Sunday, June 19, 2016


It is late and I don't have much to say that makes much sense about Orlando.

We were in Italy and got the news in drips and drabs from devices the Josh and Cathy and Dan and Bern had.

Would it be awful to admit I'm glad we weren't here to be washed over by it 24 hours a day? It was awful to hear about, but it came--as I said--in drips and drabs rather than in MSNBC pillar to post coverage.

I preached about Orlando today. How many times have I had to preach about a mass shooting? More than a dozen times, for sure. And this one so horrible in so many ways: LGBTQ folks and most of this Hispanic.

What makes life so frightening and difficult is the false notion of The Other.

LGBTQ folks are "the other" to many. Trump wants to 'build a wall' to keep 'the other'--Hispanics out. Muslims are 'the other'. Blacks and Asians are 'the other'. Everyone has an 'other' they fear and fret about. And it's not just white folks. Everyone has the other. And 'the other' is a lie.

There is no 'other'.

Here's a story I told in my sermon about Orlando: A wise and godly rabbi is sitting with his disciples by a river as dawn is breaking.

The rabbi asks, "How much light is enough light to see?"

One of his disciples answers: "There is enough light to see when you can tell the goats from the sheep across the river."

The rabbi thinks and then says, "No, that is not enough light to see."

Another student says, "There is enough light to see when we can tell the myrtle trees from the olive trees across the river."

After a long silence, the rabbi says, "No, that is not enough light to see."

His disciples grow silent and wait as dawn comes. Finally the rabbi says, "There is enough light to see when you can look into the face of any human being and see the face of God."

We sit in darkness when we fear the Other.

We need enough light to see....


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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.