Best of Facebook 5: January 4, 2021

Here are a few of my favorite recent posts from my Facebook newsfeed. The posts are original works by my Facebook Friends, and they’re published with their permission. I look for well-written vignettes and well-crafted art that are positive, meaningful, uplifting, relatable, and sometimes hilarious. To me, these works deserve to be preserved, published, and not left to fade away on the Facebook feed. So, job well done, writers, poets, and artists. May your words and works live on to encourage and entertain for many days to come.

Reflections on an old year, hope for the new one

Aspens in snow. Acrylic on canvas, painting by Cambra Koczkur, Arvada, Colorado, January 2, 2021.

The code on hate: Life happened to us

By Donald Edward Sawyer
Indianapolis, Indiana

Don Sawyer is producer and director at the film studio, a Bigger Vision, and of the documentary, Under the Bridge: The Criminalization of Homelessness. Watch the full-length film.

Clearly, I am appalled by racism. It upsets me to no end. But I am also fascinated by it. How can a person be conditioned to hate and feel superior based on the color of one’s skin? What goes into that? How can one come to a true understanding of racism without getting lost in academic writings and lectures? I grew up in a mixed neighborhood. When I was a baby, my mom and her friend got the biggest kick out of watching their children play in our backyard, compassionately exchanging baby bottles, sharing in fellowship with each other. My baby friend was a white girl. I can guarantee that Katy’s and my view on race, back when we were drinking out of each other’s baby bottles, is different now than it was then — not for the better — because life happened to us from the time we were babies until now. I can say this for sure because we stayed friends through high school, but found our way into different crowds as the currents of cultural norms carried us down different streams. I’m interested in cracking the code on racism.

Photo by Beth Bricker Davis. Beth is author of two books of poetry, Aspen Leaves in October: Poems of Life, Love, and Loss and Lean In: Poems of the Heart.

I will take this day

By Beth Bricker Davis
Pueblo, Colorado

I will take this day given me,
this blue sky, these white clouds
stretched quietly across dry prairie,

I will take these trees,
brown branches January-bare,
standing motionless in hard ground,

I will take this sunset, this orange,
this vibrant hue fading itself
into earth’s western slope,

I will take this life,
this one long breath,
this First Day of this New Year.

May we never take normalcy for granted

By V. Linn Strock
Austin, Texas

The year 2020 began with high expectations, but by March all plans were being adjusted if not canceled altogether — commencements, vacations, weddings, and other significant life events. Everyday activities like going to work or school, eating out, movies, concerts, sporting events, and church were canceled. We began to understand what “COVID fatigue” meant, made manifest by the division the virus caused among family and friends.

Worst of all is the loss of life so many have experienced and cannot be dismissed. The heartache of loss is real for so many. Add to this the social unrest and the political environment, it is enough to make us all a little anxious. Small returns of normalcy — eating out, church, and gathering with friends — made us appreciate those things more. May we never take them for granted.

As we’ve entered 2021, my prayer for my family and yours is that we will test positive for faith, hope and love, keep our distance from doubt, and isolate ourselves from fear. Trust God in all things. Happy New Year!

At left, Sara Skye Gurule: “This photo is my personal reminder of how we are all capable of revolutionary kindness that cultivates connection and ultimately love. I still have this drawing she gave me.”

Revolutionary kindness

By Sara Skye Gurule
Chiang Mai, Thailand

Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud.

Revolutionary. A friend recently pointed out how kindness is revolutionary in this day and age. The more I thought about it, I realized how sad and yet very true it is that many of us are quick to receive kindness but struggle to give it and to truly think of others before ourselves. Kindness is the expression of love. We all want kindness but it has to be given first.

Makes me think of this book I used to teach from called, Have You Filled a Bucket Today? It illustrates that when we choose to be kind, we not only fill the buckets of those around us, but also fill our OWN bucket. Conversely, when we choose to say or do mean things, we are taking out of others’ buckets. I want to be known as someone who doesn’t only receive kindness but gives it in abundance.

Published by Louder For Malchus

Hi! Brad here. Avid learner, nature nerd, sports-stats geek, publisher, writer, editor, and a Christian. I try to pay attention ... for a word that God might be saying to me. I keep my inner sense attuned for something "prophetic" or "numinous" in good writing, film, music, art of any kind, in all created nature, in spirited conversation, in prayer, or simply in my quiet thoughts. "Louder For Malchus" is about paying attention so we might truly hear. I believe that we only really live "by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God," wrote the Deuteronomist whom Jesus quoted. Then, once heard, obey, become, and do. He doesn't speak to amuse and entertain.

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