The V Word … July 2nd, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4087)


THE

Image result for gif of letter v

WORD


She hurts.

He hurts.

You hurt.

I hurt.

They hurt.

We hurt.

It is a story told without resolution—a profile in defeat—a chair of comfort, set to the side.

It is a pain minus healing.

It is the word that should never be written or uttered again:

VICTIM

Being identified by your tragedy, characterized by your weakness or remembered for your sadness.

It is nearly drowning yet remaining in the water.

It is being battered and beaten and commanded to continue to wear your bandages.

It is the insincere belief that pity can ever be love, or sympathy, true mercy.

Victim

Victimized

Victimization

Don’t make one.

Don’t be one.

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Jesonian: Reasonable (Part 18) Wounded … April 3rd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jesonian hands

He asked me if he could have a moment of my time.

We went into his office, shut the door and he sat down in his over-stuffed leather chair behind his huge mahogany desk. With a gentle, understanding tone, he said, “I’m just concerned that you’re ministering from a wounded place.”

I gathered from his approach and facial expression that he thought doing so was a mistake.

I replied, “Yes, I am. I wouldn’t trust any ministry that wasn’t.”

Jesus was the greatest minister of all time.

He was also very wounded.

Long before they hammered nails into his hands and feet, he was born of a virgin, considered a bastard, chased out of Bethlehem, exiled in Egypt, rejected by his home town, denied by his family, criticized, mocked, marginalized, cast out, called a sinner, a drunkard, a glutton and even proclaimed to be Satan.

These things hurt.

The truth of the matter is, none of us are worth a damn to be healers until we’ve survived the wounds.

For lacking the experience of transformation, we have a tendency to be impatient with those who have difficulty getting over the pain.

Life is not about whether you’ll be wounded or not.

You will be.

It’s about what you do next.

And the first thing you should do after being wounded is bleed.

Not a lot. You don’t want to pour out all of your life flow and confidence–just enough to dispel infection. Then stop the bleeding, cease the self-pity and clean the wound.

Take what you know to be true–memories of how you’ve been blessed–and tenderly use all of these affirmations to expel the dangerous rot that would attempt to infest you.

Bandage it.

Your healing process is nobody else’s business. It could be ugly. Other folks do not need to see your scabs. Take a private moment to heal–and then, when you’re all done, remove the bandages and proudly display your scar.

A scar tells everybody that you’ve been through the battle but you’ve endured the wounds and are coming out on the other side, healed.

No human being can escape the wounds.

Jesus didn’t.

But we become reasonable to one another when we allow the healing process to move forward, while simultaneously offering to others exactly what Jesus said to Thomas:

“Come see my scars.”

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … January 9th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

 

Dear Man: Why didn’t you tell me you were sick? I had to find it out from Mike. Would it have killed you to share?

 

Dear Woman: Mike should have kept his mouth shut. It’s not a big deal. I just didn’t want to tell you and have you fuss over me.

 

Dear Man: Fuss? What do you mean by fuss? Here’s something you have to understand. Being concerned for someone else is not fuss. It’s called love.

 

Dear Woman: Yes, but you overdo it. You start feeling my head for a temperature. I especially hate it when you conjecture on what the problem might be or how I need to take care of myself better. You’re just too emotional.

 

Dear Man: I’m too emotional? Are you kidding? You remember the last time you had a cold? Eight o’clock at night–you asked me if I would go down to Porky Bob’s Barbecue and get you some ribs because they would “make you feel better.” If I remember correctly, you did this with a tilted head, seeking pity, and a tear in your eye.

 

Dear Woman: The sauce is tangy. It burns my throat in a way that makes it heal up. Anyway, that’s not emotional. That’s just expressing my feelings.

 

Dear Man: Let me stop right here. Apparently I have a lot to learn. What is the difference between expressing your feelings and being emotional? Because last week when you were watching the football game, screaming at the TV set because the referees were cheating, and then, when the team lost, you cursed and broke down in tears… Well, I guess what I want to ask is, was that expressing your feelings or being emotional?

 

Dear Woman: Yes, I did all that. But not because I saw a little bird with a broken wing on television and I started to dribble tears because it was so hurt, but cute.

 

Dear Man: So what I’m picking up from you is that if you’re emotional, it’s just a natural expression of feelings. But if I’m expressing my feelings on an issue or situation, it’s because I’m naturally over-emotional.

 

Dear Woman: It’s a known fact that women are more emotional than men.

 

Dear Man: Known by whom? Let me ask you some questions. Can you tell me five women who have ever gotten so emotional and angry that they declared war, went off and killed people?

 

Dear Woman: That’s called patriotism. That’s passion. A devotion to your country.

 

Dear Man: Well, I can see that you have an answer for everything. Are you trying to maintain that whatever I feel is emotional and silly, and whatever you feel is human and good? Because let me clue you in–we’re both human. As human beings, if we don’t have emotion, they classify it as mental illness. We both express those feelings at different times, in what some folks watching might call extreme ways. But if it’s real to us, it’s real.

 

Dear Woman: So you don’t think women are more emotional than men?

 

Dear Man: No, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you being emotional, whereas you portray that when I have concerns and feel happy or sad, it’s because I’m going through some “time of the month” or tirade against the male of the species.

 

Dear Woman: You realize, nobody agrees with you.

 

Dear Man: No, I realize that everybody agrees with me, but they’ve bought into the idea that women are more emotional and men are more controlled. Yet it’s difficult to find a female serial killer, a woman who commits genocide, or a chick who has started her own Ku Klux Klan.

 

Dear Woman: So what are you saying? Are you saying that men and women are equally emotional?

 

Dear Man: I am saying that without emotion we’re not human. Maybe men and women have different interests which ignite their emotions. But in the long run, every person emotes, or they die inside.

 

Dear Woman: I’m a little sick. I should have told you, but honestly, when I tell you, because I’m kind of a baby about it, and you’re willing to mother me, it makes me feel real stupid later on, though I enjoy the sympathy in the moment.

 

Dear Man: That was beautifully stated and I totally understand. Do you think we could do it that way the next time?

 

Dear Woman: If I remember.

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Populie: Poor, Poor People … September 3, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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bread line

The most wealthy woman I have ever known once complained to me that she was having difficulty meeting her needs.

I realized at that point that poverty is not merely a state of finance, but more often than not, a state of mind.

So it is popular to believe that there are poor people.

The populie comes when we say poor, poor people. It stimulates the sensation of pity. Unfortunately, pity is a two-edged sword.

There is pity that manifests itself as, “I feel so sorry for those homeless and impoverished souls.”

And then there is pity that proclaims, “Look at those people. I’m sure glad I’m not like them.”

They share one thing in common: they turn fellow-human beings into victims.

And once we victimize people, it is very easy to marginalize them and make them less important, or even worse, non-human.

Even though we profess to be a socially aware populace, we still subject those who are less fortunate to live in communities where there are more drugs, more liquor stores and no groceries available without paying a high price and selecting unhealthy foods.

Religion loves “poor, poor people” because it gives them a constituency. It grants them a congregation which is so dependent on mercy that they have to come to church, pray and believe in God.

Politics loves the issue because it divides people between believing we can solve the poverty issue and insisting that poverty is caused by laziness. Go to the booth and cast your vote.

Entertainment–well, entertainment loves it any time that it can box people up into categories and postulate on the extremes of the situation, to develop a dramatic or comedic outcome.

“The poor you will have with you always.”

  • Poverty is not going away.
  • We’re not going to wipe it out in our lifetime.
  • There’s no vaccine against it, nor medication to cure it.

Every chance we get, we should do what we can for others without becoming obsessed with the need. Here’s what is necessary to relieve yourself of the emotional, spiritual, mental and physical presence of poverty:

1. Change your location.

If you were a farmer planting seed in a field that bore no crops, you would certainly hunt out new ground. I have seen people improve their prosperity simply by moving. We have a tendency to surround ourselves with people in a similar plight to our own. This breeds a lack of motivation. Make a new plan, Stan, and hit the road, Jack.

2. Refuse pity.

Every time someone tries to be kind to me by feeling sorry for me, I reject it. Sometimes they’re offended, but usually they are so relieved that they don’t have to continue to be my support system that we actually become better friends.

Pity is offering to put you into a cave. Refuse it. Have an idea. And keep your faith.

3. Work your best.

Don’t wait for someone to give you something to do. You will always end up with what they don’t want to do.

Find out what you’re good at and start doing it–even if it’s in a small way–so people can find you, encourage you and use you to perform the duty for them.

Stop experimenting on things you hope for and start perfecting what you know.

“Poor, poor people” is the populie. It’s a formula for keeping people poor.

The only truly spiritual way to treat poverty is to do what you can for folks while you encourage them to go out and do what they can for themselves.

 

 

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The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

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Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

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Flawed and Blessed… September 25, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2017)

doctorA rather new phenomenon. At least, I think so.

I can’t remember a time in my four-decade career when people have led so persistently with their diagnoses.

Perhaps that’s a bit unclear. Here’s what I mean: when I meet new human beings, within a very short time they tell me what ails them, the name of their condition, their treatment, and sometimes even the conclusion.

Now, this is not limited to older people. Younger folks do the same thing, although sometimes it will be proffered from their parents standing nearby.

To a certain degree I think our society has become the victim of “diagnosis-hocus-pocus.” Rather than coming to the conclusion that we’re just human beings, and therefore an amazing collage of “flawed” and “blessed,” we are beginning to establish our distinction based upon the uniqueness of conditions.

I, too, received a diagnosis–actually, several of them–about eighteen years ago. I don’t share these. Why? Because pity in no way resembles respect, and sympathy is a horrible substitute for love. But if pity and sympathy are what you want, then having a nearly unpronounceable illness might be valuable.

I know this could be misinterpreted as an attack against the medical field, or some sort of assertion on my part that “we should not be so concerned about our health.” I do believe in modern medicine and am quite aware that ailments exist, even to the point of tormenting my brothers and sisters.

But I just think that how we feel cannot be the impetus for what we are.

We are all flawed–and if we develop a sense of joy about being alive, we can persevere and achieve blessing.

I, like all my fellow-travelers, could describe my aches and pains and keep you busy for a good hour and a half. But there’s a wonderful statement in the Good Book that says, “Let everything be done to the edification of all.”

I just don’t think anyone is edified by hearing me complain. I don’t think humanity grows by realizing my weaknesses.

Somewhere along the line, each one of us has to walk away from a diagnosis and move toward a prognosis of living on with a little hurt.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t take treatment–but I am saying that when treatment overtakes your desire to excel, multiply your talents and love life and the folks around you, you’ve already put one foot in the grave.

  • Not every child who is hyperactive needs medication.
  • Not ever skin rash is a sign that we are allergic to forty-four different chemicals.
  • Not every headache is a brain tumor.
  • And not every sore knee means that you should be wheeled into surgery and turned into an android.

All of us are graciously flawed and blessed–flawed in order to truly appreciate the value of our blessing; and blessed so that we don’t spend so much time thinking about our flaws.

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