Archive for December 16th, 2022

Haven of Spirit

GC Myers- Haven of Spirit sm

Haven of Spirit— Available at the Kada Gallery, Erie

Most people have forgotten nowadays what a home can mean, though some of us have come to realize it as never before. It is a kingdom of its own in the midst of the world, a stronghold amid life’s storms and stresses, a refuge, even a sanctuary.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison, Wedding Sermon

Might as well have a theme today. Let’s go with home. I use the idea of finding and recognizing home in a lot of my work I like how Bonhoeffer describes the idea of home in the last sentence above: a kingdom of its own in the midst of the world, a stronghold amid life’s storms and stresses, a refuge, even a sanctuary.

A safe haven. 

Hopefully, most of us recognize some place or person that affords us that sense of the safety of home. It’s easy to look around and see too people all around the world who struggle to hold onto that sense of home in the face of war and hatred. A simple place to call home and the idea of not wanting to mess with others and to have yourself not be messed with does not seem like it should be a wild dream. But for all the usual reasons– envy, prejudice, greed, etc,– it is much too hard to realize for too many.

I wish I had an answer. I guess the most obvious is to be kind to all others and treat all others as you yourself wish to be treated.

That’s the Golden Rule, right? Seems so simple. Should be easy.

Maybe that’s why it’s so hard to accomplish. Nobody wants to believe that such a simple sentiment can wield such power. We want something more complicated, something that allows the existence of our own prejudices and biases.

We’ll practice the Golden Rule so long as it’s to the right kind of people…

Sigh. Keep trying, folks. It doesn’t work if it’s not an all or nothing proposition.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer might sound familiar to regular readers. I featured him in a post several years ago, On Stupidity, that has been popular, consistently getting a number of views each week. He was the German pastor who spoke out against the Nazi regime throughout the 1930’s, later being sent to a concentration camp before being sent to his death on the gallows in the last days of the war. On Stupidity described the sort of blatant ignorance that led to the rise of the Nazis and seems to exist here today in forms. Bonhoeffer also coined the term Cheap Grace which describes those who claim the high ground of religion, believing that being “saved” wipes away all past transgressions and grants forgiveness– even permission– for all future sins. It is something that seems abundant these days among the evangelical set and the political right. It’s a post that is worth another look.

Okay, let’s wrap up this package. Here’s the song, Home, from Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. Seems to be right in line with today’s theme. Plus, it has whistling. Love a good whistling song, don’t you?

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