A blog for a new day - May 22, 2017
Today a suicide bomber has blown himself up amid the crowd at a concert in Manchester, England. Twenty-two people were killed, more than 50 injured. An attack upon the innocent. It is not armies and arms that are attacked, but defenseless people packed into an arena with no notion that someone was setting out to kill them.
At the same time the new American President is on a nine-day, unprecedented journey across the world to speak peace - in Saudi Arabia, in Israel, in the West Bank.
He is our oldest president in office. He is going where no other sitting president has gone for his first journey abroad. He is going for a longer, surely daunting, exhausting trip. He went to the Western Wall in Jerusalem, standing silent, and in prayer.
The press at home tries to keep the accusations, and rumors, and speculations of his demise stirring.
And I, aged at 88, out of hospital after a ruptured appendix, receive communications of love from across the world and across generations from people who care that I live, and want me to be encouraged by their love:
- A quiet man I rarely see wrote to tell me that he still reaps the benefits of one of our reconciliation retreats he attended a few years ago.
- Our pastor friend from Goma, in Congo, sent me his fondest love.
- From Arizona, the leader of our first trip to Africa, reminisced about our times together and the memories we share.
- And, from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, comes a birthday greeting and a letter from a confirmation friend of the years. She speaks of the time spent in confirmation class and a canoe trip in the Boundary Waters. How they shaped her life and groomed her faith back in the summer of 1968.
She reminds me of the many times our lives have crossed and thanks me for encouraging her through trying times along the way.
How differently the people of the beloved community speak to each other, telling their hearts, opening their lives - to encourage, and build up. Not to water down, to demean, to criticize, to destroy.
We can all find ways to do that, with a word, a hand, a look, that tells the heart.
Everyone needs those words, those encouragements. We are made, as people, to do that with each other. Jesus came to show us, with His life.
So may the world turn, and breakthroughs come, and the world of countries, and diplomacy, and personal relationships be transformed by words and touches that heal and expand and mend, and make new the very world we live in.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES