By Tom White
Many laughs have been generated by stories of people’s reactions to themselves when looking in the mirror. Sometimes the mirror becomes the instrument of affirmation, other times not. Sometimes the mirror is the judge whose ruling may be unduly harsh. Either way, the mirror is often the final arbiter if we are able to enjoy a good day or not, sometimes even a good life or not.
Certainly reflective devices have been around for thousands of years in one form or another. We cannot exactly pinpoint the beginning of judging just how a person should look, but archeological evidence points to prehistoric times as a clue. Our personal evolution in this regard has deep roots in an equally firm foundation. Likewise our developing capacity to render judgment, however harsh, has gone so far as to inhabit our very souls, or so it seems. Continue reading “Through the Looking Glass”
By: Tom White
2nd in a four-part series on Mental Health for Mental Health Awareness Month
The excitement of opening gifts begins at a very early age. Even before we actually do it for ourselves, we are witness to it: baptism, our first birthdays, our first tooth perhaps, and family events, like Christmas. These events usually formed the basic DNA of the joy of opening gifts. We could not wait to open them ourselves.
Was it that primitive desire for mystery and excitement that caused the writers of scripture to speak of the Magi? Perhaps they had reflected on their own sense of inner peace when they imagined what bringing gifts to Jesus of Nazareth would mean. The writers even decided on themes for the gifts not unlike our celebrations. Gold, frankincense and myrrh spoke of the path of life; the gifts were almost like milestones, markers of a journey, if you will. But the gifts themselves were not enough. They were brought by kings and they came from afar, as the story goes.
The scripture setting we read certainly paints an amazingly serene and perfect picture of mother, father and a beautiful baby boy. Angels sing, animal’s breath warming the night air and humble shepherds gather for this absolutely perfect moment. Then gifts from kings! Oh, how we feel deep inside our very being that, if only this had been our beginning, we would enjoy the greatest of gifts: unbounded peace and joy. A perfect night is all we ask for ourselves. Peace, joy and freedom from any worries or cares. It was all so, so perfect! Or was it? Continue reading “We Three Kings”
A four-part series on Mental Health.
By Tom White
The Libyan town of Cyrene was a sanctuary for those Greeks and Jews who fled the oppressive governance of the Romans in Palestine. Never citing the reason for his presence in Jerusalem then, we are told that a certain Simon from that same Cyrene was conscripted to carry the patibulum (the cross section of the crosses used at crucifixions) when Jesus faltered on his journey to The Place of the Skull (Golgatha).
We have no idea what went thru Simon’s mind when ordered to the task, but perhaps, we might assume that in no way did he wish to come under the scrutiny of the Romans. We might assume Jesus was able to let his mind move from his pain to his love for his mother. Later, Simon may have thought about the person he helped and Jesus may have thought about the man who helped him, and both minds may have been comforted in that reflection. Continue reading “Prepare to be Amazed!”