May 31, 2021


Big Creek 12 Oil Paint Rendered — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Waterville, NC
It is best to wake up slowly,
over a long period of time.

There is no hurry,
and the transition is 

The transition is part 
of the process.

Waking up requires us 
to completely transform
our relationships with 
our life,
our self,
other people--
and we do not do that overnight.

We have to shift into
a new mode of operating,
with new values,
new response patterns,
new purposes,
and ways of doing things.

It takes time to settle in
to all that new.
And gentleness,
and compassion,
especially with ourselves.

We have to become more reflective--
no matter how reflective we were
at the start.

Everything is a source of meditation,
and we walk in wonder
through radiance on every side,
making connections
and seeing all things
as different and as one
at the same time,
amazed at the beauty
and the sacredness of life and being.



West Prong 01 Oil Paint Rendered — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tremont, Tennessee
Ideally, we would live 
to serve the values of 
Liberty! Justice! Equality! Truth!
with compassion,
and without judgment or opinion.

It is easy to see this 
as a natural extension of
Jesus' words about,
"Inasmuch as you have done it--
or failed to do it--
to the very least 
and most inconsequential
segment of humanity,
your have done it,
or failed to do it,
to me."

Everybody qualifies to be treated
with respect 
and concern.


Everybody doesn't think so.

And the discordance,
the dichotomy,
between those who understand
and apply
the concept of "love thy neighbor,"
and those who comprehend it,
but reject it,
have inhibited the expression
and shared experience
of the radiance and wonder of life
among the living
throughout the ages.

Life is much less than it might be
because of that.

And what is to be done about it?

Mourning and lamentation,
I'm afraid,
mourning and lamentation,
is the best we can do.

Because our life together
is a good faith operation.
And, as Rumi said,
"If you are not here with us
in good faith,
you are doing terrible damage."

And the ones who are not,
do not care how much damage 
they do.
They seem to enjoy doing it,
and relish every opportunity
to do it again and again.

We mourn and lament
the refusal of our brothers and sisters
to live in good faith
with the rest of us--
and do what we can imagine doing
to compensate for their failure
to be who they are needed to be.

Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

2 thoughts on “May 31, 2021

  1. This is beautiful, Jim. We cannot know what happens when the ahhhmm may or may not become a hummmm…. we can only hope to have ourselves in this state of wonder whenever whatever happens next happens! One day at a time sometimes five minutes at a time, brother!✌🕊☮🏳


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