Define your goal and it will define you…
Change someone and you will be changed…
Forgiveness is free yet costly…
Seek faith while it is omnipresent…
Look for love and it will leave you for a better time…
A dog barked at my door one day. I poked my head out to see to the commotion. Compassion struck my heart. One glance into the creature’s dark, fearful eyes conveyed the kind of life it must have had. Starving, undernourished, scrapping for its next morsel. Its mangy pelt never saw a bath, brush, kind touch, or even a pat. Goaded by unfriendly neighbors, shooed away from passersby, and never accepted into a pack, it appeared lonely and untrusting. It didn’t help that it had only three legs. What terrible accident took the limb? How did it survive with no apparent care or concern reflected in its environment?
The creature snapped at me when I tried to handle it with utmost care. I desired to gain this canine’s confidence, to feed it, nurture it, show the dog that goodness subsisted in the world and kindness came through a courteous soul once in awhile.
When someone moves into your life for an unknown reason and the compassion you feel over his/her hardship propels you to befriend, feed. Take care not to get your feelings hurt when your hand gets bitten. For it’s learned behavior, acquired by frequent injustices. With continual empathy, patience, and a thick skin, in time a lovable, bouncing puppy will emerge from the downtrodden beast who discovers the genuine trust of a real friend.
“Come back to Jesus,” said the preacher man, to which I responded, “I never left. And why would you think that I had?” Is it because I’ve stretched my mind beyond religious din and traditional expectations more than once or twice? That I can sense God speaking in the wind through the trees?
“I'd rather be in the mountains thinking about God, then in church thinking about the mountains.” - Ace Kravhl
The preacher man’s comment, although made with good intentions, is a product of judgment and not the state of my heart or the condition of my soul.
Where-oh-where might I find my Creator, when it’s quiet enough that I might hear him speak? At times it is within four walls. Most often it’s while pondering the natural world. He guides and directs me still. Who is to say that he doesn’t?
“So I climbed, up and up and up. I went so high, tried to look at the sun straight on, and then fell and fell. God was there waiting for me, it turned out, exactly where I wasn’t looking for him.” - Peter Bebergal and Scott Korb, The Faith Between Us
*Photo Attribution: By John Spooner (flickr.com) [CC-BY-2.0
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Maybe it should be entitled, True Love Never Dies. In the sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, Christine Daaé has been married to Raoul ten years. At first considered safe and secure, Raoul has proven otherwise, as he drowns in his self-inflicted indomitable issues. Moreover, tenderness towards his wife has withered to nil. She dutifully has stayed beside him, accepting her lot with grace, yet she is hollow where happiness should reside, disappointed where love should flourish. And all this time, she has suppressed the secret that her true soul mate is not the one she had married. Erik, the phantom lover, suddenly reenters the picture after a decade.
Wonderfully cast in this Australian production with Anna O’Byrne as Christine and Ben Lewis as Erik, the following is my favorite scene, a recollection of their night together, the two who were meant to be one. It’s beautifully tragic, horribly exquisite, pleading, what is love without anguish, heartbreak, regret, and longing.