Mr. Standfast

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

July 19, 2004

Fallen Mansions, Hard Hurts, and Love Turned Sour

I told you about my friend Tom here. Yesterday we got together with him and Leah and their boys Judah and Micah. We just hung out all afternoon at Fort Williams Park. It's a beautiful place, and boasts one of the most photographed and visited lighthouses (Portland Head Light), or so I'm told, in the world. Judah, who is 6, and I took a little walk together. On the grounds of the park is an old burned-out mansion, just the shell of a once lovely house. Here's a picture:

Well, as Judah and I were walking up the path to this house, Judah said to me, quite matter-of-factly, "That's Ninevah."

What did you say?

"I said, that's Ninevah," in the tone of a teacher trying to be patient with a thick-headed student. "You know, where Jonah brought the message."

Ah, yes. Ninevah.


That was a lovely moment. It was a lovely afternoon. Then, in the evening, the fog roled in off the Atlantic. It was very beautiful, and we were all very tired. We had talked away the hours. Tom is a man of God who has always personified for me a kind of reckless abandonment to the Lord; Leah is a woman of steady faith and Godly wisdom. But these two have just been dealt a hard blow. Tom's other son, Greg, from a previous marriage, who had been living with them for the last three years, has chosen suddenly to stay with his mother instead. He won't say why, won't talk about his decision. This hurts in a very deep place in Tom especially. This is a hurt that cannot be spoken, cannot be put into words, and everything else can seem very unimportant beside it. So again I ask my friends to intercede for Tom.


Finally, a quote. This is from Oswald Chambers. I just think it's right on the money:
In the spiritual domain, criticism is love turned sour... If Criticism becomes a habit it will destroy the moral energy of the life and paralyze the spiritual force... whenever you are in a critical temper, it is impossible to enter into communion with God. Criticism makes you hard and vindictive and cruel, and leaves you with the flattering unction that you are a superior person. It is impossible to develop the characteristics of a saint and maintain a critical attitude.


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