Friday, January 16, 2015


Childlike Love, Chicago, IL

I recently ran across a message on the Internet from “the world” that advertised for encouragers, explaining that we already had enough critics, thank you. Much of the world and I have seen a lot of encouragement from Pope Francis ever since he was elected Pope of the Catholic Church. His unscripted off the cuff interviews on flights around the world have caused a stir whenever he offers an observation. The recent carnage in Paris stirred up a lot of attention on freedom of expression. He defended that freedom as a fundamental right and a duty to speak one’s mind for the sake of the common good without provoking others by insulting their faith.

It does appear that our world today knows no boundaries when it comes to satire or humor. It does get folks’ attention and makes them think about issues, but it also solicits extreme reactions. You would hope those reactions would materialize in the form of spirited debate and not violence so that both sides of an issue could be heard and understood. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen in Paris.

The primary attribute of the god most of the world’s religions worship is love. The primary goal of the worshipers should be to be more like their god. Unfortunately, there are those who don’t look too much like that. We seem to have an abundance of haters and critics these days. We do indeed need more encouragers to provide the impetus toward a kingdom of love right now, right here on earth—a world that embraces diversity and encourages us to take care of one another. Would that it could be so. And it can be so if we work to focus less on changing minds and more on changing hearts, which is what our God clearly sees--if we approach life more childlike, before all the cataracts of bias and prejudice and hate clouded our vision.

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