When the days have run their course
and the only words left,
to sum up a life returned to the source
of all life,
is carved in stone.
Rest in peace …
or with greater eloquence
“If I take the wings of the morning and
dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea”*
to mark the place of eternal sleep.
Words which fingers traced in granite
pale along side the soft passage
of indented prints through concrete not yet
by living creature’s remembered tread
in distant past.
Inevitably the tenth attempt had led
to the final milk scented breath
and, as all blessed with earthly life,
encountered God beyond the veil of death.
*Charles and Anne Lindbergh – from Psalm 139:9
“Almost all wild apples are handsome. They cannot be too gnarly and crabbed and rusty to look at. The gnarliest will have some redeeming traits even to the eye.” — Henry David Thoreau, Wild Apples
“Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed.” — Robert H. Schuller
Mom and Dad have a lovely little apple tree in the front yard. Spring arrives with the wonder “Is this the year it will produce apples?” The seasons’ progress can bring any number of events that sabotage the fall harvest. Frost on the blossoms, the late arrival of pollinators, not enough, or too much rain, or sun, insects, birds, hail, wind, bears, deer, early frost. Late July the tree was laden, Dad was considering it time to get the electric fence up to discourage the bears and deer from consuming the ripening fruit. (He wires it directly into the overhead hydro supply to the house…) Three days later it proved to be unnecessary. A huge storm rolled through, one of the most intense I have ever experienced while in the home of my childhood. More about that in a forthcoming blog. The next morning arrived with most of the apples resting, soft green globes in emerald grass. My sister collected them. She and Mom pealed and cored and baked an Apple Betty (Crumble) out of them. The fruit was not nearly mature enough, the finished dessert presented leathery fruit, cinnamon flavoured, blanketed between buttery oatmeal and brown sugar. A valiant attempt to put the fallen fruit to good purpose. We all tried a portion, but most was still waiting in the pan when we left a three days later. Maybe next year?
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
Yea, I echo what so many of you already have said… nobody should ever feel unwelcome… in the church, or in an online discussion about church matters. We are all Sisters and Brothers. Sometimes we sit on opposing sides of the living room, but, come meal time, we still are fed at the same table.
As far as scripture goes… yes, I follow the Bible passionately. I take it so very seriously. I take it so seriously that I am unwilling to allow my oppinion or my theory to change the Bible. I do the exegetical work. I do the prayer work. I do the meditational work. I listen for the voice of God. And, I wrestle with the pieces of scripture that make me scratch my head. I literally get down and wrestle with them. Because my outcome from these processes is different than yours doesn’t mean that one of us is wrong. It simply means that we came out with different results.
And, I’d even be willing to throw the entire Bible out as long as I can hold onto two precepts… Christ loved everybody without exception, and I should love everybody without exception. The entire rest of the Bible can go, because, in the end, it all gets boiled down to those two points. There’s no need for interpretation there. If it isn’t loving… truly and purely loving… it’s wrong in the eyes of Christ. No exegetical needed. No debate necessary. Simply, and purely, love all people without exception. Forgive their sins ( I need not know what they are by the way) and simply love them for who they happen to be.
T … and I particularly enjoy those moments the most, those “What the HELL do I do with this scripture?” moments. It’s almost as if I can feel Christ standing right next to me, and as if I can hear him chuckle at my being flumoxed.