Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday




Finally, I think I am recovering from my week long bout with a cold. It was just a little over a week ago I was bragging about how I haven’t caught a cold since I moved to Delaware in November of 2006. Well, that is a claim I can no longer make. I caught a cold big time. I’m not sure where I got it from. One of my co-workers at the hotel was diagnosed with pneumonia last week. I didn’t know pneumonia was contagious. If it is, then that's what I got. Lovely.

When I lived and worked in Pennsylvania I caught my worst knock me to the floor colds from fellow workers (the phones are a notorious transmitter of germs) on the commuter train I used to take to my job in Philadelphia. Invariably I would catch a major cold after a trip with fellow passengers who were sneezing and coughing all the way into Philadelphia. We all would pass around and share those colds all winter and into spring. I thought I got out of that trap when I moved to Delaware. Apparently not as long as I'm around people.

Yesterday I got plenty of sleep. My normal afternoon nap is 20 minutes. Yesterday I slept about three hours while the rain gently fell outside my bedroom windows. After my Saturday afternoon slumber I got up and made dinner (left over beef stew and string beans - detail provided for "Anonymous" who thinks I put too much detail in my blogs.) I watched a Netflix movie (“On Becoming Jane” – a so so movie about Jane Austen.) Normally I take a shower before I go to bed but not last night. I was just too wiped out. Straight to bed I went. I was unconscious until this morning when I awoke about 7 am. Even though I’m still horse and feel like I’ve been hit and run over by a Hummer, I can feel that I’m climbing out of the depths of this awful cold.

On this Easter Sunday I have nothing planned except to enjoy the sunshine. I don’t remember the last time I attended Easter services at a church. Probably when I was nine or ten years old, before the time that a Pentecostal minister alienated me from an organized Christian Church by screaming that I was a sinner, was a sinner from the day I was born and will always be a sinner. I remember so clearly my ten year old mind thinking “What is the point? I have no chance.” I’ve never looked at the Christian church quite the same way since that horrific day in West Chester, Pennsylvania in 1951. While I have respect for my Christian friends who find comfort in their church, I lost that comfort level listening to that red haired minister shouting his angry words that Easter Sunday so many years ago.

Easter to me represents rebirth and renewal. I believe in that more than I believe in thugs and bullies who tell me how to live my life. This morning I watched in awe as twenty or so purple martins swooped and swirled around the purple martin house I have out in my back yard. I watched with pleasure the bluebird sitting atop the bluebird house by the fence in my backyard as she prepares to lay her eggs and produce a new generation of bluebirds for next year. I look out my front door and see the cream white tulips blooming that I planted in the cold winds of last fall. Yesterday’s rains have left everything fresh and new today. Easter……spring…..a time of rebirth. I rejoice in it.

8 comments:

  1. Ron,

    I haven't suffered much in life from flues and cold, especially the last several decades. But in the late 1970s I did a lot, almost continually for awhile. That was when I became budget director for a large medical center which included two hospitals. I was told shortly after I started to expect this. Gee, who would have though hospitals were hotbeds of germs? ;)

    I, of course, went to church this morning, where we had a rock concert Easter celebration. I would agree with that preacher of your youth that I was born a sinner and that I am now a sinner, but he missed the point. I won't always be a sinner because of what happened over a weekend two thousand years ago. I walked over this morning. The sun was out, the air chill and crisp, everything fresh and new, exactly what this day was and is, a time of resurrection, a time of rebirth. I, too, rejoice in it.

    Lar

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  2. Anonymous2:52 PM

    Happy Easter Ron!

    Isn't it a lovely day? I hope next week is a better one for you. Last week sure was pick on Ron week. I just finished reading your yesterdays blog and had to *smile.* Did you eat that grapefruit yet? What is the world coming to when some arrogant person tries to tell another what to say & not say? This takes guts or rather just shows his arrogance.
    Thanks for my laugh for today. I better get back to cooking Easter dinner.

    Take care of that cold!

    Fran

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  3. I understand the "born a sinner, are a sinner, die a sinner" concept. What I have a problem with is organized religion. This particular minister was on an ego trip and his sermon was all about his power over his congregation. I am a Christian and I believe in the Christian message of redemption. What I don't believe in is the necessity (for me) of having an ignoramus like that preacher interpreting The Message for me. That man did a great deal of harm that day when he spewed out his venomous message to me and his captive congregation. Up until that time I always enjoyed going to church. I never saw church (ne: organized religion) the same after that day. That day in 1951 was my "born again" moment. I cut out the middleman (Man in this case) in my relationship with my God.

    I see the value of an organized church as a social function for friends and neighbors and as a place that offers comfort for those who either do not want to think for themselves or they fear the God of Judgment and feel that they have to toe the line or else they will be damned to the eternal fires of Hell.

    When I'm told that someone like Ted Bundy will enter the Gates of Heaven because he accepted Jesus Christ moments before his execution as a mass murderer but that I will go to Hell because I don't "accept" Jesus Christ as my Savior, the Message no longer has any creditability to me. It matters not what kind of exemplary life I have led, my entrance into Heaven and Paradise depends on "accepting" Jesus Christ as my Savior. What is this? Is this some kind of game? Sorry, it doesn't make sense to me.

    In the years since then the only "church" experience that even came close to being acceptable for me was a memorial service for a fallen classmate at the Downingtown Friends Meeting House. There was no pastor/minister/priest in charge. There were only former classmates, friends and relatives to memorialize the passing of our friend. And that is the way it should be to my mind.

    For those who find comfort in the church as you obviously do, I am glad. As for me, the church ceased to offer me comfort and refuge a long time ago. My relationship with God doesn't need Man's intervention.

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  4. Fran,

    I welcome all comments, even the ignorant and arrogant ones like "Anonymous" (notice how he doesn't have the courage to post his real name?)

    I don't feel last week was "pick on Ron week" either. Just all part of living. My friend Larry just left a comment about religion on my blog. I responded to his comment with my honest feelings with some reservations because I don't want to offend anyone who follows organized religion. Organized religion isn't for me. But the difference with my views and some others is that I don't try and force my views on anyone. I believe that individuals should take any path they want and feel comfortable with for their relationship with God. Please don't take offense to my rather forceful comments to my longtime friend Lar.

    Yes, I did have the grapefruit and it was delicious, even after four months!

    Enjoy your Easter dinner. I'm meeting a friend tonight in Rehoboth Beach for our Easter dinner at the Purple Parrot.

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  5. Anonymous8:00 AM

    Ron, you didn't offend me with your religious comments. That is your opinion & mine isn't too far off from yours. The term born again really bothers me. I feel you are only born once & from that day on you have to make the decision what path you will follow. A good foundation set by your parents or who ever raises you of course helps. But as you get older how you live your life is a testimony to the higher power. Yes people do change for the better but some use that as an excuse many times over.
    I live by the golden rule, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you," but that doesn't mean you can't stand up for yourself. My son is a youth pastor & his way of guiding the youth in his charge is to listen to them intently. He respects their views and he guides them but doesn't shove religion down their throats. He is more worried about setting them on a path that will impact their future in a poaitive way. So many of our youth have lost their way in this world & they are our future. I'm so proud of him for what he has accomplished at the age of 33. He's also a single dad with full custody of his daughter. She keeps him challenged & gives him great insight on whats going on in the minds of children.
    Oh btw, he's also in hotel management. He has some great stories to tell too: from how the guests set waffles on fire to cleaning up the bathrooms at night after a drunk guest comes back from a party. The job is more than meets the eye.
    Sorry for running on this morning.

    Fran

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  6. Fran,

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I read it with great interest. I have to make a correction about my comment about being "born again." I agree with you, we're just born once and that is at birth. I was being flip when I made the comment as a result of that awful Pentecostal preacher all those years ago.

    I did not mean to disparage all "organized religions" when I made my comments. My younger brother was a youth pastor for many years and is now a care pastor for a large Southern Baptist church in Greenville, South Carolina. I have a great deal of respect for him, his wife and his church for there service to the community. He has been instrumental in redirecting many a wayward youth. When I was young, some of my best times were involved in church activity. The turning point for me came was when I encountered the church's acceptance (and I even resent the term "acceptance") of my homosexuality. This is something I have never been able to reconcile with organized religion and this fact will probably keep me forever alienated from organized religion and churches.

    The term "love the sinner hate the sin" isn't the answer to me. I am what I am; I make no apologies or excuses.

    I have a whole lot of other issues with organized religion but I see the value in services such as your son and my brother provide. As the old saying goes "Some of my best friends are. Christians." And indeed they are. But I really have a problem with statements like "I'll pray for you" and "You need to be saved." I, like you, believe in the Golden Rule. Treat others as you wish to be treated yourself.

    So many of our problems in the world today can be traced back to one segment of the population trying to control another segment of the population with their beliefs.

    I respect all religions. I don't believe in shoving religion down people's throats but instead, living my example. That to me is true religion, whether it is Buddhism, Christianity or Islam.

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  7. I just got back from California; catching up on blogs and interested in the dialog/comments of course.

    It seems if one posts anything about religion or politics, it's like a magnet isn't it!!!!

    Like the picture of the raindrops on the window - they are so sharp and clear; nice job.

    Sounds like it was a blessing you didn't take that census job; probaby the hotel will pick up as the tourists flock in for the beach, and you'll be back to your regular hours in no time.

    Diane

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  8. Yes Diane, it is a blessing that I didn't continue with my address canvasser job for the Census Bureau. It is raining again this morning. I still have my cold. For the first time in my life I am going to the doctor to see about this cold. I can't seem to shake it. I feel like I'm walking underwater in a pool. I ache all over. My head is swimming. It would be dangerous for me to drive.

    You're right about the subject of religion. I have no problem with what anyone believes but some people have a problem with what I believe (or don't believe.) That has always puzzled me why these people are so concerned about my life. One would think that they have enough in their own life to keep them occupied.

    Thank for for your compliment about my picture of raindrops on the window. There are more of them this morning! What a miserable spring we're having here. The temperature rarely climbs above 50 degrees and every other day it rains. I shouldn't complain about the rain though. Last year we had another drought. We don't want to see another one of those summers with the farmer's fields baking for lack of rain.

    I hope I get better by the time I go back to work at the hotel this Friday. I've been fooling around with this cold since last Thursday, the longest I've ever had a cold. I think this is serious.

    Have a good day.

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