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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Unification Hymns of Goodwill

Today Marvin Sweat and I had breakfast at Kissin' Cuzzins. This is something we regularly do on Saturdays. Marvin is 91 years old and is (I am reluctant to say) a retired Methodist minister. I say this reluctantly because in many respects he has never retired. He happily fills the role of goodwill ambassador within the spirit of Christ. He sees no one as a stranger, but understands that God loves everyone. This includes everyone at Kissin' Cuzzins--men, women, children, customers, and employees. It is a marvel to see him make loving connection with children and to watch their warm responses. The friendly unity he brings to Kissin' Cuzzins is that often found when a congregation joins in traditional hymns of praise. These stately hymns place us in a context of centuries--even eternity--and remind us of the long-lasting vitality of our faith. It serves to bestow a wave of sturdy good feeling. Mavin believes heartily in the efficacy of goodwill. 

I think about the poisonous emotional stew in which Washington is submerged, for example, and regret that we find so little to unite us. While no one is so silly as to believe that good intentions alone are sufficient, I have come to appreciate the necessity and power of goodwill expressed from a foundation of deepest conviction and belief. Marvin is not a conflicted soul whose misgivings people would quickly pick up on and become wary. He has full knowledge of his intentions which simply embody loving kindness springing from the essence of his faith. He represents for me what our world sorely needs more of.

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