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It had been one month, then, one week, now only four days before New Year’s Eve, with its frantic preparations for get-togethers or travel, with its review and planning for 2022. It feels like hurtling through time, with nothing substantial for support. Gossamer strands, multicolored like candy canes, tickle imaginations, tumble words, and befuddle days of the week. What ever happened to 2021?

Standing below a maple, its nakedness articulated against the blue sky, I’ve heard myself say, let’s snapshot this, tuck it away in memory. So beautiful! Like nothing I’ve seen before! Yet, however strong the impression, it’s lost within the recesses of my psyche, perhaps to be savored in a later dream.

I feel this way toward the old lilac shrub outside my study window. In what seems like a slit second, it has displayed its full cycle of budding, of splitting greenery, of heady blossoms morphing into tissue-paper browning, of killing winds stripping the bug-eaten leaves, leaving winter’s dormant presence. Each snapshot of the shrub’s cycle nudged Creator God in my depths; they are all there.

Such transformation speaks of my own that manifests in dreams, prayer, and other “O!” moments, even words that surface from my word processor, realm of my Inner Writer.

So, all of life is energized by the Sacred and through course corrections, both sweet and bitter, keeps everything cycling through its growth and diminishment and regrowth—everything in good order. 

Now on the down side of life, I still offer thanks for what is left, despite time’s curlicues.

“Thou Shalt Not Kill.”

This ancient commandment first purported to King Hammurabi in his Code (1755–1750 BCE), the sixth King of the first dynasty of Babylon, later influenced the Ten Commandments that Yahweh presented to Moses on Mount Sinai, between 1000-900 BCE. Later, Jesus of Nazareth enlarged on this commandment as found in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s gospel (50–100 CE). And still later, between 609-622 CE, the prophet Mohammed incorporated this commandment in the Quran, 5:32.

Temples, synagogues, churches, cathedrals, basilicas, and mosques have abounded throughout the world, its worshipers intent upon learning and practicing its sacred texts.

It could not be clearer: “Thou shalt not kill.” Yet, regard our global history, filled with genocides, wars, ethnic cleansing, assassinations, and back-alley and ransom shootings—And today’s killing eyes peering through slits of face-scarfs, trigger-fingers poised on new H & K G3 battle weapons.

It’s seems to be about unbridled anger, power, greed, and the obliteration of spirit.

We wait and ask Your protection and care with complete abandon. 

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