Lit by Memory, Lit by Fire, Lit by Love

A Jewish man used to visit the Jewish cemetery adjacent to my childhood home.  He came every day, equipped with his lounge chair, the shade of the tree overhanging his beloved wife’s grave, and the memory of the lady who now shadowed his life if not any longer filling it.

It was simultaneously endearing and pathetic.  The poor man remained faithful to his wife well after her demise.  One day he stopped coming and we assumed that he had stopped living; truth be told, his life had ended when his wife expired.

Are You Well-Pleased with Jesus?

It is a question that persistently and progressively assails me:  Am I well-pleased with Jesus?  Are you, for that matter, well-pleased with Jesus?  God the Father certainly was; He said as much at Jesus’ baptism when He affirmed Him in His love:

“When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too.  And as He was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove.  And a voice came from heaven:  ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well-pleased” (Luke 3:21, 22).

A Regimen of Relationship

What does the Bible say about relationships?  I have found three principles that I believe will make for healthy and fruitful relationships, the lack (or antithesis) of which will do nothing but cause damage and debilitation to those who love one another.

It is really quite simple in conception, though in execution it becomes a more formidable challenge, whatever the nature of the relationship, whether relating to our spouses and families, to our neighborhoods and places of work, or to our church community.  Here are the three:

1. Submit to one another;
2. Honor one another;
3. Love one another more and more.

History’s Right-Side

 One hears talk amongst our contemporaries of the need to be on the “right-side” of history.  It is a decidedly western concept, one that is marinated in the notion that human history is progressing, both linearly in destiny and qualitatively in value.

The idea that human affairs are moving in a particular and positive direction actually stems from the core teachings (i.e. biblical) of the Judeo-Christian heritage; I am not certain that it is anything other than a novel concept comparative to other world-views of historical import.

Jesus, Lover of My Soul

    We sing a song in our church entitled, “Jesus, Lover of My Soul.”  It is a beautiful, slowly-paced reflective song that speaks to our beloved Lord’s sovereignty over history and of His love for each of us.  The lyrics are as follows:

“… And history itself belongs to you/ Alpha and Omega, You have loved me, and I will share eternity with you/ It’s all about you, Jesus, It’s not about me/ As if you should do things my way, You alone are God, and I surrender to your way.”

Speaking the Truth in Love

 Ah, civility, where have you gone?  You were one of the trademarks integral to a fruitful society.  You respected your elders, your peers and you wanted to establish an example for those coming after you.  You always saw beyond the nose of your self, including your sense of self-rightness.

You had a sense of restraint that in no way diminished your convictions; in truth, those same core principles were augmented by a deportment and disposition that afforded respect to others, even those with whom you disagreed, however fundamentally.

Harbingers of Holiness

    The little lady likes a prize from the machines at the market.  She got a miniature Denver Broncos hat on her first try that she gave to her Bronco-supporting Daddy.  He was gratified by her thoughtfulness and she was elated by his gratitude.

Pop-Pop had every right to anticipate that the next hat would feature the New England Patriots logo and colors.  Amber made her request, Pop-Pop inserted the requisite quarters, and out popped a hat – It was the New York Giants!  Uuggh!

A House Divided

King William IV of England wrote this memorandum concerning the prospect of national prosperity to his newly-installed government in November 1830:

In order to attain this desirable end, the King deems it very essential that endeavours should be made to prevail upon the Members of the Two Great and Influential Parties in the Country to lay aside the feelings which have so long produced a Spirit of Political Hostility between them … and to unite in the Service of the State those of both Parties whose general character, abilities, experience and Patriotism would offer to the Country the happy prospect of a Government founded upon a secure and permanent Basis.”

Lucy Lacey, RIP

 Her black eyes bore a rich crystal-like lucidity.  She would bathe in the sun with sensuous abandon for hours, with fur engulfed and aglow with its rays.  And, ever sensitive to spiritual presence, the lady would fervently purr on my lap while we prayed.

You will have noticed my accentuation of adjectival and adverbial usage in reference to Lucy, my lovely little feline, an accentuation applied if for no other reason than the fact that I gladly served as steward of her welfare as God gave her breath. 

Aesop Should Have Taken a Horse and Buggy Ride!

  We took the lovely little kiddo on a horse-and-buggy ride.  She was enchanted and her grand-mother and I were also charmed.  Amber’s pleasure was foremost in mind but, finding myself challenged and feeling pedantic, I extracted a point of principle.

Our driver was a fine young man, just up from the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia where he worked with Clydesdale horses.  He was personable, engaging and quite honest concerning what he did not yet know. 

We were quite satisfied, though I struggled on one very important count:  I knew a great deal more than did our affable host and very much wanted to share what I knew.  To speak or not to speak became the pressing dilemma of my existential conundrum. 

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