Notes from Jan

Summer’s for Sale

August 29, 2017

Reduced for clearance: beach towels, sand pails,  hapless hanging baskets,  and other items devalued to make space for back-to-school supplies,  Halloween stuff,  and goods befitting fall and winter.

As days shorten, nights cool and the pace quickens, I’m not ready for fall to push against the screen door of summer, to exchange carefree for carefull.

Truth be told, carefree took leave in Charlottesville not on a clearance table. More than summer took a hit when too many Evangelical leaders chose siding with or silence, over daring to be Daniel or Daniela, choosing  profit over prophet.  Too simplistic?  True, but it nags at me.  As someone wrote in the Globe, “Sometimes it feels like we’re sailing around the Cape of Lost Hope.”

Today,  while watching the latest on Houston,  a newscaster reported,”We are witnessing the worst of Mother Nature and the best of human nature.”   A hopeful scene, watching the “Cajun Navy”, ordinary folks with boats, rafts, paddle boards joining  professionals to rescue and take to higher ground, those who are in harm’s way.

Today’s Globe listed trustworthy places where donations can be sent to help the hurting.   They included the Red Cross and Christian organizations like The Salvation Army and Samaritan’s Purse.

As I watched people helping people, no one checked age, ethnicity, gender, religion or other ways we  divide and discriminate.  “You in harms’ way?  Take my hand. Come on board.”

Maybe a natural disaster can spur us to examine unseen floods eroding spiritual  and moral ground, leaving in its wake deep divisions, a loss of kindness, decency, civil discourse, trust and the ability to discern true from faux, principle from preference

It’s one thing to find Summer on sale, quite another to sell our souls for perishables like profit, power or from fear.







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  • Reply Barrie Levine August 30, 2017 at 12:41 am

    Thank you Jan for this superb piece, all of your points fall into place with poignancy – starting with everyday surroundings and moving on to the most troubling developments of our times. Yet, hope is imbedded in your perspective. Well said.

  • Reply Jeri August 30, 2017 at 12:44 am

    Thanks so much Jan. May the Lord be present in this unfolding disaster…I appreciate your wise words.

  • Reply susan August 30, 2017 at 2:30 am

    Tell it, Sister!

  • Reply Rita Dove August 30, 2017 at 3:31 am


  • Reply Radina Welton August 30, 2017 at 3:34 am

    A provocative, enviable piece of writing, sister! ( Sometimes I hear echoes of Garrison Keillor in your way of expressing,. So poetic). Yes, we are in the midst of a spiritual hurricane. Again God speaks through nature. Disasters level us all to one plain, almost all that is. I just keep praying, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done”, as this ship of our country just keeps rocking too much for my comfort .

  • Reply Gail MacDonald August 30, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    Yes, wise, insightful, superb writing, but also, brave! Thank you, friend to those in leadership in high places, who never forgets the least of these. Your words cut to the heart. They inspire and make me feel very uncomfortable in my comfort. God have mercy.

  • Reply Elizabeth Payne August 30, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    This indeed is a sorrowful time and we wonder Where are you, Lord? Then there are those in leadership who say who we can and cannot love, can and cannot associate ourselves with. And as I read that decree, I did not feel or see the Love or GRACE of Jesus. Jesus, who never turned anyone away, accepted everyone as they were, transforming them through the Grace and Love of God.

    What we have seen in Houston this week is the out pouring of Love and Grace that has crossed all races, faiths, economic and social statuses. Churches, Mosques and Synagogues, Businesses opened their doors to provide shelter without question for those in need. Immigrants were reassured not to worry about their legal status, their safety was first. Wow. Texas. The need for support will be ongoing for Houston as it rebuilds. Thousands of people have lost their home and jobs. There is hope. We have New Orlean’s recovery as a model. It has taken years, for the city to come back, neighborhoods to rebuild. Sadley, some never did. But the same Initiative, Will and ongoing Grace will re build Houston just as New Orleans.

    It is everyone working together. Reaching out. This is what makes America great, and always has.

    It just shouldn’t take a disaster for America to pull together. Hopefully our hearts remain transformed.

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