I needed a path with lights! Spiraling out of control was easy. The illuminated road toward destruction grew dark quickly. Finding the pathway back was arduous. It would take years.
Having the best of friends, I thought my solace would come from them. Perhaps, like me, you met a great friend at a summer camp and eventually they ended up being a roommate in college. Another longtime friend was the first person I was introduced to when arriving at a boarding academy. At any time and in any situation, I could pick up the phone and enjoy uplifting conversation. Well, perhaps not. The condemning emptiness was always present. “Alone in a crowded room” is the best phrase to describe my existence.
There were those times. Times when I could not explain what the need was. I just needed. Was I the only one in the world? How could it be that I had no one who would understand? Could it be? No! It couldn’t be. There was always that one friend. He loved me so. He even loved me during those times I did not acknowledge His love. I spoke to Him in my inner soul. He answered, “I am here, and will always be.”
Living in this world, so many are in distress. Utterly alone. I was not, in verity, in that state. My constant companion had kept His word, “I am here, and will always be.” Turning to my friends had its place; this friend, He went beyond and above. I must open up about Him. Consider this thought:
“Sometimes we pour our troubles into human ears, and tell our afflictions to those who cannot help us, and neglect to confide all to Jesus, who is able to change the sorrowful way to paths of joy and peace. . . .
He proposes to be our friend, to walk with us through all the rough pathways of life. He says to us, I am the Lord thy God; walk with me, and I will fill thy path with light. Jesus, the Majesty of Heaven, proposes to elevate to companionship with Himself those who come to Him with their burdens, their weaknesses, and their cares.”— Our Higher Calling, p. 97.
In need of a friend? I must recommend Jesus! There’s a simple way to get to know Him. Of course, there is prayer. Maybe you are not quite there yet! I know, you are expecting me to rush you into the Bible. It is a good place to start, especially the books, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Nevertheless, if you just want simplicity, I started with two books: Steps to Christ and Desire of Ages. (Priority Code: 1971-1285).
Today, Jesus leads me in the path of righteousness. A path with lights!
I am so glad marriage is not a piece of cake. Thirty-two years ago, July 28, 1985, at the Mt. Vernon SDA Church in NY, Alice and I said, “I Do” and then we did. We did enjoy a wonderful reception at the New Rochelle SDA Church. We did delight in a most awesome scrumptious meal. We did feed each other the tastiest slice of wedding cake. The cake was made by my very own Godmother, Rose Barnwell, and decorated by Christine Wells. We did save the top-tier for our 1st anniversary.
It would be that during the early summer of 1986, we would move to North Carolina. I drove the U-haul and Alice, pregnant with Danielle, drove the Toyota Tercel. Leslie, our son, would alternate as co-pilot from car to U-haul. The trip, for lack of a better way to state it, was a trip. Many disastrous events occurred; I will not relay them all now. Nevertheless, if my mind serves me right, our bird got away and our cake melted and got all smashed up. We had no idea of how to save a precious slice of cake for the trip. I am so glad marriage is not a piece of cake.
Let’s face it! You and I both know that there are more reasons to make such a declaration. It is more fitting to state that marriage is a piece of work. The voice of experience, as well as, many marriage counselors would stand firmly behind this view. Recently, I read a tweet stating “fight for your marriage.” (Young couples, please to do not misread this as “fight in your marriage.”) It will take enduring effort to keep your eyes on a much higher prize than wedding bliss experiences.
God has been so good to us I am literally in tears sharing this. There are many that thought we shouldn’t have married. There were times we truly struggled. There were countless good times and so much laughter. For example, we still laugh over the yellow, beat-up single-wide we spent $500 on. “Now that was laughter!” There are precious times, also. We were married long enough to sit hand in hand at our Danielle’s marriage to Abdel Salek. Our marriage, well in tact, recently welcomed into this world our first grandchild, Julian Alexander Salek, born on June 12 of this year.
Well, it is true, you learn something new every day. After thirty-two years, I do declare, marriage is not a piece of cake, nor a piece of work. It is a piece of faith. The more I see what righteousness by faith is, the more I see that an enduring marriage parallels. Two people made in the image of God can only truly glorify God–by faith. Male and female made He them. Male and female, He living in them.
Husband and Wife, crucified in Christ. They no longer live, but Christ lives in them. The life that they live in this “flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone” they live by faith in the Son of God, who loved us and gave Himself for us. (Galatians 2:20)
Today we celebrate 32 years of the awesome piece of faith called marriage! Hallelujah!
The purity, the holiness, of the life of Jesus as presented from the Word of God, possess more power to reform and transform the character than do all the efforts put forth in picturing the sins and crimes of men and the sure results. One steadfast look to the Saviour uplifted upon the cross will do more to purify the mind and heart from every defilement than will all the scientific explanations by the ablest tongue. – EGWHITE
On expanding my thinking on Social Justice issues, I had no idea! SomeTHINK has got to change. A wider focus here. A narrower focus there. Little by little I am changing my mind. Would you like to have better success with social identity and social difference discussions? You may have to reTHINK as well. The following excerpt provided the impetus for today’s post:
“…we have to think broadly and specifically, intellectually and emotionally, and politically and personally all at the same time.” (Linker, 2015)
The above quote was from the same section of the book I referenced in my post from last week entitled, Unseeing the Unjust Reality. The beautiful thing about writing every week on social justice is seeing the reality of my unseeingness. Yes, unseeing is an adjective, unseeingly, an adverb, and unseeingness, a noun. Here is the definition of unseeing,
“with one’s eyes open but not noticing or perceiving anything.”
I repeat. I see the reality of my unseeingness. What are you unseeing?
May I Digress? A few years ago, our family was celebrating the 100th birthday of my late grandmother, whom many affectionately called “Mother.” With at least 100 or so family members all around the venue, she was laying back in her chair with her eyes closed. A cousin lovingly asked, “Mother, are you sleep?” Mother, in her usual candid tone, answered, “All eyes shut ain’t sleep!” Sounds like the opposite of unseeing. “All eyes open ain’t seeing!”
Why am I spending this year, posting a blog every week about Social Justice? One, I write to improve my writing. Two, if I write about social justice, I will see better. Three, I am committed to making a difference…one word at a time. How about you? Please! Open your eyes. Notice. Perceive. Do you care? As Jesus said to His disciples, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)
Seeing is believing!
Linker, M. (2015). Intellectual Empathy – Critical Thinking for Social Justice. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.