“If Anyone Imagines”

Monday, January 21, 2019. 11:19 PM

“If Anyone Imagines”

“If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.” -1Corinthians 8:2,3 ESV Study Bible.

April & August—Married[1]

And Walking Together by Faith

And in Love–with Honesty, Too

“For we walk by faith, not by sight:[2]

In the town of In-Between,

In A Valley Between Two Mountains—Like the Comforting Cleavage of a Beautiful Bosom,

Snug in the Middle with You[3]

“On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided.” -Genesis 22:14b. ESV.

Scene One

April and August are out on their daily walk. August knows that April is shy of any show of affection in public. Nevertheless, he imagines in his heart that it is better to be in the Light than in the Darkness. And he feels that it would enrich their daily walk if they stopped, right there on the sidewalk, and kissed for a moment, and then resume their walk. So, as they’re walking, August says to his wife: “April?” “Yes,” she asks. “April, give me a kiss.”

April: “August, you know I don’t like to make a show of our love in public.”

August: “Yes, I know it, April.” And they walk a few more minutes in silence.

August: “April? Please . . . give me a kiss.”

April: “August, you know how shy I am.”

August: “Yes April. I know how shy you are.” And so they walk a few more minutes in shyness . . .  and quietness.

August: “April? Let’s stop for a moment, for “One Moment in Time[4],” and put your arms around my neck and kiss me like you really mean it; like you never kissed me before; ‘with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’”  -See Mark 12:18-34 (NIV). “April? Give me your best shot. Right on the mouth.”

April: April is quiet for a while as they continue walking. Finally, she touches August’s arm with her hand ever so lightly. August stops at her touch and turns to his wife. She looks him in the eye. And she thinks how much her husband loves her. And she begins to smile as her love for August fills her heart with joy and gives her courage and a sense of liberty in her spirit.  And she tosses her hair a little to the side with a quick movement of her head that seems to say, “I’m not shy anymore.” And a thought from “Gone with the Wind” comes to mind in which Rhett Butler says, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” And she puts her arms around August’s neck and kisses him on the mouth, right there on the side walk of Social Street near Social Corner. And though the air outside is cold, they both feel warmer now, after their kiss. And they begin to walk together with more enthusiasm and energy as they feel happier; as they look forward to getting home again, where they can be more social . . .  in private, away from Social Corner.

***

“Another Version of Their Walking Conversation”

August: “April? Let’s stop for a moment, for “One Moment in Time[5],” and put your arms around my neck and kiss me like you really mean it; with all your heart and soul.  April? Give me your best shot. Right on the mouth.”

April: “I’m sorry, August . . .  but, to be perfectly honest with you, I’d rather sock you one right on your mouth than kiss you—or, kick you right on your shin—and really make it hurt, too!”

August: “Why, April?”

April: “I don’t know. That’s just how I actually feel right now.”

August: “I’m only trying to understand you, April. And to sympathize with you. I’m not judging you. I really love you.”

April: “I’m not sure I understand you, August. What are you talking about?”

August: “Well, we all have a sinful nature. We inherited it from our first parents and from what they did in the garden of Eden; and, subsequently, what God did as a consequence of their disobedience.”

April: “What did God do?”

August: “He cursed the ground for Adam’s sake. He made Eve’s child-bearing more painful. He evicted them from their blessed life in the Garden. They became separated from Him for the rest of their lives. And, since God is Love and Light and Spirit, they became separated from all that too, I guess.”

April: “August, that is so terrible! I think He was too hard on them. Why didn’t He just forgive them? Why did He allow that Devil to come into the garden and tempt them in the first place? And why did He place that tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden to test them? I think Adam and Eve were set up to Fall! –That’s why I’d like to kick someone in the shin…I’m so mad about the way we are and the way the world is! Damn it! Damn it! Damn it!”

August: “I don’t like it, either. No one likes the way things are. And everyone is suffering—those who do good and those who do evil, those who believe the truth and those who don’t believe the truth.”

April: “Then, why should we even try? Why not just give up?”

August: “The reward for just giving up is not a good one. The reward for enduring until the end is good. (Mark 13:13; Matthew 10:22; 24:13) And those who endure have a sure hope of that good and eternal reward, according to the Scriptures. (1Peter chapters 1 and 2). The grace of God and the faith of Jesus Christ and the Help of His Holy Spirit supply us with encouragement “and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” -Romans 5: 5 ESV.

April: “I still say: Damn it!”

August: “Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.” -Romans 2: 4,5 ESV.

April sighed and looked away. Then, after reflecting on all this, she said: “I just can’t see how a good and merciful God would allow all this worldly evil to go on and on for so long!”

August: “That is a problem. And it is discouraging at times. And we are tempted to judge by what we see and become reproachful. We must turn away from that kind of thinking. We ought not to judge God by what we see in the world. Instead, we ought to obey God, Whose Son said: “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” -John 7: 24 ESV. As mere human beings we’re simply not able to see things clearly. “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” -1 Corinthians 13:12 (KJV).

April: “What can we do?”

August: “Like a young child we ought to trust in our Heavenly Father’s Word and do what He says. “He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’” -Matthew 18:2-4 NIV Study Bible. And reading the book JOB also helps us to see beyond our own personal plight; and to rise above it by the Light that God’s Word gives us; and by the Help of His Holy Spirit opening the eyes of our understanding, so we can begin to see as God sees our human condition and our earthly situation.

April: “And what does He say for us to do?”

August: “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.’” -Mark 1: 14, 15 KJV.

April: “And what is repentance?”

August: Repentance is accomplished by turning away from our own ways, including our ways of thinking; and instead, studying God’s Word and believing Him and learning to trust Him, rather than ourselves and our own opinions and viewpoint and our own works.”

April: “Why doesn’t God just do whatever He wants to do and make everything just the way He wants it to be, since He is all-powerful?”

August: God requires our co-operation with Him. Like a good shepherd, Who loves His sheep, He wants us, of our own free will, to faithfully abide with Him. That is how His love works, in freedom. And that is how we grow up in Him, even to the full stature of the glory of Christ.” see Colossians 1:27; Ephesians 1:15-2:10; Titus 2:11-15; 1 Peter 1-5. (ESV Study Bible).

April: “Well, maybe I should change my ways and my ways of thinking about our human condition. I have to admit, in all honesty, that I can’t see the whole picture of human life from beginning to end. I’m only human after all.”

August: August was wary of being too preachy; so, he changed the subject. “April? Would you give me that kiss, now?”

April, who was feeling a little better now, after confessing[6] her thoughts and feelings about what was bothering her, answered her husband in a better frame of mind and heart and spirit: “OK my love. Let’s stop walking. Show me your kisser and I’ll sock it to ya’ like you never felt it before, lover-boy!”

MWUAH!

August: “I love you, April, just the way you are.”

April: “August? Hold my hand while we’re walking? And, thanks be to God that we’re together. It would be so lonely to walk without you.”

August: “Even if I wasn’t here, God is with you, April.”

April: “How can I know this, August?”

August: “Jesus said to His disciples: ‘And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.’” -John 14: 16-18 ESV.

 

Still Another Version of Their Dialogue

August: “April, would you kiss me?”

April: “Why do you want a kiss, August, while we’re out walking? Can’t that wait until we’re home again in private?”

August: “Yes, we could wait until we’re home. I just thought it would add something special to our walk.”

April: “What kind of “special?”

August: “Oh special like spice added to a recipe, I guess, to give it some zest.”

April: “You want some zest, August?”

August: “Perhaps we could think of it as an experiment . . . just to see if we like it—adding a kiss to our walk.”

April: “I think you’re just looking for a thrill.”

August: “Maybe. What is wrong with enjoying a thrilling moment with my wife?”

April: “I don’t know.” And then, after a few more minutes of walking quietly together, April said, “OK August, let’s kiss.” So, they stopped walking. And April put her arms around her husband and hugged him with all the desire she had for him and kissed him with all her heart and mind and spirit and soul for about a half-minute. And then she looked into his eyes. And August looked troubled. April immediately became concerned and asked him, “August, are you OK?” August couldn’t say a word. “August, what is the matter?” she asked, as she became anxious for him. August swallowed hard and tried to regain his composure. “I don’t know, April. I just feel strange.” “What kind of strange, August?” “I don’t know how to describe it, April.” And then, an idea occurred to April. “She turned to August and asked, “August, remember that song from years ago about “a double shot of my baby’s love”? “Yes, I remember a song with that lyric in it. What about it?” “Well, I was just wondering if you just got a double shot of God’s Love. And maybe it was more than you could handle. And remember that other song, “The Power of Love”? Love is very powerful. And God is Love. And He is all-powerful.” August couldn’t think of anything to say about all this.  April was wondering in her heart if perhaps she had kissed August too hard. “August, I’m concerned that maybe that kiss was just too much.”

August: “Too much? What do you mean?”

April: “Well, remember how that we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind and with all our strength and to love our neighbor as our self?”

“The most important one, answered Jesus, is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.’” -Mark 12:29-31 NIV Study Bible.

August: “Yes.”

April: “Well, because of how our kiss impressed you, I’m wondering if it was just too intense,  putting all my heart and soul and mind and strength into it. Maybe we should have kissed with moderation[7]. Maybe only the Lord our God is great enough to be loved so ardently and be able to take it all by His all-mighty invincibility and remain at peace. After all, we’re only human while in these mortal bodies.”

August: “Maybe I was asking for too much, April. Now what do we do?”

April: “Well, I’m just thinking now about something Jesus said.”

August: “What did He say, April?”

April: “Remember when He said: “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”? -Luke 6:38 ESV.

August: “Yes, I remember that Scripture in the gospel of Luke. How do you understand it applying to us, April?”

April: “Well, all I can say August is: I give you all the love that is in me to give—just as you asked: with all my heart and soul and mind and strength.”

August: “I think I understand, April. Now I ought to give you love in the same measure that you give me yours, with all my heart and soul and mind and strength.”

April: To whom much is given, much is expected. [“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”] -Luke 12:48b NIV Study Bible.

August: “Oh my God . . .  how can I do all that?”

April: “Just love me as you want to be loved, August.”

 

I don’t know how to love him by Helen Reddy -with lyrics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrSAT0Pxfmg

 

Jennifer Rush – The Power Of Love (Official Video) (VOD)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_zHQ6kFuQ0

 

The Shadows – The Power Of Love with lyrics – love song

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CA-2DHVeW0g

 

The Swingin’ Medallions Double Shot of My Baby’s Love with Lyrics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2tpyp6QFdY

Swingin’ Medallions Double Shot of My Baby’s Love

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lk4Rj9WXjko

 

“Delta Dawn, What’s that Flower You Have On?”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDJVFpCZYXU&start_radio=1&list=RDsDJVFpCZYXU

Helen Reddy – Delta Dawn (Lyric Video) [HQ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDJVFpCZYXU

I don’t know how to love him by Helen Reddy -with lyrics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrSAT0Pxfmg

Angie Baby

 

And I Love You So with Lyrics – Don McLean

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpV46ycq0dQ

 

Swingin’ Medallions Double Shot of My Baby’s Love

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lk4Rj9WXjko

 

Don McLean – Vincent ( Starry, Starry Night) With Lyrics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxHnRfhDmrk

 

One Moment In Time – Whitney Houston (Cover by Bodine)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBLBti2RJeA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mWoDTk8smA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CM-okx_yE2Q

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzGbvTl4mpg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kJ8CdSAv3E

April & August on Another Walk

August: “April, would you give me a kiss?”

April: “August, are you going to start that again? Why do you always ask me for a kiss when we’re out on a walk? Why can’t we just walk!?”

August: August didn’t say another word for a few minutes. As they walked in peace and quiet. Finally, August said: “April, the reason I ask you for a kiss is because it just adds a nice and exciting spice to our walk. Emerson wrote: “Variety is the spice of life.” A kiss adds something special and different to our walking.”

April: What is so special to you about a kiss, August? We’ve kissed a million times.”

August: “Each time is something new to me, April. Even Scripture says that we walk in newness of life. Being with you is always new to me.”

April: “How is it always new to you to be with me, August?”

August: “Well, it’s such a thrill to me that it’s like being in first grade on the first day in September. I never went to kindergarten; so, it really was the first day I’d ever been in a classroom in all my life.”

April: “And what did you learn the first day of first grade?”

August: “To be honest with you, April, I don’t remember what I learned. I only remember that it was a new experience. And there must have been some anxiety, too.”

April: “Why anxiety, August?”

August: “It’s just typical for me to feel anxiety when I’m into something new.”

April: “And are you feeling anxiety now walking with me in newness of life?”

August: “No, I’m not anxious when I’m with you, April.”

April: “Why not, August?”

August: “Because I’m in love with you, April. And perfect love casts out fear, God’s Word tells us.” [8]

April: April stops walking. So, August stops, too. “August, are you just seeking a thrill?”

August: “No April, not just a thrill; but a newness of life thrill.” April considered this for a few moments and then put her arms around August and kissed him. And then she looked into his eyes for a sign of newness of life there. “August, you look the same to me.”

August: “The newness of life, April, is inside in my heart and soul and spirit.”

April: “And what does this newness of life do to you, August?”

August: “It comforts me, April.”

April: “What kind of comfort is it, August?”

August: “A heart-felt comfort, April. A satisfying comfort. A thrilling comfort, too. Does it do anything for you, April?”

April: “Your words, August, are what comfort and thrill and satisfy me, my love.”

August: “And is that newness of life to you, April?”

April: “I don’t know if it’s newness of life. I guess it’s like water to a plant, August. Doesn’t matter if it’s as old as the first day of Earth or as new as today. It’s just basically essential to me, that’s all.”

August: “It is written that love edifies. It builds up, while knowledge puffs up. (1Corinthians 8:1).  And Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, “. . . Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” -John 4:13b, 14. NIV Study Bible.

April: “Well, I just don’t know what to say to that.”

August: “Well, that’s OK, April. Just walking with you and holding hands with you and communing with you is well enough.”

April: And April’s eyes began to well up with heart-felt tears as the Holy Spirit filled her with the love of God shedding abroad in her heart.[9]

How Great Thou Art – piano instrumental hymn with lyrics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62Z9Yb4DQrU

***

Love Lifted Me w/Lyrics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryS-njDaV_s

Love lifted me women of faith ( lyrics )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oSXWpVLQak

***

“You Needed Me”

Jesus to Nicodemus: “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” -John 3: 7, 8. ESV Study Bible.

 

Mark: “Sonya, I’m in love.”

Sonya: Oh? Who are you in love with?”

Mark: “I don’t know. Maybe just in love. Maybe in love with Genera.”

Sonya: “And who is Genera?”

Mark: “Maybe she’s the one who, even unbeknownst to her, she opened the gates of my heart without even meaning to.”

Sonya: “And how did she unbeknownst to her do that to you? Marky Maypo?”

Mark: “Maybe she did it to me by turning away from me.”

Sonya: “She opened the gates of your heart by turning away from you?”

Mark: “Ya . . .  maybe that’s how she did it to me. She called me and told me not to write to her anymore. And she didn’t write to me again for prit-near 35 years now.”

Sonya: “And that opened the gates of your heart? How?

Mark: “By breaking it. When the heart breaks it must open. And maybe she even turned me into a writer, too.”

Sonya: “And how did she pull off that trick?”

Mark: “By being just the opposite of my mother, maybe.”

Sonya: “What do you mean, marky maypo?”

Mark: “Well, my mother was always talking to me. And Sandra is always not talking to me. Maybe she’s balancing me out by being just the opposite of my mother. And Sandra is a Libra. Isn’t the scale the symbol of Libra?”

Sonya: “Yes, it is, Mark.”

Mark: “Maybe your silence has given me the chance my mother never gave me: a chance to express myself. Maybe your silence has been golden to me. Sonya Golden. I like that name. Sounds like maybe the name of a literary character, like David Copperfield. Maybe you’re going to be famous, Sonya.

Mark: “Sonya, I wish to see you again. I have an idea that seeing you again might be very therapeutic cathartic spiritual lovely crying healing godly miraculous eternal.”

Sonya, how are you? I’m waiting to hear from you. Call me, Sonya. Let me assure you that it is only in writing that I seem to be skillful. On the phone and in person I’m not much. I’m not in command. So please don’t be afraid.

Sonya, remember that song you quoted from in your valedictorian address, “The Rose”?

Sonya: “That was a very long time ago, Mark. What about it?”

Mark: “Just listen to it, Sonya.”

[1] Concerning the interpersonal and spiritual love life of August Deepening Dawn and April Light Shower.

[2] 2 Corinthians 5:7 ESV Study Bible.

[3] A paraphrase of the song title: “Stuck in the Middle with You,” by Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan.

[4] A song by Whitney Houston.

[5] A song by Whitney Houston.

[6] “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” -James 5:16 NIV Study Bible.

[7]  “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” -Philippians 4:5 (KJV).

[8] “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” -1 John 4:16-18 NIV Study Bible.

[9] “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:1-5 ESV Study Bible.

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