Marvin Repinski: Choosing a world to live in

Published 5:34 pm Friday, January 28, 2022

My research has brought me to some lines from Shakespeare in the drama “As You Like It.”

“And this our life,

exempt from public haunt,

finds tongues in trees,

books in the running brooks,

sermons in stones

and good in everything.”

I am writing this while listening to the news in the background. Russian troops — thousands of them — at the borders of Ukraine. Eerie? More than news that tears at the fabric of thought, I set that terrifying information in the refined positive thought of a poet — “good in everything.”

We say “NO.”

Our emotions are a mixed bag. We ask: how can we make sense of a world so mixed with beauty and chaos? How do we continue to make positive plans when a dark circle surrounds so much human activity?

My challenge is to write something that tells me, and suggests to the reader, that side by side with mercy, any self-giving is the reality of people driven by abusiveness, crime and distortion.

The Bible verse Isaiah 29:16, reads:

“You turn things upside down, as if the potter

were thought to be like the clay!  Shall what is

formed say to him who formed it, “He did not make me”?

Can the pot say of the potter, “He knows nothing”?

The application that we may make is that we are the potters. The text refers to the mystery of God, who is imagined as the Great Potter. It does not exclude us. And my task is to answer the question “knows nothing?” as a reference to each of us.  Yes, we have limits on what we may know, but we do know a whole lot. We know how to use wisdom and experience to order our lives.  We can learn how to live above the storms bashing the shoreline!

My reading, conversing, and thinking in recent weeks has been on the topic of raising children. To those teachers, counselors, and parole officers, managers of group homes, churches, and for sure parents and guardians, I give and invite your special knowledge and support.

I have become increasingly aware, really aware down deep, of what goes on in the lives of children. From birth through the childhood years, are the years which have the most influence on the future of the child. People who focus their care, develop their skills, and employ their imagination to the resources of children in the early years, are to be applauded.

While being a member of the Housing and Redevelopment Authority board, I raised a possibility with the mayor of our city, Steve King, who was present at the meeting. It’s like a last “Hurrah,” after completing nine years of being on this board, an agency that serves, on the average, 530 people, many elderly and many we know as economically low income.

My knowledge of the greater Mower County area is that provisions are needed for people living during a time of hardship. Often there are few places to meet their housing needs and survival remains a huge question.

As I stated at the HRA meeting, my information is that the building that currently serves as the home base of the Austin Daily Herald is currenlty up for sale. Beg my pardon if my knowledge is incorrect. The fact remains that a building in Austin may eventually be a residence for the very low income people/families and some of the people we designate as homeless. Dreaming? Not the first time.

Thinking in terms of the larger picture, I remind us of the movement that in a few years, a community that focuses the variety of arts, developed and thrives, overcoming many barriers and costs and initiative. Brave souls sow the stars among the sullen skies. “We can do it” was born!

Most of us are aware of the faithful, sacrificial and earnest citizens in the health care community who have been on the front lines of mercy to assist people during the current pandemic. Thank you!

Those reading my words could add many groups, people, institutions, and even the youth groups that have raised a flag of care! One of our area churches has, with a kind of wild enthusiasm, carried a word it is employing for their commitments:  BREAKTHROUGH.

There’s a message in that for all of us. “In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening do not withhold your hand, for you do not know which will prosper.”  (Ecclesiastes 11:6)

“If you sow sparingly, you will also reap sparingly.  You who sow bountifully, will also reap bountifully.”  (2 Corinthians 9:6)