Things are seldom as they appear – if ever. This is because two factors obscure the reality. Firstly, the object of the observation seldom conducts itself outwardly as it really is within or behind the scenes. Secondly, the ability on the part of the observer is limited at most times so that he is not able to see as he ought to.
And woe to the one who tries to acquire that which he desires by trying to give the appearance of either getting it or already having it.
Truth in the inward parts is not only the desired end but the means to that end.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life…”
Child of fullness and plenty, have you any idea
How empty you may be?
Your stomach is filled
Your laugh is hollow.
Child of laughter and merriment have you any idea
How sad you are?
Your heart has a notion
Of sorrow on the way.
You scoff at you know not what.
Child of scorn and scoffing, have you any idea
How the arrows you shoot reverse?
Your own conscience tells you
Of condemnation imminent.
That which you do not understand.
Child of pride and knowledge, do you have any idea
Of your ignorance and foolishness?
You know it all
But not as well as you are known.
For mercy – you have none.
Child of prayer and fasting, have you any idea
How full you will yet be?
You are now empty
On the way to fullness.
Your tears are not in vain.
Child of weeping and sorrow, have you any idea
How happy you will yet be?
Your heart is filled
Your crying is soon to end…in laughter.
Lethbridge, Sept. 1984
We walk by faith. Faith overcomes the world. We live by faith. Faith is the work of God. By faith are we saved. This we know. Now there is much ado made about love, joy, peace and works. But the thing that is striking is that with faith in the trial of the saints is mentioned none of those but patience. “Here is the patience and faith of the saints” (Rev. 13:10). Less is said about patience but this patience is the virtue of all virtues coupled with faith. The Lord teaches us to wait. I once saw a man Sitting in a chair on his veranda. His feet were raised up and resting on a rail, His eyes pegged on the road ahead. He seemed to be waiting With longing and hope. He was alone and didn’t like it much, And waited for someone to come. Time passed on…and on…and on. I looked again and saw The prairie without life, as before, The house, the veranda, and chair; I saw the feet on the rail, The figure was still there But no flesh was left, only dust and bones And cloth and cobwebs and hair. Lord, why must we wait so long For promises to be fulfilled? Soon I begin to think and feel That these promises were only imagined Or that I have failed somehow. I begin to think of that man Who waited with hope in vain. Will this be my lot? Am I that man? My heart sick with hope deferred? Will I turn to dust as that lonely soul, Feeding on empty dreams? But no, this is the patience and faith of the saints Who are called to trust and to...
I marvel at how worshipers of God so-called can become and are so much more important to themselves than the One they profess to worship. I marvel at how they worship themselves for worshiping God and how they do worship the worshiping itself. I marvel at how they insist and demand of God how that He should be worshiped. In essence, they are demanding that men worship them for their dedication and wisdom in the way they worship God. In essence, they demand of the One they profess to worship that He worship them! I marvel at the reversals of men, their utter contradictions and their blindness to it all. Tell me, all you religious, And answer me if you can, About the One you call your Master, Even the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you follow His example And do as He asks you to do? Or have you taken another way To serve Him as you choose? Did He wear religious garb? Did He call Himself good? Did He wear a gold-plaited electric chair Around His waist or neck, And over His head, a hood? Did He ask others to worship His mother? Did He call Himself “Father” or “Reverend” or “His Holiness” Or any other such thing? Did He ask that they pay His way? Did He ask that they kiss His ring? Did He gather a congregation And form a membership Over which He would hold sway? Did He sit down on a throne And put on a fancy hat? Did He ride a fancy horse, Protected by a sword? Did He baptize babies? Or ask for celibacy? Did He lord it over others with pomp And show and...
What torment we put ourselves through because of the value we place on the attitudes and opinions of others toward us. Realizing the effect of that grievous burden, we throw it off and are greatly relieved until a day comes when we find it had somehow grown on our backs once more to torment us, increasingly so. We must make a choice between praise of man and praise of God. How sweet the deliverance from chains that bind A man to many lords, As peace and rest come to his soul Which he has not known before! The disquieted mind beleaguered with questions, Bedraggled with doubt and confusion, Struggles to know the answer at hand Which seems to be but an illusion. How fruitless the concentration on Opinions of other people! How taxing the consternation About all their thoughts and actions! To the extent one values their words And seeks to be praised of men, To this extent are they his lords And idols are they within. Seek not to prove that the wrong are wrong; Seek not to prove you are right, But speak the truth both gently and wisely And leave it without a fight. Fear no man but fear only God, For once all is said and done, To God will we answer And He is the Judge Of all things under the sun. All things that are hidden Will come to the light In due time, whether good or bad, And when His plan is fully complete, Then all will receive praise of God. Dauphin, 1978, 79