I would never make it as an accountant. I tend to lose focus on details, and I’ve never been too motivated about dollars and cents. Plus I can get philosophical on something as simple as mathematical functions like subtract or multiply. What to some might look like subtraction, a reduction in the bottom line, in God’s economy can be multiplication, compounding and expanding in every direction.
I was a kid when I first memorized John 15. I had a thing about memorizing. My life felt a little fragile, it seemed that people and places I cared about had a way of vanishing, and when I came across words that resonated, I committed them to memory so I could keep them with me. That was true for songs, poems, whole chapters of the Bible.
Yassas! That's Greek for hello, goodbye, cheers, "to you!" And a makeshift "thank you" for those (like me) who can't quite manage efkharisto (eff-car-ee-STOH), the official Grecian "thank you." On a recent trip to Greece, every time I tried to say a proper efkharisto I was rewarded with puzzled looks and general incomprehension.
There are moments when I can see the walls melting away, short seasons of shalom when I catch glimpses of blessed unity. Then, even in places where unity should be most possible, the walls go up again, the circles draw in tighter. The depth of our dividedness baffles me. How can I love my enemy when that enemy deflects every overture of interest, denies any possible middle ground, demands agreement on an endless list of positions (political, theological, economic) before discussion can begin?
Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) is the other thug we’ve been battling. It has beautiful flowers, butterflies love it, and it blooms for months, which is why it’s still sold as an ornamental except in states wise enough to ban it. Some loosestrife is marketed as “sterile,” suggesting it's okay to plant, but researchers have shown that the so-called “sterile” plants are as prolific as their peers. The problem with loosestrife is that, grown on a continent where it has no natural insect predators, it takes over wetland habitat.
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