What to the eye is first apparent, is only an impression…not a definition.
What if it’s not completing the puzzle that brings joy, but the process? And what does that have to do with my way of looking at life?
A smile, a touch of humor, a kind deed. It doesn’t take much to be salt in a flat world. And once shared, there is no telling where the trail of beauty will end!
The Spirit’s workings are like the swirling currents of water kicking feet make when treading water. Obviously felt, but equally quickly gone. How we long to perceive God at work in our lives!
If only all change was initiated as quickly as a whip is snapped! On the trail Mary Ellen’s father directed his team of oxen with it. He once even saved the entire wagon train through the whip’s virtues. Why shouldn’t she covet its power?
A Mid-Summer's Night Stroll
Out beyond the reach of every
Man-made source of light
I took a quiet summer stroll
As dusk dissolved to night.
Above the west horizon where
The sun had gone to bed
A crescent moon was glowing with
A borrowed light instead.
And rather soon beyond the moon
I started to perceive
What almost is too wonderful
For humans to believe,
That from this planet where we dwell
Our eyes can even see
The edges of a universe
In which our galaxy
Is hardly more than just a speck,
A single flake of snow
Amongst a blizzard-full of stars
Which we will never know
Are even really there at all,
And yet, most likely are
Out somewhere in that great unknown
Beyond us, oh so far.
But then I noticed something more
When back to earth my gaze
Revealed another miracle:
The earth was all ablaze
With shining, blinking, moving lights
Afloat above the grass.
They didn't seem to notice or
To mind that I should pass
Precisely through their faerie land,
These silent fireflies,
Here and there and everywhere
Like fallen sparks from skies
Which sparkle in the distance, nature's
While here below I marveled at
These lightning bugs I love -
Small and harmless, beautiful,
Hovering and darting forth
On fragile faerie wings.
by Gary A. Fellows
Photo graciously provided by Mike Lewinski at Unsplash.com
The song was more than perfunctory, it was a performance!
We all possess filters through which we process the good and bad of life, not just the sun’s rays.
A totally 21st century child possessed a decidedly 19th century wish: she wanted to buy a locket. Yes, the old-fashioned kind that could be opened and a picture inserted therein. This child had a name: Lauren, and Lauren’s 3rd grade teacher wore a locket.
“Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this illustration: ‘Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread.’”
Lauren thought lockets were cool, and wanted one, too. By way of chance, Lauren and her family were on vacation in Freeport. Yes, Freeport, Maine - the mecca of all things shopping. Lauren and her mother, who happens to be my cousin, started searching for this locket at one end of the main street in town.
“You would shout up to him, ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit and I’ve nothing to give him to eat.’”
One by one they hit every likely outlet and store searching for a locket to buy. But, alas to no avail! Not one jewelry store had a locket to offer, much less a choice of styles. They rendezvoused with other family members for lunch and made a few purchases of other sorts along the way.
“He would call down from his bedroom, ‘Please don’t ask me to get up. The door is locked for the night and we are all in bed. I just can’t help you this time.’”
With each store entered, Mom watched Lauren’s hopes get progressively smaller as one after another jewelry clerk told them, “I’m sorry, but we don’t carry lockets.” Or, “Lockets aren’t very much in vogue these days.”
“But I’ll tell you this - though he won’t do it as a friend, if you keep knocking long enough he will get up…”
What would you have done if you were Lauren’s mother? Oh yes, she asked where the next likely store was located. And she stroked her child’s hair and said, “Let’s go look for that store.” And so they doggedly plodded on to the next store, the next street.
“…and give you everything you want - just because of your persistence.”
Initially, my cousin wasn’t much daunted, but when the reality started sinking in, she must have started preparing her daughter for disappointment. The day was growing late.
“And so it is with prayer - keep on asking and you will keep on getting; keep on looking and you will keep on finding;”
It was getting close to six, when the smaller stores closed. Lauren and her mom found themselves on a side street in Freeport facing a small store set back from the road. “Looks like this will be our last try, honey,” Mom told Lauren. The door jingled with small bells when they entered and a smiling clerk stepped forward to be of assistance.
“Knock and the door will be opened. Everyone who asks, receives; all who seek, find;”
“I’m looking for a locket,” explained young Lauren, “You know, the kind you can put a picture into.” “I may have just what you’re looking for,” the clerk replied, fumbling for a small key on her lanyard. Soon enough a small tray was proffered holding not just one locket, but three. Lauren’s eyes lit up! My cousin clapped her hands for joy as the story of their day come tumbling out.
“And the door is opened to everyone who knocks.” *
And so it was that a certain clerk made her most joyous sale of the day…and a mother was glad she had made this memory with her daughter…and a little girl learned the importance of persistence.
Luke 11: 5-10, The Living Bible
Is our intent torpedoed by the words we choose? Does our Christian message appear out of touch because we expect others to know our vocabulary?
But black despair has never been a thing which God cannot erase.
His love is stronger than all sin, and none can match amazing grace.
Could I unscramble this personalized plate? What did the driver mean?