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Salt sprinkles upon summer’s vegetables, steamed just right, pleasure my taste buds and prompts taking more forkfuls until satisfied. Without salt, blandness settles upon my tongue like crud, shrinks hunger, and diminishes satiety. Indeed, salt seems to enhance foods like symphony conductors, their musicians—The end result satisfies, deeply.

Toward this fulfillment many yearn today, given the multi-faceted impoverishment that cripples psyches, that discounts the spiritual, however expressed. Such evil mirrors the mythological Hydra, a gigantic water-snake-like monster with nine heads, one of which was immortal. In ancient Greece as well as today, such monsters spew unbridled terror resulting in cookie-cutter posturing in boardrooms, courts of law, churches, and universities. Change is suspect and frowned upon.

In view of this deplorable situation, how retain salty spirits? How access humor still lodged in our depths? How inhale winds of harmony, of shimmering colors, of nature’s imprints? I ask myself these questions, daily.
Of necessity, I watch Jesus in the Gospels salt his followers with counter-cultural behaviors: There is blessedness in being poor in spirit, in being meek, mournful, merciful, clean of heart, peacemakers, open to suffering, and hungering for what is right—all reversals of wayward instincts on rampage for power, prestige, and sexual aberrations.

Jesus says further, Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another.

Thus a fresh discipline emerges from within that lightens our steps, no longer trudging to the tin-horn band tooting nonsense. Boldly, we step out of line for a different path that works and follow it with the like-minded. It works.

 

Around midnight I woke with this dream:

Jesus comforted me.

And later:

A light-skinned young couple, devoted to each other, sits on a piano bench. His tapered fingers played the accompaniment to the Jesus hymn they sing, with full voice.

 This pair of consoling dreams empowers me to trust my old body’s continuing diminishment, one day at a time, until my last one. Practicing CPA’s Step I also supports this process with its emphasis upon cultivating an honest relationship with my body. Gentleness is also paramount.

The first dream’s consolation lingers as I compose this blog, despite having no recall of the story—just His loving presence. My spirit brightens; its joy, boundless, a foretaste of what’s to come on the other side of my last breath.

The second dream of the light-skinned young couple heartens me. From the depths of my unconscious comes multifaceted harmony of their genders, of their blended voices, of their willingness to be in relationship, and of their shared faith and trust in Jesus. And on a deeper note, the dream suggests more healing of my racial prejudice, if not its removal altogether. I have wanted this for long years, but have been unable to extricate it from my shadow, it being imprinted since childhood.

And the Jesus hymn envelops my spirit in bliss. If such overtures, fleeting as they are, attest to realities far beyond our kin, what must eternal life be? And we’re all headed there, at least that’s my understanding, like bees swarming to the golden hive. In the meantime, tonight’s dreams remain to be learned from.

 

 

“That’ll get ya a lotta bread,” yelled an accomplice to his buddy, just having torched a convenience store in St. Louis, a bystander having reported this comment to a cameraman. Such evidences paid instigators hired to trash cities beset with racial discord, in this instance the aftermath following the death of George Floyd.

For me, this reflection referenced the Gospel of Luke and Jesus’s declaration, I have come to cast fire on the earth and what would I but that it be enkindled. Jesus was also a flame-thrower, but in a different sense than the thug previously mentioned. Experiencing our flawed humanness evoked his compassion and care. There was another way to live and he was passionate that we learn it. His behaviors and subsequent teaching enkindled in his listeners a new discipline that burned away the dross of self-centered living, wedded to the appeasement of instincts.

But with today’s materialism, hedonism, and secularism clogging our spiritual receptors, more laws and monitoring, more barricades and armed guards won’t change things much. Only the heart’s humble sacrifice can lead to harmony among peoples, and that burns, at times. But the joy that ensues refreshes for all eternity.

 

 

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