Friday, May 25, 2007

Guest Commentary: Roger Lynn, Pastor, United Church of Moscow.

Roger Lynn has been pastor of the United Church of Moscow for the last 12 years. He lives about a mile north of the Latah County Courthouse. Like many of his neighbors, Roger was awakened on the night of Saturday, May 19th, by the sounds which we would come to know the next day, was gunfire issued by Jason Hamilton. More than 125 rounds discharged, and four people dead.

Roger sent in this commentary:

I came awake to what I thought was the sound of someone knocking on our door, desperate to be let in. The next morning I learned that the "knocking" had actually been the first burst of weapon fire at the Court House. And then the thought occurred to me that it had, in fact, been someone desperate to be let in.

He had chosen a particularly tragic and disastrous way of expressing his pain, but pain it most certainly was. And now we, as individuals, as a community, as a nation, as the human race, are left with the challenge of picking up the pieces of our broken world and moving on from here. We are left with the challenge of how to respond to the desperate knocking that persistently disturbs our living. And we have choices in how we will do that.

In his farewell address to the Hebrew people as they prepared to enter the "Promised Land," Moses says, "I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live." (Deuteronomy 30:19)

As a person of faith it is my strong conviction that God's desire for all of us is full, rich, abundant living which is defined by qualities such as peace, compassion, health and connection.

The path which leads to such life can be difficult to find, particularly since we have frequently wandered so far afield. And, I believe, it is possible to find our way back to the path.

It is possible to remember who we truly are, way down deep in the core of our being. If we will pay attention to the deep longings of our hearts, if we will listen for the quiet whispers of the Sacred Presence, if we will open ourselves to the promptings of the Spirit, we will discover the path to healing and wholeness.

It is a journey that will require the very best of who we are. It will require all our energy and commitment. And it is a journey which we must make together, with no one left behind. We absolutely must begin and end with the firm conviction that every life is sacred, every person is of immeasurable worth, every soul is intrinsically linked to us.

We cannot meet these challenges alone. Together, with each other and with God, there is nothing we cannot do. I do not know all of what must be done to even begin moving us towards life and away from death, and I know that the challenge is overwhelming in its enormity.

I also know that we must begin.

We must begin to transform the personal, institutional, cultural, societal systems which perpetuate our brokenness -- the systems that keep people in poverty, deny them access to health care, devalue and dehumanize them, and so much more. We must begin to reclaim our humanity and the humanity of every person on the planet.

"Choose life," Moses said, "so that you and your descendants may live."

In the darkness of these days in which we find ourselves, as we have wrapped our arms around each other, wept together and reached out in love and support to those around us, we have, indeed, already begun to choose life.

May the ripples of that choice spread and help to heal the world.


Roger Lynn's commentary will air Friday afternoon on Northwest Public Radio.

You can also listen to it here.


1 comment:

Christopher said...

"If we will pay attention to the deep longings of our hearts, if we will listen for the quiet whispers of the Sacred Presence, if we will open ourselves to the promptings of the Spirit, we will discover the path to healing and wholeness."

If Mr. Lynn would explain how a person listens to his secret Sacred Presence or his prompting Spirit his suggestion might have some merit. But since he, like most religious people, declines to explain how the magic he advocates works - or even to show any evidence that it does work - his suggestions are no more useful than my three-year-old neighbor who likes to think about kittens when he is sad...and since I have seen the kittens my neighbor is referring to his advice is actually more useful.