Posts Tagged ‘Hope’


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Day 312, the sun has set, we have stabilized in hospitalizations and cases in Alberta to where we were hovering in early December when more restrictions set upon us, but in 312 days 1,512 Albertans have lost their lives to Covid, with roughly the same lost to opioid overdoses in our province in the year, the ripples of grief throughout. It is time a part, time separated, time where we are left to ponder why?

The Desert Fathers and Mothers were those that chose to set themselves a part from the world to draw closer into the love and wisdom of the Holy Mystery. And as this time draws on, I wonder what we are to learn about ourselves and how our world can be and should be…for truly we are seeing how broken the system is and in need of rebirth.

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Whether you understand it as prayer, meditation, contemplation, mindfulness, or silence it is the moments when the still quiet voice is heard. What is heard? What are you feeling?

Where does H-O-P-E emerge?

Where do you find hope? How can we renew hope and re-learn hope in our world?

It is not just being drawn back to the ancient wisdom of the monks of the wilderness today, but starting to reflect on the hope the world was trying to create at the turn of the millennium in 2000 (or 2001 for the type A’s). I remember it was a season of being in lay ministry in the Catholic church, reading and watching the Pope I served under, Pope John Paul II, and the concept of Jubilee. More ancient wisdom that can heal our world and let us emerge from being distanced into something better than the “before times”.

But it takes faith. It takes belief in, and action to the concept that human life has intrinsic value. More value than money. It is re-understanding that money is a tool, not an all consuming hoarde.

What is jubilee? Simple, it is ancient wisdom from the Hebrew Bible (Leviticus 25:1-13), a year of rest, a year of communing with creation. It is a year of graceful forgiveness and new beginnings. Imagine a world where we focused on citizens and creation. We have already seen glimmers of the healing that can happen in the environment by our world forced to go slow. We have seen that the world can continue when we as people are forced off the hamster wheel. Yes I hear the cries for money and economy, but what if all debt was forgiven? And we simply got a chance to start from 0.

Are you starting to feel hope?

What needs to change, when we emerge from our own desert time, for hope to exist and abound a new for you? For you family? Your neighbour? Our world?


Ah, don’t know if it was just trying to get into the contemplative groove of the season, or the festivities, or simply having missed getting the decorations up by the first week of Advent hearing the Anglican guilt tsk tsk of Nana (Anglican guilt, is like Catholic guilt, but comes with a British accent), but it has taken some time to come to the keyboard. Also rolling memories growing up with cousins, setting up Grandma Ragan’s Christmas tree together and seeing how much tinsel it could hold (she loved her tinsel); as my Nan aged helping her set up her decorations after church, and the fun of decorating at home with my family growing up, how my Mum loved this time of year.

It could also just possibly be a wee bit of being c-weary (Covid weary), which part of that is the social/physical distancing measures that regardless of what the government says we know as a household we will be continuing throughout this time of year, but more driven by the seething anger towards the self-entitled that continue to minimize life lost at this time, and publicly tantrum for being asked to think outside themselves. So as our house has completed the decorating with festive music in the background, I sit to write some reflections on the week that was– H-O-P-E.

These are the heart thoughts that roil the gunk of the soul at this time as I attempt to bring together thoughts on Hope. I pause to share some practices that may be of benefit where ever you are:

  1. A simple breathing exercise from CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) to centre yourself, and calm your being. It is a count up and count down exercise. Deep diaphragm breathing, where on the inhale you count (1 to 10) then on the exhale use a word that centres (I like the words Peace), and then at 10 you repeat counting back down to 1 (I like the word peace). Over the last few weeks of teaching, I have extended it to a rotation of 3: Faith/Joy; Peace/Hope and then Love/Love. Note the Advent themes, and the gifts of the Spirit? Takes about 5 minutes to go through.
  2. There is the idea of reading the Gospel of Luke, a chapter a night starting Dec. 1, so on Christmas eve you have read the whole Jesus story. It is a good practice, we are doing this with our family. If you are starting late simply adjust so it fits the days left. We also take time to open with a Christmas Carol, then share the chapter, and thoughts/;learnings around it and the time period, and close with prayers. If you are a single, perhaps try doing over a video call or speaker phone with a friend or two.

But it still begs the question what is hope? Or on one dark Christmas Eve night, a client struggling with suicidal ideation overnight would ask me:

“where do you get hope?”

It is a deep and pertinent question for each of us, especially at this time.

It is fortuitous that on the last day of the week of hope, a Golden Girls stumbled across my Prime Video. I am a fan, but I also enjoy many of the sitcoms of the era, why? Simple, they would tackle tough subjects with humour, poise and create thought/discussion. See, it was a simple principle, donating things to the local parish thrift shop awaiting pick up. One of the ladies has picked up some scratch tickets for a bit of fun, 1 for each…and it is discovered that they win $10,000. The dreaming begins, for safety it is placed in a new-worn looking leather coat. The doorbell rings, and Sophia shows the box, and then adds the coat (S.4, ep. 8 Brother Can you Spare a Jacket). They just miss picking the coat back up from the thrift shop, and it winds up auctioned off after being worn at a celebrity at a concert, and then given to a nameless client at the shelter. Some music to listen to here.

Why does this matter? Simple, the ladies wind up at the parish shelter to look for the coat and spend the night. In the course of the evening, waiting for lights out so they can search for the coat and reclaim their winnings, to fuel their dreams, they meet some of those in the shelter. A PhD graduate, who can no longer handle life, and coped in the bottle, a hard working man from the service industry in Minnesota, even with the money made due to the colour of his skin could not get traction in life, and then Sophia’s friends from Shady Pines, who clearly states the greatest travesty of Western Society “It costs money to get old” she had lost her place at the care home, and now simply existed in shelter.

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What do you think they did in the morning when the Padre woke the room up, having found the ticket?

What would you do?

Hope, can be, and is, choosing those moments to see beyond labels to who a person is. That is, a person. Full stop, full intrinsic value, because they are who they are. That is the courageous safe space we need to create in the world, a space where everyone is supported to become who they are meant to authentically be.

Where does hope come from?

Simply put for me, in the simple moments of kindness to ourselves and others.

How do you get H-O-P-E?

Day 47

Posted: May 2, 2020 by Ty in Spirituality
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Your Saturday morning song here.

I do realize that day 47 is mine, some have been in c-tine longer, others shorter, but it is my benchmark I travel through in this life within, through and infused with the Holy Mystery. This may or may not take a true canticle form, or a mix of a variety of forms as I wrestle through thoughts of what is happening in our leadership realm of my nation and province…and oh boy..what a trip. (support a local Calgary comic shop with curb side pick up or online orders- Words & Pictures)

It emerged on the Covid-19 update on Day 45

When our Premier decided to act like 45

and announce a “soft” re-open

on May the First

or the next morning

for people needed provincial parks,

hair dressers, GOLF, and bookstores

declaring mental health and economy

Yet, not realizing economies change, evolve and adapt

this could be a time to plan, dream, and prepare

Yet the old, and the very old is what is yearned for

on Day 46’s drive

a wildfire was seen

increased litter in

high way ditches,

cars crammed together

as people congregate together

hiking in with fire wood,

and campers

flounting adapted rules

can we not be trusted?

Less understanding than the animals?

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Caught through a window, at a pull off, even the deer understand remain 6 feet away, though my son with seeing challenges loved the awesomeness of this site.

Yet, hope shines through,

as our governing party,

Fulfilled a platform promise

As another dark time clouds over Nova Scotia in mourning

Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition

shows their red, white, and blue

As an order in Cabinet shows

as our PM said,

“Canadians are worth more than thoughts and prayers”

(PSA: we do not have a right to bear arms of any kind, historically weapons were not allowed in Canada at all, if you have confusion on what our Constitution Act 1982 and Charter of Rights and Freedoms )

Why the continued call to re-open? Personal freedoms over collective health?

Simply put– the last gasps of Christendom, supported by those who are unaware

wrapped in a faux cross heresies of dominionism and tribulationists

convoluting in support of their true altar

the almighty

DOLLAR.

Are we ready for a rapid quiet revolution?

To shred the ground and let it fall away?

For are we not worth more?

Than these yahoos desire?

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As the old spiritual goes, be like the deer.

We are in this together

Be kind to one another

But remember

No profit

is worth more

than the life of our neighbour

or our self.

 

Hi-Jacked Faith

Posted: April 18, 2020 by Ty in Spirituality
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Hope wins

Is the shattering truth of the empty tomb

and the new life,

celebrated a scant few days ago

the blood over doors

the exodus of the persecuted

a false regime propped up on religious eyes

shattered.

Religious oppressors

Empire dehumanizing

2,000 years ago give or take a few years

depending on your historical lens

Constantine’s swords sleighed

bastardizing Brother Jesus’ words of the Kingdom being near

not sword and steel to rule all,

but a transfiguration of the world

true belonging due to simply being created

in the wonderful mosaic image of the Holy

Sacredness breathed in

acknowledged,

blessed

Love wins

We continue to miss the mark

our corporal sin,

bastardizing love with qualifiers

to sink into our own badge of “sinful” forgiveness honours

to create dissent,

exclusion

contrary to the words, and life lived, lost, and resurrected

Still today

horrors cloaked in a faux cross

to pacify the masses, like an opioid

so they will believe they do note

deserve equality, equity, justice

health care, belonging

affirmation of inherent worth

for being human.

We allow too many,

as the quiet revolution speaks from the whispers to the shouts

the empire of the faux cross rattles as the embers burn away the  crucifixion wood

dominion to destruction of creation

like our neighbour

that we were blessed to inherit, to curate, cultivate, care for

to serve and live in cocreation with the Holy.

Willing to succumb to the absolute evil

that the sacred writings of those on the journey spoke of

greed in the lust after money

the lust after the matarial

the lust of defining our worth based on bank accounts, belongings owned, that has always led astray.

Mixing up material belongings and money, with values and belonging.

For the kingdom as Brother Jesus said, is near…

we can touch the thin space.

We simply need to throw off the yoke and shackles of the Empire

The faux cross we clamour to,

and stand in the margins,

with the labourer who taught us through living

that

Hope Wins

Love Wins

Are you willing?

 

 


No photo description available.

From DC Comics Facebook Page Captain Carrot

Ah the joy of Easter, my children even in their tweens and teens waking up to see what the Easter Bunny has left. Many decry us for “commercializing” Easter, but really it is the joy of the new, the love of discovery and mystery, and as my Mum always said, as long as you believe they will come (whether it was Santa or the Easter Bunny), and much like the early church, our family functioned and had its soul because of our Matriarchs.

We are entering into the unknown, we are living the unknown, as I have been sharing during this Holy Week. Our current times of social distancing, the anxieties, and fears some or all of us may be feeling at different moments is exactly how the friends of Brother Jesus were feeling up until the morning. The morning the women would go to show their love for their friend, son, (possibly) husband, and teacher. The one who showed them the way of radical love in shattering the principalities, the oppressors, those that put land and money ahead of people. They believed, they lived, the finally belonged affirmed in being a full person.

Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on Sunday morning,[a] just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. 3 On the way they were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 4 But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside.

-Gospel of Mark 16:1-4 (New Living Translation)

No photo description available.Then they were crushed by defeat. Are you hearing or seeing parallels in your own journey of life? Belonging? Love wins? Shattering glass ceilings? Affirming human rights? Decolonizing your country, and your own soul? Renewing, rebuilding, reconnecting, resurrecting a new and healthy self and community?

For all this was rolled into the women heading to the tomb. They were honouring the loss, grieving. Thinking that they had been defeated, was it all for nought? The same question can echo through our whole being during times of dissonance, times of disconnect, times when we feel defeated, those 1 step forward 2 steps back time…yet…

When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, 6 but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth,[b] who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. 7 Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.”
8 The women fled from the tomb, trembling and bewildered, and they said nothing to anyone because they were too frightened

-Gospel of Mark 16:5-8 (New Living Translation)

See the source imageThe Universe, the Infinite Holy Mystery that all is in, and is in all, shook the status quo even furtherr than Brother Jesus. For they said… NO! To his death. NO! to the oppressors winning! NO! to the normalcy that society allows and builds rationales around for why all are not equal, all are not taken care of, all are not valued.

Easter Sunday, the Empty Tomb is the beloved Creator shaking the world and whole universe, all of creation with their:

NO!

And fear is a response in the grief cycle. It shook the women to realize that they had prepared themselves to mourn, to honour, and what were they handed?

LOVE WINS!

We are walking towards the empty tomb during this pandemic, we are expecting and desiring a return to the old status quo when we emerge. Just leave this time in the tomb. Same as the Empire and their apologists desired when they killed Jesus of Nazareth. And the resounding answer that this story would end, was simply, No.

Then they briefly reported all this to Peter and his companions. Afterward Jesus himself sent them out from east to west with the sacred and unfailing message of salvation that gives eternal life. Amen 

-Gospel of Mark 16:8 (New Living Translation, shorter ending)

They moved through the fear stage, and continue co-creating a new way of life. One that included everyone, brought everyone along, where resources were shared equitably, and when a need was heard of, it was filled. Where purpose and belonging were not tied to monetary means or whether or not one was a “citizen” of the Empire. More so, it was tied to one’s own inherent worth, gifts and talents being shared.

You belong because you are.

Let that settle in, as this morning Pope Francis used Easter Sunday to launch a new resurrection in the world, a clarion call that echoes these sentiments– #popeforubi. UBI is Universal Basic Income, yes my Trekkie brethren, we are one step closer to the Utopia of Star Trek.

To recap, for the simplicity of message as we find in the writings of John-Mark (in the Gospel of Mark), whose family owned the Upper Room, discipled by Peter and Paul, who recorded the stories of Peter for his gospel as tradition told us, written for an Empire audience of the Romans, yet simply what are we seeking today? My reflection Facebook after Resurrection Sunday service online:

Almost 2,000 years ago (just shy 12 yrs give or take) the empty tomb gave the friends a choice to radically continue the journey of love to transform their world. To throw of the chains of Empire, persecution, colonization, dehumanization cloaked and hidden in the name of God…the message was clear, whether they believed with word, seeing, or touching, Brother Jesus was alive, and the command of the whole heart was clear, love as he loved (and loves) us.
Will you be a part of the resurrection, co-creating the world today, and forward from this time in the tomb to the new resurrection day? Will you live out love? Allow for authentic belonging because we all have value for simply being?
Will you step out of fear into hope? And love as if each moment of each day is Easter Sunday?

 

 

 


It is interesting in the world of business and non-profits (religious included) we float the idea of “Core Values”, yet how often do they just end up as brochure buried on a shelf or bulletin board? How often have we heard, we value all being welcome with dignity– yet accessibility projects are deferred for things such as security systems (or whom holds the power decrees is more important)?

It can be challenging during this time of year not to fall victim to the chimera created by the religious right of the war on Christmas…I have yet to meet anyone who vehemently hates Santa, or the idea of generosity. What is challenging is the man-made hate monger created image of Jesus is challenged–for these are not the core values he professed. It was never about exclusion, in fact most of the challenging teachings were directed at the religious of Jesus’ day for missing the mark– the mark? We can quote Matthew 25 around care for the poor, sick, elderly, widows, the ones society felt were toss away, but we are in the Holy Season of Advent for Christians, and it distills the core values fairly clearly:

Hope*Faith*Joy*Peace*Love

These are the core that come from the common truth, that goes back to the Creation story, and that the Prophet Isaiah reminds us of:

Image result for house of prayer for all nationsA phrase many religious gathering in the faiths of Abraham use. This idea of inclusive, but flexed for exclusion for not fully unpacking the full story:

 “And as for the outsiders who now follow me,

working for me, loving my name,

and wanting to be my servants—

All who keep Sabbath and don’t defile it,

holding fast to my covenant—

I’ll bring them to my holy mountain

and give them joy in my house of prayer.

They’ll be welcome to worship the same as the ‘insiders,’

to bring burnt offerings and sacrifices to my altar.

Oh yes, my house of worship

will be known as a house of prayer for all people. (The Message, Isaiah 56:6-7)

It is laying out clearly, that all are welcome, not only welcome, but are a divine image (Imageo Dei) and authentically belong as one of God’s children blessedly created.

One cannot claim a divine-holy presence, if their presence is not open to all of the divine image, and love of God-Self-Neighbour (the Covenant– the Law & The Prophets summarized and lived out).

What is lost in belonging? What is lost is the bondage of fear, prejudice, bigotry, conflict, hate, constant grieving and greed.

What is gained?

Hope, Peace, Faith, Joy and Love.

Further resources on Inclusion/Belonging:

There was a powerful video shared about this congregation at Shelly Christensen’s speaking at the International Day of Persons with Disabilities at the JCC Calgary today, unfortunately I was unable to track down the specific link, here are some others though to provoke conversation and thought.

Bet Shalom Congregation: https://disabilitiesinclusion.org/exemplar-congregations/bet-shalom-congregation/

Apirl 2, 2009 Inclusion Video: https://youtu.be/D72NKCZlNNA

Inclusion Innovations: http://inclusioninnovations.com

 


It is a story told over two volumes:

A stone skipping across a pond leaves ripples with each impact.

The joys and life of traumas are the like the skipping stone through the generations.

Soul Ripples

What happens when the helper needs help?

For over 20 years Ty Ragan served his neighbour from the rough camps to the shelters to home and every where’s in-between. The simple life lesson of Jesus of Nazareth to love your neighbour as yourself was the centre question to be answered in his life. In May 2016 his life would begin to change drastically through unknown seizures and strokes.

Enter into the ripples that brought him to 2016, the transformational power of love of family and friends as he seeks new ripples in hope for his soul.

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Buy Soul Ripples here.

Then enter the healing with Soul Ripples Two by clicking link in the caption of the picture:

centennial coffee

Soul Ripples 2

Enjoy the journey, and please share with those you think need to see that healing is possible…and Hope abounds.


There are many four letter words that have come out of my mouth during this journey, and have been applied to my life and the ripple effects with my family. My journey on healing from trauma was supported awesomely though by having family it allowed me the space to heal. Not only heal, but make the connections within my flashbacks to trace core memories of trauma that needed to be rooted out, and healed to create the ripple within my own person.

It did feel like energy and electricity bursting through my body and leaving during the sessions. It was amazing as the weeks between would pass and different emotions of the spectrum would be felt- both positive and negative.

Yet, the work I did between sessions I would not encourage someone without a healthy in home support network to do…for in the isolation it could very easily go from healing to suicidal, it was a trip into the darkness and trusting the light path to bring you out.

Yes I am a person of faith, and that faith whether out there or subtle have played a role in my life. The same with this journey, and I am glad that in my life prayer and action go hand in hand, and the constant dialogue within myself and the Holy Mystery is there. It was amazing as I began healing to see the different opportunities that opened up for me and my family, the different places where we could connect for joy, love and healing. Where our faith would be rewarded, and where we could see communities around us come out of their own struggles into a new dynamic understanding of belonging as happened with our home church in Calgary in regards to the faith challenged laid down by my son to them.

This is the winding road. The ripples like upon a river or lake created by a skipping stone. The soul ripples that answered the question, what happens when the helper needs help?

They discover who their true family is (whether blood or chosen, there are many who journeyed with us, and blessed us communally and individually that I may or may not have mentioned in these two volumes, to you all I say thank you). You also discover your own true self anew.

It was this sense that brought me to the remission appointment at the Foothills Hospital with my PhD. Psychologist where the healing began on February 14, 2019. Here I was entering the office once more on October 31, 2019…

Not knowing what may or may not come of the meeting, but one thing was certain.

Today was the day; I could firmly stand in my faith, in my healing.

It was the day where the four letter word that had carried my family through the darkness was fully lived and embraced. It was a beautiful four letters:

H-O-P-E-

My step into hope of the new dawn of my pilgrimage with Brother Jesus as I once more stepped into the office.


Burn that Bunker Down

 

The third ART Treatment burnt down the solid concrete bunker that was holding the horrors at bay. It was an image I had used through my therapy to describe the dribs and drabs my body would allow out for healing. Solid concrete, with small cracks and crackling green flame behind it that could peek out as my body prepared to deal with the next wave of pain.

The challenge is that after the second treatment, the mind webbing down before brought me to an almost shooting death by the police after saving a suicidal individual. But the spider-webs out had dealt with connecting points of other moments of being threatened, assaulted, shot at, entering into the world of hoarders, vicarious trauma and bed bug infestations[1]. This had alleviated flashback, anxiety, and depression pressures and fears upon my system for the two weeks between treatments. It was a freedom I had not enjoyed for many years.

The freedom though allowed me, like a soul archaeologist, to continue the fine work of getting to core memories. The true horrific traumas that my body was attempting to protect me from upon this journey.  Entering into my third treatment that I had innocuously stated to explore the deaths (613, but again dear reader, pick up the first volume) who collage and crushing grieving emotions began taking hold after the last treatment on my being.

The homework (prep work? soul work?) before this session I began mapping out the deaths. Trust me not a fun time. It left me weepy, my emotions raw. Basically struggling to ensure I was present, and still the me on the healing journey for my family for I was not going to be collapsing back into Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures despite the rawness of what was emerging.

As was written previously, the molestation memories came back at this point. BUT it was not first. See, my soul mapping started at first with the deaths- professional, friends, connected to family, my family, brought me down to when my Granddad died when I was 16 years old. The last words he spoke to me the night he passed was, “it’ll be alright” which triggered the shattering flashbacks of the summer of 8 years old, noted before.

The Vacation Bible School ones came back first, but then came down to Grandpa Joe. Thankfully the attempt stayed on top of the clothes when I had gone to get ice cream during a BBQ, and my Grandma and Mum saved me, and then built in safety precautions until he died when I was 12 years old which was a huge relief to me. I did not understand then, this was buried deep.

It came up in dreams from then until he was dead. These dreams were of adults in my life, at meal times, BBQs with everything feeling like a normal family time. Then the adults would pull off their faces, which were like Scooby Doo monster masks, to reveal a reptilian head beneath, much like the Gorn from the Original Star Trek episode, the Arena.

Note the symbolism?

Our subconscious protects and buries. It also attempts to work through. The crashing down of my neuro and physical systems unearthed this core memory which became the memory to be treated during my Accelerated Resolution Therapy and would produce a new emotion for me during this journey.

See it was through this process that the fear, anger, and hurt was replaced. There was healing. The image of the concrete bunker exploded and was consumed by the green flames. I literally felt electricity leave my body (as I had with two previous sessions, but this wasn’t just extremities, it felt as from my heart).

The negative emotions moved slowly through processing to neutral. I walked through where each of my family was, but there was still reconciling this ass-hat who some still looked to fondly, and what he had tried to do—Joe. He was dead. One could say with my religious connotations I could take solace that he was in Hell. Except, that does not work with how I had come to believe, readers of volume one will note my short treatise on Purgatory. The final purging of all that keeps you from Heaven that meant Joe was with Jesus.

But not the monster on earth, a new creation.

It was this thought from my heart that tipped the balance of neutrality to positive ever so slightly. As the treatment continued, and I focused more on how the matriarchs of my family worked within the system to protect me, hope began to emerge.

From hope we moved to…joy.

Now the monster was dead. The ashes were consumed away. I drank deeply of joy.

The journey continued…as it was time to confront the other ripples in my life, but today joy was felt again. It is how faith, psychology and community work together to craft a new me.

[1] For more on infestations and such, I direct you to Soul Ripples.


I could spend some time writing about the Joker movie I just saw, and the social commentary around stratification, promises, mental health, illness, and the entrenchment of hate to the point one can be dehumanized and become the other—note how this movie may tie into our reading of the Minor Prophets (the Twelve) in the Hebrew Scriptures. Which brings us to Habakkuk and the prophet that spoke out against betrayals of covenant and contracts.

Minor prophets as we know, with a wink and a nod, are simply short of word count, nothing more…yet they can be read timelessly as any good holy scripture can, they are not soothsayers or fortune tellers, rather they point out the injustice of the system. Habakkuk can be speaking anywhere from 687-536 BCE (don’t you love archaeological text dating?).  He zeroes in though on Babylons betrayal of Judea.

Say what? A political power breaking a contractual agreement or accord even? Surely this has not standing with our world today. Hmmm… if only one could think of examples in America, Alberta or Canada when a new governing party comes into play and rips up the previous governments agreements with employees, other governments for “reasons” (read: political partisanship and gamesmanship). It creates a volatile world, and community. As the Tedurah would would phrase it, a bad gal bladder, for humanity. It creates uncertainty and that the office is not what holds the power to speak for a collective, but only the whim of that political party until the next one takes over. If this is true why would anyone bargain or enter into talks wholly and impartially for the good of all, for the duration?

Once more the woes in Chapter 2 strike to the heart of what the cause is:

“Woe to him who builds his house by unjust gain,
    setting his nest on high
    to escape the clutches of ruin!
10 You have plotted the ruin of many peoples,
    shaming your own house and forfeiting your life.

-Habakkuk 2:9-10 (New International Version)

Woes, that moment of scolding plus, where it is laid out that what is happening is allowing a cancer to grow. It happens to sprout out of self-centredness and a drive for profit over people. Within the Prophet’s words in chapter 2 in fact, there is five woes brought forward in a snazzy tune as you note the excerpt from above…crimes of the oppressors, that is the agreement breaker– Babylon (that whole thing about not bearing false witness, or do not lie, or as Jesus said, let your yes be yes and your no be no).

The woes include plundering, extortion, bloodshed, degradation of nations and people and idolatry.

Take those five woes into the political climate of where you exist. What needs to be spoken up and out against? What is working to disrupt? This is the work of Habakkuk.

For as we move into the psalm of the third chapter the woes have been laid out, the ground work St. Paul would use for showing grace has been picked up, and now the psalm of hope rings out for those waiting and doing justice. Hope that it will bear fruit, for ya see, it may grow slower than evil, than discouragement or apathy, but when hope takes root, slowly but surely…

it grows.

Cultivate hope. Let the light shine in.