Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Religious and Spiritual

Fri, Apr 08 2011

Giving new meaning to fanatic

I write, but am not a sports writer. I'm not even a big baseball fan. But I believe that being a baseball fan, no matter which team it involves, should not be punishable by violence. The baseball fan who was recently beaten and left to suffer generally does work that helps people who are ill or injured. Whoever hurt him that day might well remember that, under other circumstances, he would have come to their aid in their own emergency. I've heard people call the perpetrators cowards. That may be true. I guess the law and the courts will settle it from a social standpoint. But I hope we all ask ourselves how far we'd be willing to go in any pastime, pursuit or even belief when we meet someone we're afraid opposes our position. Is there anything I'd "hit first" over?

If you were at the game that day or think you may know the people who did this, please look at this LAPD Crime Alert.

posted at: 13:53 | category: /Religious and Spiritual | link to this entry

Mon, Dec 20 2010

Shining through the season

It's difficult to write during Christmas week. It's been more difficult than usual this year. One of my favorite people has been down with an intestinal bug and two other dear people are having surgery this week. Another lovely lady started a round of chemotherapy recently and is in my prayers. I'm completely behind on preparations for Christmas. A series of storms is passing through our area this week this and making a mess of every entry to the house. I've made only two of the planned ten or so batches of cookies on the list. Only a third of the cards have been mailed.

But the way the star shone on Bethlehem so long ago, goodness and mercy shine on us now. If I don't get all the words down this week, it's all right. There's a rhythm to life that shines through all the heartache and the unfinished tasks. Shining requires light. Think about that for a moment if you will. Light, in one form or another is probably the answer to almost all of life's difficulties. We have sunlight, laser light, starlight and twilight. There are catch lights, flashlights, highlights, fog lights, stage lights firelights and spotights. And then there is Light, capitalized, the One who really makes this season shine.

posted at: 22:15 | category: /Religious and Spiritual | link to this entry

Fri, Nov 26 2010

Thanksgiving, unplugged

Thanksgiving week is always a mixed bag for most of us. We juggle household tasks, travel, work schedules, food preparation and other details in order to get the most use out of a few days available for visiting and sharing. Then we try to factor in things like family members who are ill or who have recently passed away. And sometimes we have the tension of being in the same room with people with whom we've had conflicts in the past. People who own businesses are conscious all week long of the weight of Black Friday. Movies premiere. Ski slopes open. In-laws sometimes vie for precious time with offspring who now have offspring of their own and are trying to please everyone with equal time on the holiday. Churches schedule big Thanksiving production numbers for choir members and preachers are expected to deliver sermons on giving thanks that don't bore long-time members of the congregation and yet don't offend visiting cousins from some other denomination. Let's throw in college football games, nervous pets meeting new people, flight delays due to blizzards, road trip delays due to blizzards, power outages halfway through turkey roasting and the dog stealing and eating the appetizers off the coffee table and then passing very ripe gas throughout the rest of the day's festivities. Is it any wonder we're unable to concentrate on giving thanks except for the seventeen-or-so seconds just before the passing of the mashed potatoes and gravy?

What I think I've decided is that it's all okay. We don't have to have a picture-perfect holiday in order to enjoy ourselves. Part of the experience is the realization that we're human and that we're sad, funny, stubborn, moody, forgetful, argumentative, lonely, too-loud, dyspeptic, sarcastic, shy, fearful and maybe even a little crazy at times. And we have a Creator who accepts us anyway. If that's not something to be thankful for this season, and to pass on to one another with love, I don't know what it. So, maybe you'll understand what I mean when I tell you that I hope you hear someone's old stories one-too-many-times this week or that you have someone in the family who is blessed with morning sickness this week or that you set a picture of someone at the table in the place where he or she used to sit. Part of the joy and the miracle is that we get through it all again and again and we remember it with sadness and joy, with anger and with laughter. And we're learning about the way God invites us us all to His table, no matter how wacky a human family we are.

posted at: 15:34 | category: /Religious and Spiritual | link to this entry

Mon, Nov 15 2010


This is the time of year when I start wishing we didn't live right beneath a street light. While it's nice to have a safety feature so close, it becomes a detriment during the holiday season. We enjoy putting Christmas lights up outdoors. the best place for Christms lights to strut their stuff is in a dark space, not one lighted by a lot of other ambient light. We've kidded about calling and asking them to shut the light down until January, but that wouldn't be very practical or fair to the rest of the neighborhood.

One of the other nearby street lights on a curvy road commonly shuts itself down when a badly-aimed car light shines on it in the middle of the night. I suppose its sensor mistakenly perceives that the sun has suddenly risen and that its light is no longer needed. After a few minutes the light flickers a few times and turns itself back on. This sometimes happens several times in one night.

It doesn't take much light to change a dark corner by quite a bit. And darkness has no way to be aware of whether light is from a bright bulb or a supernova. Those of us looking on from the side have a different perspective and can easily see what the light source is.

At first this whole topic seems trite. But the spiritual lessons one could draw from such things leads me wondering why we don't notice the interplay of darkness and light a lot more often.

posted at: 22:49 | category: /Religious and Spiritual | link to this entry

Mon, Apr 19 2010

Chains are inevitable. Escape is optional.

One of the best dogs I ever met who was not my own dog was Bonzo, an escape artist of a boxer who would get loose from his owner's property and come visiting to our house, sometimes still dragging a length of chain attached to his collar. (The owner was arranging a great space for Bonzo, but was having to keep him temporarily tethered due to an emergency.) This dog was exuberant and playful and seemed to laugh at the universe. Bonzo accepted the reality of his situation, but not as fate.

When the cares of the day seem to be tightening the noose around my neck and I think I might let adversity, or even too much good fortune, get in the way of being a productive human being, I remember that look on Bonzo's face when he overcame a challenge and then got called out for it. He seemed genuinely surprised that we didn't applaud his escape. This happy dog seemed to know that his circumstances were temporary. I could see the wheels turning behind those happy eyes, looking for the next challenge and hoping the rest of the world would make the challenge worthwhile and productive in the end. If I'm going to have challenges, I should face them with humor and creativity. If I'm going to have a chance for an adventure, I should make it a big adventure. I wish the same for anyone reading this. I hope you give it all you've got. Be a Bonzo.

posted at: 12:14 | category: /Religious and Spiritual | link to this entry

Tue, Dec 29 2009

Years and beginnings

This coming year will begin so much better than the last year began. Part of that is circumstantial, but part of it is a growing freedom of spirit and an acceptance to be thankful for what has passed. We're each going to have some challenges in 2010, but we're each also given the spirit of agape love that teaches us how to persevere no matter what life throws at us. A battle is not the end. A battle is about a particular thing at a particular time and place, involving particular people. A battle is not a whole life. Someone can do battle with you here and now, but no one can take eternity from you. No challenge can take eternity from you. Eternity is yours to choose or not. And if you choose to believe in a gift of eternity you can make it through anything in the here and now. We can make lots of New Year's Resolutions, but we can't cover every individual conflict that will come along in 2010. Faith in any conflict is a bigger resolution that will keep us going in case we don't exercise those 5 days a week or in case we spend too much money or in case we fail that math test. Faithfulness is bigger than all that and I'm thankful for that.

posted at: 10:48 | category: /Religious and Spiritual | link to this entry

Tue, Dec 22 2009

Wishing you the best of the season

I'll be taking a blog break until Tuesday, December 29. (You can still catch me over on Twitter.) Meanwhile, enjoy the holiday season:

Miracles are born at Christmas.
Even Santa kneels tonight.
Heaven is more than a promise.
Every good gift comes tonight.

posted at: 15:32 | category: /Religious and Spiritual | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
and cattle rustlin'! Lightning may strike
such varmints when they least expect it!