Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Like Drift Wood

I grew up near the water front and as a child loved to play on the beaches of the Pacific Northwest.  The water was always frigid even on the warmest July days.  But the warmth of the sun balanced the cool wetness of the rocky beach.  I spent hours exploring the woods near the water, jumping, running, laughing.  My brothers and I would pick up drift wood sticks, washed white and smooth by the pounding of the waves and sand alternating with the baking heat of the sun.  These sticks were pirate knives and we were ready to fight to protect our beach head from invaders from the sea.  At day's end as the sky was darkening and night cast shadows, we would leave our booty behind, retreating to the light and warmth of our home.

I keep thinking of that smooth wood.  The beating it took over the years that turned it from a rough bark encrusted piece of wood into a smooth almost polished beauty.  I am sure the sand, and the wind, and the rain and the sun were not comfortable to that humble piece of wood.  Soaking and wet then baking dryness; lashing winds and salt eroding away at its surface.  But a work of beauty and calm lies underneath waiting to be exposed.

Today I feel like that beat up piece of wood- not so patiently waiting for the sun and sand and wind to let up.  Crawling knee deep in the muck, the seaweed and stink.  Wanting it all to go away, but knowing that all this is necessary for me to be what I want -- that smooth and beautiful piece of driftwood--

Remembering today that healing takes time.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wise Words

I have been reading C.S. Lewis' book, Mere Christianity recently and came across a beautiful passage I wanted to share.  I felt inspired by Lewis' words penned more than 60 years ago.  Hoping this brings you or a loved one peace today.

We may, indeed, be sure that perfect chastity- like perfect charity- will not be attained by merely human efforts.  You must ask for God's help.  Even when you have done so, it may seem to you for a long time that no help, or less help than you need is being given.  Never mind,  After each failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again.  Every often what God first helps us towards is not the virtue itself but just this power of always trying again.  For however important chastity (or courage, or truthfulness or any other virtue) may be, this process trains us in habits of the soul, which are more important still.  It cures our illusions about ourselves and teaches us to depend on God.  We learn, on the one hand, that we cannot trust ourselves even in our best moments, and on the other, that we need not despair even in our worst, for our failures are forgiven.  The only fatal thing is to sit down content with anything less than perfection.
Mere Christianity, Chapter 5