1227. You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty. ~Mahatma Gandhi

When I despair, I remember that all through
history the ways of truth and love
have always won. There have been tyrants,
and murderers, and for a time they can
seem invincible, but in the end
they always fall. Think of it–always.
~Mahatma Gandhi

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I have heard from two friends today whose hearts have been hurt deeply. And as we all do, they are questioning why and how people can be so hateful and hurtful. Years ago when I was coping with a very hurtful situation, a friend of mine told me that only “hurting people hurt other people.” And over the years since I’ve come to see that Jack was exactly right. But then that doesn’t address another part of my friend’s questioning which was a.) do I think there are more hurting people these days and b.) if so, why? Before I answer that, let me say first that the fact that one of the Adam and Eve’s children killed his brother did not bode well for mankind’s ability to co-exist from the get go. We live in a fallen world in which good and evil do exist and have from the moment the choice was made to defy God’s will. And millennia after millennia has provided more than adequate evidence of a common inability as a whole to be loving and to get along peacefully. Now to address two of her queries; yes, I do think there are more hurting, hateful people, and the source is the media and the internet as you suggested. Just look at what we are being fed 24/7–It’s “cool” to be a bad-ass, it’s “cool” to be disrespectful, it’s “cool” to bully others, it’s “cool” get revenge and on and on it goes around the clock and ad nauseum. But like Gandhi I’ve not lost faith in mankind’s ability to self-correct. And it all starts with each and everyone one of us. The tools at our easy disposal are kind words, kind gestures, and lots of smiles especially to and with those who are hell-bent on behaving badly. We also have to choose to surround ourselves with people who support and affirm who and what we are; we have to choose to walk away from those who want to fight verbally or physically; we have to choose to forgive transgressions which in the end if not released only poison ourselves; we have to choose to be kind to ourselves as well by finding or creating some kind of sacred space where we can restore and re-energize our emotional well being; we have to choose to leave any and all past hurts behind us never to be brought into the present again; and we have to find places and ways to sit in silence in order to listen to the still, small voice inside who loves us and wants to heal our brokenness. And finally we have to greet each day and each breath with gratitude for the gifts that they are; we have to learn when enough is enough; we have to realize the finiteness of each breath, each step, each day; and for heaven’s sake we have to quit trying to seek a “version” of ourselves and find the real, authentic person inside. Is all of the above easy to do? No, but then what is in this life? Is it essential that we try? Yes, for the ones we leave behind when we are gone!

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you… ~Luke 6:27  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

1195. Of the good in you I can speak, but not of the evil. For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst? ~Kahlil Gibran

The whole course of human history
may depend on a change of heart
in one solitary and even humble individual –
for it is in the solitary mind and soul of
the individual that the battle between
good and evil is waged and
ultimately won or lost.
~M. Scott Peck

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At the end of each day in the Creation story in Genesis it says: “God saw that it was good.” And then after the 6th day it says: “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” We are made in the image of God and so “at the heart of who we are is the love and wisdom of God.” “The divine likeness within us may be hidden or forgotten. It may be in terrible bondage by wrongdoing but the image of God remains at the heart of who we are, even though we may live at what seems an infinite distance from it.” (J. Philip Newell, THE BOOK OF CREATION) Why else would we blush or feel guilty about something we have done wrong? Unless of course something within us discloses its own goodness and disapproval of evil. We are witnessing on the world’s stage, horrific acts of evil that bombard us every day because of constant media coverage. Sadly many are fearful and losing heart. What we need to realize is that on any and all of those days, somewhere in the world man’s ability to be a mirror of God’s goodness is visible as well, but it’s is not researched or reported. Why? Money, money, money!

“The garden of God in which we have been created has not been destroyed. Nor has it been abandoned. We may live in a state of exile from in, but God forever dwells in that place and seeks our company. The Book of Genesis describes God as ‘walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze’ and calling out ‘Where are you?’ The garden says, Eriugena, is our ‘human nature that was made in the image of God.’ God, he says, still walks in the garden of our souls searching for us…’” (J. Philip Newell, THE BOOK OF CREATION)

And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil…” ~Excerpt from Genesis 3:22  ✝

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. ~Excerpt from 1 Timothy 7:10  ✝

**Image via Facebook

1079. I hope everyone that is reading this is having a really good day. If not, just know that in every new minute that passes you have an opportunity to change that. ~Gillian Anderson

February 26th is not a holiday nor necessarily a particularly important day for that matter, but it is a significant day for me. A year ago today I was in surgery getting my left knee replaced which has been a huge success and blessing for me. Then today after returning home from my end of the year check up on it, I noticed that again one of my early posts had been viewed making it still the most viewed and liked one to date. So I decided to repost it to commemorate blessings and favorable outcomes in general. The only thing I’ve changed about it is the photo.

46. A Robin Redbreast in a cage puts all Heaven in a rage. ~William Blake

When father takes his spade to dig
then Robin comes along;
And sits upon a little twig
And sings a little song.
~Laurence Alma-Tadema

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The introductory line in the title is from Blake’s “Auguries of Innocence,” a somewhat lengthy poem consisting of a series of paradoxes in which Blake juxtaposes innocence with evil and corruption. The word augury in the title means omen or token, and the robin is the poem’s first noted “augury of innocence.”  The robin’s song, personality, and countenance are such that it’s obvious why the poet saw the act of putting one in a cage as not only an enraging violation but also as a profound perversion of holiness.  The sweet song and colorful markings of a robin make the bird a delightful harbinger of spring’s infancy and innocence.  Looking forward to its coming is one of my favorite rites in spring’s passage, and like “all heaven” I’d be incensed if the bird’s freedom were taken away and its song silenced.  Below is a legend about the robin that again ties the bird to the blameless and sacred.  Although the truthfulness of legends is questionable, I’m fascinated that somehow, somewhere, and in some way the robin was connected to the Messiah.

The Legend of the First Robin
One day, long ago, a little bird in Jerusalem saw a large crowd gathered around a man carrying a heavy wooden cross.  On the man’s head was a crown made from a thorn branch.  The thorns were long and sharp.  The little bird saw that the thorns were hurting the man.  It wanted to help Him, so it flew down and took the longest, sharpest thorn in its tiny beak.  The bird tugged and pulled until the thorn snapped from the branch.  Then a strange thing happened.  A drop of blood fell onto the bird’s breast, staining it bright red.  The stain never went away.  And so today the robin proudly wears a red-breast, because it helped a man named Jesus.

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you.  Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this?  In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. . .”  ~Job 12:7-10   ✝

1071. Mother Nature is a son-of-a-gun. ~Murphy’s Tenth Law

Nature reserves the right to inflict upon
her children the most terrifying jests.
~Thornton Wilder

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Winter? What winter? Did we have winter? We did? I do seem to remember some gray, gloomy and very short days as well as a few times when the temperature fell below freezing, barely, and the leaves fell off the trees. But was that it? That’s all we’re gonna get? No blue northers? No snow? No sleet? No ice? No fog? No rain? Nada, zip, zilch! Or is it gonna be like what’s happened sometimes before, Mother Nature? You’re gonna let everything get started in the garden and then wham bam! You’re gonna hit us hard with a late and bitter blast of winter’s fury that will nip everything in the bud as it has before. Or maybe, you’re just gonna let us move right along into an early spring and then onto a very, very long hot summer, one that’s so especially wretched that it redefines what a  long, hot summer truly is? Is that it? Oh fickle, fickle Mother Nature, what a beastly shrew you can be from time to time! Okay, okay, I know it’s not nice to mess with Mother Nature or say bad things about her. So perhaps I ought to strive to see the error of my fractious ways once again and just be grateful for the exquisite beauty above and below that started blooming in my yard today.

So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. ~Romans 7:21  ✝

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214. Angels descending, bring from above, echoes of mercy, whispers of love. ~Fanny J. Crosby

Ever felt an angel’s breath
in the gentle breeze?
A teardrop in the falling rain?
Hear a whisper among the rustle of leaves?
Or been kissed by a lone snowflake?
Nature is an angel’s favorite hiding place.
~Carrie Latet


Standing amid the remains of a dying year and clothed in a dress splattered with mud this garden angel retains every bit of her vibrant elegance.  Even in the high winds of last week’s arctic storm she held her ground, waiting and watching, as quietly as the trees and dormant roses around her.  And the angel will keep on watching over this garden while my friend, inside the house, continues to busy herself attempting to heal hurting, human hearts; for you see, my friend, like an angel, is a also guardian.  She guards the secrets of her clients who entrust the painful realities of their pasts to her keeping.  Both she and her garden angel then are reminders of the Lord’s love and watchfulness over Creation and His children.  The fruits of the Holy Spirit with which my friend is gifted are what she draws upon to sustain her clients while she speaks words of wholeness in their wounded spirits.  Why is speaking the tool of her trade?  The Lord spoke the world and all that live in it into being; therefore, the spoken word in all of us who are created in His image has great power, power for good and for evil.  When any of us choose to speak loving, affirming words they fall on mortal ears like the sweet breath of an angel whispering incantations of healing benedictions.  So it is that my friend’s loving words of understanding and compassion and wisdom can be to the soul of her clients what water, in this dry and arid land, is to her garden.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.  ~Genesis 1:26  ✝