Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘tolerance’

Love Unconditionally


Day 11 in my A-Z series was a day when 11 people were ruthlessly gunned down while in the “Tree of Life Synagogue” in Pittsburgh. My #11 word was Kindness.

How far from that concept was the mad gunman!

And now, on Day 12 of “What Makes Me Happy?” I am having trouble with happiness. I am wondering how Kindness fits into this equation of mass shooting. Surely I must find a way to exhibit kindness as a response to hate. Returning hate will not accomplish anything positive. I must concentrate on Day #12: “L” = Love.

Unlock the love in your heart! Reach out in love. Pray for the Jewish community. Pray for the fallen and their friends/family. Pray for the gunman and his family. Pray for all those who are prisoners of fear and hate.

Listen to the beautiful prayer attached here sung on 9-11 by Cantor Ari Schwartz. Pray for understanding, for peace, for a cessation of hate, a cessation of hateful rhetoric, and the unity of our nation – one nation under God. Listen to this beautiful Jewish prayer for the fallen and ask God to help us know how to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Pray for unconditional love.

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What’s in Gray?


So much is being written and spoken about the Boston bombings and the brothers – some say they are sick and disturbed; others say kind and compassionate. Some say cruel, out-of-their-minds, while others attest to their normalcy, their friendliness. Their uncle called them “losers” but went on to define them as simply “lost” young men – who never really learned to “fit in”  after they immigrated to the USA. He saw something objectionable years ago… and distanced himself and his family from them. Whatever adjectives we use to describe them, we know this for sure: they committed those heinous crimes. So much hate is emitted from them – toward them – so much evil.

Our Writers’ Group met last Friday. We meet every first and third Friday each month. We begin our time together with a “Free Write” – fifteen minutes of writing – on a random topic, a subject pulled out of a hat. Then we share with one another what we have written.

Last Friday the random topic was a strange one: “What’s in Gray?”  I thought about it a long time. Then, this is what I wrote:

“What’s in Gray?”

Gray is black and white –
But gray is neither.
Gray is right or wrong.
Can it be either?

Gray is “Not Been Tested,”
– like stretchin’ out the law.
Gray is on the tip
Of a red tail hawk’s claw.

Gray is often in
The color of the hair
On an older person’s head –
Wise enough to leave it there.

Gray is in the tolerance
Of seeing the multiple views
On NBC, FOX, and CNN,
When watching ugly news.

Some only see the black;
Others screen in simply white.
But life is seldom pure,
So in the gray may be some light.

Lighten up the darkness
With the white of joy and peace.
Entertain some gray, friends.
In it, you’ll find release.

– Jan Beekman
– April 19, 2013

I’ve given a lot of thought to the “captivity of extremes.” That’s where the word “release” comes from. For me, all terrorists are victims of EXTREME. They are captured by extreme thinking. They have allowed themselves to be brainwashed or they have become mentally ill. They cannot let the white of joy or peace into their lives. Life is bleak and black for them. Bombings, killings, suicides, wars of all nature are the result of people whose thinking has become so skewed to the extreme that they have failed to see humanity, to feel love in its pure form, to allow any movement away from the corner they’ve painted for themselves. Gray is not a part of their mental capacity and logic is lost. There is no point in trying to REASON why they act as they do. Reason is gone – buried in the extreme – lost is the black bleakness of their terror. For these Captives of Extreme, death and destruction is the only option. They have become incapable of letting the light – the enlightenment – find a way into their miserable world. Can this be changed? Is there hope for the hopeless? Only God knows.

What a bleak week this has been!

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