Beth was awkward generation Z awkward when she came to see him. Not knowing what to say to either of us as the machines pump life into him…and truly my surly old self just makes her uncomfortable for she believes I see her as a place holder for my friend, not as a hero in her own right. She is wrong on that, but how can you prove something so intangible?

Kyla cried. I cried. Shaddup. I am allowed to cry. He is my boy. Thankfully Dragyn came with her, and helped her. Not like his extraterrestrial partner, George, that bailed on us with this looming invasion threat from beyond the stars. The bailing that left my boy alone to fight when the first monster came. Don‚Äôt know what is worse the annoying sounds of the machines, his lifeline when others are around. Or in the silence. The stern look of doctors that won‚Äôt answer my questions, because well Supras are either to win or die, not be left in the limbo dance of a normal Homo Sapien. The nurses, they are nice, and attempt humour, but as one mentioned on her way out‚ÄĒdidn‚Äôt expect the leader of the Great Crime Fighters to be such a surly A-hole. I pride myself on that.

As I read to him. Stories of King Arthur, Don Quixote, Lone Ranger, Star Trek, Robin Hood and Agatha Christie. Trying to get him back through the familiar stories. Getting him to latch on to my voice, or when she is up to it, Kyla (Speedster’s). Thought they were just friends, but she broke down and told me they were engaged. Johnny never saw me as the romantic caring kind. I know the one that was left to mentor.

My phone vibrates, I flip it open and click view. Don’t knock the flip phone until you have regressed back to its greatness and realize how much life and money the smart phone sucks from you.




The weird computer voyeur that shared clues in the past is back. He shared my son’s last moments. The world thought he had died, but no, the Agency had found him barely alive and airlifted him back. His system is trying to repair, but it is sapping his power source to try to repair systems. It aids the additions of machines to keep him alive, as his invulnerability wanes, but he becomes more alive scientifically through acrobatics than through being, alive.

We are at the point where medicine can keep the body going in perpetuity until it can almost begin decomposing, as it is only the physical remains alive, at what point does one know when the cosmic spark has left?

My life was so much simpler before the Bionic Knight. Called him the pissant to further dehumanize him way back when. The odd time it was my scheme was few and far between, usually I was a hired gun by one of the bigger names. I could get away, if I couldn’t always had a breakout plan.

Back when the shotgun used real bullets.

‚ÄúWil, are you serious about this hero thing?‚ÄĚ Rick said.

‚Äúyeah.‚ÄĚ I said. As we sat having cokes after another fight out with baddies. Been on the side of angels a very short time, doing covert ops for the GCF rooting out the baddies.

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ‚ÄúNeed to switch to rubber.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúOn my boot soles? Hell no.‚ÄĚ

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ‚ÄúNo Wil, bullets. Heroes don‚Äôt kill.‚ÄĚ I watch Rick power up and fly into the sky.

Rubber bullets. Real heroes don‚Äôt kill. It was a crossroads night. Those times of belief systems people hit multiple times in their lives. Those moments of clarity when the world is not seen in black and white so much as its beautiful Technicolour existence. How I actually dream, in 1930’s animation style. That night was one of those moments, my change up followed shortly. The odd time the Agency would use me as a side gun on the side of angels, but my fists got more of a work out than my gun. My partner in those times of triggering in covert ops for the Agency was‚ĶPerhaps if I had stayed with real bullets and not rubber, Johnny would have wanted me with him in the fight. Not seen me as just some aging street fighter.

‚ÄúWil, we will take the body when you‚Äôre ready.‚ÄĚ Said Agent Louie Regis. Standing behind me in the hospital as machines do everything for my son and I watch the mathematical numbers tell me that the cosmic spark is snuffing out. Protocol, Supras bodies are interned back in some vault in Ottawa. Just in case science ever progresses to try to clone a human, they cannot find the remains.

I nod. Watch the reflection in the window as he leaves. A doctor walks in.

‚ÄúMy son is an organ donor.‚ÄĚ I say.

‚ÄúThe agent has.‚ÄĚ The doctor attempts to interject.

‚ÄúMy son is an organ donor, the agent can be damned. He will die as he lived, how I am not sure he realized I truly saw him. A hero.‚ÄĚ

My phone vibrates again.

I flick it open.




‚ÄúKeep him alive until tomorrow.‚ÄĚ I say as I rise.

Time to get some real bullets.


Many have wondered why Star Trek? It has always been a meta-narrative in my life, from the original series in re-runs on CBC that allowed me to stay up late on Tuesday nights, to the animated series to all the 24th century fun. Lately on Netflix, I have been revisiting the prequel series, Enterprise, as regular readers can see. The reason it holds is the wisdom found in good stories that challenge the status quo meta-narrative, allow for conversation and contemplation, but also just for fun.


Opening to Bennett’s (2014) Star Trek Enterprise Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

This brings us to the newest novel I have picked up.¬†Christopher L. Bennett’s (2014) Star Trek Enterprise Rise of the Federation Tower of Babel¬†which has one of the most profound opening statements on intent, action and outcomes I have read in a while.

It speaks to the fear that stopped us from accomplishing. But fear exists in other quotes of our lives and cliches whether we realize it or not. The fear of the other, the fear that to accomplish our goals, the other must exist, there must always be an enemy. It is the metaphor of Babel on Trek, being the planet where the many once divided came together to become one. To move beyond fear, beyond hate, beyond that which separates.

The ends justify the means.


By any means necessary.

Beyond the assumption  that as long as the outcome is in our own good or what we perceive as warranted it does not matter how we go there. The stripping away of fear if you will. But it is not. It shows where true intent lies. Is the intent for own glory and prestige? Is the intent destructive for neighbour (community) and/or the interior castle in the long run? Essentially the how and why of what we want, matter just as much as the achievement.

It is like the myth mentioned here, the intent behind the tower was not communal health. It was about proving power over others (Read the original myth here).

As you enter into any journey, alone or communally. Ask yourself:

What is the intent?

What are the action steps?

Do they maintain the heart of the intent?

What is the primary/true outcome?

Will your tower crumble under fear? Or rise in true interdependent love?

Does it show true concern and positive intent for self, and through self, neighbour?

What is your Babel narrative?

Challenging the status quo continues over this long discussion. Tradition presents it as one continuous thread over three chapters in Matthew (or many verses in Luke). Quite possibly, many teaching moments condensed to give a form of living to a new community emerging. Stripping away the traipsing of false religiosity and the seeking of Imperial Power. Shredding the idea of ‚Äúother‚ÄĚ from community, to create a space for the family that is humanity, regardless of label. Knowing that each would bring their gifts, and each would need their own interdependent aids to thrive. Together it would move forward.

1‚ÄúJudge¬†not, that you be not judged.¬†2For with what¬†judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.¬†3And why do you look at the speck in your brother‚Äôs eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?¬†4Or how can you say to your brother, ‚ÄėLet me remove the speck from your eye‚Äô; and look, a plank¬†is¬†in your own eye?¬†5Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother‚Äôs eye.

6“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

-Matthew 7:1-6 (New King James Version, NKJV).

Judgment. We view it today as being critical. But it was more insidious than that. This teaching was about deflection of one’s own trials by creating a destructive burden upon another. Deflecting harm form self, by setting up a scapegoat (literal practice of the sacrificial system). It is Jesus calling us to be introspective of our own life, to know that when we work into accountability (civil, criminally, communally, personally) it comes from a space of LOVE not fear/hate.

For we are knowing who we are, and standing strong in our own confidence. We are seeing the other person as the holy that resonates. We use justice, not as a system of revenge, but of restoration (sawbonna).

It is truly shattering the idea of fear of other, fear of not being worthy. Knowing we are worthy. Knowing we are in this together. Knowing our actions cause ripple effects that can harm or heal within the moment, and beyond.

7“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! 12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

-Matthew 7:7-12 (NKJV)

What was the law? A burdensome system? Know and No. It was a system to lay our cause and effect. Brought in during a society’s pre-adolescence phase, now entering older adolescence/young adulthood the literalism moves to being ingrained as an ethical compass. The Prophets were not about the future, but about pointing to ethical quandaries and the choices that were laid forth. From those choices, the effects were then laid out. And the society chose, and lived the effect.

What happens when we look beyond black and white. Live into the grey of a situation. Resonate with where our internal compass guides us (that moment on oneness with the Holy). Fully knowing cause and effect, and claim our course.

“If I were to set the compass of my heart toward a North Star for this life,what would it be?”

-Jack Kornfield

Too often we spend time chasing that which does not matter. Prestige, power, false ego or we live out of hate and fear that we may ‚Äúloose out‚ÄĚ. Yet what is lost, if we do not set the compass of our passion?


Live into the gifts Brother Jesus is illuminating what will come into your life, yes there will be struggles. But what happens when we shatter the labels. When we remove, ‚Äúother‚ÄĚ and replace it with ‚Äúneighbour‚ÄĚ. What happens when we accept checking into gratitude of our journey? The gifts of faith, peace, hope, joy and Love?

13“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

-Matthew 5:13-14 (NKJV)

“Discover your passion,

Find a way to make a living at it.”

-My Dad.


We forget the journey of life to our core is a labyrinth. Winding and turning, but one path to the centre. When we go off the path, or let the fog of EGO edge out our true essence, it can appear it is a maze (many false stops and starts), but those are the blocks of our own creation. Keep true to the journey of the labyrinth that brings you back to your passion. It may change as the journey changes you, but growing from your passion will…well as cliched as it is:

15“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

-Matthew 7:15-20 (NKJV)

You need the write material to grow the right fruit.

When you live out of your true passion, your narrow path, your fruit will grow and be shared true. Your life will be a beacon of who you truly are.

What does your fruit say about the path you are on?

¬†21‚ÄúNot everyone who says to Me, ‚ÄėLord, Lord,‚Äô shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who¬†does the will of My Father in heaven.¬†22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‚ÄėLord, Lord, have we¬†not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?‚Äô¬†23 And¬†then I will declare to them, ‚ÄėI never knew you;¬† depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!‚Äô

-Matthew 7:21-23 (NKJV)

It is easy to live a false life in the maze. But in the end, are you belonging in community? Or isolated with your EGO toys?

24“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

26‚ÄúBut everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:¬†27¬†and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.‚ÄĚ

-Matthew 7:24-27 (NKJV)

Sit with these four short verses. Read/hear them three times.

  • Reading/hearing One: What emotions rise up for where you are in the journey now? Rest in those emotions. Scribble them out in colours.
  • Reading/hearing Two: Draw the house the emotions lead you too. Which one is it? Is it completely one? Rest within that house, and the creaking.
  • Reading/hearing Three: The hardest moment. What maintains your house where you are? Or begins to shift to the house you want?

Rest in the moment of the art.

Rest in the moment, savour where you have been. Honour the house that has been built. Thank the house you live in.

            What is one simple act of kindness you can do today to move towards the house you want?


28 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, 29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

-Matthew 7:28-29 (NKJV)




The discourse continues as Brother Jesus attacks the holy acts for the show of importance, not for where they are to come from. True concern/care for neighbour. Matthew 6 (full text at end) explores the idea of showy spirituality. The kind that is out to inflate the ego of the individual, that creates power base and authority. This is done through excluding people.

Think about in. The idea of fasting? Challenging for some due to health conditions, or socio-economics. Yet it was a ‚Äúheight of holiness‚ÄĚ, but for this to be the case, you were looking to the already wealthy to show how ‚Äúblessed‚ÄĚ they were because of the power they had stolen by creating outcasts and others (hmm‚Ķ televangelists, social conservatives, eco-extremists, any fundamentalist/extremist that creates a false us/them dichotomy). Jesus was using the practices that people pointed to show worth, and pointing out the hypocrisy.

Giving alms. How is it from a base of wealth giving to the poor, worthier, than the family subsisting that never turns away someone joining them for dinner?

Fancy words are not what prayers are made of for show? It is the affirmation of your own worth and love, and sharing from the core. Centering first, then living that matters. Not the show, and then raking in the coin. To moving into the place of treasure, some have always said it is in what one can amass money or possession wise, but truly if you have all the toys but no real relationships with another, have you any treasure? If the accumulation has filled you with such fear that you are wiring up bright lights and video cameras to ‚Äúprotect‚ÄĚ and place your life on lock down out of fear, is it worth it?

If you have all this wealth, but have never seen another person as worthy of dignity, aid, health care, social assistance, pharmacare, education (the list can go) because they ‚Äúare not worthy‚ÄĚ and need to ‚Äúearn‚ÄĚ it‚Ķthen are you truly resonating in humanity?

Image result for finger labyrinthThis portion is to take you deeper into your internal self to truly understand that contentment comes from residing fully with the cosmic spark within. It is the journey of the labyrinth to our core.

And being in the core…allows for us to reflect upon our lives, our core values, our own health. Much like a coaching wheel of self-care:

 Click on the image to view. 

The centre is 0 the outer rim is 10, authentically mark out the areas from 0 to 10. How balanced is your life? What does your wheel look like? What is one area you want to focus on, one simple step to moving your number up one space?

I encourage, much like the discourse on the mount, this activity to be done in groups, so you can hold one another accountable, follow up in a week, two weeks on how the challenge is going to keep the momentum up.

As you grow, and transfigure. Know contentment will wane and come. The challenge is…



Will you risk being content?


End Note Matthew 6 (English Standard Version):

6 “Beware of rpracticing your righteousness before other people in order sto be seenby them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

2 t“Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocritesdo in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may ube praised by others. Truly, I say toyou, they have vreceived their reward. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let yourleft hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. wAndyour Father who sees in secret will reward you.

The Lord’s Prayer

5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love xto stand andpray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. yTruly, Isay to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, zgo into your room andshut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. aAnd your Father who sees insecret will reward you.

7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as bthe Gentiles do, for ctheythink that they will be heard dfor their many words. 8 Do not be like them, efor yourFather knows what you need before you ask him. 9 fPray then like this:

g“Our Father in heaven,

hhallowed be iyour name.1

10  jYour kingdom come,

kyour will be done,2

lon earth as it is in heaven.

11  mGive us nthis day our daily bread,3

12  and forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13  And olead us not into temptation,

but pdeliver us from qevil.4

14 rFor if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,15 sbut if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive yourtrespasses.


16 “And twhen you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure theirfaces that their fasting may be seen by others. uTruly, I say to you, they have receivedtheir reward. 17 But when you fast, vanoint your head and wash your face, 18 that yourfasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. wAnd your Fatherwho sees in secret will reward you.

Lay Up Treasures in Heaven

19 x“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where ymoth and rust5 destroyand where thieves zbreak in and steal, 20 xbut lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Forwhere your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 a“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will befull of light, 23 abut if byour eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then thelight in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

24 c“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, orhe will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and dmoney.6

Do Not Be Anxious


34 q“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious foritself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.


It was awesome. Hugs, tears, laughs, stories and remembering those who were not able to be here, for they have passed on to the next journey (and yes that is his classmates, not just his elders). My son, finally crossed another milestone‚ÄĒGrade 6 graduation. The honoured Canadian tradition when a typical child leaves elementary (grade school) and will start junior high the coming fall. But what is traditionally typical in childhood?

A day of fun. As his teachers shared that my son can be vocal, fun loving, looking for new friends, hanging with old, ditching gym to do other things with best buds and that if he holds an opinion…you will know it.

He freely speaks his mind (seriously I have no clue who he gets that from says his meek Daddy).

Another typical end of the year celebration, but one that brings many memories to bear. The typical path to the elementary school diploma, in no particular order the past 12.5 years:

He gets his Irish on.

(Former Aide from England on my boi’s stubbornness)

2 strokes. Epileptic brain activity. Tri-spastic cerebral palsy. Literally half-his brain gone (except for a sprigget). 3 months old told to pull the plug. Each year told come back next year maybe there will be a prognosis. ADD diagnosis. 2 years ago told to prepare for a seizure to take his life‚Ķin hospital for testing to come out with—coffee as the script‚Ķ two foot reconstructions‚Ķa time of fighting with neurologists to look at his medication as he takes severe feveral seizure that places us in isolation‚ĶBotox injections to loosen muscles‚Ķhernia operation‚Ķmuscle lengthening operations‚Ķphysio‚Ķrehab‚Ķspeech therapy‚Ķswimming (our little fish)–man can that boy dance‚Ķ

Marching for his rights to be treated as a person.

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Philanthropy raising money for his buds in Children‚Äôs Wish and ACH through his Poppa‚Äôs playhouse parades throughout southern Alberta with his sister. Providing chaplaincy care in a dementia wing with Daddy. Sister and him helping residents exit homelessness build health community and family by well kids being kids. Grieving. His best friend. His elders. Donations of things galore. A friend a month for almost 2 years. His beloved puppy. Cheering on new residents he meets in Special Olympics. His fear, as his Daddy enters health crisis that Daddy will die on him. A school board telling us accept death its inevitable with children like him or ‚Äústress exists cause you chose to keep it.‚ÄĚ Having people lay hands in public to pray he will be ‚Äúnormal‚ÄĚ and be shocked when he smacks them away. A Sunday school teacher talking directly to him to ask if he would like to join their group. Battling 5 years for 1 new chair, and almost 9 months awaiting the next. Working systems that are broken in one offs for equipment that needs to be resilient to your in the now needs, and progressive as you age and may/may not need…dealing with some of the weirdest indignities a government can dream up to prove “worthy” and “not defrauding” for funding sources.

Churches embracing as he dances with tambourines and hair flying. Heckling his Dad in the pulpit. Plotting Sunday school take overs. Being part of a dynamic multi-ability Sunday school and honorary youth group member. Part of an affirming celebration for belonging. Forced out by seniors because ‚Äúkids like him shouldn‚Äôt be here‚ÄĚ or thrown out from the pulpit by a minister who lost their way for a joyful noise at Christmas. Hugs from other ministers. Farm words. Tossed out because he made the “big donors” uncomfortable. Playing his communication button to be in a Canadian Christmas Pageant. Being brought into the Calgary Canucks dressing room to meet his heroes. The team making him and his sister belong. Shocking the players, his heroes, by asking for autographs. Loving his story books and movies. Sharing stories. Having people stare. Ask waitresses to get him out of the restaurant. Watching staff stand up and toss these bigots out.

The greatest fear of a parent usually is you will outlive your child. My greatest fear is   my son will outlive me, and he will be left at the mercy of a system that sees him as less than human.

The laugh. That smile. The mischievous twinkle. The empathy of knowing a passing is going to happen or how he can feel the emotions of those who may not communicate typically and know the comfort they need. Being told as a parent how sad it must be to have a child that will never (fill in your b.s. milestone) or that there is no need for human sexuality education, because well they never will.

Having one school teach him to place his hand in his mouth when excited, so now he causes pain. Having the next school so support him and his rapid progression, but be heart broken with only 6 spots for graded school and tell us they know he could continue to grow…but the spot is needed for a student they believe the family will not support or advocate for so he is transitioning out.

Sitting in private school meetings and hear the staff trying to ‚Äúsell‚ÄĚ spots, refer to your child as a ‚Äúretard‚ÄĚ and wonder why you tell them off.

To the Christian school that states they will take the extra money, but it will not go for his needs but for the school as a whole.

To meeting the CBE placement, and seeing the shock on the principal‚Äôs face when told there was¬† not a strong academic stream in the school that needed to be fixed or you would take all the money the province provided for your child and home school (with the shock on your wife‚Äôs face). Be told that is not how it works, smile and simply say, ‚Äúhe is cute, I love media, just watch me‚Ä̂Ķ

The boi wanting to grow up to be Teal‚Äôc (Stargate SG-! my peeps). And at the June meeting at school end meeting the new teacher hired who could do‚ÄĒacademics. Or grow up to be Tonto, Kirk, Spock, Luke or Vader. Possibly Iron Man or Superman‚ÄĒhe loves Superman or Scotty.

Watching him grow throughout 6 years. Watching as his friends pass away. Tears soak through the shirt. Fists he pounds. Screams out why does the God he feels called him to be a pastor, kill his friends. To a Daddy with no more answers, just simply holding his son as you cry together knowing there is one more angel friend that will be visiting.

Never grieving what could’ve been.

Simply because, he is your son. He will be who he is meant to be. He will journey this life and live fully how he is meant to be. He will love. He will laugh. He will be a Daddy as he talks about, and a buddy, and he will…without a doubt…

Shatter this old world and make it a better one.

To my inventor, scientific, curious, wisdom keeper son. You are beloved. You will change this world. You already have, on the very typical journey you have taken to your grade 6 graduation. As all your angel and earthly friends celebrated the ending of another beginning.

Happy Graduation Day!


Ancient laws were fairly simple. Do not wipe out a village for small in fractions. We have an example still today with our Common Laws in Canada, because, well a system of justice makes things orderly. It provides a system that removes vigilantism and revenge. This was the kernel of the writings in the Hebrew Bible book of Genesis around eye for an eye. Jesus was trying to move the world beyond tribalism and revenge when breaking bread on the Mount he spoke:

38¬†‚ÄúYou have heard that it was said, ‚ÄėAn eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.‚Äô¬†39¬†But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also;¬†40¬†and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well;¬†41¬†and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile.¬†42¬†Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.

-Matthew 5:38-42

The challenge being we hear these words and have taken it to mean that we should be push overs, that we should allow for abuse, and be passive. That was not the case. The assertive measures given were a non-violent method of resistance that kept one safe in the times of the Roman Empire. Yes you read that right.

The cheeks: it was a turn of defense that closed the gap and threw the attacker off balance to allow for escape. Anyone that has studied non-violent crisis intervention, or some of the monastic martial arts ala Aikido know about this. It was not retaliatory in the vein of revenge but protecting one’s own life.

Coat/cloak: The simplicity being taught within Franciscans and other mendicant orders 1200 years on was that we are simply holders so do not be afraid to lose consumer items. The protection in these words being that you were already seen as a not entity, and as such if you do not give up the shirt your life is forfeit, so add insult to the one attacking the untouchable and give your coat. Do the holy action upon the holy person to reveal the hypocrisy.

Go the extra mile: Safety- it produces more space, shows you are willing to do more to aid a better society, again opening up the hypocrisy of the bully. No longer being the bullied but taking the reigns and empowering the by standers to come along side which flows into the idea of removing‚ÄĒ

Begging/borrowing- truly live in the Jubilee spirit. Give what you give without expecting payment back or out of any other notion than being able to help. What form does helping take in your world today.

What steps of simple kindness can you take that keeps yourself safe, but resists an unjust system? That shines light into a darkness? That shows those who the world still casts aside they are fully persons?

The original eye for an eye law was to reveal we all carry the cosmic dust…these were getting beyond literalism and fundamentalism (and some cases extremism) to remind humanity: we are all in this together. The ripple effect, one little action can change things for the better. Assertive action can create transformation communally.

43¬†‚ÄúYou have heard that it was said, ‚ÄėYou shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.‚Äô¬†44¬†But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,¬†45¬†so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.¬†46¬†For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?¬†47¬†And if you greet only your brothers and sisters,[o]¬†what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?¬†48¬†Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

-Matthew 5: 43-48

What does prayer do? That is always a deep question, and one constantly explored. I remember sitting in Mass one morning (weekday masses after night shifts in emergency shelters always seemed to percolate the most thought). It was such this day as the priest spoke of praying for the dead. He stated quite emphatically it was not about praying them into paradise, that was done in the moment of death when all that kept them away from full/deep communion with the Holy Mystery was purged away (purgatory-rather instantaneous).

No, praying for the dead was about your own heart. It was about removing the shackles you have placed upon yourself so that you are able to reconcile a new day with you and the Holy within.

Contemplate that. Praying is about reconciling your whole being to the interconnectedness of itself.

Now, re-hear verses 43-48, three times:

First hearing, spend time with what emotions are drawn up out of your core being. Spend time with them, best way to release them is through some form of colour work whether it be paint, chalk, sidewalk chalk, crayons, pencil crayons.

Second hearing, spend time with the memories that wash over. Which one truly resonates and sticks out for this moment in time. Write it out as a truly F-you letter to the enemy. And place it with the colours.

Third hearing‚ÄĒjust spend time with you. Remind yourself God is love. You are love. You are not what your enemy has led you to believe you are.

In the release moment when you are ready—destroy that which came out from the first two hearings. Spend a moment to grieve the ending, knowing you may need to come back to this moment, or you may not‚Ķbut the prayer was about love of yourself, and releasing‚Ķso you may love your neighbour as you truly now love you.

Ready to embrace a true F-You moment of life?

Authentically L-O-V-E— YOU.

It never hurts to pause, and re-examine the core beliefs you were indoctrinated with in life. At different steps in life. That is what the discussion of the Sermon on the Mount was about. Shattering/obliterating the old that needed to go; preserving that which is true to you, and building upon that to flavour a new future. Being blessed in the tension of transfiguration, and knowing that no matter what the world, your community, your family or your own inner saboteur/gremlin may tell you‚ÄĒYOU ARE COMPLETE AND WORTHY JUST THE WAY YOU ARE. It may sound corny, but corny is because we know it‚Äôs the true we do not want to accept.

The journey of interior/exterior change continues. The laws and lawyer classes had made things convoluted (hmmm…) and no one was sure where different groups stood on what was allowed or not, what was true or not. In fact, the family that ruled between the Empire and the Religious Oppressors maintained authority by constantly playing all sides of the conflict (like a modern day dark money PAC will).

What is resonating of the past where these words were spoken, that is true in your world today?

Take a moment and mind map it out or draw it or journal it‚ÄĒwhatever creative process you use to let go of the rational, and let the creative energy flow. What in your world today is holding you captive so that you cannot live into the best you? What is the gremlin trapping within you?

33¬†‚ÄúAgain, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‚ÄėYou shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.‚Äô¬†34¬†But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,¬†35¬†or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.¬†36¬†And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.¬†37¬†Let your word be ‚ÄėYes, Yes‚Äô or ‚ÄėNo, No‚Äô; anything more than this comes from the evil one.[n]

-Matthew 5:33-37 (NRSV)

So much rhetoric was destroying the ability to trust one another. People were taking on things not because they wanted to. It was out of fear of losing out. Fear of being kept out. Fear of not keeping up. Building one‚Äôs own prestige. One‚Äôs own ‚Äúholiness‚ÄĚ or reputation‚Ķand the list can go on and on.

The core though was they were being untrue to themselves. They were keeping up with whatever voice was sabotaging them, they had to prove/disprove things that did not matter.

We all hear a voice like this at times, or many times. What rings in your head that keeps your word from being simply yes or no?

Pause on that.

Name it. I like Clyde, but what name resonates with you.

Draw them, and spend a moment or perhaps several. When you are ready to silence the false voice. The Gremlin/Saboteur. Dispose (tear up, burn up, throw out)…but only when you are ready. For this is a step into the authentic you, not just a per functionary check box on a spiritual bucket list.

Are you ready to destroy the false promise of you and enter the true assertion of you?

Burn a Gremlin.