Monthly Archives: May 2015
Analogies can be helpful. They can put ideas into word pictures we better understand. We all know what they mean when someone says, “The relationship is beginning to thaw,” “I am going to be toast when I get home,” “He is like a rock” or “I feel like a fish out of water.”
A lot of analogies come from the world of sports. Just recently someone said, “I hope you knock it out of the park.” Encouraging words for sure. Continue reading
His name was Arthur Christopher Benson. He lived April 24, 1862–June 17, 1925. He was an English essayist, poet, author, and the 28th Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge.
Benson was one of six children of Edward White Benson (Archbishop of Canterbury, 1882–96) and his wife, Mary, sister of the philosopher Henry Sidgwick. The Benson family was accomplished, but their history was tragic. A son and daughter died young; and another daughter, as well as Arthur himself, suffered badly from a mental condition that was probably manic-depressive psychosis, which they had inherited from their father. None of the children ever married. Continue reading
I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to respond. The first thing he said to me over the phone was, “Oh, about what happened yesterday.” The problem was we didn’t talk yesterday.
This has happened before and I find that if I just keep agreeing, keep saying “Ah-huh” and “Yup,” that in time the caller will give me enough information to connect the dots. Pretty soon the light comes on and I’m able to talk as if I was there. Continue reading
Everyone knows what it means to waste time. At least we do when its someone else who is wasting time. It’s not as easy to identify it in oneself.
To some people the culprit today is the smart phone, “Doesn’t anyone realize how much time is being wasted on those things?” A few years earlier, television was the problem. Parents yelled, “Why don’t you go out and play?” Prior to that, it was reading, “Let’s go, we have work to do!” And then there are the poor artists and authors. “How are you going to make a living at that?” Continue reading
Rev. Gerald Peacocke once served as rector of St. Mark’s church, Dundela, Belfast, Northern Ireland from 1900 to 1914. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where he took the Hebrew prize in 1892. He was ordained priest in 1894, and was curate of Conmoney, Co. Antrim, 1893–1896. He was at St. Mark’s when 15-year-old C. S. Lewis was attending.
In a letter to his father dated October 19, 1913, Lewis reflects on Rev. Peacocke’s retirement from St. Mark’s to become prebendery (a senior member of clergy) of Geashill, Co. Offaly from 1914-1923. His remarks are brief and to the point, Continue reading
I occasionally hear people talk about the miraculous incidents in the Bible and dismiss them by saying people back then were primitive. “They did not understand science as we do today.”
But such people stop reading the biblical stories one period too early. If they read the next sentence they would see things like, “And they were all amazed and said to one another, ‘What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!’” (Luke 4:36); “And her parents were amazed, but he charged them to tell no one what had happened” (Luke 8:56); “Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning.” (Luke 24:22). Continue reading
A friend of mine used to occasionally say about his job, “They tell me I have to do it. Not that I have to like it.” It’s not that he didn’t like his job, there were just parts of it that he preferred over others. It’s when he was doing those other parts that he would remind himself, “They tell me I have to do it. Not that I have to like it.”
I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that a lot of people have said that about their jobs. Few would notice when it’s said. Most people expect as much. But what about other aspects of our lives? Times when it is no less true but it would not be tactful to say it. Continue reading
Some stories are fun. Some stories are instructive. The best stories are both.
C. S. Lewis’s book, The Great Divorce, is a great story. It tells the tale of the writer, in a dream, boarding a bus on a drizzly afternoon and embarking on a voyage through Heaven and Hell. He meets a number of strange and supernatural beings and comes to realize the significance of everyday behavior.
Near the end of the book a conversation ensues. One character is describing to another what it means to be in Heaven, Continue reading
I guess some would explain it as a form of psychological projection. As a coping skill to deal with the loss of a loved one, people project what goes on in this life into the next. It happens at funerals all the time. Whatever the person enjoyed in this life, he or she is now enjoying in the next. He is now “Plowing the lower forty” or “She is walking in the garden path.”
It seems petty and almost cruel to correct such notions. It gets them through the most difficult hour of their life and in time, they don’t think that much about it. Better to bring clarity later if the opportunity presents itself. Continue reading
I don’t suppose someone would call visiting in a nursing home or hospital “pleasant.” That word usually conjures up walks along the beach, reading a good book, an evening out with friends. A place of peace and laughter.
But if you look and listen carefully, you can see peace and hear laughter in the most unusual places. You find yourself talking to someone you would not want to change places with physically, but would love to change places with them emotionally. They are hurting, but they are happy. You are neither. Continue reading