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, crying for a change

Can you see the door close to our goodbye

So many and more the tears put away

So many before our hearts learned to stray

And no one was sure of the reason why

No time to explore what words had to say

No time to re-shore what pain put awry

The times that we swore to give it a try

Have led to the door before us today

Those reasons galore now fall from our lips

Wild passions now sore such flames to ignite

To even a score uncertain as this

And into this war a stranger known slips

A chance to restore our reason to fight

And see that this door is closed with a kiss

An imperfect poem

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Ever wondered if there isn’t something in us more noble, daring, and strong…

“At Virginia-Highland Church I have been preaching a series called "The Beatitudes of Broadway.” Yesterday our modern lesson was from the biggest hit of 1965, Man of La Mancha, which won the Tony award for best musical and continued for 2,328 performances.

“Three hundred and sixty years before, in 1605, Miguel de Cervantes wrote his novel Don Quixote de la Mancha. It is considered to be the first great novel of the Western world, as well as the most published.

"The musical version of Cervantes’ novel is about a demented old man who decides to become a knight though the time of chivalry is long past. His family is embarrassed by his madness, which sends him off tilting at windmills, but most who encounter Don Quixote find him amusing and harmless enough. Perhaps, like us, they, too, are moved by his impossible dream. Who among us hasn’t found ourselves wondering if there isn’t something in us that is more noble, daring, and strong?

"As children, our mothers told us we could do or be anything. When I graduated from high school, we sang "We’ve Only Just Begun” and believed every word, but something happened …

“Somewhere along the way, instead of fighting the unbeatable foe, we figured out how to work the system;Rather than bear the unbearable sorrow, our own happiness became our supreme value;Instead of running where the brave dare not go, we decided to go along to get along and minimize our risks.

"What happened to us? How did those noble dreams of making a difference die so easily? When did we settle for being spectators and fans rather than players or participants; guests rather than hosts? Today the call to sacrifice, to give rather than buy, to live with compassion rather than self-interest seems like an impossible dream.

"If we are completely honest, often when we are challenged to give more, do more, be more, we respond with anger and resentment. I think that’s because we’re secretly disappointed with how life has turned out so far and ashamed of how easily we let our ideals die.

"Dreams like Don Quixote’s stir us, but we must dismiss them as impossible because there is great danger in being moved to dream again. Do you have the courage to try, or shall we run the rest of this race pretending we weren’t made for better?

Blessings,

Rev. Michael Piazza 

The Center for Progressive Renewa | 743 Virginia Ave NE | Atlanta | GA | 30306”

Words of hope

 
Cameron Tremble writes,

“When I was growing up, I had the good fortune to "accidentally” befriend a boy named Jesse when our third-grade teacher assigned the two of us to sit next to each other. As it turns out, she put two troublemakers together, and we hit it off beautifully.

 

Jesse was a kind and playful soul who had the misfortune of being placed in a foster care system that moved him dozens of times throughout his childhood. If I had had that experience, I suspect I might become suspicious of people, or bitter about my lot in life. Jess, however, had a God-given gift of seeing the best in people and believing that, ultimately, the people in his life were up to good.

In truth, you could argue that Jesse was gullible. When I figured this out, I remember playfully testing my theory. I would say things like, “Jesse, the teachers are going to cancel class, and we are going to spend the entire afternoon on the playground.” He would say, “Really? That’s great! What a great day!” He was so excited. Or I might say, “Jesse, the fire department is going to bring their trucks to the school, and we get to play on them.” “Oh wow!” Jesse would say. “What a great day!” I came to love this in him, and I wish I had more of it myself.

That summer, Jessie and I ended up at a church camp together. As part of our week there, we had to sit and listen to the pastor give us a LONG sermon on why we all should be Christians. I remember sitting in the hard pew hearing nothing but, “whah, whah, whah.” I couldn’t wait for it to be over.

Then I looked over at Jesse. He was entranced; his eyes locked onto the pastor as he spoke. When the sermon finally ended and we walked out, I asked Jesse what he heard. He said, “God loves me! I never knew that. What a great day!”

Two months later, Jesse didn’t come back to school. He moved on to some other school and some other family and some other friends. As I look back, many years later, at that very special friendship, I give thanks to God for letting me know someone like Jesse. In a moment, when my ears were deaf to great news that would change my life, Jesse heard the words of hope.

I hope that you speak some words of hope today. Make it a great day!

Blessings,

  

Rev. Cameron Trimble

The Center for Progressive Renewal"