No, no, there is no going back. Less and less you are that possibility you were. More and more you have become those lives and deaths that have belonged to you. You have become a sort of grave containing much that was and is no more in time, beloved then, now, and always. And so you have become a sort of tree standing over a grave. Now more than ever you can be generous toward each day that comes, young, to disappear forever, and yet remain unaging in the mind. Every day you have less reason not to give yourself away.
Welcome to the new website! I’ll likely continue dabbling with its design over the coming days, but in the meantime it’s providing a nice fresh feeling. The new aesthetic carries with it some obligation to write more regularly, and so I hope to do. Most of my efforts will likely be meditations and creative writing efforts, as they have been in the past, with perhaps the odd song or two thrown in. Hope you enjoy! And do drop me a note if you have suggestions for improvement.
Now it happened, the day after, that He went into a city called Nain; and many of His disciples went with Him, and a large crowd. And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother.
The Widow of Nain shows us a different scenario than many of the other miracles Jesus performed. Here there is no dialogue about faith, or even suggestion that the grieving woman and mourners sought Jesus’ help. He is not teaching a lesson and selling an illustrative example. They were simple passers-by full of grief, and He was full of compassion at their loss. He cared, He stopped them on their way (rather than the other way round), He acted without supplication.
These are beautiful reminders for us when we are tempted to narrow God’s goodness into a transaction surrounding faith. He sees and acts and does good unlooked for, unexpected, undeserved.
Over the past few weeks, we have entertained several houseguests here at Ritterfeld. The young Bohannons visited while transitioning between Dallas and Happy Valley, and stayed with us for over a week. This was followed soon after by visits from Masters Snead and Williams, who stayed one night so that we could catch up. It was lovely hosting these friends, playing many games of Dominion and Tiger Woods 2004, listening to music from our college years as well modern favorites like Mumford & Sons and Leon Bridges. Lots of quality time around the table in the past few weeks.
My conclusion: Good friendships are ballast for the soul. They give us healthy weight to maintain steerage on the journey, keep us from drifting, remind us of the course. Thankful for all of these in my life!
I visited this grand Dame years ago, by night,
In Nicodeman furtiveness and curiosity,
To see her standing stately by still waters
With roses in her hair.
It was near midnight
And the murmur of the city spent itself on streets surrounding
But she had no light within to share her secret charms —
Mysterious and dark against the dull glow of city lights,
She seemed to me a pensive Lady
Full of centuries of thought and love and wonder
At pain and war and rebellion
That crouches always at her knees
(She cannot comprehend such things as these)
And at her holy Father whom she serves
(She remembers Him always, and her memory is long).
Today she stands serene and still,
Wearing ash upon her face for Holy Week
And looking out at faces turned again
With tears upon their cheeks at something lost.
She smiles and knows her place.
She looks heavenward again —
Daylight touches corners of her heart
Which have known only candlelight for centuries,
And Ave Marias grace the stony streets around her
Which long have echoed only deep within.
She wonders: is this, then, a New Thing dawning,
A Promise looked-for now come true?
After the fire of beauty passes,
Does not something even lovelier appear?
She raises hands to Heaven
And bids the Easter come.