All the empires and the kingdoms have failed, because of this inherent and continual weakness, that they were founded by strong men and upon strong men. But this one thing, the historic Christian Church was founded on a weak man, and for that reason it is indestructible. For no chain is stronger than its weakest link.
I don’t know, man. This song is too good.
We lost our oldest child, our daughter Anna, suddenly in April 2008 at the age of 27; our other three daughters and three sons lost their beloved sister. Two months later, a longtime, long-distance friend of my husband was visiting us. As we sat together on our screened porch after dinner, he confided that he had been so shocked when he first received the news of Anna’s death in an accident halfway around the world that he almost didn’t respond at all. What immobilized him initially was the unimaginable thought of such harm coming to his own oldest daughter.
But he had gathered himself up and sent an eloquent letter to us, accompanied by one of the most beautifully specific gifts we have ever received – a gift rich with profound meaning. We were so moved at the time; even now, this powerful symbol and the thin stuff of words never fails to bring comfort and provide a window into that greater life. “What if,” I mused with him that evening, “you had kept silent? What part of us might not have mended, or been carried even for that day?” I know that my husband and I have survived the pressing weight of this profound grief in large part because of the grace of God conveyed through those who have gracefully moved toward us and chosen to sit alongside us.
How much grace do we withhold when we hold back? How much more might this suffering soul, this wounded Body, this broken world be healed if we who belong to Christ would simply move toward instead of holding back, or even retreating, in the face of anguish? How often do we respond not in any sort of “fullness of time,” but only at our convenience, restrained by our measured degree of comfort, if at all? Sometimes I wish He didn’t trust us so much. Sometimes I wish He didn’t entrust us with so much.
The desert he rode was red and red the dust he raised, the small dust that powdered the legs of the horse he rode, the horse he led.
EXPERIENCE in carpenter work need not be extensive in order to build an open-front poultry house. Anyone who has any aptness for learning how to handle tools can soon master the essentials of house building—and will not find the work of construction very difficult.
Right here, in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, two city girls have started in the “poultry business and are making a success of it. They had had no experience with poultry or in carpenter work, but they determined to build their own poultry houses and they did it and did it well. If two inexperienced city girls can frame, board in, and shingle a building and make a good job of it, others can certainly learn to do it and the man or well grown boy who thinks that he can’t, ought to brace up and try.