Life is like a blanket too short. You pull it up and your toes rebel, you yank it down and shivers meander about your shoulder; but cheerful folks manage to draw their knees up and pass a very comfortable night. Marion Howard
"Do you not know that there comes a midnight hour when every one has to throw off his mask? Do you believe that life will always let itself be mocked? Do you think you can slip away a little before midnight in order to avoid this? Or are you not terrified by it? I have seen men in real life who so long deceived others that at last their true nature could not reveal itself...
In every man there is something which to a certain degree prevents him from becoming perfectly transparent to himself; and this may be the case in so high a degree, he may be so inexplicably woven into relationships of life which extend far beyond himself that he almost cannot reveal himself. But he who cannot reveal himself cannot love, and he who cannot love is the most unhappy man of all." Soren Kierkegaard
I was really drawn to the above quote. It addresses the double standard we are experiencing today and not talking about the government. I am referring to the Church World. Seems too many areas of life have a dark side, with so many wearing masks (i.e., living a so-called Christian life while having hidden agendas). Sadly, many have worn the masks for so long that they don't know right from wrong.
Oh Church, wake up - the world is watching us, our children are watching us, our brothers and sisters in the Lord are watching us. The midnight hour is near when everything will be revealed and made transparent. Let's not be found as partakers of deceit. Dear Lord, may we be transparent enough in our spirits to see ourselves as we really are each and every day.
Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
With the loss of a family member and a few friends and acquaintances in the last few weeks, it has made me aware of how important it is to be sensitive at such a time. Thinking back, I remember receiving many wonderful words of encouragement and comfort. Many of the utterances are still framed in my heart as "apples of gold in pictures of silver."
We all want to be a blessing, especially in times of hardship. However, we must be cautious in our zealousness to help that we never blindly push our expressions because we feel spirituality dictates it. Life is fragile, and when dealing with a loss, people's hearts are even more fragile. Sensitivity must be foremost even if it means saying or writing nothing. Sometimes being a comforter means staying in the background - just committing ourselves to prayer for them.
Why do I say this? Well, I remember a particular card I received after losing my son Mark. Handwritten were details of Job's sin and his need to repent. This person said if we'd repent, good things would return to our lives. Such hurtful words, at a hurtful time. Then, when our granddaughter Zoe passed away a couple of years later, the same person sent another sympathy card referencing Job, repentance, and forgiveness of sin - declaring that then and only then would prosperity come. To say the least, this note written on every blank space of the card (and a large card at that) was extremely painful; and more plainly, awful. Her written words traveled around that card, up the sides from top to bottom and sometimes in between the printed message. The writing didn't stop there, it took off on the back side in three directions - either the writer was confused or wanted us to be. Unfortunately, this poor soul in presuming to be wise was a torturer - and no matter how you look at it, was making assumptions that we weren't living right or this event would have never happened.
A month or so later while extremely low in spirit, I mentioned the cards to my pastor's wife, who had also lost a child. She totally understood (had happened to her too) and gave me the best advice - go home and burn it. That losing Zoe was just another trial as it was in losing Mark. I followed her advice, and wow, what a relief to rid myself of those cards!
Do you believe that a decent, upright person can have adversity? Sure, they can. The Bible says that the rain falls on the just as well as the unjust. We don't like to think that God allows things to happen to His own. However, in life, there are those designated to suffer more, carry heavier loads, and bear extreme heartache. It's the path they must take toward heaven, and not because they need to be suppressed to make it or they've been disobedient but it is just God's plan.
Above all, we must be very careful in our human summarizations for we may with our choice of words destroy not only the soul of the receiver but ourselves who are extending (a verdict). So remember the next time condolences are sent, be careful not to write in every blank space.
There are days when that's exactly how we feel. We believe that there's no end to our being injured/damaged (by life). However, just remember that our worst days are never so bad that we are beyond the reach of God's repair.
All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him. Buddha
To smile is such a simple act - for without it, our attitude toward life is betrayed. So why not wear a smile for it is far better to be a messenger of contentment and joy than to be one of doom and gloom (aka: sourpuss).
Doctor appointments called once again to the City. However, it is giving me and the Papa a time to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the beautiful City by the Bay. It will definitely be difficult to return home in a few days.
No city invites the heart to come to life as San Francisco does. Arrival in San Francisco is an experience in living. William Saroyan