9.13.2005

Seeing Eye to Eye is Not a Prerequisite for Love

Grandpa will be 91 years old in October. Several years ago, my dad gave my grandparents a computer. Dad thought it would be a good way for them to stay connected with family news. The family is scattered around the country - Illinois, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, New York, and Florida - so this has proved beneficial. We all send one another weekly updates (o.k., some of us do this on a monthly basis), and digital photos are exchanged.

Grandpa really took to the internet. All of his stocks are on-line and he checks each one and discusses them with his stock-broker, Ralph, at least once a day. Grandpa enjoys playing Free Cell and Spider Solitaire - as did my Grandma while she was still alive. But Grandpa's unique gift to the family is an almost daily barrage of jokes he has received in his still-dial-up AOL account from friends. I admit, I don't read them all - just seeing that he has sent them is enough for me to smile. But I try to read a few of them each week. This is one I just got a few minutes ago:

A woman walked into the kitchen to find her husband stalking around with a fly swatter. "What are you doing?" She asked. "Hunting Flies" He responded. "Oh. Killing any?" She asked. "Yep, 3 males, 2 Females," he replied. Intrigued, she asked. "How can you tell?" He responded, "3 were on a beer can, 2 were on the phone."
Grandpa and I don't see eye to eye on a lot of things, but we love each other immensely. This realization - this reality - has caused me to think about other people with whom I do not see eye to eye: George W. Bush, for example. What stands in my way of loving him?

In the Book of Common Prayer there are several forms that can be used for the Prayers of the People:
  • Forms I, III, and V, for example, have us pray for those in authority "For our President, for the leaders of the nations, and for allin authority" (I); "for all who govern and hold authority in the nations of the world" (III); and "for those in positions of public trust [especially ], that they may serve justice, and promote the dignity and freedom of every person" - at Seabury it is common practice to insert "George, our President" into the bracked area (my personal preference, regardless of the addition of specifics, is to emphasis the word every at the end) (V) and
  • Forms II, IV, and VI, on the other hand, do not single out individual authority figures, but instead offer prayers which emphasize peace, justice, and the common good

When George W. Bush was first elected in 2000 and again in 2004, I confess that I wasn't always praying for nice things during the Form I/III/V prayer weeks. I figured that was o.k. - after all, in the Lord's Prayer which does typically occur after the Prayers of the People (yes, there are a few things that intervene), we clarify that we are praying only that God's "will be done on earth as in heaven." Today, I wonder what it might be like to hold a mental image of my grandpa and George W. together as I pray. I suspect that over time it will change me and, as it changes me, perhaps God will further and expand that change in the universe.

"God, I offer myself to Thee — to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!"
- Third-Step Prayer of Alcoholics Anonymous from The Big Book, p. 64.

2 comments:

Ryan said...

You still laughed at the joke I bet.

-R

Debra said...

Yes, Ryan. . . of course! (I should have mentioned that in the original post!)