‘Safe Place’

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking…

Next week the 153rd North Georgia Annual Conference will begin and end with the Sacrament of Holy Communion.  “Eucharist was supposed to tell Christians”, according to Richard Rohr, “who we are in a positive and inclusionary way”. (Meditation: One in Love, June 2, 2019) I agree, celebrating what God has done for all of us in Jesus the Christ keeps perspectives clear and open.

Memory can be a blessing or a curse.  My sweet mother-in-law, whom we fondly call ‘Mimi’, is in a ‘Memory Care Facility’ as she lives with the debilitating disease of Alzheimer’s.  Her memory of the immediate has waned while her memory of former days has increased.  Her ability to call our names in the present moment is diminishing yet her connection with days long ago can be fresh and real.  We, as her family, are reminded often of the value of memory.

It seems that our human tendency is to ‘remember the wrong things’… holding on to grudges and mistakes we or others have made.  While tending to ‘forget the right things’, forgetting the gift of each other’s uniqueness and beauty.  We seem naturally drawn to focus on what is NOT rather than what IS.  I can so easily ‘forget’ my blessings and ‘whine’ about my challenges.  Maybe I’m not the only one who ‘remembers the wrong things and forgets the right things’.

Christianity has a long history of anti-Semitism.  Rohr says it well… “Throughout Europe, leaders at the highest levels of church and culture, and even canonized saints, thought Jews were a problem—while their own leader Jesus, his mother Mary, and all the apostles were fully Jewish!  Figure that one out.  Anti-Semitism only lessened for a time during the Crusades when Christians directed their negative energy toward Muslims.  Later, when there were no obvious “others” around, we Christians divided into warring denominations and did our fighting there.

Humans are wired to scapegoat and project our shadow elsewhere.  Being able to recognize our own negativity takes foundational conversion and transformation of the egoic self…The awareness that we are all one in Love—lays a solid foundation for social critique and acts of justice.  I hope we will let God show us how to think and live in new ways, ways that meet the very real needs of our time on this suffering planet” (Rohr, June 2, 2019)

I’m very glad we’ll begin and conclude the 153rd North Georgia Annual Conference with Holy Communion.  It will help keep my focus of us as God’s children centered in the spirit of God’s love.  I want my memory to be sharp.  Things I need to forget, I want to forget.  Things I must remember, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I desire to remain steadfast in my mind and heart.  How about you?

Always Thinking,


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