To have an inkling

To stretch my writing muscles, I have made several attempts this month to write in response to daily word prompts. I will admit that I only do so if the word grabs me in some way. Today the prompt is “inkling,” a word that reminds me of my childhood. I rarely hear anyone today say they have an inkling but I think my mother said it a time or two. She also used to ask, “how does that grab you?”

I looked online for the meaning of “inkling” and the phrase “have an inkling.” An inkling is a slight knowledge or suspicion, a hint. And according to The Phrase Finder, “there isn’t much we can do with an inkling other than to have one.”

What else can you do with a slight suspicion than have it? Well, you can reject it or trust it or dig further to find out if your inkling is right. My mother taught me to trust my instincts. Sometimes all you need is a little knowledge, a little hint to know what you should do.

This is the second time in a week that a word prompt has reminded me of my mother. A few days ago, the word was silhouette and I remembered a silhouette someone made of my mom’s profile. One of my siblings probably has it. I spent several minutes poring through my little sister’s photo collection on Facebook but didn’t find it. I found memories instead.

I miss my mom and I miss her silhouette and I miss her idioms. Grief sure comes at the strangest times with little prompting.

via Daily Prompt: Inkling

Trying to Understand the Inscrutable

I am part of a small group of women who meet a couple of times a month for a Bible study. I am the oddball of the group. The five other women are ultra conservative. I guess I am best described as a progressive. I am most definitely in favor of social progress and improvement, whether it is improving access to affordable healthcare, protecting the environment, promoting voting rights and the equality of women, etc. I don’t want to go backwards. I don’t want to maintain things the way they are.

This is not the first time I have been the oddball in a koinonia – a group of believers who get together for support and fellowship. The last time I was so disturbed by right-wing political comments (calling Obama the antichrist and a socialist) that I dropped out of the group even though I genuinely liked the women. This time, I am trying to hang in there and love my friends despite our very different understandings of what it means to follow Christ.

Case in point: Last night, one of the women made an inscrutable comment in response to a question in our study book: How have you seen God use surprising people and circumstances to accomplish his will in this world? She said she heard that the current administration reads more scripture than any administration since JFK and his cabinet meetings start off with prayer.

I was not speechless, though it’s difficult for me to remember all my words when I am emotional about something. I did say, “There may be religious people at his meetings but I think he is a wicked man.” Another woman said, they say he recently became a Christian. I said, “I don’t believe it. If he were truly saved he would be remorseful and repentant about the things he has said and done. He would not denigrate people the way he does.”

For the past couple of years as I have watched Christians support the wicked man who now occupies the oval office, I have vainly tried to make the inscrutable scrutable. I’ve tried to understand why people who follow the moral teachings of Jesus are so willing to ignore the immorality and hatefulness of the president.

I can’t make sense of it.

I understand confirmation bias; we listen to the arguments that fit our worldview. I understand that people have fears for the future. I understand that people have certain ends in mind when they vote.

I don’t understand consequentialism – the idea that the ends justify the means. Christians wanted a man who would appoint a conservative judge to the Supreme Court so they were willing to ignore his wickedness. They struck a bargain with a bigot.

The problem with consequentialism is the collateral damage that comes with the means. Is the country more moral with a pathological liar in the white house? Are we any better at loving our neighbors – other nations – with a nationalist at the helm? Is it worth risking the right to free speech when the emperor cries out “fake news!” every time the press points out that he has no clothes? Are we better at protecting the needy with a selfish, greedy man shaping governmental policies?

Try as I might, I can’t make the inscrutable scrutable.

Image credit: Vincent van Gogh, Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington

via Daily Prompt: Inscrutable

Dominant Issues

On Saturday, while I waited for the Women’s March to start, a woman gave me a stamped postcard to send to my Republican senator. I seriously doubt that the senator gives a crap what I think but I decided to send the card anyway. The card has a tiny space to write what I’m concerned about and why. There’s no way I can adequately explain my political concerns on a postcard but I did my best. The three words I listed as dominant issues are loaded with meaning: Democracy, Decency, and Dreamers.


I’m concerned about our democracy for a variety of reasons. There is ample evidence that Russians attempted to interfere with our election process. Even if the president had won the election fair and square, his authoritarian tendencies are alarming. He seeks revenge against his political opponents, especially HRC. He encouraged violence at his worship services, I mean, his rallies. He attacks the legitimacy of the press on a daily basis because they expose the truth. He attacks the integrity of the Justice Department and the FBI because their job is getting to the truth. So far, the judicial branch has placed limits on his power but the legislative branch has not been an effective check.


Decency refers to “behavior that conforms to accepted standards of morality and respectability.” The president violates accepted standards on a daily basis. He lies constantly, even about unimportant matters. His comments about other people are vile, cruel, and profane. His constant boasting is revolting. As a businessman, he stiffed his creditors. He is a serial adulterer who has bragged about assaulting women.


“Dreamers” are immigrants, mostly from Mexico, who were brought to the United States as children. Although I care about all immigrants and refugees, I think that protecting Dreamers should be a priority because they are here through no fault of their own.

Mr. Gardner, not only do I hope you understand these issues, I hope you take your responsibilities seriously. I’m watching and waiting.

via Daily Prompt: Dominant

Marching with Strength and Dignity

One year ago, I participated in the Denver Women’s march because I believe in the words on a Freedom poster that hangs on my bedroom wall: The struggle for freedom, equality and justice transcends race, religion, political affiliation and even death. I would add that the struggle also transcends gender. Although the struggle is ongoing, this year I marched to celebrate the strengths of women.

I am proud of the women who broke years of silence about sexual assault and harassment at the hands of powerful men. I am proud of the women who rallied to support them, giving credence to their stories. Those who abuse their power have been put on notice that women expect to be treated with dignity and respect. The silence breakers proved how powerful women can be when we stand together.

Last year, I carried a poster that said, “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” This quote came from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who paraphrased the words of Theodore Parker, an abolitionist.

This year, when I thought about what to put on my poster, I initially wanted to express my anger at the “stable genius” who disparaged the people of Haiti and other countries with his profane comments. Though many people make the Women’s March about their opposition to him, for me, it is about strong women standing up for human rights.

When I searched for words about the strength of women, I found words that Solomon wrote long ago about a woman of noble character:

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25

On the flip side of my poster, I wrote:

She is:

Compassionate, courageous, wise, strong, determined, gentle, tough, and


When I marched last year, I saw many people carrying posters with red, white and blue images of beautiful, diverse women: an African-American, a Latina, and a Muslim. I searched for Women’s March posters and found free downloadable We the People artwork. Since the inauguration, the images have been used as “symbols of hope to combat the rising power of nationalism, bigotry, and intolerance.”

I march to defend the dignity of all human beings, especially those considered unworthy by the president. I march because I want to protect the vulnerable, including the Dreamers. I march because love is greater than fear.

My Eyes Are On the Horizon

via Daily Prompt: Horizon

When I have an especially long road ahead of me, I look ahead at the horizon. The horizon is far away yet reachable. It gives me a goal to reach for. It takes my attention away from the effort it takes to keep on going. One foot after the other, I march onward.

Even as I celebrate the shrinking distance with each step, I marvel at the huge expanse ahead of me. My eyes can take in only so much of it. I am one tiny speck in a landscape that rolls on forever.

There’s something beyond that line where earth meets sky, something worth marching towards. Beyond the horizon, a vision of better times waits to unfold.