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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of January 9, 2005

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of January 9, 2005 ********** As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press, here is a selection from our new book of
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 8, 2005
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      Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of January 9, 2005


      As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho
      Press, here is a selection from our new book
      of daily devotions, "Living as the Beloved:
      One Day at a Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra

      Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
      meditation. We hope you will be blessed.

      Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.

      Changed hearts

      "Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's
      eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own
      Matthew 7:3

      "I don't understand what you mean," I asked, "Who are
      'trash people?'"

      The angry response came immediately. To this man,
      just about everyone except himself was a "trash
      person." One of his sons married a "trash person."
      What made her "trash" in this man's opinion was her
      skin color. "Trash people" included all the minimum
      wage employees who cared for his aging mother, along
      with gays and lesbians, and people from different
      ethnic backgrounds. It sounded as if the only
      non-trash person on the face of the earth was this
      angry, embittered man. My heart felt sick as I
      listened and felt deep grief for his children's
      spouses. This angry man felt none of them were
      good enough for his sons. His disapproval distanced
      them from his life.

      "Do you have any pictures of your grandchildren?" I
      asked. He seemed surprised at this question and
      stopped his tirade for the moment. "No," he replied
      slowly, "I've never seen them. Their mother is
      'trash.' Why would I want to spend time with her
      and her children?"

      The Psalmist writes, "When I look at your heavens,
      the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that
      you have established; what are human beings that you
      are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?"
      (Psalm 8:3-4). We are made in the divine image and
      are not trash. We are fearfully and wonderfully made
      in our human diversity. God is an artist, making
      human beings with many beautiful skin colors with the
      capacity to love deeply. God must be sorely grieved by
      our prejudices.

      Madeleine L'Engle shares this insight about Jesus, the
      storyteller. Jesus tells the story of a person who had
      a huge plank of wood in his eye, yet did not hesitate a
      moment to severely criticize another for having a wee bit
      of dust in his eye (Matthew 7:1-5). The word Jesus used
      was "hypocrite." L'Engle writes, "The parable is a true
      story about our unwillingness to see our own enormous
      faults, and our eagerness to point out much smaller
      faults in other people." (L'Engle, Madeleine and Carole
      F. Chase. "Glimpses of Grace: Daily Thoughts and
      Reflections," p. 320.)

      It is easy to see other people's prejudices and not our
      own. I wonder what people see in me? I wonder what
      hidden prejudices are deep within me? Where do I need
      to have a new heart to see people with God's eyes? Søren
      Kierkegaard (1813-1855), a famous Danish theologian,
      clearly understood that while prayer did not change
      God's unchangeable character and attributes, it could
      transform the one praying with a new divinely inspired
      perspective. (Bretall, Robert, editor. "A Kierkegaard
      Anthology," p. 470.)

      Months after my first encounter with the man who thought
      of people as trash, I had the privilege of attending
      church with him again. He had experienced a dramatic
      moment with God and was truly reborn in his inner spirit.
      My mouth dropped to the floor as I saw him embracing
      people of color. I rejoiced at seeing him with his
      daughter-in-law. His grandchildren delighted in their
      new and wonderful relationship with their grandfather.
      His son was profoundly grateful to have a relationship
      with his father again. The son's mother joyously
      shared with me that she had been praying for her
      husband's attitudes for the past twenty-five years.

      It was a moment of self-realization for me. Quite
      honestly, I had not been actively praying for this
      family. Fortunately God worked a miracle in spite
      of my prayerlessness. Truly, God can change the
      hardest of hearts. God is alive and well, still in
      the miracle business of transforming lives. Prayer
      changes things, beginning with the one who is praying.
      Perhaps all of us can learn from my experience. Are
      there people for whom you should and could be praying?

      God, change the hardness of my own heart, before I so
      eagerly pray for others to have a change of heart.
      Help me see the planks of wood in my own eye, before
      the perceived dust in the eyes of others. Let any
      needed inner change begin with me. Amen.

      Grace and peace,

      Chi Rho Press

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      "Living as the Beloved" will make a wonderful Christmas
      gift for your friends and family and is available for $20.95
      each plus shipping and handling. Six or more copies are
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      find this book on our Web site at

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