Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘justice’

Understanding and Umbrellas


Understanding
was the first “U” word

that popped into my mind
when searching for
the quality we ALL need
to
add more meaning
and
find greater purpose
in life.

 

man and woman holding hands on brown wooden table

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Understanding and Wisdom go Hand in Hand

What are the common roots of the two words?

I turned to scripture to find the answer to that question. This is a copy of my Bible page. As you can see, it is well marked! Look at how many times Proverbs 2 uses “wisdom” and “understanding.”

Understanding + Wisdom = Compassion

The Book of Proverbs teaches us, if we understand what is right and good, we will see what is just and fair. As a result, it will naturally follow that when we see injustice, when we witness someone being treated unfairly, we will have a heart of compassion, determined to respond.

Compassion is an Umbrella

OnahDave on HumePoets.com posted a poem today titled Drenched:

“Wrecked and broken by pain,
she drenched in the unlimited
down pour of her sorrow.”

When I read his poem, my immediate response was, “Give her your umbrella!”
When we understand another person’s pain, our compassion compels us to reach out with an umbrella of protection.

grayscale image of woman walking through the rain while holding umbrella

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Umbrellas Take Many Forms

Sometimes the umbrella is a song! Today I visited my friend, Carol, who (at the advanced age of 95) is struggling to hang on to life. Her son and two daughters were in the hospital room with her.

Carol was having a better day today than when I saw her yesterday. Her children could tell because she was being a bit cantankerous!

Hah! She reminded me of my mom during her last days. Her mind rallied to the point that she knew what she wanted and what she didn’t. Her ability to say, “No!” rallied – – – and she exerted her independence while bed-bound and hooked up to oxygen. Like my mom, Carol is a strong and courageous woman.

Her daughters and I sang some cheery songs to her and enjoyed her smiles and nods – and her ability to squeeze my hand in appreciation. Her son snapped a few pictures. These are moments to remember!

Disney’s Sing-A-Long Songs – Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah VHS

was our first song. You know, you can’t help but smile when you sing that song! It sent an umbrella of joy over the entire room!

Then we sang Frank Sinatra’s “Dream Your Troubles Away.” Do you know that one? You can change “Dreams” to “Prayers” … and sing “Pray Your Troubles Away.” That thought fits the hand-in-hand analogy of understanding and wisdom as described in the second chapter of Proverbs. Here are the song’s revised words:

When skies are cloudy and gray,
They’re only gray for a day,
So wrap your troubles in prayer
And pray your troubles away.

Until that sunshine peeps through,
There’s only one thing to do:
Just wrap your troubles in prayer
And pray your troubles away.

Your castles may tumble
That’s fate after all,
Life’s really funny that way.

No need to grumble,
Smile as they fall,
Weren’t you queen for a day?

Just remember that sunshine
Always follows the rain.
So wrap your troubles in prayer
And pray your troubles away!

 

Sometimes, We Gotta Let the Rain Fall

Max Lucado has written a book titled, Unshakable Hope.
In a message promoting his book, he wrote,

“I’ve discovered that nothing lifts the weary soul like the promises of God. This book contains some of my favorite [promises]. Picture God’s words falling like rain from heaven on you. Imagine these promises as gentle spring showers. Receive them. Allow them to land on you, to soak you. I’m trusting that God’s words will prosper in your life.”

Understand God is in the Storms of Life

Rick Hamlin in today’s Guideposts prayed,
“God, don’t let my cynical heart
prevent me from seeing
You in unexpected places.”

Sometimes our vision is blurred by the storms that smack us in the face. The unexpected difficulties can put us in dark places where vision is limited. We wonder, “God, where are You?”

Even Jesus had such moments. “My God, my God, why hast Thou Forsaken me?” From the cross, He cried to His Father. It’s understandable that we sometimes have similar thoughts.

Sometimes we need to set aside the umbrella, lift our eyes to the sky, and dance in the rain – in spite of the trauma.

Wrap your troubles in prayer – and pray your troubles away –
or not!
Sometimes the clouds are meant to stay – more than a day –
But sunshine follows the rain.
Even if that sunshine is our promise of Life Eternal.

Relish the Beauty of God’s Promises.

scenic view of mountains during dawn

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Try to understand!
And be ready to put away your umbrella
or pass it along  –
use it to protect and encourage a friend.

Keep a song alive in your heart!

God bless you.

See you tomorrow.

Adding Meaning to Life. D=Decode


D = Decode

Thank you for exploring with me A to Z ways
of adding more meaning to our daily lives,
ways to decode the world around us,
ways to live more intentionally
to fulfill our purpose.

atlas ball shaped business compass

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D = Decode

Today we are on the letter D. I could have used the word DEVOTION, because it is so important that we express our praise and devotion to our Maker and offer thanks to Him every day. But, instead, I decided to use the word DECODE – – – with an emphasis on devotion.

Decode the World Around Us

D ecide
E veryday to
C ompassionately love
O thers and
D eal with
E verything fairly

Decide to
Look for
and fight for
Justice
Equality
and Balance

photo of rocks piled on top of each other

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Decode with Devotion

belief bible book business

 

In their book, Spiritual Literacy,
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
wrote the following,
“Express your feelings of …
adoration through devotional practices.
Pray with words and pray through your actions.”

Decode through Prayer and Bible Study

In a world filled with hate, cruelty, and divisiveness, we can find ways through prayer and Bible study to decode the world around us and live more lovingly, more purposefully, and more intentionally as Brothers and Sisters. Our adoration must be directed heavenward and to one another… not on things that are temporary. Pray fervently for our leaders, for world peace, and for the understanding of friends and family, allies and foes.

Pray for the wisdom to see and understand and act on God’s purposes for you today.

Yesterday was the 25th of April. Each day I read a chapter in Proverbs to correspond with the day of the month (Proverbs has 31 chapters). Chapter 25’s subheading in my Eugene H. Peterson’s translation, The Message, is “The Right Word at the Right Time.”

Find wisdom in the Book of Wisdom, Proverbs, which contains the wise sayings of Solomon:

Proverbs 25: 8
“Don’t jump to conclusions –
There may be
a perfectly good explanation
for what you saw.”

So, we reserve judgement – and as we seek to decode what we see and hear, we look for ways to be affirmative or compassionately corrective.

Verses 11 and 12 say,
“The right word at the right time
is like a custom-made piece of jewelry,
And a wise friend’s timely reprimand
is like a gold ring slipped on your finger.”

 

 

Decoding the World through Friendships

Proverbs 25:13
“Reliable friends who do what they say
are like cool drinks in sweltering heat –
Refreshing!”

woman drinking water

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Be a reliable friend.
See and fulfill your purpose through the gift of reliability!
Be a cool drink in the sweltering heat of friends’ lives!

Decode the World though Giving

Give generosity instead of animosity. You get what you give!
Give goodness instead of rudeness. You get what you give!
But, don’t give to get! Let your motives be pure love.
Give without expecting anything in return.

pexels-photo-2144300

Just Do it!

Step out in Faith!!
Your world will clear up,
detangle, be kinder,
and you will live in greater inner peace –
if you decode with devotion,
prayer, Bible study,
friendship,
and selfless giving.

close up photography of red and black nike running shoe

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Yes, as Nike says,
“Just do it!”

J = Justification, Jesus, and Justice


Day #10 in the A – Z series, “What Makes Me Happy?”

JUSTIFICATION

Why would justification make me happy? What does it mean?  Print that is justified is even on the right and the left margins. There are no ragged edges. Most books are written with the print justified. Newspaper columns are justified.  The Bible’s print is justified in its columns, except for books like Proverbs, whose genre is poetry. Justified print is a neat and trim way to look at a page, isn’t it? But that’s not why it makes me happy. Stay with me!

opened bible on wooden surfaca

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To make my point you need to realize on the other hand,
that if you set the print to the left, the edges on the right are ragged.
A crooked right margin is typical when you are letter writing.
Where else do you see print that is left-margin justified?

If you set the print to the right,
then the left margin will be crooked,
but the right margin will be straight.
A rare form, indeed, except
in some creative poetry.

Poetry often
is written with centered print
This is a Haiku

How does all this talk about justification of print apply to my life? I want to know my life is  justified. No ragged edges. Clean on both sides, inside and outside. Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Justification gives me peace. Peace makes us all happy!

Jesus

cross jesus summit cross

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It’s not the event of the death of Jesus that makes me happy, of course. But His death was an important part of the equation. It is the Grace of God given to me in the form of the Holy Spirit as a result of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection… that’s what makes me happy. Through it, I am free! God’s gift to humankind was to free us from guilt and the penalty of sin through the sacrifice of His Son. Through Him, we are justified. I am not sure (are you?) how people face the death of a loved one – or their own mortality –  if they do not have faith in the promise of eternal life. We need to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Heaven is our eternal home, made ours through Christ and His sacrifice. My joy is made complete in my love of the Lord. Jesus is my ultimate happiness.

Justice

white digital weighing scale

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Scales of Justice

It is no coincidence that Justice and Justification have the same root. In our current culture of right vs. left, JUSTICE demands vindication of the right… the correct! Not left vs. right, but right vs. wrong! The scales above are pitifully dirty. We need the scales of our justice system to be clean inside and outside, to be fair, to be even, no ragged edges. Straight on both sides… no partiality. We need to be assuring the public that indeed, this is the case. Straight, honest on all sides. No leaning left, to make the right crooked. No leaning right, to make the left ragged. Don’t even stay center, trying to please both sides, because then both sides are compromised. Justice needs justification… freedom from prejudice or inequality or irresponsibility. A focus on what is fair and correct. Only then will the TRUTH be served so peace can reign. Only then is there True Justice.

True Justice makes me happy.

.

What “J” word makes YOU happy?

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