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Cycle of life requires our attention on regular basis

Cycle of life requires our attention on regular basis Cycle of life requires our attention on regular basis

We are cleaning off our outdoor wooden decks today. They are dark and covered with moss. It is taking a big power spray to erase the signs of earth’s refuse left on them during the last year. When our outdoor furniture gets dingy in Indianapolis, I grump about the pollution from the cars that pass close by on the street. But, here in the woods, I am always amazed that it too becomes dirty with the passing of the months. I guess life is just that way. No matter where we are or what we are doing, things ‘ and lives ‘ get a bit out of sorts and need attention on a regular basis.

It was alarming to watch the gothic Notre Dame Catholic cathedral covered with flames last week. The whole world seemed to sit up and take notice. The grand cathedrals of the world appear so strong and permanent. Notre Dame in particular had withstood the French revolution and the second world war. Certainly, we thought, it was not just a symbol that God is eternal but the building itself was indestructible. The unspoken message was worship here and you too can be of eternal fabric. Today, this monument to the achievements of man and God is, like my porch, being cleared of blackened debris.

A church historian spoke on television and said there was a real significance in the fire at Notre Dame taking place during the Christian Holy Week. The fire was not expected and neither was the message of that first Easter what people had anticipated. Life does, indeed, rise out of the ashes of life. The church historian commented that already many of the faithful were awakening to what the Notre Dame Cathedral meant to them and were ready to be part of the rebuilding.

A church building and the activities that take place there are great community builders. We, as God’s creatures, are all communal beings. We seek a belonging. We do not want to feel alone in this uncertain journey we call life. We at the same time want to feel that we are a part of something that is bigger than we are as individuals. Most of us name that ‘something bigger’ God. We often have differing ideas of what we should do as a people of God, and we express our beliefs in varying ways. But, we are brought to the realization that we are bound together in our belief in a loving, all powerful Creator who made us all.

Listen to the discourse today among nations, religions and public officials. Do you often hear words of peace, reconciliation and love? Are we encouraged to respect, forgive and embrace people and ideas that differ from ourselves? Are we encouraged to act out of goodness or fear and hate?

I am extremely troubled by what we have labeled the lack of civility in our country. Maybe we need a good power spray clean up on the manner in which we approach issues and people.

Earlier this month, a regional meeting of the Main Street program took place in Corydon. People selected to help their communities revitalize their core commercial districts attended the conference. They spoke of how invigorating it was to be part of the team effort to increase the quality of life in their own home places. Volunteers entered into projects as strangers and finished the work as friends and neighbors. They spoke of the benefits of joining together to discuss the hopes of residents for a better future in their small towns. They told of surprises that evolved out of joint efforts that included all kinds of residents with their varying backgrounds, training and interests. They grew as individuals and as a community.

Corydon delegates explained what the international art program has meant to not just the school children who shared the performances, but how it enriched by expanding the whole community’s awareness of possibilities music can bring.