Morning, No Filter: A Time for Everything

Two for the price of one today! The other post was written a couple days ago for church. This one is written today, for you. Less Bible; probably not less preachy.


Morning, no filter.
Justice and love. Sure, easy for you to say. But saying is easy. It's the not saying that can be so darned hard. 

Yesterday we orchestrated an-almost perfect birthday for my Soul Fry, a name given to her ten years ago when I started this blog. As she's hitting her teens, perhaps Stir Fry is a better name. Drop a sassy teen into an already hissing kitchen, and the steady sautée of family life gets cranked to high heat. The wok is fired up and by God does she toss our broccoli sometimes. However, yesterday was more or less perfect. One of those rare days where everything turned out mostly as planned, with an exception or two that may have catastrophic consequences. (Remediation and cleanup teams shall be dispatched today for Potential Catastrophe #1. Life at the Lindsays.)

So let's move onto Potential Catastrophe #2, which brings us back the not saying part. There was a late arrival or two to the birthday parade. They stopped in briefly and we chatted from mostly six feet apart on the lawn. Talk turned quickly to riots. And those people. You know, the ones who are protesting. Oh boy. Why is it ok, they asked, to stand arm to arm and protest but not ok for us to open our restaurant? Fair enough. Complicated discussion but this wasn't the time. This is my family; we are not measured Protestants who enjoy complicated and protracted discussion. Let's just say more Catholic, less Unitarian. So the top of the simmering pot started shaking. It has blown before. Sometimes we have fundamental differences in point of view with people we love very much. We had just put the damn thing back on after more than twenty years of separation over a previous disagreement. I kinda like this pot and wasn't quite ready to knock the top back off, even if it meant wondering if others might tell me I was being complicit to 400 years of racial injustice. Good Lord, where are my ethics?

It’s complicated. They’re right here. On paper. Just two days ago, I wrote boldly from the comfort of my kitchen about how there are times when we must not be silent. " is what we are called to proclaim, if we dare profess that we believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ." I actually said that. Sorry to my Jewish friends; I don't mean to get all Christian on you. When I say "Jesus," I just mean love. We are all called to love.  

Of course we must speak out for justice, because justice is love, and love is what we are called to do. And compassion is how we are called to see. (Hello, Dalai!) But love for all is tricky. When we love someone who disagrees, sometimes love calls for silence. Ach, I just knew this would get preachy, but now I'm thinking Ecclesiastes is useful here. Phew, safely back to the Old Testament: There is a time for everything.

The contentious comment. Two people, two viewpoints fueled by two histories. Where he grew up. Where I grew up. When he grew up. When I grew up. Who his father was. Who my father was. Who his siblings were. Who my siblings were. Where he worked. Where he works now. Me too. Et cetera. Each of our experiences led us to believe what we believe. The thousand heated arguments we've had in the past, when we thought it was safe to say anything, any darn way we wanted. The twenty years of silence showed that it was not; the fragile relationship can rebuild though! Understanding. Disagreeing, but loving someone very much anyway. Another family member with less to lose spoke. "I have to disagree," she said. "The protestors are angry. There have been centuries of racism and injustice." Tension. The air crackles. The top is about to blow off. And that's when Holier Than Thou Self-Righteous Writer We Cannot Be Silent reaches down and throws five pounds of ice cubes into the sizzle. 

"Hey! How about a tour of the back yard!" And off we go. 

Catastrophe 2, narrowly averted. 

There is a time for everything, including a time for the religious to turn to Ecclesiastes:

a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak

Good for you, religists. The agnostics among us try to understand, but we're kind of pissed. A time for everything: Check. But the problem is, how do we know for sure which time is which?