Thursday, June 5, 2008

Friends in Low Places

Today I am feeling good.
In spite of a frantic day at work. My work is usually very "un-frantic", but today was an exception. For an important reason, but a boring one to blog about.

Feeling good anyway. Here's some reasons:

1. Our church just finished a wonderful revival with two excellent worship leaders: Mike Franklin and Toby Talley. Godly brothers and talented communicators. Lots of salvations and re dedications (mine!)
2. I am going on a Florida vacation in a couple of weeks. White sands. Seafood. Ocean sounds. Oh boy oh boy oh boy.
3. Abby sang a solo (accompanying herself on the guitar) in church last night and I was thrilled at her voice and her presentation. I am most thrilled with her soft heart.
4. My house is clean. (thanks Ralph!)
5. I have the week-end off starting now.

I recall a weekend last fall when my two brother's families and mine traveled to Fayetteville to watch the Hogs play football. Usually we stay the night, but for some reason, a few of us found ourselves driving back home in the wee hours of the morning. I was in the front seat with David, I think, and we were up on one of those big bridges which span the valley of Northwest Arkansas. There was a pause in our conversation and he quietly said
"The trees are beautiful"

The trees are beautiful?
At 1 o'clock in the morning?

"Yes. They are" I agreed.

Hours before, in the daylight and from a different direction, we had driven across that same bridge and admired the November foliage of the Ozark landscape.
Now, here we were, driving through an inky black night, but surrounded still by the same beauty of the mountains.

What had changed?

To say the beauty is still visible would not be true. We really tried, but could not see the trees. We knew they were there and we derived pleasure at being in Northwest Arkansas, but the night-time view did not bring us satisfaction. In spite of our attempts to see the spectacular fall colors which were "right there!", we simply could not.

I think that's where we all can finds ourselves in life.
I know full well the frustration of being surrounded by people who encourage you to
"Look up!"
"Cheer-up!"
"Straighten-up!"
"Toughen-up!"
But sometimes,..we just can not see the good. The beauty is enveloped in darkness.

For me,..and I try very hard to make this blog personal,...To me, it seems that there are times in our life where we are supposed to be in the dark. That's a controversial statement, I know, but it is indeed my opinion. I'm no theologian, but am expressing my puny perception of the life lessons of the beloved Bible characters as well as the ancestors and saints I admire.

What did I gain from my deepest darkest night-season of pain?
Profound things.
Sacred knowledge.
I treasure the things I now know, however, I loathe the circumstances of my new knowledge.

Are the lessons learned worth the pain? God may say "yes", and I confess I want desperately to agree with Him always, but I fear my answer would be an immediate "No!".

I have family, friends and patients who are deeply enshrouded in circumstances of darkness.
I have no idea why God allows such pain in the lives of His children.
I have asked Him why,....A bunch of times actually.
I am sorry and am thinking of you tonight.

1 comment:

dawghawg said...

Cleaning a kitchen and washing clothes are a couple of things I can do to make you happy. Oh boy salt in my eyes, sand in parts sand is not supposed to be in, things that sting, but early mornings on the beach before it is ruined by people. Yeah I look forward to it.