Wednesday, December 7, 2022


Dear All of Us,

Your grandchild showed up for

Thanksgiving dinner 

with florescent orange hair.

The neighborhood crank 

throws a block party,

everybody welcome,

everything covered.

The pastor gives 

a super sermon 

in under ten minutes.

Fun examples of

  "Well, that's different!"

And it is. 

And it has a bunch of cousins!

And they pop up all over the place.

Some easy does it.

Some tough as nails.

Lots of them, lots of times.

At the deepest level


is a dynamic of creation.

Simple example - our legs.

They sure are different.

Their difference means 

we get to dance,

and stand, and move,

and run and lift.

   A wonderful


Difference gives 

dexterity to life.

Difference shows us 

endless views and angles 

on what is and as is.

Different tonalities of 

understanding and feeling

sound ranges of reality for us.

Different shades of enlightenment

color our sight inward and outward.

Different traditions, politics, 

religions, sexualities, ethnicities, 

customs, arts, ideologies, languages,

landscapes majestically different - 

geographic, ideological, 

societal, spiritual.

- each speak a spark of 

      what is, how is

   and they all do that 

 in their different ways.

      It's like our 

 ten different fingers.

Their difference helps us 

       get a grip.

So difference does 

for us in life.

Hydrogen and oxygen 

are quite different.

When they share 

their differences 

we are life sustained.

We come in all sizes, shapes,

sorts of souls, personalities, 

traits and ways - 

marvelous differences.

Difference - a dynamic of creation.

Difference isn't dangerous 

unless we deny it's goodness 

and damage it.

Sad to see and say, 

such is so and 

too much so just now.

Yet, very much in the mix 

are the embrace and blessing 

of complementing differences.

Look at all the differences 

surfaced in the span 

of our three generations 

these days

 -  young, adult, aged -

Since the Second World War

       (my childhood)

The Marshall Plan in Europe.

The benefit of an

expanded middle class

with the G.I Bill and college, 

Levittown's with 

a Chevy in every driveway.

A narrow sector of vast wealth

for the privileged few. 

Both booms somewhat, if not more,

at the expanse of a vast class (caste)

of not so camouflaged 

enslaved workers world-wide, 

suffering grinding poverty

(as they make our pajamas 

       in Bangladesh).


Some life enhancing.

Some deadly because 

they twist their good wrong.



Women's rights 

honored and denied.

Social stretches struggling 

to make a difference

for racial justice,

to understand and integrate 

a more differentiated landscape 

of sexual understanding,  

living and loving.

A liberalizing of law and social norm.

A Media Sunami flooding communication,

a difference distracting and conflictual

and yet opening positive connections

(e.g. the media that connects us here).

The diluting of truth - a terrifying, 

destructive, deadly difference.

The Common Good regularly relativized 

to chaotic individualism.

Religion in the comfortable pew

shown to be more ritual than real,

more a belonging station

than a Beloved Community 

and now largely rejected.

Giant leaps in science, 

space exploration and travel,

in medicine, many making 

significant differences 

for shared good.

Capital stormed, democracy damaged,

Education confused and confusing.

Domestic and foreign terrorism.

Instead of "A chicken in every pot,"

a gun in every other hand.

Wars world-wide and widening

in the shadow of possible

nuclear incineration. 

Lies used to claim lies 

that don't exist.

The land raped and yet 

a growing therapy of Earth Care.

The atmosphere poisoned,

some alarm at Climate Change

with movements to modify.

A surge in spiritual seeking.

And so much more..!!!

The whole era 

from my childhood to that 

of my Grand Son, 

Ollie the Younger,

has experienced

seismic differences,

a lot of good, 

a lot of damage.

It's like a societal rubber band

stretched and stretched by

decades of decided differences

and now snapping in contraction.

Less and less stretch.

Difference Fatigue and Fear.

Difference Dunning.

Fearful folks cluster in 

ideological, excluding, communities 

locking out difference and other.

That's so dangerous.

It amputates wholesale sectors 

of human excellence 

in their wondrous variety 

of differences.

In difference denied, 

fullness and communion are aborted.

What can we do?

Well, here are a few things 

I find positive and practical.

Perhaps they might 

prime some pumps.

Being basically 

progressive traditionalist,

I make it a point to mix it up 

with associates and friends 

definitely different than I am,

ones far to the left 

and far to the right

of where and how I am.

We need each other 

to balance out right and stable.

We all have different instruments 

to play in the Symphony of Society.

There's no such thing as 

a solo symphony.

I read and watch documentaries

about people and groups 

quite different than I am.

They have parts of the story to tell 

that I haven't head yet.

I hold in loving prayer 

people and groups 

who are twisting 

difference destructive.

I try to model openness 

and respect for the

wondrous differences all about,

the many fibers in the fabric of Us.

In younger days, 

I hosted dinners of opposites 

- people of different religions or none,

conservatives and liberals -

just to enjoy meals, 

get acquainted, 

talk shared interests - 

kids, sports, movies, music.

If the group clicked after a time, 

I invited us all to invest 

time and sweat together

on some Saturdays working at 

Habitat for Humanity.

After a good while, 

when we were safe enough, 

we shared our deeper 

and different selves.

I arranged a Speaker Series locally

always focusing on the positive, 

what we had and valued in common 

and only later delved into 

our different persuasions, religions, 

customs and even later 

our fears and concerns.

There were shared prayer groups,

sacred scripture studies,

visits to each other's spiritual services.

We were different and 

we were complimentary to closeness.

Differences don't divide.

They expand and unite.

God has lots of different ways 

to be present, inviting, 

creative and unitive.

Rather than running away,

locking out, or destroying,

embrace of other makes

        A WORLD




     Your brother,

     John Frank


   Please be sure to see


below the last of this posting.


  A Warm Welcome 

       To Us All


today as I write this 

we are gathered here from

Australia, Canada, 

Germany, Netherlands, 

Singapore and the USA.

It varies from day to day,

   always, though, a 

Blessing of Difference


    "This just in!"

 For the first time 

 we were just joined 

 by folks from Hungry.


  We are blessed!!


      frankly speaking

  spirituality for the street




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         "WHILE WE'RE AT IT"

A while back I experienced a surge of

             rampant aging

  and shared that these sharing's

       might need to be a touch 

       less frequent and briefer.

       Well, we haven't missed 

          a week of postings 

  and some of them are decidedly 

          not all that brief -

     this one a prime example.

        While my body slows 

         my mind and spirit

           can still outrun 

   anyone in the neighborhood.


         this happy old man 

     will give you what I've got.

 That will be the long and short of it.

    Thanks for your patience 

   while I learn how to be old.

          Love you all

       Looking forward to 

       our time together 

       here next week.