Monday, September 10, 2018
Brother Richard DeMaria
Dear friends and fellow journeyers,
I must confess that I am very discouraged these days. I am not discouraged about my own health, but about what is happening in our world.
Some day in the future I hope to write a blog summarizing my theological positions at this time. But for now, let me share one item: For me, the kingdom of God refers to a future when the most important aspects of love will have been embraced by the whole world. I am talking about a time when love, openness, acceptance and understanding of others will have become the state of humanity. In my theology, when that happens, the kingdom of God will have come into being. After all, the only definition we have of God from the Scriptures is that God is love. So, when love dominates the whole world, the kingdom of God will be here
Up until recently, I could see the whole world moving in this direction with baby steps. There was enough progress to believe that we were on our way to making real the kingdom of God. But of late, the direction has changed. Throughout the world we have become less open, less tolerant, less willing to help the weak. This is happening in the United States to be sure but also in most European countries.
What to do? Continue to believe that God is in charge and that God often writes straight with crooked lines. If you are in the same situation, join with me in praying often and heartily that “thy kingdom come.”
More discouraging than that analysis is my recognition that I am becoming less tolerant and accepting of the thinking of others. I have always prided myself with the ability to see and understand the position of others. This reflected my understanding of human thinking. My understanding reflects an age-old understanding which I only discovered in studying atomic physics: During the long debates among scientists about the nature of light [particle or wave], N. Bohr proposed his principle of complementarity, which says that inany serious question:
- Humans will inevitably surface two explanations.
- These explanations will inevitably seemto contradict one another.
- But in fact, they complement one another, and both explanations must be used to reach the truth.
So I have always tried to see the truth in the thinking of the other and arrive at some combination of the two in my own life. But, in this current situation, I am unable to do this. I see those who are creating division, creating misunderstanding, creating distrust, as working against the kingdom of God, even while they quote Scripture. I have sadly reached the point where I cut short many conversations by announcing, “We can’t talk politics.”
I want to change this, but I am discouraged by my lack of progress.
An update on my health: Not much has changed. I amaze people by my ability to walk and climb stairs. My hands continue to be useless, which means that I am more and more dependent on others. But as I wrote in a previous blog, “I like being dependent.” I get tired more easily these days and you will find me resting in my bed quite often. But I push myself to do more things. I organize community events in the house and try to connect people who I think should know one another. It is hard for the staff to keep up with modifications in my routine because of efforts of doctors to accommodate increasing diminishments.
But my spirits stay the same. Please join me in praying that that doesn’t change and that my inability to enter dialogue will improve.