Soul-and-Body Scars

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A voice said, Look me in the stars
And tell me truly, men of earth,
If all the soul-and-body scars
Were not too much to pay for birth.

-Robert Frost


When God Says No

God never denies us our heart’s desire except to give us something better.
-Elisabeth Elliot

Doubtful wonderings and wishful thinking
Flash like heat lightening on the horizon,
Catch me by surprise.

Cloudy mists of questions,
The tightropes of risks
Force me to turn inward.

Like a heavy grey cloud,
water, wind, descending, beating,
my heart and mind are running out of time.

Thinking of nothing else, my mind,
pondering upon consequences distant –
my yesterday becomes today becomes future.

Caring for nothing but the will of the Master,
Yet with eyes too full of conditions to see the hard truth,
Settle, my heart, for what is Divine.


You have come to a fork in the road. A decision lies before, imminent and demanding. Your life will become completely different depending on your choice. The beginnings of each road appear similar. What do you do?

However, as you spend hours contemplating the affects of either road, you notice contrasts. One road may seem to give you higher status, expose you to more famous people, advance your skills and give you a chance to soar. It may shine with a radiance, and lead to a land of blue skies and sunny days filled with happiness.

The further down the other one you gaze, you see that the path disappears around a wooded bend. It seems to lead deep into a forest where the sunlight is scattered and screened. Little contact is enjoyed with the outside world, except maybe an occasional clearing. It looks pretty interesting, definitely the more mysterious, and your hand squeezes the Master’s as you imagine yourself traveling that road.

Surely you have been there. Maybe you’re even remembering that time now, and how long ago it seems! Nostalgically you remember those days of concentration, deep prayers, and heart-cries for wisdom. It was a big decision! But now, as you remember it, so small it seems when you remember where you’ve been since then.

It may be right for you to take the first path. But it is equally possible the second path is the one for you. And if it is, let me speak to you. If God says no, and you do not get what you desire, listen to what I say and believe it. You have my promise that is true and trustworthy.

God has a plan and it is good.

Repeat that to yourself over and over, for it is your lifeline out of despair and sadness. When you are several steps down the road and mourning the loss of what you never had, put your whole faith into those words and launch out into the deep, trusting Him. When you have nothing else to hope for, believe in it.

It is that trust that will lead into surrender and joy. Do not fear its shaded paths — they are filled with unimaginable beauty. I promise, it will get better, but it is important that today you rejoice in God’s leadership. Ever onward, friend!

“Love isn’t love until it costs you something.”
-Ivan Chupp, Love One Another
August 24th, 2014
Messiah AM Church

As the days flow so also the variety:
The pack of grocery lists are different,
Packages of food vary as the sky,
As well as alternating sets of clothes.

But some things about her never change:
Hair falling and thin,
Teeth missing in her smile,
Skin sagging on her bony frame.

Yet these will all pass away someday, eventually.

But she has friends,
Oh, so many.
They live behind windows and doors, in beds, on chairs,
rarely going outside.
Every morning, she goes.
Goes to see them,
make sure they’re okay, pantries and fridges stocked.
Her footprints stamp the sidewalks with change.
Changing lives by loving and caring.
Including mine.

(Written about a dear charming lady who comes to Walnut Creek Cheese several times a week to buy groceries for her friends from the retirement home. She has no idea the good she does to everyone in this world. Why can’t I be like her?)