You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you. ~ Frederick Buechner
It is fitting that my one thousandth blog post pictures the four people who exist at the center of all my reflections here. I began writing regularly 12 years ago to consider more deeply my time left on this earth and what my family meant to me, here and now, and for eternity.
Family is carried inside the words I write without my often writing about them directly. They inspire and challenge me, they love and stretch me, and as our children have now gone out into the world, I am assured they are sustained by what they have carried away from this home.
Life is not just about living in the world but what world you carry deep inside. We can never really be lonely; our hearts will never be empty. We have each other forever, even miles and miles and lifetimes apart.
I sustain myself with the love of family. ― Maya Angelou
…and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.
One of my greatest concerns about our modern age is the misdirected devotion to all things material, trivial and shallow. A walk through the grocery check out line is most enlightening about where our priorities lie. Mainstream magazines have increasingly become tabloids and tabloids have become even worse than before. There is more skin and cleavage revealed in the check out line than on most beaches. And these magazines are not being marketed to men (look for them at the magazine racks reading about sports, the latest hot cars and newest electronic gadgetry).
Why do women revel in stories of other women’s cosmetic choices, fashion fiascos, romantic disasters and heartbreaks, then move on to devour articles on ten ways to *whatever* is the latest pleasure fad, and finally how to lose 10 pounds in five days?
Where is the cover story of the faithful widow who is well known for her good deeds for the poor, her hospitality to strangers, her servant heart in tending to her neighbors, her devotion to caring for children apart from her own? Where is the feature on self-sacrificing individuals who live simply (not because it is the latest trend), eat sensibly (not because their doctor told them they must), who don’t have a magazine named after them (sorry Martha and Oprah), and who give themselves away day in and day out?
For that matter, where is the front page story of two transient travelers refused housing, with a teenage mother having no choice but to deliver her first born in an animal shed with only starlight for illumination?
It just might make interesting reading during those ten minutes in the check out stand.
And is something worthy of our devotion.
What think we of Christ? Is He altogether glorious in our eyes, and precious to our hearts? May Christ be our joy, our confidence, our all. May we daily be made more like to Him, and more devoted to His service.
Matthew Henry– 17th century Presbyterian minister