Thanksgiving Weekend has come to a close.
I had a great break - and a productive break. Thousands of leaves raked from the yard. Several great National Geographic Documentaries watched (including subjects on Alexander the Great, Lewis & Clark, Auschwitz, and Yellowstone.) A great book read, that I had actually checked out for my daughter - Be The Change - and (!) I made progress through two commentaries on Leviticus and Numbers - and a third one underway as well.
I had an odd, odd, odd dream about a book I read several months ago - Eccentric Existence. I have no idea where the dream even came from as I have had no conscious thought of the book in months! Dreams - so odd. The dream focused on the idea that it should be "ex-centric existence" as we were to move ourselves out of the center - theologically. Where did that come from? So odd, these dreams we have.
But . . . I am prompted to write a few words tonight more about the recent spate of news coming out in the form of the "wikileaks." These leaks are troubling - it seems to me - at so many levels. I think much of what gets "exposed" will not be terribly secret - as much as it will "expose" our own anxieties and fears - at the national level.
I work with a great bunch of colleagues who I love. Recently though, I came walking upon them and heard my name used specifically - and the conversation changed immediately as I came into view. I have no idea what they were discussing. They were smiling - and I trust them - and I know they trust me - so I do not believe it was anything ruinous or malicious. And, perhaps they weren't really talking about me - but I was just a "single member" of some larger issue. The point is this, while I trust my colleagues and have no idea what they were saying, it still bothered me that I came upon them talking about me . . . and I don't know what they were saying. I have told myself that it is not a big issue - because I really do not believe it is - no doubt we all get talked about by numerous persons every-single day. No doubt my students - every single day say things they like, and loathe about me. No doubt parish persons communicate on numerous days in a given week things they think I have done well - or poorly. And, I am sure there is reason to speak poorly of things I do poorly - or say unfairly and so forth. I am far from perfect. (Just ask my wife or kids who endure my everyday failings!) But, knowing that we are being talked about - and that it is not all favorable, shapes how we think about ourselves and how we think about ourselves in relationship to and with others.
And, I fear the wikileaks will only cause many persons - and many national leaders - to be more suspicious and suspect of one another - and more guarded and unkind one with another.
We live in a world that needs to see and discern more peace and harmony and open-ness and love - not less of it.
We live in a world that needs to discern the absence of power struggles and the advent of peacemaking.
May it be the case - as we enter the season of Advent that we wait expectantly - and live faithfully - into the reality of what it means to be humbled one-to-another.
In the spirit of this humility - I wrote a letter to a long-ago-high-school friend earlier tonight. His choices in life have differed from my own. I have been FB friends with him for quite a few years - but believe it might be the case that - many years ago - given choices he made - I may have said something unkind, unfavorable or unfair to or about him. I do not believe I did - but I wanted to be sure. So I sent him a personal message tonight - confessing my failures in communication and owning responsibility for the fact that I need to love better and speak only words of grace and charity in all ways.
To any who might read this - let me encourage you - with me - to let this season of Advent - and the Wikileaks be reason to cause and reflect in your own words - in your writings - in your emails - in your conversation - would you be willing for your private words to be held up to public scrutiny?
God grant us - and our world - Peace.