknowledged as a legitimate writer but it wasn’t going to happen so rather than allowing the dream to languish I hacked out a path of my own and helped a few others along the way so they could hold that book/dream in their hands. Defining what being a published writer truly means is rarely what dreamers believe it to be anyway, you’ll just have to take my word for that.

In the end all this means is that I do a thing even if no one else knows about it, thinks it’s good or worth sharing. I just do it and by doing it, my way, I have been able to say that my dreams fulfilled have never been what I initially hoped would happen but what I do in the waiting, even it it means going to plan B. Sometimes Plan C.


For Him,

Meema

Saturday, August 19, 2017

All Kinds of Bullies

“Feelings, opinions and thoughts cannot be legislated. Laws can be established to provide that behaviors and actions can be held accountable but not thoughts, beliefs and ideas. Once a society decides that all minds must be in sync, that a conscious standard is established for what all must accept as the only way to think, they become enslaved to a far more sinister master.” - Theba Glady




I just watched a video that was, in essence, yet another heart rally call against bullying. Apparently bullying in schools is a human condition that cannot be stopped, no matter how much awareness is raised attempting to eliminate it. Who doesn’t know that bullying in school children has been around since the first one room school house was built but in this modern age of social media access it seems that bullying has risen to a new level of cruelty that often concludes in suicide. 

Hard to understand why it continues. I have my theory.

Apparently in humans, even in the very young, there is an uncontrollable primal survival drive to suppress others in order to elevate ourselves. To impose will, to overrule, is a natural instinct inborn in human nature. Since human nature is a petulant child that cannot grow up, only by slow and careful conditioning, both gentle and stern, to embrace a greater desire to be included/accepted into a tribe or community can we begin to tame our base instincts to force others down. 

Even so it is commonly understood that there are personality types that would rather tower above than integrate and thus choose to be overlords instead of merely one of the tribe. They prefer to rule over others and will use whatever power it takes, muscle or money, to accomplish their determination. Thus we have tyrants in all walks of life.

And so it has been since time began. Tyrants and bullies so driven to rule over others they strive with concerted effort to find their niche and rise to their positions of power. Who hasn’t known at least one of these kind in some capacity - job, school, committee, home owners association, et al, - their intent to impose their will on others. 

Unfortunately, it must be concluded that bullying is a fact of life. 

Some say, when they see an injustice that there ought to be a law. A rule that demands that anyone pressing their will on another should be punished. 

Sounds good, noble even. Who doesn’t want to see justice done for anyone oppressed by another? 

But we do have laws. More than enough. Laws that exist to delineate all kinds of rights, even the right not to be harassed or unduly oppressed. But laws are nothing more than lines in the sand. Demarcation. Delineation. Deterrent. Do this, and this will happen. Those who step up to the line but do not cross over may desire to act on what they believe or think or want, but the law, the line established as a barrier stops them. Those who simply cannot stop themselves, will find trouble waiting on the other side.

That’s the best that can be done though, in spite of enormous good will and hope for all to be civil members of one conhesive tribe. Those who are determined to take enforcement to the next level to demand what, in effect, would be the thought police, to demand that no one even be allowed to think anything that is not deemed acceptable to the ones who have decided what can and cannot be thought, are merely taking bullying to the next level. 

Be warned that to step over this line is to take civilization from the brink over the edge to the downward descent into anarchy. Those who loudly demand that everyone think as they do are the worst kind of bullies themselves convinced that they are right and everyone else needs to bow to their will.

Nothing new under the sun. 

For Him,
Meema


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Human Touch


One day last week I thought I’d get checked out faster at the grocery store by using the self-checkout lane. 

Nope. 

Half way in the process the female computer voice demanded I put the scanned item in the bagging area. But since I had already done that I could not proceed without help from the human assistant. The human assistant was helping someone else at that moment - a lot - so I had to wait. And wait. 

A few days later, I popped into my local home improvement store to make one purchase. It was early so no check out lanes were manned. Forced to use the self-check automated system I groaned, stepped up and pulled my item across the scanner. No go. The human assistant, a pleasant woman I’d guess to be in her mid to late fifties, came to my rescue. She discovered the bar code was obstructed by a plastic packaging band. She moved it over the scanner again, the screen went back to the beginning. She pressed the screen several times, then held the band away as she tried another pass. Success! As we waited for the machine to process my credit card I turned to her and said, 

“You know, if you had been over there (pointing to the old-fashioned check out counter) we would be done by now and I would be on my way to my car. Instead, this new and improved system, that still needs a human to make it work, is actually slower and less efficient.”

She laughed and said, “Well these young managers come in and think it’s better.”

Standing so close I was compelled to put my hands on hers, folded at her waist. I looked her straight in the eyes and replied,

“They can’t replace humans, no matter how they try.” 

She nodded in agreement and said, “Some things just don’t need to be improved.”

We connected as only humans can do in that tiny measurement of time. 

A day later, in the afternoon, I was whizzing through the fast food lane for some salads at Wendy’s. At the first window the young man, taking my money, asked,

“Would you happen to be Parker’s grandmother?” 

I beamed a surprised yes. He said he had been part of the fifth grade team at Parker’s elementary school that built the Chicken City parade float that I had directed. Then I sort of recognized him but, that was five years ago. Not wanting to slow up the fast food lane, he quickly remarked that he was graduating next year, I said wow-and-good-to-see-you as he handed me my change and I moved forward.

On the short drive home I admit I was a sudden mess of emotion. How many times have I been there done that? I recalled the tall young man who approached me years ago and introduced himself as one of my cub scouts from my son’s den. 

Awash with all sorts of disconnected bits of memory that caused a strange welling up of fluid that threatened to make it difficult for me to see, I could not help but consider the odds of having met, at that place and time, that almost grown boy who remembered me and what a joyful nano second it had been. 

I had already been mulling my next blog post about the downside to the growing love of AI and all things robotic based on my two experiences with self check out stations and somehow that encounter put it into a perspective I had not considered and it all clicked because it’s no secret that fast food companies are looking at replacing humans with computers.

When the young man handed me my change, for one millisecond, we connected, hand to hand, fingers to fingers. I once read that when humans touch as in a hand shake, there is a chemical response in the body - endorphins release. Humans touching humans, even if just eye contact, or voice to ear, enforces what computers or artificial intelligence can never reproduce. That spark of a living, breathing human being, so wonderfully made by the Great Creator, nothing can or will ever replace. Serendipity in human contact adds to us in ways no computer can ever do.

There is a great evil working overtime now, seeking to destroy God’s great creation in every way possible. Imitation is not perfection though. Nothing can replace the small everyday experiences of human touch. Nothing. And even if by a miracle that could happen someday, what would be the point? Perfection by whose definition? 

Is it not ironic that we are in a constant quest of improving, redesigning, perfecting in ways that are determined to replace us instead of just putting a bit more effort in ourselves, the original perfect design? 


For Him,
Meema

(Philippians 3:12) Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect: but I press on, if so be that I may lay hold on that for which also I was laid hold on by Christ Jesus.  (3:13) Brethren, I could not myself yet to have laid hold: but one thing [I do], forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before,  (3:14) I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Out of Context


While reading hot topics in The Facebook followed by comments from people who have their fixed opinions, I’ve noticed, in particular, those who proudly consider themselves the highest of intelligent thinkers seem to be the most practiced at making specious arguments - drawing conclusions based on comparing apples to oranges. 

The Facebook is a stirred pot for sure. Gather folks together and there will be disagreement. I can’t help but recognize and count the various classic debate techniques almost as though they are following a printed guideline. 

The most common tactic for attempting to shut down one who takes a different view is the adroit combining of a concept presented as ‘fact’ as though it is foregone conclusion with a snarky final jab implying that anyone with half a brain ought to understand. This usually signals the downward spiral into ugly name calling. I give this sort of interaction wide berth because, frankly, I don’t care to debate anything with anyone anyway. 

Live and let live, right? Thus far we still reside in a country that supports the right of all to have opposing views, though I see disturbing signs that this is a dying construct. It seems the loudest voices are those who tout freedom of speech even as they condemn other views being expressed. But that’s another topic for another day.

I will admit to secretly admiring those who have the gift of effective argument though. I am talking about those who have truly done their homework, know the irrefutable facts and are gifted with the art of clear communication. I also freely admit I am not one of those. I think this is because I must have been elsewhere when the power of persuasion was being issued. Thus any tactic of rebuttal will effectively shut me down but not in the way an opponent is likely to assume. 

I don’t give up because I am bested, I bail when it is clear nothing I can say or do will coax someone else, if not to my side, at least to agree to disagree. 

I console myself with the Scriptures about not casting pearls among swine and when you find you are not welcome, turn and leave, shaking the dust off your sandals as you depart. Stoic that I am.

We live our lives, form our opinions, and dig our heels into our fixed perceptions based on what we want to be true, not necessarily what is true. And this perception is woven from a million little threads of individual experience, good and bad that we collect along the way. Sentient beings that we are, we still are mostly shaped from personal sensory experience and thus our take-away is often myopically out of context. From all the things thrown at us we pull only those familiar threads that we recognize and then artfully reweave these into our own tapestry of assumption. 

Perhaps this is the rationale for Christ admonishing us not to judge others, lest we wish to be judged ourselves. God knows us from the beginning to the end. He knows that we see that which we want to see when it better fits our perception of how things ought to be, as well as how we prefer to justify our POV rather than ask a few pointed questions the answers of which might threaten to unravel our context.

Since I know for sure that it is not possible for me to know everything and furthermore it’s not even close to possible for me to be right all the time, I refuse to be frustrated at being silenced by those who think they are. I respond with a smile and let them think they won. 

Proof is in the pudding, everything comes out in the wash, time will tell - as the old-timers used to say. 

For Him,
Meema

Prove all things: hold fast that which is good.  (1 Thessalonians 5:21)