Dear Boys and Girls

Hello Fellow Penguins

Do you ever pull back the drapes in the morning to see just how crazy the world has become? I’ve gotten into the habit of awakening at 3:00 to 3:30 to turn on the news just to see what has happened while I was asleep. I don’t pretend to have many answers, but I’m concerned about my growing pile of questions.

I keep thinking someone needs to plead, “No one strike a match. This powder keg could go up….” I have generally felt that people smarter than me were making the decisions—people who had more information. A secret memo. A report from the CIA or Navy Seals.

What rational information led to the decision to refrain from calling boys and girls by those words? Purple penguins is better? Do the deciders know the role distinctions of penguins? I am absolutely committed to justice for all regardless of preferences, but refusal to acknowledge distinctions—I was not diminished by being referred to as a boy. I don’t think! Perhaps you would know more about that than me. However, to be called a penguin in a serious tone might be damaging.

I’m not going to add any light to this crazy discussion. It feels like our culture has slipped off the tracks—our world has slipped off the axis. I keep asking, “Whose idea was that?”

Three hours before dawn yesterday, I was loading up after our weekend getting ready to drive home. I heard what sounded like shotgun blast one block over. My immediate response was, “Someone just died.” A few minutes later, the sirens were headed our direction. My day was filled with a question I have no way of knowing: What part of life had slipped off the rail for whom that a shotgun seemed to be the only solution?

I was sensitized. I had awakened from a dream in which I was talking to a friend to reconsider ending her life.

A friend attends AA meeting as a participant and volunteer. It is a concern for him that so many addicts blame God for their addictions and dismiss Him as a healing, saving factor. A component of the Millennial Generation is that “God is not even on my radar. I’m not mad at him or blame him, he just doesn’t factor into my life.” The meeting my friend attends is using the book The Shack as a stimulant to deal with their perception of God. I asked him why he believes that God wants him to be involved in those meetings.

“I think he wants me to love the individuals involved, to be available as a gentle conduit. To show up where seeking is going on….”

I can think of nothing more engaging or stimulating than “to show up where seeking is going on.” Who knew that the person who wielded the shotgun was “seeking?” Or had given up seeking?

I’m hearing Henry Blackaby’s phrase: “Find where God is working and join Him.” Where is that in your world?  It is where people have run out of hiding places. It is where people are asking questions. Jesus gives us some clues—“…like sheep without a shepherd—knocked down, worn out, wandering about….”

Fellow penguins—fellow pilgrims—“Showing up where seeking is going on.”

©2014—D. Dean Benton—

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