Saturday, August 3, 2013

Beers and Bears

The Beer-
This may sound odd but recently have encountered both just last week. My father-in-law who is a dear old soul needed a ride to the hospital and a companion for some testing. It was a trying time for him and fortunately everything turned out ok for now. He was insistent at stopping at the bar after the test for a relaxing beer. Normally this is not a place for me to stop, but it was his day and he wanted to stop at this pub ( for a beer). We stopped and sat at the bar ordered up two beers. Everyone was friendly and I felt very guilty not for the beer but being judgmental. It dawned on me that these friends of my father-in-law met everyday and discussed their problems , shared in their sorrows not much different than being at a church social. By the way beer is perfectly acceptable in catholic and lutheran practice.

 It was like being the only person with their clothes on at a nude beach, this happened to me once on a bike hike waking up to discover being at a nudist beach. Things like this happen in life - who are we to judge? Once I was invited to a neighbors house for dinner and he peaked his head out asking me to come in. I went in and discovered everyone was nude, this was in Florida. It was quite a different experience everyone was eating dinner and enjoying each others company , they were not lewd just nude. This may sound extreme but it was only me that was embarrassed - keeping on my clothes but did take off my shoes. On some of the islands in the Pacific it is normal to not wear tops , even for the woman.

 To me each situation we find ourselves is to be handled with wisdom and love not judgement. Yes- it is not a perfect world we live in and some have a different idea of perfection than we do. To my father-in-law it is a perfect beer with the right temperature and glass, this was also a favorite of Martin Luther. To me it is just sitting on the back porch admiring the birds and reading a book. We are all unique.

 My father-in-law being irish catholic was in his normal surroundings in a local pub with friends and neighbors. He also prayed three times a day the Lords Prayer and attended mass at least once a week.
Is it wrong for me to judge others even though they may enjoy beer or be nudists. I really do not know!
I was the one who felt the shame and guilt for being judgmental. Does the spirit make allowances for such situations? 

I remember the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden , they were as we are told nude. As they ate from a certain tree they became embarrassed and used the leaves to cover themselves. When at first they were perfectly fine , then they were judgmental after gaining this knowledge from the fruit they had eaten  (forbidden fruit). Is guilt really self imposed by the knowledge of a standard or norm perhaps it is not really the act. 

When a young minister often went to various churches of different standards or norms. I remember one particular church where it was considered unholy to wear jewelry. We had to remove our watches and necklaces , another church it was unholy to wear a tie - removed the tie. Then again another place it was casual but still another formal. Judgement is rampant in the christian community - we find that has nothing to do with love, with joy, with peace. 

Not sure what Adam and Eve found in the fruit that made us so judgmental, but it eventually got them kicked out of the garden. Perhaps we should not rely on knowledge so much and rely on wisdom. Is it better to lose a soul over a watch or necklace, than just preach the true message of love. Not saying we should all put on the love beads and sit naked like in the sixties but we also need to be real and learn to love each other beyond the attire.

The Bear -
I remember waking up to my own father finding the back of his pickup ripped off last week. Yes- he was planning on taking out the garbage but the bear got to it first. He was actually in tears over this because of being elderly and he was one to keep his truck immaculate as possible. Having mixed feelings first calmed down dad then proceeded to clean up the mess. Went to the hardware store and replaced the bolts and rivets with new ones. It took the better part of a day but it was as good as new if not better. 
Sometimes we can feel the pain before the bee stings, or the drama. Life is sometimes full of bears but we also need to make sure we clean the trash out before they show up. We cannot think of everything but we can face the situation with less drama. I told my dad it was easily fixed and not to despair. My house was once demolished by a tornado and we lived through it. The tornado story did not work but a trip to the hardware store made him feel better.

Peace and Joy

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