We are all in need of help. But is it the noun or the verb we need?
Woe is me! How can this be?
Where is that help I have sought?
Nothing but wretched know-it-alls
Come to disturb my thought – and my peace.
Peace? What peace?
What am I saying? Who am I trying to kid?
If this is peace then give me war
And I shall rest and sleep and snore.
Time passed on and matters grew worse.
I soon lost all that I had.
My friends had gone their merry old ways,
My family too was gone.
My business failed, uncertainty prevailed;
I slowly began to wrestle with myself
For a change.
What’s this? A knock? A tiny knock?
I haven’t had a knock since that beggar came by!
I wonder who it might be?
Eh? A whimper? A sniffing? A sobbing?
More trouble! Add fuel to the fire!
Is there no rest for the wicked?!
I opened the door and there stood a boy,
One hand over his eyes and one on his knee,
From where trickled blood to my doorstep!
Sir! the lad cried with tear-stained face,
I stumbled and fell just in front of your place.
I have nobody to help me.
Are you a doctor or someone to bind my wound?
Angered at first at the gory mess,
I nearly chased him away.
But though I knew I was only a laborer,
He had flattered me with his question.
Fancy me a doctor!?
“Lad, you have saved your knee,” I thought.
“Oh, very well, come in, come in.
We’ll see what to do with your wound.”
I bound up his leg and sent him away,
Not as friendly as I could have been.
But after all he was a bit of a nuisance
And I did give him some sweets to cheer him.
As I cleaned off my step
I began to think that
Though I was but a common fellow,
Yet he took my help (there was nobody else),
And he went away for the better.
And how was it I helped that little pest?
There was a time I wouldn’t be bothered!
Am I changing somehow or am I going mad?
I actually did him a favor – without charge.
It’s plain to see that though he is hard,
A change is slowly transpiring
A little more time mingled with hope;
Perhaps from evil he is tiring.
These were the words of the Sovereign King
As He spoke to His servant, the boy.
“You were sent to bring good news
And I thank you for your sacrifice.”
Until the believer is perfected, there remains some atheist in him. He says he believes, but in the final analysis, his fruits tell otherwise, quite. We worry, doubt, or fear because we don’t believe. Examining ourselves in the Light, we discover the truth about ourselves. That Light’s source is the fire that serves to purge us of the atheist within, that fire being an enemy at first, and a friend in the end. How will I know I can stand the fire Unless I am subjected? How do I develop muscle to do heavy work Unless I do heavy work to develop muscle? How do I form calluses on my hands to prevent blisters Unless I do those things That make blisters? I say I have faith to do anything, To suffer all things and smile, even laugh But how do I get that faith Unless I suffer the very things To produce the faith To laugh at the things concerning which I say I have faith? How can I cry and say, “I believe”? But when I believe, I shall not cry When the fires come Because the fires have done their work. Lethbridge, August, 1984
Death and parting are never easy between loved ones whether they be righteous or otherwise but with the righteous there is the sure hope of coming together again, the hope of a resurrection. The sunset sometimes promises that hope to be fulfilled and while there is sadness in the departure of the precious, there is also a solemn beauty to temper the sorrow and speak of better things to come. It is only by faith that we perceive that the sun will rise again soon. Coral and lavender, Quiet magnificence; Tender departure, Peaceful farewell. Beauty and Sadness Clasping hands, Warmly embracing, Shedding tears, saying, "It's alright, it's okay!" Gently passing away. Stettler, Alta., Spring, 1987
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