L'Abri Journals...ACGray

April 2002
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April showers we need....


Chalet LAbri , April 1, 2002   

Edwin Markham has always been one of my favorite poets.  Yesterday I found his prayer poem speaking to me:

Teach me, Father, how to go - Softly as the grasses grow; Hush my soul to meet the shock Of the wild world as a rock; But my spirit, propt with power, Make as simple as a flower. Let the dry heart fill its cup, Like a poppy looking up; Let life lightly wear her crown, Like a poppy looking down, When its heart is filled with dew  And its life begins anew.

            The daffodils I buried in the hard earth last November are blooming this April morning.  I planted new grass on my front lawn early this spring and tender shoots now emerge in resurrection time.  I read the news of Palestine this morning, reminding me that, yes, my soul does need to be hushed from the shock of the world at war.  And grieving for friends in pain and others searching for answers, I identify with Markham.  But praying with him, my soul rejoices, knowing that I go to the proper Source to have my spirits lifted.   Today, I want to be a poppy looking up! 

            Spring seems to be stealing in ever so softly this year.  Intermittent balmy days followed by frigid nights have caused the trees to leaf with great hesitancy.  Also, despite some welcome showers, our hills remain thirsty for a proper rainfall. Today, bright sunshine glistens after yesterdays rain.  And on the horizon just nine miles distant, the glorious Blue Ridge, lifting my soul;  I will look unto the hills, from whence cometh my strength

            I have been reading Alan Patons classic novel Cry, The Beloved Country.  Set in apartheid South Africa, this story of a father in search of his lost son is a parable of love like unto the one Jesus told about the prodigal son.   Passages from the book remind us that we can go only to the Bible in search of answers to all the great mysteries explained nowhere else:

Who indeed knows the secret of the earthly pilgrimage?  Who indeed knows why there can be comfort in a world of desolation?  Now God be thanked that there is a beloved one who can lift up the heart in suffering, that one can play with a child in the face of such misery.Who knows for what we live, and struggle, and die?  Who knows what keeps us living and struggling, while all things break about us?   Wise men write many books, in words too hard to understand.  But this, the purpose of our lives, the end of our struggle, is beyond all human wisdom.  Oh God, my God, do not Thou forsake me.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, if Thou art with me.


       From an anthology in my library, these words of wisdom to live by:


To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion;  to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich;  to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to the stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart;  to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never;  in a word to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common.  William Henry Channing 

If I had but two loaves, I would sell one and buy hyancinths,
for they would feed my soul.  from The Koran