Notes from Jan

We’re Better Than This

September 4, 2018


Another Labor Day’s tucked away, along with summer vacation and its slower pace.

School starts today, for many.  Yellow busses with flashing lights, stop and test the patience of drivers tethered by law to remain at a distance, while children laden with backpacks and fresh hope climb on board.

The past few days found many in our country mourning more than the man, John McCain, but for a time when America was a better place, not perfect,  just better here and abroad.

Who hasn’t wished, prayed, vowed or joined a support group to be better, do better?

As a former public school teacher, I remember the determination, careful planning, hopes, prayers and trepidation behind opening day.  Clean blackboards(that tells you something), whole pieces of chalk, mind-catching bulletin boards(I hoped),  with as much order as possible. Lesson plans ready, if only by a few days. All attempts to improve as a teacher.

Heard last week a group of “evangelical” pastors and leaders met with President Trump. He fed them fear. Surely some will refuse to swallow the poison that destroys love, compassion and  cooperation, while spreading  hate, divisiveness, abuse of power and self promotion like a virus. Surely some will ask themselves, then challenge those they’ve been chosen to lead with “What would Jesus do?” It’s a serious question rooted in the Gospels, not some slogan to be worn on a bracelet.

It’s one thing to remain at a distance from a school bus with flashing lights, quite another to distance ourselves from The Truth.

We’re better than that, aren’t we?











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  • Reply Jim Trent September 4, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    Thank you, Jan, for your wise words.

  • Reply KAREN OKEEFE September 4, 2018 at 5:30 pm

    What you say is SO true…as always. I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while. I live in Wenham, and I’m a friend of Annie Lamott’s. I make prayer braclets for her. I sent your blog about running into her in the parking lot to her. She loved it.
    I, for one, don’t buy any of Trump’s vitriol. I can’t believe we elected him! Thank you for speaking out against his poison.
    Blessings on you.

  • Reply KAREN OKEEFE September 4, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    I corrected the spelling of bracelets an instant too late. The comment had just sent. 🙁

  • Reply Radina Welton September 4, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    So well said, as usual. As a former student and teacher, I too miss the freshness in the air of those new beginnings. Praying with you for hopefilled new beginnings in our country and world.

  • Reply Sue Andringa September 4, 2018 at 10:18 pm

    Yes, we are better than this! Agree with you 100%

  • Reply Dan Russ September 5, 2018 at 3:40 am

    We have to decide if the beginning of a new school year teaching our children truth, goodness, and beauty is a larger reality than our political ideologies. I believe what is happening on those school buses and in those schools is and always has been greater than Washington or the state capitals. In a democracy, this is the authentic. new year.

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