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Monday, 30 January 2017

A Chill Wind

Minus 10C, around +20F, this morning but my neighbour and I braved it for our walk. Oddly, the road was not slippery, which is the criterion by which we make our decision to walk, or not to walk.

Ice crystals define the twigs and branches all around and set up beautifully against a pale blue sky, lightly swept with swatches of cloud. Not a breath of wind. 

I’m a warm-weather woman, but I can appreciate the beauty of such a day as this.

There is a chill wind blowing from DC these days, though, a chill wind with a sharp cutting edge, whining away under dark skies. A wind of hostility and hatred; a wind of selfishness and protectionism. A wind which is blasting the lives of the innocent and the hurting, both those inside and those outside the country. There is no beauty in what is coming out of the White House now.

Ripping up the generosity of past generations; denying the hospitality and open-armed welcome of a couple of centuries. Rejecting the notion that we are all immigrants. Among us, there may be a few with ill intent, but isn’t life itself a risk? Without a willingness to take a calculated risk, we might as well retreat to a dark underground bunker and await death, which comes to us all anyway.

Shock. Disgust. Dismay. Sorrow as I think of the sacrifices of my dear old Dad, who fought the terrible war in the Pacific in order to preserve a nation founded with high ideals of liberty and justice. I’m glad he’s not here to see what is happening to that nation. 

We didn’t pray in schools when I was growing up in the 50s and 60s, but every morning we started by standing and reciting, hand over heart, ‘I pledge allegiance, to the flag, of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.’

No longer. Unless the system of checks and balances begins to operate as it was intended, and the xenophobic hatred is curtailed and denied, and the executive orders stop. 

The world we live in may be harsh, but it can be beautiful if we live with faith in the God who loves each and every creature, and if, with arms wide open, we welcome all those who are hurting and vulnerable, and we help those who are too weak to help themselves.

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