A church friend of ours built a vacation home on a lovely lake in Maine. It’s a spectacular house designed to host friends and family. What struck me during our stay last summer was the tall window over the bed in our room. Once the sun set, the moon, stars, silvery water and silhouetted trees created a magical, twinkling display inside that window frame.
Some people are news junkies. They can tell you at any moment all that’s happening in the world and what they think about it. Though I love how technology connects me to faraway loved ones, I hate how that same technology dumps a world of need at my doorstep every day. Those troubles are piled on top of the concerns already part of my immediate circle. It can feel overwhelming.
Once a sheep loses its balance and rolls onto its back, a “cast” sheep will lay with its feet flailing in the air, unable to stand up on its own. The weight and shape of a sheep’s body prevents it from being able to regain its footing. The image is funny, but the condition isn’t. Within minutes, blood flow to limbs is cut off as gases build up in a chamber of the sheep’s stomach. Without a shepherd’s intervening care, a cast sheep will die.
Tropical storm Henri visited our neighborhood yesterday. At one point, the eye of the storm was literally over our house, according to the weather map! It turns out that this was a good place to be. The strong, swirling winds were farther out, swinging their way through other States. We endured only heavy rain and moderate winds. But we didn’t know that ahead of time, so we had prepared for the worst—being without food, water, and electricity for several days.
When I first read the Bible as a child, I thought that the words “LORD” and “Lord” were just identical titles for God. For some reason (I figured in my young mind), God wanted to emphasize His title in the Old Testament, so He capitalized all the letters. I’ve since come to realize that “LORD” isn’t a title but a name.
Back in 1992 I received a poetry book for my birthday. That book was one of a few that I decided to reread this summer. What I discovered was . . . I had never actually read more than a few pages of the book! Over the years that book had become a familiar companion. It found its way all over our house – in bookshelves, on the coffee table, next to reading chairs. I couldn’t remember why I didn’t read it completely the first time around; I only know that now I felt like I was reading the lovely, fresh ideas of a newfound friend. I’m so glad I looked again at something I thought I knew. Oh, what I would have missed!