Human Seeings … July 26, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1955)

eyesI’m not sure what the origin is.

Someone apparently came along with a clever sound bite which has now caught on—as they often do—which states, “We are not human DOings. We are human BEings.”

Of course, it has gradually seeped into our society. Any chance for us to remove our own responsibility and celebrate the value of just being born, will be a pleasing opportunity for the average mortal.

Here’s the problem: like so many ideas we tout, it never follows through to a realistic conclusion. Because we DO judge each other by our fruits.  Matter of fact, Jesus said we should. We are not unique and beautiful just because we occupy space. It is actually what we choose to enact that is the most revealing.

But I also do not believe that we’re the sub-total of our accumulated efforts.

I think we’re human SEEings. Yes, I believe our eye movement determines our ultimate quality.

Some people cast their eyes to the heavens. They’re optimistic, always wanting to believe that good things will come. Often they are oblivious to the moment, favoring the future.

Other people cast their eyes to the earth. When they don’t see an immediate solution to the problem, they become cynical, angry and frustrated. They can’t control through manipulating circumstances, so they look for evil to be the source of their detriment.

I just don’t feel that either one of these groups have the power to bring love, human tenderness and God’s mercy to the world.

  • I don’t think we need to look up.
  • I don’t think we need to look down.
  • I think we need to look  AT.

Make eye contact with both your angels and your demons. The angels won’t look quite as heavenly, yet the demons won’t look quite as sinister. Look at what you’ve got. You’re not really a human being. You’re not merely a human doing. God has called you to be a human seeing.

Blessed are the poor in spirit—for they shall see God.” They begin to see God in everything, because the light of the body is the eye, and if we’re not afraid to look every situation head-on, deep into its soul, we gain the confidence and power to both BE and DO.

It happened to me yesterday. Having completed my first night in Springville, Iowa, I launched on my morning activities, which led me to a Hy-vee Drugstore in Cedar Rapids, some twenty miles away. Lo and behold, there was a delightfully energized, beautiful woman who had been at the performance the night before.

What are the chances? Not only were there very few people at the performance, but Cedar Rapids is a town of over 100,000 people, not to mention countless stores—and taking into consideration that I apparently needed to get something at a pharmacy. But there was a blessing, looking right at me.

I came back to my motel and there was a phone message from a man who had seen me perform in Texas, who happened to be in Cedar Rapids, and read my Jonathots yesterday. He wanted to know if I might be performing again because he wanted to come out and get re-acquainted. I got the chance to look right at a dear friend.

And then I returned from last night’s show—where two and a half times the number of the previous night’s audience came out for a second dip—and there was a message from my daughter-in-law, who has just lost her mother. She has the chance to speak at a convention of her company in front of more than 3,000 women. She asked me to edit her speech.

I realized what a blessing it was to be part of such an adventure, and that my words would be literally “looking at” three thousand folks I would never meet.

I am not just a human being, treasured because I was born.

I’m not just a human doing, the sub-total of my deeds and accomplishments.

God has called me to be a human seeing—not looking too much up to the heavens to solve my dilemmas, not looking down to the earth in desperation and disgust.

Rather, looking at what is before me, realizing that it is the embodiment of God’s grace … which is sufficient for me.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

Sackcloth and Ashes … February 13, 2013

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ashesLong ago, when fire-breathing dragons stomped across the earth and a gallon of gasoline cost less than milk, prophets would occasionally ramble into town, condemning the deeds of the wicked, speaking forth the chilling but effective sound bite, “Repent or die.” Even more disconcerting was how little the prophet actually cared about whether his message was received in a positive light, and often actually would have preferred it if death was the result of his invitation. I suppose there were those cities which would resist the opportunity to save their lives–we wouldn’t be that familiar with them because they are no longer on the landscape. But often the ruler of the nation would comprehend the seriousness of the situation and repent, ordering all of his subjects to do so, demonstrating their regret by adorning themselves in sackcloth and smearing ashes all over their bodies.

Time marches on. (Or does it creep? I’m not sure.)

We now have advanced in our self-esteem to the extent that we would never consider lowering ourselves to wear sackcloth and display bacteria-ridden ashes on our faces. Yet it doesn’t change the fact that we are still doing many of the same ridiculous practices that should require a bit of reflection, if not repentance brought on by the threat of doom.

I’m not a prophet. (I guess that would make me a non-prophet organization. But I digress.) Yet, to me there are three obvious things that need focus in this country as primal objectives, allowing for a discussion about the implementation of how to achieve them, but not whether they are righteous and necessary.

1. Let’s stop killing. There you go.  I’m not picky. Let’s stop killing babies so much. Let’s stop killing people with capital punishment. And let’s stop starting wars because we have a big military and they get out of practice if they hang around the base too much with no real combat experience. I think it’s a good start. Every time you stop something in life, two things happen: you cease a few things and you start up other things. Stopping killing would probably take away some of our rights in this country. But it would give us a sense that we were trying to address a murderous history of rampage that seems to be threatening to infest our national DNA. Yes–stop killing. Then have the debate about how to actually make it a practical or legal application.

2. Stop stealing. Let’s not ask people to do jobs that we don’t want to do and then continue to insist that they live in squalor and poverty in order to serve us. Let’s stop taking away from people their praise-worthy actions and pretending they’re lesser fellows. Let’s greatly discourage corporations from becoming so greedy to feather their nest that they kill off all competing birds. Let’s stop stealing. That would be good, right? We could decide that refusing to steal is a good thing and then have a healthy debate on ways to initiate integrity.

3. Why don’t we stop destroying? If there is any chance at all that we are party to affecting the climate on this earth, why don’t we just grin and bear it? Why don’t we find out what we can do and instead of arguing about whether it is pleasant or within our wheelhouse of understanding, and just stop the destruction. Why don’t we become the nation that makes it “uncool” to be unfeeling? Why don’t we stop destroying our own psyche by peppering our young people with violence and encouraging them to use technology incessantly–which is gradually fostering an epidemic of indifference?

Why don’t we stop destroying our bodies? Why can’t we encourage farmers to raise more vegetables so you can get a tomato at the grocery store for less money than a greasy eight-hundred-calorie hamburger at McDonald’s?

Certainly it would demand that we abandon hypocrisy. It would require that we forfeit some of our abstract definitions of freedom to provide for the common good. The same people who extol the beauty of marriage–which is the setting aside of sexual freedom, the possibility of many partners to cling to one–feel grieved over the notion of making it more difficult to get a gun for themselves in order to possibly save the lives of those on the perimeter of their understanding.

I don’t think we’ll ever get our nation to sport sackcloth and ashes. But I do think we could sit down and agree that killing, stealing and destroying are really bad things, and even though we may have varying definitions, in the long run, we could come up with a FEW ideas limiting death, thievery and destruction.

Ash Wednesday–a religious holiday when people commiserate for an hour or so about whether they treat those friends around them with enough respect and if they should eat less chocolate.

Maybe it’s time for some real repentance. In the absence of a prophet who isn’t afraid of the king, queen and parliament, let me proclaim, stop killing, stop stealing, stop destroying.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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