Friday, November 02, 2018

Calm Balm for the Soul: Healing for Emotional Pain

One of the greatest mistakes we make in life is believing the lie that someone else is in control of my emotions.

Because we wrongly associate the source of our internal pain with the failures of other people, we have a tendency to either control the people around us to be what we need them to be, or we 'shut down' and 'reject' the people in our lives who aren't meeting our expectations because it's too painful for us to even be around them.

That kind of behavior is what psychologists call codependency

Codependency is being so dependent on another person for my source of happiness in life that I do everything I can to fix any problems I see in that person. I work, work, work, to fix the person I need.

When failures occur and I feel pain, I point the finger of blame. "If you would only change, then I..." "If you wouldn't do this, then I..." Controlling and manipulating others to be what I need them to be is a very tiresome job. It often leads to the feelings of frustration and disgust that ends in complete rejection and abandonment of the person I used to believe I couldn't live without.

My problem is a lack of understanding that God never designed my emotions to be controlled by anyone but me.  I hold the remote control.

Healing only begins when I stop blaming other people for my internal pain.   

Let me tell you a story. 

There was once a wealthy young man who was in line to inherit his father's business. However, his brothers, jealous that their father had chosen him for such an honor, sought to him. However, they eventually sold their younger brother as a slave to a caravan of traders on their way to Egypt. This young man named Joseph would eventually spend years in a dark, lonely prison as a result of his brothers' behaviors toward him. If any person had a right to stew in pain over the poor performance of family members, it was Joseph (see Genesis 37:18-36). 

But Joseph harbored no grudges. In fact, Joseph wound up reaching out to his brothers in their time of need (Genesis 45). 

How is that possible? How could a man who had been so wronged, so mistreated, so despised and abused, reach out and warmly meet the needs of the very people who had wronged him? 

Joseph discovered that the source of healing for any pain within his soul was independent of the performance of other people. 

Remember that caravan to whom his brothers sold him as a slave?
"They saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing gum, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry it down to Egypt" (Genesis 37:25). 
The balm from Gilead. 

That's what rode beside Joseph all the way down into Egypt.

The region of Gilead was noted for balm which was an aromatic secretion of the balsam tree. The territory where this salve came from (an area north of the Dead Sea in the land of Israel) was originally given by God to Manasseh as an inheritance when the children of Israel entered the Promised Land. It was used by various countries as a fragrant, healing balm for people who'd been cut, wounded, or scarred. 

The prophet Jeremiah was familiar with the balm of Gilead. When God's people refused to realize that the LORD was to be their source of satisfaction in this life, and the Hebrews had turned to idols for their peace, security, and happiness, the LORD said:
 "Is there no balm in Gilead, Is there no physician there? Why then is there no recovery for the health of the daughter of my people?" (Jeremiah 8:22). 
The Balm of Gilead is a metaphor for the presence of God in one's life.

When J. C. Philpot preached on Jeremiah 8:22 in 1852, he pointed out that God’s grace is always greater than anyone's sin:
“There is more in the balm to heal than there is in the guilt of the wound; for there is more in grace to heal than there is sin to destroy.”
When we mistakenly believe our hurts are greater than His grace, and when we act on the lie that rejecting the person we believe to be the source of our pain is the way to be healed, then we have missed the truth that the Great Physician is the only Person capable of healing any internal pain.  

His grace is sufficient for me.

Resting in His love, His acceptance, His forgiveness, His provision, His promises, His warm embrace, His providence, His guidance, His sufficiency, and His plan for my life is the source of my strength. 

Is there no Balm in Gilead?

Yes, there is.

Jesus makes the wounded whole.

And He's always right beside me in scary journeys that go beyond my control. 


Bob Cleveland said...

My personal testimony is proof of the truth of this.

I was a young hothead, but (thank God) I learned that nobody but me controlled my emotions.

I do not believe I would want to trade places with anyone in the world.

Victorious said...

** My problem is a lack of understanding that God never designed my emotions to be controlled by anyone but me. I hold the remote control.

** And He's always right beside me in scary journeys that go beyond my control.

** God will orchestrate and arrange every circumstance in my life - even those Babylon experiences that I don't want - to crush 'the evil' which seeks to destroy me.

So...what I'm hearing is that while God orchestrates everything in my life, I am in control of what He orchestrated. BUT since there are some things over which I have no control, He's right there with me....


Rita Janzen said...

Ugh! I can relate to all of this but thankfully I feel I’ve worked through so much and have peace and contentment.

Wade Burleson said...


God is always in control.

You and I are not.

So when things "seem" out of control, they aren't. He is in control.

Contrary to what you write ("I am in control of what He orchestrated."), you are NOT in control of what He orchestrates. You are only in control of your emotional responses to your circumstances. The remote control you hold is to your emotions, not your circumstances.

Wade Burleson said...


You have indeed!

Christiane said...

"Peace I leave with you; My peace i give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (from the Holy Gospel of St. John 14:27)

My own thought is that
IF we carry the Peace of Christ within us;
THEN, when the storms come, we will not let ourselves be overwhelmed, but we will remain calm and unafraid;
and maybe we will be able to be a calm presence in the midst of trouble that will help calm the waters of the storm that surrounds us

The Pax Christi, the Peace of Christ . . . not just some ancient early Church greeting, no; but a known help for souls that, in the midst of the storm, call on God to 'save them'
. . . and the signature of the Peace of Christ is 'love', the presence of love that is defined by St. Paul in Cor. chapter 13

and the corollary of the signature of the Peace of Christ is HUMILITY . . . that finds no need to take personal offense, but is able to observe insults and slights without anger, or response, untroubled . . . .
for example, this year, whatever the Starbucks coffee cup says concerning 'Happy Holidays', no Christian person needs to be offended, but is maybe even grateful that the coffee company recognizes that this holy season is special to many faiths and is intent on showing respect to all who celebrate these days of winter solstice with joy. :)

Victorious said...

Healing only begins when I stop blaming other people for my internal pain.

Actually, we should be blaming God for any internal pain since (evidently) He is the one orchestrating the circumstances that caused the pain.

This young man named Joseph would eventually spend years in a dark, lonely prison as a result of his brothers' behaviors toward him. If any person had a right to stew in pain over the poor performance of family members, it was Joseph.

I have no doubt that Joseph suffered emotional pain and sorrow while in prison, however, scripture tells us that "LORD caused all that he did to prosper in his hand." Gen. 39:3 That, I imagine, softened the heartache Joseph would naturally feel.

Our emotions are a part of our humanity and the expression of them is natural.

Scriptures describe the full range of human emotions that Jesus felt – love, joy, grief, compassion, anger, gratitude, wonder, and desire (see Mark 10:21; John 11:5; Luke 10:21; John 11:33-36; Matt. 20:34; Mark 1:41; 3:5; 8:6; Luke 7:9; 22:15).

The Gospels say, too, that he experienced those darker emotions of a troubled human soul – loneliness, perplexity, alarm, dismay, and despondency (Mark 14:33; Luke 12:50; John 12:27).

And the Gospels also relate that Jesus at times gave way to these emotions and expressed his feelings physically – he wept (John 11:35),he even wailed (Luke 19:41), he sighed (Mark 7:34), he groaned (Mark 8:12), he flashed angry glares at people (Mark 3:5), he spoke with annoyance in his voice (Mark 10:14), or with chiding words (Mark 3:12). On occasion Jesus broke out in a rage (John 11:33, 38 as the Greek makes clear), or openly exulted (Luke 10:21), or cried aloud in utter desolation (Matt. 27:46). ‘Nothing is lacking [here in the Gospels] to make the impression strong that we have before us in Jesus a human being like ourselves.

I don't think we should feel guilty for recognizing the source of our sorrow and/or painful circumstances as well as those who caused it. I also don't think we should feel guilty for expressing our sorrow, pain, anger, disappointment, etc. as emotion is part of our humanity.

Rex Ray said...


How much difference is there between ‘control’ and ‘influence’?

For instance, what “balm” did Jesus use to heal his emotional pain when he cleansed his Father’s house?

I had emotional pain when I told my son in Beersheba that my suitcase had been robbed because it only felt half as heavy when I left Jerusalem. The suitcase was ‘heavy’ when I left because I was exhausted. The long bus ride had given back my strength.

You do not fear someone you love. It’s obvious Joseph’s brothers did not love him as they ‘invented’ the lie that made Joseph weep. “…your father instructed us to tell you to forgive us for the great evil we did to you.” (Genesis 50:17)

Christiane said...

I believe that there is something called Christian 'equanimity'. Perhaps this is what Wade is describing. (?)

oscarspaz said...

Job is an antidote to this kind of application of God's sovereignty. Job's friend saying God is in control pull youself together admit your sin. What's up with all your wailing and complaining?
Job at the end surrendered not because there was any balm from God or from this friends
but he was confronted with the reality that Ceator can do whatever he desires to his creation. He has no recourses.

God is always in control. There may not be any balm.

This reminds me of the peom:

Ah, my dear angry Lord,
Since thou dost love, yet strike;
Cast down, yet help afford;
Sure I will do the like.

I will complain, yet praise;
I will bewail, approve;
And all my sour-sweet days
I will lament and love.

by George Herbert

Dwane said...

Hi, Pastor Burleson.

Off topic, but I am not exactly sure how to contact you.

My name is Dwane Thomas. My family and I stopped by Enid about 18 months ago. We were on our way home (to Nashville) from Colorado where my son had been hospitalized after a disastrous car accident.

Anyway, I have some business on the west side of Memphis between Thanksgiving and Christmas and I am thinking of driving on to Enid since I will be halfway there. I have a few questions. I know you are busy, but I wonder if we could get lunch? And, will you be teaching during the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas?


Hope you are having a great day!
Dwane Thomas

Wade Burleson said...

Sure, Dwayne! I'd be happy to buy you lunch. I will not be speaking the Sunday after Thanksgiving, but every Sunday in December till Christmas I will be. Just be sure and let me know when you'll be here. The best days for me are Tuesday through Thursday. You can reach me at

Christiane said...

Hello REX RAY,

I was thinking about your question to Wade, this: "How much difference is there between ‘control’ and ‘influence’? "

and my first thought was that one (control) has some kind of position of authority over the victim and makes a puppet of another person in a way that, if the victim is willing and co-operates, he still has responsibility for what he does at the command of the controller. Sometimes the victim is not wanting to cooperate willingly and that is a different matter morally and ethically. You have to examine how much the controller had power over his victim/follower. And you have consider the relationship of the victim to the controller: an employee, a student, a military person, a child . . . Control is about power

But 'influence' which can either be for good or for bad, leaves its object free to sort out the inspiration and accept or reject it willingly. This seems to me to be a higher level of responsibility for those who are 'inspired' in that they are acting quite willingly even in considering the 'influence' in the first place. If they choose to go in the direction that the influencer is pointing to, it is a considered free choice done as a willing response.... hopefully a free response in accord with the better 'angels of our nature' :)

Consider this quote and see if it makes sense to you:
"In spite of the all-powerful strength of God’s merciful hand, which touches, enfolds and bends the souls with so many inspirations, calls and attractions,
the human will remains perfectly FREE, unfettered, and exempt from every form of constraint and necessity.

Grace is so gracious, and so graciously does it seize our hearts in order to draw them on, that it in no wise impairs the liberty of our will…
grace has a holy violence, not to violate our liberty but to make it full of love…it presses us but does not oppress our freedom…” (Francis DeSales)

REX, we have discussed the 'Nuremburg Defense', which the judges rejected.

But when we humans stand before the Creator who called heaven and earth to witness that He had given mankind 'choice', then only God Himself can look into our hearts and sort out the truth of our lives and how we lived them.

One thing in my Church is that we are told to avoid those 'influences' which we know lead us into sin. This is called 'avoiding the near-occasions of sin'. It makes sense not to go to the influencers who advocate for the harming of vulnerable and innocent people. It makes sense not to follow 'leaders' who call for hate and contempt of others and would lead us to do those things for which there was created once 'the Nuremberg Defense'.

What are your thoughts, good friend?

Rex Ray said...


Your comment is so true; Webster couldn’t have done it better.

The Lord, Jesus, and Holy Spirit have their influence but not control, because God gave us freedom of choice, and we are NOT robots.

See, to post this comment I must click on: "I'm not a robot." :)

Rex Ray said...


For the first time, I just now looked at the internet on this subject.

And found: “INVENTION CONTEST NAMES WINNERS Rex Ray of Bonham, Texas, was the grand prize winner at LeTourneau’s annual Invention Design Contest for his bicycle gear conveyor drive system.”

How’s that for tooting your own horn? :)

Long ago, I received a patent, but I’m planning on improving it…I hope.

BTW, Home Health has been 'doctoring' my ankle and it's almost well after many years.

Christiane said...

Good Morning, Rex Ray

glad to hear about your ankle . . . and thank God for Home Health services!

I loved reading about the invention, which sounds impressive, and am trying to envision a 'bicycle gear conveyor drive system' and am glad you received a patent for your invention.

my father, who gerrymandered everything in order to save money, actually invented some auto mechanical devices in the process, but he didn't get the benefit or credit;
Pop's favorite day of the week was Trash Day, and he would leave early to drive to work and stop and look through stuff people threw out to see if he could salvage something and fix it up for good use. I figure that was one way he saved money for our educations. He had his share of the family smarts, but no formal education past eighth grade and then GDE. But that didn't hold him back. Pop was a self-taught engineer, mechanic, and organic gardener. He also cooked for the family. His recipe for 'Spam Caciatori' was, well, 'different'. He was great on his famous salmon timbales, though. He made sure we all went to college/university because he had to leave school to help the family when his father was injured on the job. He was an immigrant. Didn't speak English when he came here as a five year old, no. Good man.

American ingenuity: nothing like it, REX RAY. Your university needs to award you a literary prize for your stories!!! Some of the best I've ever read. :)

Rex Ray said...


You are very kind. From your father, I see now why you have such a good head on your shoulders.

Some stories come easy; as Will Rogers said, “There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.”

There was a large piece and a small piece of pie left. My father, asked his brother if he wanted some pie. He took the large.
“You don’t have any manners! You should have taken the small one.”
“If I gave you a choice, which piece would you have taken?”
“I’d taken the small.”
“Well, you got the piece you wanted, so why are you griping?”

Anonymous said...

"Jesus makes the wounded whole."

Yes indeed! We so often turn to many, many places before turning to God, even though He has drawn so near to us through the Savior and High Priest, Jesus Christ. Indeed, God wants us to boldly approach the throne of grace, that we might obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (cf. Hebrews 4).

Rex Ray said...


Last night at our Wednesday night Bible Study-Prayer Meeting, I’d written the facts of the assignation of Robert Kennedy and a petition to President Trump with 130 blanks for people’s names asking for the pardon of a Christian brother, Sirhan.

I was hoping it might be his ‘balm of Gilead’. Our pastor said he wanted to be the first to sign, but was not there as he was on Hospice duty. Without his leadership, so far, the petition is still blank.

Rex Ray said...

First on Prayer list,

was, Jim Acosta since it was thought he might not be a Christian due to his conduct at Trump’s Press Conference November 7, 2018. Trump told him to sit down several times but he wouldn’t, and there seemed to be a conflict when an aide took the mike from him.

Newspaper today quoted Trump telling him, “CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them…the way you treat people is horrible. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced she suspended Acosta’s pass to enter the White House.”

Anonymous said...

Hello Rex,
1. Which newspaper are you quoting? 2. Are you saying Jim Acosta might not be Christian because of the way he asked the president? 3. Do you think the president is Christian?

Christiane said...

Dear Anonymous,

I won't speak for Rex Ray, but if you read the comment he made prior to the one above, I think you will better understand his meaning. The two comments appear to me to work together.

Also, there is some controversy over a doctored tape of the Acosta incident, which merits some looking into.

Rex Ray is concerned about controversies regarding the Kennedy assassination and possible cover-up of what really happened.

Personally, I don't see Trump's 'witness' to Christ in how he has treated people, no. But I am told that others with evangelical credentials see Trump differently. Is this just an evangelical thing? I don't know. I personally know evangelicals who were and remain 'Never Trump' folks. So you can't really judge the whole group by those high-ranking leaders who favor Trump, no.

On that note, Rex can speak for himself, and I must say he can do it far better than I could ever do it and also probably very eloquently. Do I agree with him on many things. Nope. Doesn't matter. I respect his right to speak his own mind and I would defend that right in any case.

Christiane said...

Dear Anonymous,

just a thought . . . it may be that the younger generation of Christians will not follow in the culture wars in the same ways that their parents may have done.......

the site 'Imonk' has recommended the following article for their readers and it helps explain what I also believe is a rising trend among our young Christian people, this:

Rex Ray said...


The reason for a Press Conference is for the President to answer questions by the Press to help inform the public of what is going on. Trump was answering questions until Jim Acosta started talking.

Acosta didn’t ask questions; he started accusing Trump. Acosta didn’t respect the office of the President when told to sit down at least three times.

It was like him saying, ‘Look at me, I’m not afraid of the “Big Bad Wolf’ in that he wouldn’t obey the President.

I think he wanted Trump to remove him by police.

Do you think he wants martyrdom by him crying about being excluded from the White House?


Thanks for the kind words; again. Your link was very interesting.

Rex Ray said...


You asked if I thought Trump was a Christian. Would you agree it helps to choose parents wisely?

He did not have a Muslim Father, grow up in a Muslim Country with Muslim grandparents, or make these statements below:

1. The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.
2. America is not and will never be at war with Islam.
3. The sweetest sound is the Muslim call to prayer.
4. Islam is not part of the problem in combating violet extremism.
5. We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic Faith.
6. I have known Islam on three continents.
7. I know civilization’s debt to Islam.
8. Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance. (Thief has hand cut off and “death to the
9. Islam has always been part of America.
10. My responsibility as President is to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam.
(Bowed to a Muslim King.)
11. The Holy Quran tells us…

Trump’s picture is not on this cartoons: “Let me be clear! My Administration INHERITED this First Amendment thing, and I apologize to any Muslims who are offended by it.”

Christiane said...

"Jesus makes the wounded whole."
AMEN to this.

"“My soul is at peace, for long ago, I ceased to belong to myself.”
(Therese of Lisieux)

Rex Ray said...


We’re going to Washington for a relative’s wedding this week and to visit my twin brother who’s confined to a wheelchair and in rehab from poor health. He’d written a poem to his wife that ends:

Our walk has slowed to such an easy gate
That it matters not if we are early or late.
If I should leave too soon this sunlit place,
I’ll watch for you from the hills of Grace.
And when you leave to earth your charms,
I’ll greet you here in Heaven’s arms.

Christiane said...

Hello REX RAY,

your twin's gift of words is stunning . . . it runs in the family

tears . . . and a prayer for him and the family . . . thanks for sharing that, Rex

Curious Thinker said...

I have to agree some with Victorious about our emotions even the bad ones like anger, grief and sadness are natural feelings which makes us human and there is no shame in expressing them when it is justified. There also is nothing wrong with acknowledging others who are responsible for the pain and grief in our lives. Sometimes are anger, grief and pain will be caused by the actions of others whether it was a criminal act or emotional cruelty etc. We should be allowed to express our feelings be it anger and grief over whatever misfortune that happens to us and even at the individual/individuals who is responsible for our misery and grief. Then afterwards, we can turn to God to help us heal and overcome our pain and even our circumstance even if hat means removing ourselves from that source of our grief and misery that is emotionally and spiritually harming us. Still a great post. God Bless.

Lex Rex said...

Rex Ray, Christiane,
Trump in an interview had said, “Why do I have to repent, why do I have to ask for forgiveness if [I'm] not making mistakes?”. His witness, however much we wish to support him, is not Christian.

Remember Jim Acosta was at the WH asking Trump questions that never got answered. Remember also the environment where the Press holds elected officials to account is not always pleasant. And Trump is generally not known for being civil. Let us put aside our disagreement with liberals when the wellbeing of truth and our democratic system is in question. At the rate we are sliding down we may soon have little democracy left in the system.

Rex Ray said...

Lex Rex,

In over ten years of blogging, I’ve never seen a comment from you. (I’d remember because we share the name “Rex”.)

I wondered why you’ve made a comment now until I remembered Bob Cleveland’s famous statement: “It’s the bit dog that hollers.”

Are you the “anonymous” that asked me if Trump was a Christian, and I listed many ‘Muslim things’ he did NOT do as Obama had done.

With that said, are you a Muslim?

Lex Rex said...

You must be the bit dog hollering or feel related to Trump because you also evaded a simple question. I don't think you are a Muslim. It could be you are disguising yourself as one!

What the heck are you talking about? Who cares to know if you blogged for ten years?

Rex Ray said...

Lex Rex,

This resolution made it illegal for Jews to build in a certain area. America had veto power, but Obama had us not vote. Israel accused President Obama of having secretly orchestrated the passage of the resolution.

Before Trump took office, he promised Jews he would make Jerusalem the Capitol of Israel.

When we were touring Israel with Wade Burleson and his church group, I told him I was glad Trump had smoothed things over with Israel because I’d hate to have 55,000 Jews angry with us.

Could you quote ANY questions that Jim Acosta asked?

Christiane said...

I believe Jim Acosta was trying to ask about WHY Trump is calling the asylum seekers 'an invasion'. Here is the confrontation as it occurred:

As for other recent questions that offended the President, I believe they inquired about his use of the word 'nationalism', which is considered to be a dog-whistle shout-out to the white supremacists of the extreme far right. Trump equates the word 'nationalism' with 'patriotism', but at best, he may not know the true connotation of 'nationalism' in the modern context; and at worst, he is dog-whistling to his base (the worst of them) and they have indeed taken his use of 'nationalism' to heart and praised him for it. . . .

After all the World Wars and the Holocaust and abject horror of Hitler's efforts to, in his words, 'make Germany great again'; I do believe the following quote is something that the President might benefit from if takes it to heart:

"The difference between patriotism and nationalism is that the patriot is proud of his country for what it does, and the nationalist is proud of his country no matter what it does;
the first attitude creates a feeling of responsibility, but the second a feeling of blind arrogance that leads to war." (Sidney Harris)

I'm willing to give Trump as much of the benefit of the doubt as I can summon, but it is getting more and more difficult to do it. He is openly celebrated in our country by white supremacists (white nationalists) and by neo-Nazi groups BECAUSE of his use of certain words and phrases. If he is knowingly doing this to pander to them, then he is absolutely fostering the deepest possible divisions in our country. If he is 'clueless', he needs some advisors around him to straighten him;
but after letting him 'skip' going to lay a wreath at Arlington on Veterans Day, I wonder if those 'advisors' are beginning to back away and let him drown. (?)

Isn't that what Paige Patterson's supporters did when they 'yessed' him while he went so far away from the way of Christ in how he treated others??? Maybe if his 'friends' had spoken to him privately and counseled with him, he would not have come to such a place as he is in now. (?)

What is 'arrogance'? And how does it always bring the 'mighty' down?

Lex Rex said...

Thank you.
Midterm elections are over and there is no more "caravan" to scare us from a 1000 miles of the border! Imagine the most powerful nation on earth getting scared by mostly women and children! What would Jesus say on his return to how we evangelicals in particular treated and allowed ill-treatment of the Stranger (I was a stranger...).
Your connecting Patterson to current affairs is spot on.

Rex Ray said...


Sorry that I put a lot of this on the wrong post, so I’ll repeat it here on the right post.

What do you think about the question I asked Wade?

“Then the FOREIGN RABBLE who were traveling with the Israelites began to crave the good things of Egypt. And the people of Israel also began to complain.” (Numbers 11:4 NLT) Is this a warning that bad company may influence good people to sin?”

Who did Moses consider “foreign rabble”?

I believe they had children but didn’t worship God and were having a hard time where they lived just like the illegals Trump doesn’t want in our country.

Your link was interesting. My computer doesn’t get sound, but with about 100 comments, the ratio was about 10 to 1 AGAINST Jim Acosta.

This week my son-in-law, Ken, for a while got ‘outsmarted’ by their big dog. The dog likes to play with their three cats. The cats are not allowed in the house because my daughter is very allergic to cats.

When the dog needs to go to the ‘bathroom’, he puts his nose on the doorknob and Ken lets him out. This day when Ken opened the door, the cats ran in and the dog played with them until Ken caught each cat and put it out. After it happened three times, Ken knew he was being tricked.

That story is about like the situation on the border. My daughter is America. The cats are the thousands. And Ken are those being tricked to let the cats in.

Christiane said...

I guess in your analogy, I'm somewhere in there, either 'Ken' or 'the dog', LOL

I don't see that there is some great 'caravan' filled with leprous criminals coming to live off of welfare, no . . . .

I see people leaving a place where they were being harassed by gangs and criminals and were fearful for their children and their lives. I don't blame them for coming north, no. I would do the same thing in their shoes, yes . . . . most Americans can understand wanting a better life for their children.

You know, not all immigrant families live off of welfare. My Pop's family came here from Canada and after my Pepere (grandfather) fell on a construction job and lost his leg, the whole family went out to work: my father left school and joined the CCC's (eventually he went into the Navy) and my aunts went to work as maids or in factories, like so many other immigrants did in those days. It was hard for them. My grandmother scrubbed for the nuns, and did sewing for them. My father said he remembered her fingers bleeding from being so chapped. And my Pepere with the wooden leg, he raised chickens . . . he invented a hot-water system of pipes under the floor of the chicken coop that kept the hens warm. Everyone worked hard. My father always sent money home. In the second and third generations, the family produced doctors, nurse practitioners, a 'super' lawyer (Sally and Fitch, Boston law firm), and child psychiatrist in Boston, teachers (me, included), photographers, artists and military officers. Pop's casket was covered with an American flag at the funeral. No, they never took 'charity' from anyone.

So I guess I don't feel the same about immigrants coming here. My family (paternal) did well here, and the country won out by them being here as they have been constructive citizens. I'm willing to give a refugee seeking asylum the benefit of the doubt . . . a chance, and I am not going to be hypocritical by ignoring the fact that our nation was and is a nation of immigrants . . . it is who we are and we are the better for it, Rex. I rest my case. My point of view is informed by my own DNA. :)

Christiane said...

"It matters to this one." Enjoy, REX RAY

Rex Ray said...


Hello 'Ken' or 'dog'! :) :)

Your link of the dog and cat is wonderful. Made me laugh. The cat is ours; a Maine coon cat…mice, rats, birds, and rabbits beware.

My heart agrees with everything you wrote about immigration, but there is a legal way and an illegal way to inter our country. Our song leader and Bible study teacher and wife came from Romania as adults.

What would we do if half of China decided to come here?

I won’t repeat the seven steps that great nations have committed suicide, but the last step is “open borders”.

My Dad had a statement: “It’s ok to be soft-hearted, but don’t be soft-minded at the same time.”

Christiane said...

Hello REX RAY,
I rather liked that link of the dog and cat myself. :)

Because half of my DNA is 'immigrant stock', and French-speaking at that, I can bring up this quote in response to your good father's advice:

"“Le coeur a ses raisons, que la raison ne connait point.”
(Blaise Pascal)

REX, I wrote some thoughts about this quote on Imonk site the other day, this:

"We can take a look at the meaning of ‘heart’ in examining Blaise Pascal’s quote which can be translated, this:
“The heart has its reasons of which the mind knows nothing”

“What Pascal calls the heart is the faculty that makes us know things by intuition and immediate, closely connected to the body, includes everything we understand by instinct, sensitivity, sentiment. The reason only infer and conclude from first principles, they, we are provided directly by the heart. The heart is the first, anterior superior mind.”

Certainly, we can TRY to bifurcate ‘reason’ from ‘the heart’ but we have a problem when we come to human moral conscience, and there we stop and consider that among all the world, humanity seems to agree that some things are evil, and others are good . . . . that this universal consciousness of ‘right and wrong’ is ingrained in our humanity like a ‘law’ we honor in principle as human persons . . . . so what guides our humanity towards our better angels is INSTINCTIVE in a sense . . . . we don’t have to be taught that brutalizing a little baby is wrong . . . . we ‘know’ it because our human kind depends on knowing it for survival . . . . we instinctively try to help a little baby in distress and it comes from a place deeper than ‘reason’ . . . . we are ‘impelled’ to do it for some primal need beyond ‘decision-making’ using our mental faculties alone.

I have thought that there seems to be little understanding among fundamentalist-evangelical theological thinking concerning the idea of the fostering of a ‘moral conscience’ in that there is a dis-connect between the concept of ‘conscience’ being a rational tool AND the idea of conscience being a God-given gift/curse (you choose, depending on the situation) which has profound implications on how we will be confronted on the Day of the Lord concerning how we lived out our lives, particularly in how we treated others.

There is something to the idea that our humanity is ‘connected’ to our dignity as human persons and some have said that we can ‘walk away’ from doing humane things if our ‘leaders’ override our consciences, and we can then point to the fact that we ‘were just following orders’ in a regime where ‘order’ depended on ‘obedience to authority’;
but that was the ‘Nuremberg Defense’ and it didn’t stand up then, and it won’t stand up now.

At some point, we are RESPONSIBLE for our own actions and if we cry ‘it was legal and logical to take those babies away from their mothers at the border’, in some part of us all, we KNOW it was not ‘right’ to do something so cruel. I submit that the part of us that knew this was intuitive and is far deeper in our beings than any rational excuses could wipe away.

I always liked this definition of moral conscience:

“Conscience is a law of the mind; yet [Christians] would not grant that it is nothing more; I mean that it was not a dictate, nor conveyed the notion of responsibility, of duty, of a threat and a promise. . . . [Conscience] is a messenger of Him, who, both in nature and in grace, speaks to us behind a veil, and teaches and rules us by His representatives. Conscience is the aboriginal Vicar of Christ.” (John Henry Newman)

Christiane said...

Rex Ray:

BTW . . . your father gave you good advice, but I was just adding some additional thoughts that go further into how 'the rational mind' and our 'God-given conscience' are connected in the core of our humanity by way of the God Who made us and gave us human dignity and the responsibility that is connected to that dignity which is called to honor God in all of our ways.
In short, we can be logical and 'follow orders', but there will always a 'higher authority' we must honor if we want to be included among the company of the humane of this Earth; and that 'higher Authority' will sharply ping our consciences if we decide to abandon the 'good way' and to do what we 'know' in our hearts is wrong. Does this make sense?