Click Map for Details

Flag Counter

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Vision/Action Link

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" (Statue of Liberty inscription penned by Emma Lazarus)

The Methodist Church has a motto: "Open hearts, open minds, open doors.”  I have been a Methodist for many years so can say with full confidence that this motto represents a serious vision calling each member to cultivate an attitude of openness to others.  Since Methodism is a human organization, I can also say with full confidence that this state of affairs has never been fully realized.  As far as I know, no Methodist congregation has left church entry doors perpetually unlocked nor have loyal Methodist blown away their home front doors for a 24/7 open-house to all comers.  So, then, why set forth such a sweeping slogan in the first place making it drop-dead easy to level in countless ways the most reliable of all indictments against Christians--a shameless brood of vacuous hypocrites?

The reason is simple.  Idealistic goals indicate, reflect, and help energize the deepest motives of the human heart. And energized motives form a relentless, subterranean river that flows in one way or another towards the center core.  Are obstructions encountered? Well of course--daily in human affairs.  One might say that humanity's signal mission is to creatively achieve the unachievable. 

In America the citizenry now faces the issue of immigration.  I would propose that the American vision/action link is critcal and determinant in policy formation.  Open hearts, open minds, open doors as a meter of public intent cannot mean that all US borders should vanish, terrorism be jubilantly welcomed with open arms, or that all objective discernment forthwith be drowned in vats of vapid sentimentalism.  Yet, I have no doubt whatever that a country deeply yearning to follow a course of compassion and generosity will make strikingly different policy decisions than that nation populated by angry zealots bearing frigid hearts and impervious minds.

Print Page