Blog

In the end, there is truth…

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is. Winston Churchill

Meditation: The Mueller investigation methodically has indicted person after person. Plea deals were made, immunity was granted. The persons who have been indicted are all former employees of the president. Some of them have over a decade worth of information. They agreed that under oath they would not lie: not about their own crimes nor about the crimes of anybody else they worked with or worked for. Today Mueller spoke up after two years of silence, contradicting the lies that were told about his report. We witnessed one more step on the journey of having the truth finally come out. The US government has not been here before. The president, his family members and his advisors are in the bright investigative lime light. What they have whispered in private rooms, thinking it would remain hidden, shall be proclaimed from the rooftops. A legal hurricane is building, getting ready to hit the Whitehouse. There is no global warming producing intense hurricanes? There is only fake news? Really? Mr. President, are you prepared for the legal hurricane to hit the Whitehouse?

Prayer: God of truth and of justice, we pray for protection for the legal processes in this country. We pray for the constitution to survive this storm. We pray for the witnesses to be on one accord so that no talking about “fake news” can blind the masses. And we pray that the legal storm that will hit the Whitehouse will cleanse it from all lies and deceptions and reveal to the world any illegal acts that have been committed. We pray for protection of the leading legal institutions and representatives in this country. Amen

Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops. Luke 12:4

Being Bi-racial…

My dad is Caucasian, and my mom is African American. I’m half black and half white. Being biracial paints a blurred line that is equal parts staggering and illuminating. Meghan Markle

Meditation: When my biracial daughters were four years old they witnesses how a biracial man was sworn in as the US President. For eight years they watched with pride how this man and family were role models with high integrity. They felt represented and validated. About a year ago they witnessed a young feminist biracial American woman become part of the royal family in the UK and a few weeks ago, the first in history bi-racial British prince “Archie” was born. My daughters were elated. I am grateful that in the midst of the current American backlash against women and against minorities plus the reemergence of open racism and the oppression of free speech, my daughters have seen and still see examples of what is possible. There is no way back! There is no stopping! The future of our world will depend on the reconciliation of the races and the inclusion of minorities as equals and every person as an important member of society.

Prayer: God, we pray for Harry, Meghan and their son Archie as they courageously create history as the first multicultural and bi-racial British royal family. May their marriage and family find the freedom and support they need to thrive. May our children who represent the next generation be inspired by this young couple’s courage, integrity and their positive use of power and influence. Thank You that the current hate filled “Zeitgeist” will in the end not be able to overcome the larger worldwide movement of inclusion, acceptance and reconciliation of different races and classes. Amen

Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism, but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.” Acts 10:34-35

Psychopathology of the Masses…

The psychopathology of the masses is rooted in the psychology of the individual. Carl Jung

Meditation: How in the world did our country end up in the situation we are in? Did our individual mental condition become manifested in a collective psychopathology? Our current time in the US can maybe best be described with the words of a trauma survivor. Eve Ensler said: “I think culture is where things change in us deeply. But right now, I think that people are very traumatized. They are very scared. Having grown up in a house with a perpetrator who was violent every day and terrorizing every day, I feel like that this country is suddenly very much like the house and the family I grew up in. Every day we are glued to our phones, glued to our television; “What is this psychopath going to do next? How will he embarrass us? Who will he bully or hurt or humiliate today? It’s so easy to get locked into a syndrome where the perpetrator is ruling your life.”

Prayer: God, our country is going through a severe mental illness. Collectively we have experienced several traumatizing external events in the past years, and then we experience also severe traumatizing reactions and handling of those events. We are afraid. We are feeling trapped in a “family situation” that traumatizes us daily. God have mercy on our country. Restore us to health. Help us to make decisions that lead us collectively out of this system as it is set up currently. Free us from all oppression. Amen

There are six things the Lord… detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family. Proverbs 6:16-19

Collective Narcissism

Nationalism is a form of collective narcissism, where the citizens possess an inflated self-love of “their own people,” to the exclusion of other human beings.  Bryant McGill

Meditation: Our nation is led by a pathological narcissist who evokes the worst traits that our country is capable of: nationalism as collective narcissism. Decisions are being made that sacrifice whole groups of people on the altar of self-adoration. The current leaders justify their oppressive new laws by splitting into declared “good versus bad”, “us versus them”, “Christians versus Moslems”, “citizens versus immigrants”, “healthy versus those with a precondition” . This primitive and narcissistic defense mechanism of splitting causes great suffering for many innocent people. I am afraid even more minorities will be left behind in the coming years. Many will fall through the intentionally cut holes in our social safety net. Holes and road blocks are being established everywhere: The powerful leave others to be without power: to not have a way to get a legal visa, to not find a way to get affordable health insurance, to have no way to escape bigotry nor get away from increasingly hateful and threatening talk and behavior…

Prayer: God, we pray for our nation that is being torn apart by collective narcissism. We pray for those judged, discriminated against, jailed, and tossed aside. Your heart aches for those sacrificed on the altar of self-idolatry. God, we pray that Your will be done. Let the church become a place of refuge, a beacon of hope, a voice in the wilderness that prophetically claims Your values that are opposite of what is currently happening in this country. Stop the craziness. Let those who Your Spirit leads stand up against the exclusion of the vulnerable, the sick, the stranger and the declared “other”. Heal our nationalist exclusivism and our country’s collective narcissism. God, have mercy. Amen

 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4

The 2020 election…

Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don’t vote. William E. Simon

Meditation: The past months and even years now, I have felt paralyzed. How in the world can a democratic system sell out to an oligarch and align itself with an oppressive regime? How can an elected Western president betray his country’s legal system and surrender to the person who invaded and manipulated it’s social media and voting system? As a German the history of the Soviet Union and its successor represented in Putin are very present to me. Many Americans don’t seem to experience the devastating urgency of the recent events. Many seem unaware how Russia is out to undermine all and any democracies, how it wants to conquer the parts of Europe back that had belonged to the Soviet Union, and how it positions itself to become the ultimate ruling power in the world. The urgency of our times could not be greater. A narcissistic, greedy, incompetent, compromised and dependent American president is selling the American people and its democracy out to the Russians. An urgent political development the Americans have never seen before. The 2020 election will be the most important elections in America’s history yet.

Prayer: God, awake in this country the awareness that the life and death of democracy itself is currently at stake. Awake in us the awareness that our voting is the only power we have to choose life and oppose death, so that we and our children may live. God, have mercy on us. Amen

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. Deuteronomy 30:19

When Life blindfolds us and spins us around…

What do you do when life blindfolds you and spins you around? We think it’s our fault, that we’re to blame, when really we should be focused on being gentle with ourselves. Melody Beattie

Meditation: This past month of May has been a whirlwind. There are many extra events (graduations, confirmations, end of semester testing, family gatherings, travel needs) scheduled everywhere, throwing families off their usual schedules and their equilibrium. Politics is overwhelmingly dark and maddening. Work schedules have been crazy as well with extra meetings, extra traveling and extra strategizing events. May has been a month of temperature changes on top of all of that. Our bodies want to slow down, but instead are forced to function twice as hard as usual. Being blindfolded and spun around is a good image for the past month. When we can’t keep up and when we begin dropping and losing things, or when we don’t meet deadlines, we could start getting frustrated with ourselves and push even harder. Instead, it is so helpful to know that we belong to a merciful God who wants to comfort us in the midst of our “spinning” experience. When we are troubled, God wants to comfort us. Living grounded in God’s Grace means that we can refrain from being harsh with ourselves on top of life being rough. Instead we lean into the experience of self-compassion. We acknowledge and validate how hard the past month has been, and we give ourselves credit for still standing. Or if standing is too difficult, we sit or lay down for a while, just resting. It is wonderful to belong to a God who is patient and compassionate.

Prayer: Gracious God, when we start blaming and judging ourselves for not being more “functional”, Your Spirit intervenes. You remind us of all that has happened to and around us. You remind us of the things we could not control but that impacted us deeply. And then You fill our heart with compassion for ourselves. And after you comfort us in this way, You also give us compassion for others who are “spinning” in the dark, just like us. You are such a safe place to land. And we are grateful! Amen

God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 2. Corinthians 1:3b-4 (NLT)

 

Deception – The New Normal

The English language has 112 words for deception, according to one count, each with a different shade of meaning: collusion, fakery, malingering, self-deception, confabulation, prevarication, exaggeration, denial. Robin Marantz Henig

Meditation: We live in the era of deception. A six year old on the street was asked what he thought about president Trump after his first year in office. The boy answered: “He changed the world. He took away harmony.” It seems to me that American children grow up today exposed to all 112 nuances of daily broadcasted political deception. However, it is intriguing to learn that the Native American community of the Apaches, who have a particularly negative view of lying, in their language only have two words for lying or deceiving. They did not need more words, as it happened so rarely in their culture. Our current American culture needs more than hundred words to describe and talk about deception, as it happens every day in many ways. The view of lying and deceiving is being normalized by our current political climate. The lack of harmony the boy describes is grounded in us becoming what our behavior and our mind engage in. We as culture are shaped by the language we use.

Prayer: God of history and God of the present day, as the Native American culture was eliminated and their values of harmony with nature became eradicated, the newly imported language and culture brought with it the frequent use and many nuances for the phenomenon of lying and deceiving. Behavior (and thus culture) creates language! God we pray that we, including our children, will remain critical and awake. We pray that we adults will teach the next generation in words and in practice the opposites of those 112 words. Amen

They will do no wrong; they will tell no lies. A deceitful tongue will not be found in their mouths. They will eat and lie down and no one will make them afraid. Zephania 3:13