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In the News

Can We Talk?

Khleber150x150Who could have imagined such an election season as this? Day after day, worse news, worse language, worse behavior. The conversation we’ve been privy to on the national stage has been difficult at best. Around the rest of the world, our country’s prestige must surely be at rock bottom.

It has not been an easy conversation to listen to. For too many of us, the mention of sexual abuse takes us back to a particular event in our own lives when someone forced themselves onto us in an abusive way. There is no debating that those sorts of memories can be painful. And it’s clear that some percentage of the population, both women and men, can relate directly to being the target of this kind of abuse: some say 35% of women, maybe more. But if you’re one of those who’ve been through it, the overall percentage doesn’t matter - you’re 100% sure it happened to you.

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Let There Be Light

Khleber150x150Sometimes I like using headphones to listen to music as I go about my business around town. I’ve also found myself plugged in while gardening or cleaning or whatever else. The technology that affords one such a luxury is downright amazing to someone whose first radio was a little red plastic gizmo that, if clipped to any metal object, would faintly pick up a couple of AM radio stations.

It wasn’t too long ago when a friend and I were sitting in a public place and saw some joggers go by. He began berating “all those people who exercise with earphones on so they can’t hear anybody anymore.” I think I know what he was complaining about and why. And I stand convicted.

While I was considering performing a risk-benefit analysis of the questionable headphone behavior of myself and others, I read an article in which writer and theologian Rodney Clapp recounted a story about his grandmother. Clapp said his Grandma Adams had become more and more hard of hearing over the years, and this was happening to her at about the same time her longtime companion, Bob, was becoming nearly blind.

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A Bedtime Story for Adults

Khleber150x150I never heard much about the biblical character of Judith back in the little Protestant church of my youth. Maybe it’s because Judith’s storyline is not really the stuff of a good children’s book. If you’re not familiar with it, the story goes like this: Nebuchadnezzar, king of Assyria, became enraged at his western provinces so he called together a great army under his most bloodthirsty general, Holofernes. Holofernes, who had slaughtered his way through many lands, led the great horde toward Jerusalem, stopping to lay siege to the little town of Bethulia in Israel, telling the Bethulians that they should surrender or die.

The leaders of the Bethulians wrung their hands for weeks and then decided they would give their God five more days to deliver them before they capitulated and began worshipping Nebuchadnezzar. A local widow named Judith overheard the leaders’ plans and decided to something about it.

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