"For us let it be enough to know ourselves to be in the place where God wants us, and carry on our work, even though it be no more than the work of an ant, infinitesimally small, and with unforeseeable results."
-- Abbé Monchanin

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Poem for Christmas

For God So Loved The World

For God so loved the world
That He gave His only Son . . . 
How, then, can I sow hatred?

For God so loved the world
That He gave His only Son . . .
Whom, then, can I not love?

For God so loved the world
That He gave His only Son . . .
What, then, can I withhold?

For God so loved the world
That He gave His only Son . . .
Where, then, is His love not found?

For God so loved the world
That He gave His only Son . . .
When, then, will we understand?

For God so loved the world
That He gave His only Son . . .
Why, then, do we not care?

Saturday, December 07, 2013

A Close Shave

I recently had a rather unnerving experience.

While ambling down a street in an unfamiliar part of town, I inadvertently bumped into a man who turned out to be a rather unsavory person.  He took great offence at my carelessness and was aggrieved by the contact that ensued with my person.

"I don't like the look of your face!"  he shouted.

"I don't either," I replied, hoping to relieve the tension of the encounter.

Rather than being mollified by my agreeable response, he became more incensed.

"Don't get smart with me!" he bellowed, whipping a razor out of his pocket and waving it in my face.

At that point, I figured I should remove myself from the premises.  I shall flee, I thought.  Let us fly, tapped my feet in Morse Code as I flew down the street.

Close on my heels came the enraged ruffian waving his razor wildly as he pursued me with every intention of changing the looks of my face.

I zigged and zagged through streets and alleys gaining distance between us as I tried to find a way to my car and safety.  At last I turned down an alley that I thought was a shortcut to where I was parked.  It was a dead end.

I started toward the entrance of the alley, hoping that I could get out and away before the razor wielding maniac caught me.  Alas, I met him at the entrance.  I retreated, looking around for a door to enter or some place of refuge.  I reached the end of the alley without finding an escape just as the man caught up with me.

I would really have had a close shave if the battery in his razor hadn't died just as he caught me.

The Problem of Inclusive Language

I've been pondering the trend toward inclusive language. And I've become a bit puzzled. It seems that things may be backfiring. 

For example, it's OK to refer to someone as human. Why don't we use human and huwoman? We've taken human as a generic term that is inclusive rather than gender specific. 

Then we use chairman and chairwoman when we know the gender of the chairperson. But that final word presents a problem. We treat it as generic rather than distinguishing a person from a perdaughter. Why? 

Maybe it would be easier to just define some words as generic and no longer gender specific. It seems that when we try to fight the way languages are structured, we're emphasizing gender specific issues rather than removing them. 

Which brings me to the old joke (best told orally but I'll attempt it in print): 

Why do we sing AMEN at the end of the songs at church rather than AWOMEN? Because they're HYMNS and not HYRS. (Hiss! Boo! Go away! NOW!)