Sometimes, holiness is feeding the hungry in Honduras.
Most of the time, it's:
maintaining joy while re-hanging clothes at work,
silencing the most horrible swears you know when it's nighttime and your oven won't shut off,
and realizing that the stress over your undone Research homework is really your own damn fault.
There's that. I'm exhausted.
"A Christian is to be a 'sign of contradiction'—a light on top of the mountain—
a thorn in the side of the world. His entire life is a silent reproach to sinners,
a beacon of hope to the oppressed, a ray of sunshine to the saddened,
a source of encouragement to the destitute and a visible sign of the invisible reality of grace.
Saints are ordinary people, who love Jesus, try to be like Him,
are faithful to the duties of their state in life, sacrifice themselves for their neighbor
and keep their hearts and minds free of this world.
They live in the world, but rise above its mediocre standards.
They enjoy living because life is a challenge, not an indulgence.
They may not understand the reason for the cross,
but faith gives them that special quality to find hope within it.
They do understand they are to walk in their Master's footsteps
and everything that happens to them is turned to their good.
Saints are ordinary people, who do what they do for the love of Jesus
- say what they must say without fear -
love their neighbor even when they are cursed by him
and live without regret over yesterday or fear of tomorrow."
This post was written by my dad. He's really great, and his emails are always solid gold.
Nothing has been changed in the transmission of this post from email to blog...
random grammar, formatting, and storyline tangents are parts of Dad's verbal art.
Time to check the Good Junk Cabinet. 1-29-2012
Everyone should be lucky enough to have space for such a cabinet.We need such cabinets to help frame forgotten things that can surprise us when we re-discover them.We need such cabinets to return to, to help us gauge where we have come from, to help gauge what we once thought was important, to help remind us of things we once wanted to/ and maybe still want to get around to doing.
When I was a young man, and transient, I called it a good junk box.Now that I have been married 30+ years and have lived in the same house for over 20 years I have a Good Junk Cabinet.
With the most recent purchase of running shoes, and the last pair not being worn out enough to throw away yet, I declared that today after church I have to come home and clean that cabinet out and see what can be tossed so the cabinet doors close.
Here is what I found: Some of it is current: my running shoes, t shirts, travel shaving kit.Other items are archival … on purpose:A paper napkin still in its plastic pack from when I accompanied the 2004 HTRS Marching Band (& Hannah) to the Medieval Knights dinner and Renaissance games in Florida .
Some are archival by happen stance:Old belts. Running turtle necks that have not been used in years, as I have not run in the winter for years. …Making me wonder if I will again.
The rest of this Sunday’s list of what I “found” in my good junk cabinet:
Old prescription receipts for pills I still am waiting to really need before I take them.
The receipts for the 4 white shirts I bought the month after Hannah died.(Those were the 4 white shirts I was going to wear until they wore out and then by the time they wore out I would be done mourning.)
Directions to stop watches that I have yet to figure out how to account for lap times when at a track meet.
2 Norelco Electric razors that no longer work but they have the caution note on them: contains a NiCad/rechargeable Battery – Dispose of properly. And I am not certain what “properly” is.
A portion of“pocket diary” notes dated 12-10- 2004…that points back to Joyce’s statement that we should keep a diary when we are going through challenges because people can get caught in a cycle of thinking that we have not made any progress … and by going back to such old notes we can often be surprised about how far we have come, or that we were ever really in that deep of a side track/ challenge.
A 2 year old OWH story about an Iowa family named Klocke that I was going to mail to my friend Norm Klocke who lives in Kansas .
A parable I got from a pastor several years ago following the funeral of Barb (Schroeder) Fry’s mother: …A Parable on motherhood by Temple Bailey
The young mother set her foot on the path of life. "Is the way long?" she asked. And her guide said, "Yes, and the way is hard. And you will be old before you reach the end of it. But the end will be better than the beginning." But the young mother was happy and she would not believe that anything could be better than those years. So she played with her children and gathered flowers for them along the way and bathed them in the clear streams; and the sun shone on them and life was good, and the young mother cried, "Nothing will never be lovelier than this."
Then night came, and storm, and the path was dark and the children shook with fear and cold, and the mother drew them close and covered them with her mantle and the children said, "Oh Mother, we are not afraid, for you are near, and no harm can come," and the mother said, "This is better than the brightness of day, for I have taught my children courage."
And the morning came, and there was a hill ahead and the children climbed and grew weary, and the mother was weary, but at all times she said to the children, "A little patience and we are there." So the children climbed and when they reached the top, they said, "We could not have done it without you, Mother." And the mother, when she lay down that night, looked up at the stars and said, "This is a better day than the last, for my children have learned fortitude in the face of hardness. Yesterday I gave them courage, today I have given then strength."
And with the next day came strange clouds which darkened the earth, clouds of war and hate and evil--and the children groped and stumbled, and the mother said, "Look up. Lift your eyes to the light." And the children looked and saw above the clouds an Everlasting Glory, and it guided them and brought them beyond the darkness. And that night the mother said, "This is the best day of all for I have shown my children God."
And the days went on, and the weeks and the months and the years, and the mother grew old, and she was little and bent. And her children were tall and strong and walked with courage. And when the way was rough they lifted her, for she was as light as a feather; and at last they came to a hill, and beyond the hill they could see a shining road and golden gates flung wide. And the mother said, "I have reached the end of my journey. And now I know that the end is better than the beginning, for my children can walk alone and their children after them." And the children said, "You will always walk with us, Mother, even when you have gone through the gates."
And they stood and watched her as she went on alone, and the gates closed after her. And they said, "We cannot see her, but she is with us still. A mother like ours is more than a memory. She is a Living Presence."
As I re-read this parable that I had forgotten about, I newly recognized that such parables should not be saved just for eulogies.Rather such parables should be shared when those mothers and those others are alive … so all around can nod their head in recognition by this reminder: “So that is what has been going on here for all of my life.”…Whether that person nodding in awareness is 7 years old or 14, or 27, or 57.Rather than waiting until after the fact to grasp this story, share this story (or a version of your own story) with someone you love who may not have a clue how deep that love can be.
That is some of what I found in my Good Junk Cabinet today.I hope your day was as lucky.KB 1-29-2012