27 April 2005

Visitation

It's something so elusive
Something close but far away
And sometimes I barely miss it when I walk into the room
The curtains are still swaying and I feel the air move.
-- Sara Groves, This Peace

26 April 2005

Friends

24 April 2005

Grace

You are close
Closer than we know
And there will be a day
When all will be revealed.
-- Eoghan Heaslip, Grace In The Wilderness

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042405

I went out walking today in an empty place, a place where the sky met the horizon firmly and without ambiguity. This is a quality I can appreciate, especially on those days when life seems complicated.

I met an old man once who seemed happy just to sit by the big picture window in the afternoon light. He didn't say very much. He just smiled. I wonder what he knew that I don't.

23 April 2005

Touch

21 April 2005

Frederick Buechner On Faith

To whistle in the dark is more than just to try and convince yourself that dark is not all there is. It's also to remind yourself that dark is not all there is, because even in the dark there is hope. Even in the dark you have the power to whistle. And sometimes that seems more than just your own power because it's powerful enough to hold the dark back a little. The tunes you whistle in the dark are the images of that hope, that power. They are the books you write.

F. Buechner, Going on Faith: Writing as a Spiritual Quest, thanks to OneHouse for the quote.

20 April 2005

Greetings & Thanks

Hello to everyone dropping in by way of the Mere Comments link. Make yourself at home. Thanks to Ken Tanner at Touchstone for the kind words and the generous attention. I am grateful. Peace be with you all.

19 April 2005

The Gap

Sometimes you need a bridge because sometimes everything you can do on your own gets you nowhere. Sometimes you need a miracle. When the shouting is done and the waving your arms and the smoke signals and all the other noise, sometimes all there is to do is sit there in silence, all you have left to do is love. Sometimes, I think, that's where it all begins. Is that faith or is that just plain stupid? I'm not sure, but as soon as I know, I'll tell you.

17 April 2005

Free Will

This is a little long, but I like it, and it's something I've been thinking about and want to remember. If you really want to understand it, you'll need to read it slowly. And maybe more than once:

The soul, which is created apt for love,
The moment pleasure wakes it into act,
To any pleasant thing is swift to move.

Your apprehension draws from some real fact
An inward image, which it shows to you,
And by that image doth the soul attract:

And if the soul, attracted, yearns thereto,
That yearning's love; 'tis nature doth secure
Her bond in you, which pleasure knits anew.

And as fire mounts, urged upward by the pure
Impulsion of its form, which must aspire
Toward its own matter, where 'twill best endure,

So the enamoured soul falls to desire --
A motion spiritual -- nor rest can find
Till its loved object it enjoy entire.

Now canst thou see how wholly those are blind
To truth, who think all love is laudable
Just in itself, no matter of what kind,

Since (they would argue) its material
Seems always good; yet, though the wax be good,
The imprint is not always good as well.

...

Such things are instincts in you, much the same
As is in bees the honey-making bent;
This prime volition earns nor praise nor blame.

Now, to keep all volitions else well blent
With this, you have a counsellor-power innate
Set there to guard the threshold of assent:

That is the principle to which relate
All your deserts, according as its fan
Is strict to purge right loves from reprobate.

...

Grant, then, all loves that wake in you to be
Born of necessity, you still possess
Within yourselves the power of mastery;

And this same noble faculty it is
Beatrice calls Free Will; if she thereon
Should speak with thee, look thou remember this.

- Dante, Purgatory [Sayers], Canto XVIII

And so we go, driven by our own nature, but guided by our will, and informed, or so we pray, by grace.

13 April 2005

The Grass Of The Field

The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
To the one who seeks him;
It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.

I called on your name, O LORD, from the depths of the pit.

You heard my plea: "Do not close your ears to my cry for relief."
You came near when I called you, and you said, "Do not fear."
O Lord, you took up my case; you redeemed my life.

[Lamentations 3]

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Looking Down

11 April 2005

A Journey Safe And Sure

On came the beauteous creature, clothed in white,
And seeming as he came in countenance
A star of dawn all tremulous with light.

He spread his arms abroad, and spread his vans,
And, "Come," said he, "the stairs are nigh: henceforth
An easier climb is yours and every man's."

Glad summons - but with few to prize its worth!
O human race, born to take flight and soar,
Why fall ye, for one breath of wind, to earth?

He brought us to the rock's cleft aperture,
And there he brushed my forehead with his wings;
Then promised me a journey safe and sure.

- Dante, Purgatory [D. Sayers], Canto XII

09 April 2005

Nerves

Time

Patience

06 April 2005

Sighting

05 April 2005

In The Weeds

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