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The Larger Picture – A Reflection

February 13, 2020

We spent some time tonight with our good friend, Jon Pickett. Jon’s music truly touches Denise and my soul. Tonight he told some stories about his Dad and shared some songs including his song, Refugees which is about the refugee crisis in Africa, Europe, and in our own hemisphere. Jon has a passion for life and for all of God’s children.

He also played a favorite song of mine which the band he is a part of (Chain Station) recorded… Poor Man’s Fight. This song is gutsy and so very real as it calls out the hypocrisy of war.

As regular readers of my blog know, I have spent a lot of time with Thomas Merton and his writings (especially on Peacemaking). Jon talked about division in this country and how much of it is perpetrated by media on all sides. We must focus on the important life and death issues that impact all of God’s children.

In the midst of all this, I can’t help but think that what I write and say must be done for a greater good. In these wilderness times, the voice of peace must be raised up.

Merton wrote to Dorothy Day on August 23, 1961 about this challenge. As for writing: I don’t feel that I can in conscience, at a time like this, go on writing just about things like meditation, thought that has its point. I cannot just bury my head in a lot of rather tiny and secondary monastic studies either. I think I have to face the big issues, the life-and-death issues… (Thomas Merton: A Life in Letters, p. 276)

Whether you are a songwriter like Jon or a pastor like me, the challenge is clear. We must lift up our voices on behalf of the voiceless. Peacemaking and Social Justice are more than a subject for a dissertation or a song. They are the challenge and the hope for our future.

Thank you Jon and Thomas Merton for the reminder… May we lift up our voices and take action for what matters. Peace and Justice for all of God’s children.

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