The God Squad: From the mailbag
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain that which is to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time of love, and a time of hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. I swear it’s not too late.
Seeger added the last line, “I swear it's not too late" as well as the coda, "Turn! Turn! Turn!" Those were the only words Seeger wrote in his song. God wrote the rest. I think I got confused because the Byrds also covered Dylan’s song, “Mr. Tambourine Man.” Still, I am deeply embarrassed, but hey, it was the ’60s and I forgot a lot of what happened then.
More “Looking Up” stories…
In answer to your solicitation of stories that illuminate the escaping Hebrews looking down at the mud beneath their feet while ignoring the miracle that allowed them to escape Pharaohs' wrath, soon after restaurants were allowed to reopen after the COVID-19 shutdown, my husband and I were dining at a local upscale restaurant. A group of five came in, were seated and several ordered bottles of beer. Three had cowboy hats on, one a baseball cap and one girl bareheaded. I sneered and said to my husband, "Don't they know that it's rude to wear hats in a restaurant?" Minutes later they informed their waitress that they were going outside to smoke. They never came back, but on their table they left a $100 tip. The waitress ran to look for them, but they were nowhere in sight. Maybe they realized what a hard time waitstaff had had during the shutdown. I was humbled. – J, Harrisburg, PA
MG: If three angels could have visited Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 18) and left behind the news that she would bear a child, I see no reason why three angels could not have ordered some beer and left behind a big tip. I am completely convinced that as the many stories of kindness during this pandemic surface, we will learn about the work of many angels who came to just the right place at just the right time. They are seen as strangers and you can call them strangers if you wish, but I think that is the result of mud-thinking. I call them angels and I believe they are sent to us by God so that we might not lose hope. All that might not be true but that is my story, and I am sticking with it.
(Send ALL QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS to The God Squad via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Rabbi Gellman is the author of several books, including “Religion for Dummies,” co-written with Fr. Tom Hartman.)
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