Epiphany, the coming of the light into a darkened world. What better symbol of the darkness than a blank screen demanding to be filled with words of wisdom? Or at least words that someone might find worth reading. I never really thought much about being a "blogger" until just the other day when I wrote my first post. Something about the meanness of our socio-political dialogue left me so disappointed that I had to do something. So I wrote.
But I'm not really what you'd call a political junkie. I don't spend hours listening to the pundits pontificate whatever it is they spout forth. I'm a pastor--by calling and by nature. My compelling need is to help; to comfort the afflicted and, when necessary, afflict the comfortable. Which got me to thinking that perhaps that's the root of the problem with our national dialogue. The comfortable are too comfortable, and the afflicted are too afflicted. With the demise of the middle class, the divide between those who have more than the need and those who are somehow surviving, has become so vast that they don't even speak the same language. Both sides are talking--make that shouting--but neither side is hearing. And the result is a world that is becoming more and more out of whack.
What can we say to a world where, in Oregon, apples grown in Chili and New Zealand cost less than apples grown in Hood River? What can we say to a world where many of us literally loose more money in our couches than the poorest folks in the world earn? What can we say to a world where schools cancel art, music, drama, and speech while building multi-million dollar sports arenas? What can we say to a world where we pay entertainers many times over what we pay teachers? What can we say to a world where insuring obscene bonusses to CEO's is more important than providing health care to babies and the elderly.
I'm not sure we can say anything. In a world that no longer hears, all we can do is do. We can buy the more expensive local apples. We can gather up that loose donate it to groups who are making a difference in the lives of the poor, the oppressed, and the powereless. We can demand our schools put education ahead of athletics--and not support the athletics until they do. We can stop supporting firms that pay their CEO's unrealisitic bonusus. We can turn off the tv, read a book, attend local, live theatre. We can learn to entertain ourselves--to play and instrument, or sing, or draw, or whatever it is we always wanted to do. We may not be able to change the world, but we can, at least, improve our part of it.