Every once in a while, I come across a work of fiction that becomes a source not only of reading pleasure, but of unforgettable characters and wonderful gems of wisdom and insight. One such character is Father Tim, author Jan Karon's central figure in her "Mitford Years" series. Father Tim is a lovable Episcopal pastor who is a wise, gentle, caring man. The following quote is from "At Home in Mitford", the first book in the series. If you haven't already become acquainted with these books, please do yourself a favor and add them to your summer reading. I revisit Mitford every so often and am always glad to be turning the pages there.
"He had just come from the hospital, where he had put his arms around a very ill patient, doing for someone else what God had so often done for him."
It is one of those gentle rains. I love sitting at the window, listening to the raindrops falling onto the patio and watching the birds enjoying their bath. A good day to stay home and be quiet. This will be a good day for the flowers, the grass and the potted plants, too. God's provision.
It is a good day for thinking. I am mulling over yesterday's sermon, a very heavy one. It came from the lips of a guest preacher, one who has known much pain in his life and has allowed God to use the hurtful things he experienced as a youth to feed a ministry to young people who desperately need someone who understands and comes along side to help carry the load.
I am thinking about forgiveness, trust, mercy.....God's grace, raining down and transforming lives, bringing beauty from ashes. A good day for gratitude, for prayer, for thinking.
"Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it." ~ Mark Twain
I read the following quote on the jacket of a music CD and it brought to mind two Scriptures that have been so meaningful to me during difficult and challenging times. The first is Psalm 40: 1-3 where David speaks of the Lord lifting him and setting his feet upon a rock. The second is found in Isaiah 40. At the end of that chapter we are told that those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength and will soar on wings like eagles. This quote points beautifully to these two truths.
"Faith is coming to the edge of all you know and trusting God will give you something to stand on or you will be taught to fly." ~ Mark Schultz
Life can seem overwhelming at times, both in the mountain and the mundane. This advice from the past applies so well to those times when we just don't know quite where or how to start.
Attempting to acquire a new discipline? Packing for a trip? In need of forgiving someone who has wronged you? Spring cleaning? Stepping into a new chapter in your life? I hope this simple advice encourages you today!