Back in the day of the Richard Nixon administration, when the US and China engaged in diplomatic overtures, the term ping pong diplomacy was used. In more recent times, including our own Holy Father Pope Francis, the reference to the dignity of every human being, (those of us blessed to be enjoying the beauty of God’s creation and those yet unborn) is clearly referenced by our belief, that all of us are created in the image and likeness of our Heavenly Father. There is little doubt that the complexities of daily life easily seem to blur this deeply held religious conviction. On New Year’s Eve in Cologne, Germany large numbers of women were groped and sexually assaulted. Some, at least according to witnesses, by men from the Middle East. Some perhaps, recent refugee arrivals. Days later, a busload of refugees was driven from Bavaria to Berlin where they sat for hours as a symbolic protest at the excessive number of refugees Bavaria thinks they are being burdened with. What is right and proper? What are faith based communities to decide? No easy choices, no easy decisions. We can easily comprehend however, how quickly the God given dignity of each of these men, women and children can evaporate from view. “The politicians are playing ping pong” one of them said ,“and we are the ball.” Often in custody or divorce disputes, children are used front and center as tools to pressure one party or the other. Again, hard to determine what is right and moral without knowing the list of characters. Very quickly can we set aside that all involved are children of the same Father? Surely our Creator does not see His children as political props or pawns.! You and I strive to live good lives based, we hope, to some degree on our deepest religious convictions. At the same time we live on main street as it were, where pragmatic and everyday decisions are made. Pray to love and appreciate the image of our Messiah in those who accompany us on the journey of life.