Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Amos 7:7-17

Pentecost +7 - Year C

Amos 7:7-17

Plumb lines, levels, micrometers, and other instruments of evaluation are so much more difficult in the short-term than "looks good, we'll go with that". Plumb lines and the like don't let us get away with "almost". They cut down on future creativity when we later, surprised, try to fit a square peg into an rhomboidal opening and try to figure out how to get back to plumb without restarting (which may be the most efficient response to the situation).

Prophets like Amos have a well-trained eye that can spot a plumb line in the midst of whatever they are doing. They see the presence of an interactive G*D while laughing at the latest popular pundit or a news article so well-balanced it means nothing except we'll be having more of the same for some time to come. A plumb line conversation with G*D can go on about a more hopeful past and preferred futures when dealing with decisions to be made at any level - personal, familial, communal, governmental, international.

A question for us is training our own eye to glimpse a sea of plumb lines, like using iron filings to note a magnetic field. Plumb lines that are internal to our situations get tricky to notice and follow. A cultural overlay can hide them from even diligent seekers and the very act of trying to find a plumb line in a busy picture distorts our response to it, if found.

At some point the recognition of a multitude of plumb lines (good old situation ethics) can drive us crazy - crazy enough to pile up their seeming contradictions and find a meta-plumb-line for larger parts of our life.

Blessings on your revelation of a needed plumb line in your life and the life of the community. Further blessings on your courage to attempt to straighten situations accordingly. And even further blessings on your quest to move from plumb line to plumb line, shining them as you go that others might more easily respond to them.

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