Daily Reflection
July 26th, 2008

Jeanne Schuler

Philosophy Department
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Out of the Holding Pattern

Prophets talk tough. Most of us prefer gentle reminders and constructive criticism. Prophecy with a light touch. But Jeremiah delivers jolts as he begs his people to come back. His vision is raw, his fire fed by love for God and for those who have turned away. Opportunists and appeasers are singled out. He seems to know me.

We keep our distance from prophets. They dwell in the shadows with aliens, orphans, and those killed by war. The noise of our busy lives usually muffles their presence. We go through the motions for quite a while until a story is flung into our path and we stumble. Someone speaks up. A person of conscience. Someone appeals for help. That chronic inertia ends when we come together and act.

Waking up begins with the senses. To chew bread slowly, wait for the scent of a flower, listen for the owl at dusk, or read a poem aloud is to enter the world and be struck by its beauty. When we take back our senses, we take back our lives. Looking around, the many connections among us become visible. Those in the shadows emerge and show me who I am. We belong to each other and to God. Revelation of God and humanity happens together.

Jeremiah reminds us that words alone do not save us. Faith is not lived from the sidelines. Like the kids on the sidewalk who break into dancing, a time comes for moving. For cutting loose from some doubts. For sliding off my chair into the hope and confusion of getting what is real.

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