The way to love someone
is to lightly run your finger over that person's soul
until you find a crack,
and then gently pour your love into that crack.
~Keith Miller

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Notes from the Hymn "How Firm a Foundation" and just a few musings from now

Yesterday I stopped at the convenience store to buy a king size pack of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups for Two and Five to share. A favorite treat for both. The guy behind the counter was a really tall and well muscled kid with shoulder length dreadlocks ... and though very dark complected, he absolutely glowed. I waited in line and when it was my turn I said, "It makes me feel happy to see you, I like your glow."  I say things like that now if I want to, the grey streaking my hair grants permission. He said, "I am practicing joy so that I know where to go when sorrows come." Yes, that is exactly what he said.  I smiled ... and remembered:

The winds of change and circumstance
Blow in and all around us
So we find a foothold that's familiar
And bless the moments that we feel you nearer.
~Nichole Nordemon (*I AM)

He is building a familiar foothold.  I remembered ... it is an intentional endeavor.

"Philip Yancey notes that there are three things that greatly increase suffering: fear, hopelessness, and loneliness.* Fear can magnify pain in the mind to the point where it becomes intolerable - not because the pain is itself unendurable, but because fear is so devastating to the mind.  Hopelessness makes a person "give up" and cease to struggle, greatly magnifying the suffering, as in the case of Elie Wiesel when his father died.  Loneliness, even without other suffering, is misery; and when we are suffering, the loneliness exacerbates every weakness because the mind as well as the body is in pain."
Why Does It Have To Hurt? The meaning of Christian Suffering. Dan G. McCartney (page 109)
*Where Is God When It Hurts? Yancey (149-158)

Psalms 13 is given as an example of "faith conquering fear" ... even though the psalmist hasn't received an answer he finds peace as he reaches a place (a foothold) where he can again trust. 

These were the words I wrote in my book:
Fear -> Faith
Despair -> Hope
Loneliness -> Love

... there then remains these three ... (I Cor.13:13)  

I sat in Sunday School near the window wall where I could feel the early morning heat on my back, and  brushed away the tiny little tear which had pooled and fell before I could get my game face back on ... I am circled back to these words ... the words on my wrist ... (
protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres ~ loves 
... not so you or anyone can see them, they are invisible, but I know they are there).

Psalm 27 ... expressions of faith
Psalm 23 ... fearing no evil among the deep shadows
Psalms 22 ... hope
Psalm 42 ... intentional/deliberate hope

"But sometimes we find ourselves in places where no one comes to sit with us.  It is then that we most need to remember that God is there with us... ." (Why Does It Have to Hurt, McCartney, pg. 121)  And I'm thinking certainly there are places where no one comes to sit with us ... maybe we think we know who to invite, but for one good reason or another, we sit apparently alone.  And sometimes our aloneness leaves a seat open to sitting with whomever might just wander up ... and maybe they are even good company ... but they can't possibly understand where you are sitting.  Their company becomes a (perhaps welcome/relieving) distraction, but ... you still know you're sitting there alone.

Psalms 131 ... quieting one's soul

And for me I struggle to direct my waning strength to find the footholds most familiar. I really need to feel God nearer.


John Venlet said...

I say things like that now if I want to, the grey streaking my hair grants permission.

DeAnn, I keep thinking about these words you penned, the kindness expressed, after reading them here, and at American Digest.

The thoughts which keep welling up in my mind, in association with those words, are closely linked with my Dad, and his relationships with individuals whom were not his close friends, or family.

I remember running Saturday errands with my Dad; to the bakery, the drycleaners, the butcher shop, etc.; just weekly stops for family necessities rather than socialization.

The aspect of these errand stops, which your words have been keeping in my mind, is the relationships my Dad developed with the individuals at each errand stop. He would greet every person at these businesses by name and with a smile and a kind or encouraging word, and even as a young boy, I could tell that his essence, his genuine care (love) for them, had an effect on their lives. My Dad cast that "glow" you mentioned on these people, and they in turn reflected it back onto him, though his interactions with them were, in the grand scheme of their days, of the briefest time, and it did not require the permission of grey hairs for him to express his kindness, or thoughts.

DeAnn said...

Simpler times. Sweet memories. I've been wondering how your mom is fairing btw.

Seems like people are suspicious (or worse) of smiles and kind words. The little old lady thing adds ease ... .

Thanks for sharing your thoughts John.