Hunger for Straight Lines

It is common knowledge and oft-repeated that every election has some fraud. Alright, if that is an inevitable given, what percentage of fraud is acceptable? Ten percent? Fifty?

I don’t think any of those who lied about Brett Kavenaugh to the Congress, news people and the American People were held accountable. What is the cut-off point for lying?

A measure of impropriety is to be expected, we are told. What is the measuring device? When does the gauge say “Enough! You are pushing it too far?”

I’m asking as a Grandfather. What shall I tell my Grandes? What should their moral and ethical standard be to exist in USA 2021?

I’m asking as a preacher. What shall I tell congregations and audiences is socially approved morality?

I’m asking as a Jesus Follower. What does He have to say? Does that matter as applied to my family, tribe, neighbors and nation?

I’m asking for my business friends. How much corruption is acceptable? What improprieties are unacceptable? How about insubordination? Disloyalty? Leaking secrets from the boardroom or R&D?

How much of this stuff can be tolerated before a nation, society, family, business implodes? I’m wondering if God directly judges or does He say, “Okay, have it your way. But know My laws tell you how to do business to avoid collapse.” God is not mocked. Neither are His laws built into the universe mocked with impunity.

“Improprieties” and “irregularities” appear to be the accepted regular and normal. Used to be that we learned to accept ambiguity and “the tension between opposite points of view.” Impropriety and irregular have gone mainstream, or is it just me?

I awoke with an edgy hunger for positivity—good news that is not only pleasant to the ear, but strength to the soul and muscle. My habit of insisting on the speaker have news less than 12 hours old has left me feeling like a cold bowl of spaghetti—twisted, not appetizing and no straight lines.

I read and thought about Philippians 4 and Psalm 37, listened to a couple of songs. Prayed for a list of people in crisis. Then I searched for a book I had set aside for a time like this.

Population 485—Meeting your Neighbors One Siren at a time” written by Michael Perry about towns in rural Wisconsin where friends have pastored and churches where we’ve set up sound, sung some songs and wrote on chalkboards—and desperately hoped we ministered.

Andy Andrews says Michael Perry is one of his favorite writers. He is a fine one. Perry tells stories about Stanislaw Jabowski in chapter one of Population 485:

“Spare, he was. Short, and lean as a tendon. A walking Joshua tree, with a posture less tribute to adversity overcome than adversity withstood.”

Revelation 12:11 has hung around my soul lately.

 And they overcame (satan and evil) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

That takes the edge off. That gives me tools. Adversity overcome; adversity withstood.

©2021 D. Dean Benton

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