"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Friday, May 07, 2004
pur-port Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, content, tenor, from purporter to contain, from Old French porporter to convey, from por- forward + porter to carry -- more at PURCHASE, PORT
1 : meaning conveyed, professed, or implied
2 : a quality sometimes given to dreams
I was at my wits end, literally. In three days I would be in a psychiatric ward in the hospital.
But for the moment, unaware that I was ill, I was sitting staring at my computer screen, home from work because I kept almost passing out.
I thought it was sugar crashes from diabetes. It wasn't. It was little dips into catatonia. If you don't know what that is, trust me, its a room you never want to go into.
I stared at the screen, not really seeing what was there, just seething inside.
Work was horrible. And the atmosphere that was being forced down my throat was eating me from the inside out.
Bear trap. Bear trap. Bear trap. That's all I could think of. I was trapped, and saw no way out at all.
I rocked back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.
My wife sat on the couch looking at me, trying her hardest to come up with something, anything, that would help me. But we had no idea of the underlying problem, so we couldn't fix anything. Not today.
"You know, I had a dream last night," she said.
Now this was odd. She hardly ever dreamed, and to mention one was, well, I couldn't tell you when that had happened last. And something clicked inside, something that perked my ears up and said this is important.
"I think it is for me," I replied, turning towards her.
"I dreamed about daddy," she said, referring to her late father, a rugged fellow that had passed away maybe ten years earlier on his 14th or 15th heart attack in one day.
And I knew as surely as I knew my name, that "Daddy" was God.
"Daddy was digging a ditch, sort of. Actually, it was for a new sidewalk, in our front yard, beside the one already there. And he was angry."
"Angry?" I asked.
"Yes, he was so furious, he was just clenching his fists. Someone had done something bad to one of us, and He was really, really mad about it."
"Yes. And as soon as He finished digging, he was going to go handle this person who had done this thing."
In my mind, all the pieces fit together. Sidewalks are paths to follow, but a foundation needs to be prepared in order to build the path. You usually do that by digging. Digging tears up the ground, destroys what was there, but makes way for the new and better. That's what the digging meant. Our (my) trials were for a purpose.
Which left the anger thing. In the last twenty years, I can only think of one person who has intentionally tried to harm me. I mentioned that person in my previous posting.
But, vengeance does not belong to me, does it? No. Vengeance belongs to God and God only.
My job is forgiveness. And that's tough, because I really want to see the bad guy get it at the end of the movie, and the good guy sail off into the sunset.
If forgiveness is easy, it ain't forgiveness. It's when it's tough, it's when you are forgiving someone for something that was almost lethal, that's when it is real, true forgiveness.
And in that, God gets glory.
I wonder how the Israelites felt about Pharoah's army when they drowned in the Red Sea?
Maybe that's not a good example. Maybe the example is how Stephen felt when they stoned him.
Man, what a hard act to follow.
Forgiveness is the healing of wounds caused by another. You choose to let go of a past wrong and no longer be hurt by it. Forgiveness is a strong move to make, like turning your shoulders sideways to walk quickly on a crowded sidewalk. It's your move.
Real Live Preacher, RealLivePreacher.com Weblog, July 7, 2003