silence

Silence

 “The fact that I’m silent doesn’t mean I have nothing to say.” - Jonathan Carroll 

“I’m addicted to silence and privacy; I wallow in it.” -Valorie Wesley

“When someone is going through a storm, your silent presence is more powerful than a million, empty words. “ - Thema Davis

“I was quiet, but I was not blind.” - Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

“Fall in love with someone who’s comfortable with your silence.” - Clairabelle Ann

“So much of her time spent like this: dreaming up things to say and never quite saying them.” - Colum McCann, Let the Great World Spin 

“It is unbearably painful for the soul to love silently.” - Anna Akhmatova, The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova

“Don’t you think there is always something unspoken between two people?” - Tennessee Williams, 27 Wagons Full of Cotton and Other Plays 

“It is an easy mistake to think that non-talkers are non-feelers.” - Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose

“There are some people who could hear you speak a thousand words, and still not understand you. And there are others who will understand — without you even speaking a word.” - Yasmin Mogahed 


i am

 

poetry.

it seems strange and it's meaning sometimes elusive.

and yet those who love words can appreciate when poetry is done well.

here is one of John Clare's poems dropped into the horror series, "Penny Dreadful"

I Am

I am: yet what I am none cares or knows,
My friends forsake me like a memory lost;
I am the self-consumer of my woes,
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shades in love and death's oblivion lost;
And yet I am! and live with shadows tost

Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life nor joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life's esteems;
And e'en the dearest--that I loved the best--
Are strange--nay, rather stranger than the rest.

I long for scenes where man has never trod;
A place where woman never smil'd or wept;
There to abide with my creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept:
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie;
The grass below--above the vaulted sky.


We Miss You

“We Miss You.”

I sat and looked at the email and smiled and started thinking to myself.

So they miss me, huh?  C’mon people.  I know I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but don’t try and get all emotional on me.  If you’re going to send me an email like this, at least be honest.

You don’t miss me – you miss the money I spend on you.  You don’t miss me – you miss the me who pulls out a credit card and charges it for the things you say you can do for me.

If you didn’t have my email address – which I never gave to you, I’m sure – you wouldn’t even know I exist.

It amazes me that for all of its social media empowerment, the internet and electronic connectivity Socialmediastill tries to be something it is not.  It just can’t be personable no matter how many emails are sent to me saying “We Miss You”.

I mean when Alexander Graham Bell invented that first telephone, I’m sure he meant well in providing a means of communicating across great distances.  And it is wonderful to be sitting in the comfort of my own home and be able to chat with a good friend many miles away.

But over the years it just feels as if the more we electrify and digitize and engineer changes to communication, the less we communicate.  Indeed, people are becoming more skilled at being someone else than being themselves in an online world.

Oh sure, social media gives us an open road to “share” this, and “like” that, and follow, and select, and click, and click, and click.

And I guess if I read enough of these shares and likes and postings I can get an idea of the person – but that’s all I get. An idea.

Even in a digital age, a person is not the sum total of their tweets.


old friends...and saying goodbye

Lib1Saying “goodbye” – it’s never easy.  People we know and work with and care about and enjoy spending time with – when the time comes and we have to part ways, it is an emotional time, especially if these people have been a major influence in our lives and have been there for us and with us through the ups and downs of life.

But what about books?

Books? C’mon, Bill. They’re just books.

Continue reading "old friends...and saying goodbye" »


the good experiment

So often it is forgotten that life must have context otherwise we end up making assumptions and coming to conclusions that simply are not true - and possibly hurtful in the long run. This commercial - yes, it's a commercial for a laundry detergent - illustrates the beauty of context in a wonderful way. You might want to grab a tissue...


hello, August

Aug2016

Noon, hiving sweets of sun and flower,
Has fallen on dreams in wayside bower,
Where bees hold honeyed fellowship
With the ripe blossom of her lip;
All silent are her poppied vales
And all her long Arcadian dales,
Where idleness is gathered up
A magic draught in summer's cup.
Come, let us give ourselves to dreams
By lisping margins of her streams.

from "A Summer Day" by
Lucy Maud Montgomery


the treasure of friends

Not everything found in a treasure hunt is pleasant.

I was again moving and sorting library books and a letter fell from a book that was headed to the recycle pile. Of course, I'm a curious old fart, so I had to sit and see what was in the letter.  There was no return address. The stamps, one of which was put on the letter upside down, were of Australia. The stamp cancellation was faded but appeared to say March or May 1988. That was toward the end of year of internship while I was attending Dallas Theological Seminary.

It was a letter from an Australian I had met at DTS who was, in a word, rambunctious. If ever I have met a person who seemed to be the idea youth pastor type, it was Garry Eadon.  Garry always seemed to have a smile on his face and was the kind of person you just couldn't be sad around.  His smile, his infectious laugh, his exuberance for life were but a few of his many qualities. His letter was a "here's what has been happening with me" update letters that used to be printed up and mailed out to all the people who were on a mailing list. He was busy about the ministries which had bouncing from place to project to people. He had hit the ground running upon his return to Australia and I'm guessing he never looked back.

Of course, in this day of instant information and social media, I immediately wondered if he could be located. So I grabbed the Garry_eadon keyboard, typed in his name, and pressed enter.

Sometimes when you hunt for treasure, the results are not as expected.

I found him, but I also found some sad news about Garry.

From the little I could locate about him, Garry passed away after having contracted an illness on a missionary trip. The one picture I found of him showed him smiling and healthy, married, with a lovely wife and three beautiful children. I could not find a full obituary. The funeral was in May.

I sat back in my chair, held the letter in my hand, and thought back to the short time I had known Garry when I was in Dallas. He was the sort of person that you only need to meet once and they impress you for a lifetime.  He had sent me his form letter update -- but he had also taken the time to write a short note to me at the bottom of his letter:

Bill, I'm trying to get hold of a 'mug' for your mum. How are you mate? Please stay in touch. I'm fine - a lot of things going on - but still want to come back your way some time. Stay kool for the King, Bill. Sincerely Garry

I folded the letter up, stared out the window for a few minutes, and placed the letter among some other keepsakes. We didn't keep in touch, and I have no idea whether he ever came back to the states. The few details I could locate seemed to show he had become busy with a family and his ministry and until I see him again in Heaven, I'll have to be content with that.

Life is incredibly short but the journey is full of wonderful things. I'm thankful for the moments I had to chat with Garry and for the honor of knowing him. Not only will we enjoy the presence of the Savior when we find ourselves "finally home", but we can also look forward to those reunions that I'm sure will take place in the streets and dwellings of the place He has gone to prepare for us (John 14:2).

Well done, Garry. See you there, mate!


treasure hunt

Some people go out on Saturday night for a good time. Me? I go on a "treasure hunt" - a.k.a. cleaning. So I was sorting through books and planning to move a bookcase this evening, and from behind a stack of books I found this - a piece of glass I purchased at a gift shop in Camden, Maine in 1979 which I had hung in the room which became my library many years ago. Isn't it funny how seeing something again after many years brings back such a flood of memories? Camden

What was I doing in Camden, Maine in 1979 you ask?  I was "on tour".  Yep, I was a member of a touring musical group called "Sound of New Life" which was a public relations team promoting the college I attended - Washington Bible College - through music, testimony, and message.

We were a group of 9 students traveling from Maryland to Maine and back in a large minivan carrying us, our luggage, our equipment, and college promotional literature to last us six weeks on the road.  Just about every night and twice on Sunday we would visit a church, present our music, promote the college, and then spend the night in a host family's home.  

It was quite an experience. We were treated to some great meals (like a lobster dinner in Maine), fun times (like flying in a water plane around a lake in Pennsylvania), meeting and learning from the famous radio pastor Warren Wiersbe at Rumney Bible Conference in the White Hills of New Hampshire, and learning great lessons about trusting God when things just aren't going right.

I remember the homeless man who walked by us in Boston as we were carrying equipment into a church for a concert and seeing the look in his eyes as our paths crossed -- and wondering if sometimes we don't pass by angels unaware of their ministry among us. In the case of the homeless man, I can't remember the man's face, but I can still see his eyes after all these years. Eyes which betrayed a deep sense of hopelessness which created an overwhelming sense of guilt in my heart as I just let him pass by me without saying a word to him about Someone who could give him hope.

I remember chatting with a teenager who felt his parents didn't understand him. I remember hearing the anger and bitterness in his voice and how the conversation continued well into the early hours of the morning when his anger and bitterness seemed to disappear, and he started to realize just how much he loved his parents and how he needed to spend more time getting to know his Savior. 

I remember standing on the shore of a rocky Maine beach, and watching the power of the ocean as it slammed into the massive rocks of the shore and thinking of the awesome majesty and power of my Creator and my Savior. "Though Satan should buffet and trials should come, let this blessed assurance control; That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, and has shed his own blood for my soul. It is well with my soul..."

Memories from a 37-year-old piece of glass. Thank you, Lord, for reminding me of your grace, your greatness, and your love. Help me to remember that I am here but a short time, and that while I am here, I need to allow your love and grace to shine through me into the hearts and lives of others. Continue to remind me that every day is a grand treasure hunt - as I seek to find and enjoy the best you have for me to your honor and for your glory. Amen.


trapped in the now

Bench

“It won't work,' Mr. Bentley continued, sipping his tea. 'No matter how hard you try to be what you once were, you can only be what you are here and now. Time hypnotizes. When you're nine, you think you've always been nine years old and will always be. When you're thirty, it seems you've always been balanced there on that bright rim of middle life. And then when you turn seventy, you are always and forever seventy. You're in the present, you're trapped in a young now or an old now, but there is no other now to be seen.”

from Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury


be together...not the same

I was watching baseball the other night and happened to see this commercial for the first time. It's quite amazing, and like I sometimes do, I had to go and see what else I could find out about both the pianist and maybe information about the piano that is played.

And here is what I found:

 

A one note piano played against the traditional piano as a metaphor for diversity?  Yes, I can see how the idea works.

But such images reminds me of the wonder of God's creation -- and how grateful I am that He forever remains the same and shows me just how amazing He is. Colors, sounds, days, people. All different and yet all joined together by one Creator.

If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be?

1 Corinthians 12: 15-19