Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her “How could God let something like this happen?” (regarding the attacks on Sept, 11, hurricanes and earth quakes. Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said “I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?” In light of recent events…terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found recently) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school …. the Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK. Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he’s talking about. And we said OK. Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves. Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with “WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.” Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace. Are you laughing? Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they WILL think, of you for sending it. Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us. Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard it… no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don’t sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.
The joy for some comes easy. Growing old, pop sitting in the recliner, mom rocking in her rocker. The TV on, a show playing, lunch over.
Pop closing his eyes while mom watches him, thanking God for these many blessed years she has been given him to share life with. Rose closes her eyes. She opens them when she hears Pop coughing.
He clears his throat and continues on with his nap. The doorbell knocker is heard. She raises up from her rocker and quietly walks over to the door. Opening it up, there standing is the youngest daughter.
Mom invites her in but not without giving the hush sound, pointing at Pop sleeping. Sara goes into the kitchen and grabs two cups of hot coffee. Taking the lead, she goes out onto the sun room, where they both sit and enjoy a few sips.
Sara ask about Pop and how he is doing. She asks if there is anything the two need. The conversation bounces around from that point to how nice the weather is. Sara talks about her vacation coming up and how she is anxious to not set the alarm.
The two visit for about half-an-hour. Sara looks at her watch, stating she must be heading out, that she has one more errand to run before returning back to work. The two stand up and they hug each other. Sara plants a kiss on Mom’s cheek, telling her she loves her.
The two head for the living room. Looking at Pop, they both think how peaceful he looks. Sara holds her breath. She walks over to him and feels his hand. Cold to the touch. While the women were talking, Pop went to be with the Lord with a smile on his face.
The joy for some comes hard. Ruth and Eddie had a good life, or so they thought. They both met during the war. He was a soldier and she was a nurse. After the war was over, the two got married.
Within a year, their first son was born. About six months later Eddie started having bad headaches. He had terrible nightmares that woke him up drenched in sweat or sometimes screaming.
By this time, they had also learned that baby two was on the way. Night after night, Eddie suffered. Memories of the war popping up constantly.
They went to the VA many times and were told the same thing. This is caused from the war. There is nothing that can be done. He was given prescriptions for pain and some narcotic pills to try to calm him down.
The job that he had at the local hardware store was put to a halt. He was told by the boss, they just couldn’t afford to keep having him show up late or go home early. They liked him and all, but this was life.
Eddie stayed home. Ruth tried some babysitting but Eddie couldn’t stand the noise. She then turned to doing some housecleaning for others, but only on a part-time basis, because Eddie’s symptoms worsened with time, and he needed her help.
Christmas was gloomy at times. They did the best they could, but it wasn’t much. There just wasn’t enough money. Winters were the worst. High heat bills, and beating down church doors for donations to help pay the bills and put enough food on the table.
When the kids were old enough; they wanted out. They knew they could have a better life away from home. Eddie and Ruth managed to do for themselves without the kids being there, but life was lonely and frustrating.
The two grew old together, clinging close to each other. Sometimes there was a visitor. A minister, or a girl scout knocking at the door selling cookies.
The streets were quiet. Snow was falling softly outside, covering everything. Eddie and Ruth laid in their bed together, using each other for extra warmth. Morning never returned for these two.
photo taken by Terry Shepherd
Follow Your Dreams
White, graceful birds
Fly smoothly over water
Fairies dusting the surface
With glitter made from sparkles of hope.
Puffs of cushioned clouds
Floating above our skies
Giving rest for those on long journeys
Holding dreams and goals.
I sit on the pier’s edge
Toes dipped in blue ripples
Marvel at the beauty I see
Take in a deep breath, and smile.
Some day, I will be them
Leaving my spot for higher ground
My wings shall spread
Flying and following my dreams.
Written by my feelings,
What is gentle, but strong?
Is it spewing words as swords?
Is it knowing you are right?
Is it proving your point?
Is it knowing you are from
God’s creation, in his eyes
Being confident in his word
Having no doubts…….
Maybe it is your faith
That sets you free
Realizing you can keep quiet
Because you trust in him.
Would our world be better?
Would bickering stop?
Petty arguing and name calling
Would come to a halt?
Being gentle is strong
Firm in belief
Lending a hand
Give uplifting words
Ask God for guidance
Pray for all others
Being gentle is strong.