Beliefnet
Everyday Spirituality

Supposedly, North Korea has threatened nuclear attack against its aggressor. We will never know the whole story unless we personally talked with leader, Kim Jong Un, which probably isn’t going to happen.

But because the threat is splashed throughout the media, it’s pretty difficult to ignore. The warning generates worry and strain.

It’s a matter of keeping our head on straight. No over action and yet no inaction. Going by my own puny experience, I do remember when our first grade daughter attended a school known for its bad reputation. The day she entered I made a vow to be involved, actively but not with a smoldering passion that could burst out and over react.

Every day, I surrounded the school with a prayer. One day, it became urgent that I pray more for the school, the community, and the children. I did.

Our daughter came home and confirmed what was eventually spread over the media. A bomb threat had been received at the school office. All of the children were quickly and calmly evacuated. Neighboring homes were opened up to allow the children to come inside out of the freezing cold winter weather. Hours passed. A bomb squad searched and found no bomb. School was resumed.

The test of my prayer was not to prove prayer works but to love more. And, love was definitely felt for our child, the teachers, the school staff, the neighbors, and the community, including the caller who hopefully found something better to do.

Womanhood and manhood are not biological destinies. As we tap into our spirituality, we can balance the intellectual and intuitive, home and work, family and career.

Many religions depict God as Father-Mother, with all the wonderful qualities embraced by man and woman. We read in 21st Century Science and Health, “Spirit is our primordial and ultimate source of being. God is our Father-Mother, and Life is the law of our being.” I think this ideal attributes to successful people today.

The status of humanity is being raised. Woman and man are not limited to sexual organs. God, Spirit, doesn’t have physical organs. We can identify with Spirit and freely express our spirituality with all the qualities normally attributed to male and female.

On my way to an interview, I called for directions and was told, “I live on Del Ave.,” then was asked, “Do you know where Del Ave is?”

“No,” I answer scanning the map in my mind.

“Drive over the Bridge and turn left,” came the answer.

I did so in my mind map and replied “Oh, you live on Highway 18.”

“No,” was the retort.

My mind immediately ignored Highway 18 and started looking for other “lefts” to take on my mental map but was getting nowhere. The speaker continued to talk and finally I said, “That really sounds like Highway 18.”

“Well, Del Ave. does turn into Highway 18, I mean, yes it is Highway 18,” was the comeback.

I roll my eyes and go get the interview yet ask myself…Do I sometimes know the details of a subject so well that I neglect to see the bigger picture and thus confuse others?

From 21st Century Science and Health, “We must exercise our faith in the direction taught by the Apostle James, when he said: “Religion that God and Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”[1]

 


[1] James 1:27

 

 

Black History is nearing an end. Our community newspaper has printed a series of profiles celebrating the milestones and individuals in American black history. Here are a few:

James Weldon Johnson. Born 1871, the second of three children, James Weldon went on to become a future teacher, poet, songwriter, and civil rights activist  While still serving as a public school principal, Johnson studied law and became the first African American to pass the bar exam in Florida. Johnson—displeased with the racial stereotypes propagated by popular music—enrolled at Columbia University in 1903 to expand his literary horizons. In 1916, Weldon was offered the post of field secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He went on to assemble three ground-breaking anthologies: The Book of American Negro Poetry (1922), The Book of American Negro Spirituals (1925), and The Second Book of Negro Spirituals (1926).

Lucy Stanton Sessions (1831-1910) Lucy Stanton was born as a freed inhabitant of Cleveland, Ohio. She is believed to be the first African American woman to graduate from college, attaining a degree from Oberlin College in 1850. After college she moved to Columbus, Ohio, and became a Principal to a school. Life entailed more moving during a time when she taught fugitive slaves. Later in life, after a divorce, she remarried and the family moved to Tennessee where Lucy Sessions continued her philanthropic work, including serving as president of the local Women’s Christian Temperance Union. She and her husband later moved to Los Angeles, California before her death in 1910.

Charlotte E. Ray was one of seven children. She was born in 1850 in New York City. She was raised by a father who was a minister and active in the abolitionist movement and the Underground Railroad. Charlotte Ray received her education at the institution for the Education of Colored Youth in Washington D.C. and went on to teach at Howard University. She earned a law degree in 1872 and became one of the first black women to be admitted to the District of Columbia Bar and argue cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. She became involved in the women’s suffrage movement and joined the National Association of Colored Women., inspiring many to transcend the strictures of racism and misogyny.

“Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.” (Proverbs 31:9, ESV)