Saturday’s Stray Thoughts

Trying something new here. I’m going to try to end the week by posting just what the title suggests–a few things that have struck cords, but not enough to send out a clear sound in the form of a regular post. If any of them happen to hit an area you’d like to weigh in on or believe to be worthy of further discussion, feel free to let me know. For now, there will be no intended connection between the thoughts offered or subjects touched upon. And if anyone follows Scot McKnight’s Jesus Creed blog, yes, I am guilty of copying his model in Weekly Meanderings.

First, as a loyal Penn State alum (nothing hidden about that), I’ve got mixed feelings about the announcement of the next head football coach. They didn’t ask for my opinion, so I guess it’s not worth much. I’m just hoping for some continuity of the many good things that the program has been.

Something hit me this morning as I was watching the news. Homelessness. The report was in reaction to a recent string of murders perpetrated on homeless victims. I know it’s not a new problem, though homelessness is on the increase in the U. S. Maybe that’s part of the problem–it’s not new, and therefore off the pages until something different happens. But the thought of what it might mean to be without a home, as I sat comfortably in my living room just hit me hard this time. What to do about it? I wish I knew; but I don’t want to put the matter back into the forgotten recesses of my mind.

Then there was the visitation for a friend’s deceased son, a young father all of nineteen years of age. There were pictures. Pictures of people whose lives will be impacted by the loss. I couldn’t help but think if only–if only he could see the important place he held in lives. I have no idea what it is that keeps people from seeing and hearing the value they hold in the lives of others. It isn’t always that we are not told we are loved; something keeps certain people from hearing it. Wish we could get at it and destroy it.

Presidential politics well underway. Enough said. Sigh.

It seems Iran has a bit of a problem. After predictably vilifying and threatening a U. S. Navy vessel (and, of course, all things American along with it), doesn’t the same vessel turn around and rescue a distressed Iranian civilian vessel and crew? Gosh, it’s hard for anyone to rant against acts of kindness and human compassion. Do you suppose there’s a lesson there regarding the way to show people who a nation really is, and what it’s citizens are actually about? At least, when they are true to themselves. Something about feeding the enemy when he is hungry, heaping burning coals, etc., comes to mind.

Speaking of Iran, it is becoming more and more apparent that we, in terms of both government policy and media portrayal, really don’t know as much as we need to know about Islam. It is not just another monotheistic faith; it has an entirely different view of God, people, and (to return to a theme from earlier in the week) of human flourishing. All the more reason to figure out what a Christian vision of that public good really entails.

I received an email from someone in the Obama campaign machinery this week. It was addressed to Pennsylvanians, seeking horror stories about Rick Santorum to be shared with the rest of the nation so that all would be aware of how dangerous this man could be. Oh, and it was “signed” by a gal named Aletheia. How disturbingly ironic.

And how are any of you doing with those resolutions? Here’s hoping that, at the very least, the one about avoiding being stupid is still intact. And do venture a bit of feedback on this format for ending the week.