Saturday, February 23, 2019. 1:44 PM.
Memories of a Mysterious Moment With a Young Lady
It was about 1968. I was in High School. Actually, I had just walked out of the mental health center on Hamlet Avenue near our high school. It was about 3:00 PM. Once every two weeks I got out of school an hour early to go to that mental health center to see my psychiatrist, Dr. Jones. Well, on this Tuesday–it was always a Tuesday that I saw Dr. Jones–I had just walked out of the center and began walking on Hamlet Avenue toward Cumberland Street. And school had just let out; so, many students were walking on the sidewalk on their way home from school. A group of girls was coming toward me as I walked and one of them, who must have noticed that I’d just walked out of the mental health building, said, as our paths crossed, “Do you feel better now?” And our eyes just met for a moment and I said, “Yes, I do.” And she continued walking in her direction and I in mine. I hardly had a chance to remember her face. But, it touched my heart that this mysterious young lady about my age had asked me if I felt better now. I wondered how she meant that. Was she just being smart? Was she being sweet? Was it a little of both? Was she wondering if she might feel better if she went there and talked to someone? I didn’t know. That was 51 years ago. I still remember that too brief encounter with that mystery young lady. Who was she? Does she remember that moment too?
Why didn’t I stop right there and talk to her? Why didn’t I find out who she was? At least it would have given me a chance to look at her long enough to remember her face. I just wasn’t ready for all that. I didn’t have the confidence for that. I was more like a dead fish just floating down the river on the way to the far-off ocean. Or, maybe, I wasn’t dead, just too weak in spirit to do anything but keep going.
And now, at 67, maybe my heart is getting ready, by the Lord, for such a moment; but, now it isn’t my mental health but my physical health that may not be ready for such a moment. There’s always something, they say. And so, I wonder: maybe this life is just a preliminary stage. Maybe real life doesn’t begin until after this preliminary stage is over. Maybe, when we physically die, that is when the seed breaks open and real life, eternal life, begins. A very brief little rhyme occurred to me many years ago that goes like this: the very day the acorn croaked was also the birthday of a mighty oak. And, maybe that’s why there is so much heart break and disappointment in this life. As cruel as it may sound, maybe it’s supposed to be heart-breaking. Maybe only with a broken heart do we become ready for the next stage in Life.
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” -Psalm 51:17 NIV Study Bible.
[The writer was wondering if the word “croaked” should be changed to “broke;” and then he noticed the word “oak” in the word “croaked” so he left it unchanged.]
Question: Is there anything wrong with enjoying a few minutes of music? Remember being in High School? Here is a song being played by some high school-age young people. They are singing in Japanese, [I think]. However, even without understanding their words [except for the name Linda, that is] it is still a beautiful song. It is called: Paranmaum -Linda Linda.
OK. Now that you’ve listened to the song–if you did listen–I don’t know if you did or not. But, if you did, maybe you’re wondering what is this 67 year old doing listening to a “high school” song? Why doesn’t he just grow up and get a life? Geez . . . some people . . . what a weirdo!
Well, I never heard that 67-year-olds are only supposed to listen to music by other 67-year-olders. What if I live to be a hundred? Would I only be allowed to listen to songs written by other 100-year-olders? OMG!
And another thing: About the words of the song being in Japanese, which I don’t understand–and maybe you don’t understand either: Read something in Holy Scripture about “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:7 NIV Study Bible. Now, that Scripture was not being written about listening to music–and so, Bible students might be ready to say, “You’re taking that Scripture out of context!” I suppose I AM doing that. However, it is helpful to me to realize that I don’t always have to understand something to enjoy it. Did you ever come to realize that you love your wife or husband even though you don’t always understand her or him? And, did you ever begin to realize that you love God even though his mind and his thoughts and his word are at times way over our heads? Like a little boy who realizes, “I better do what my parents want me to do, even though I don’t understand why I have to do my chores. I’ll just be in so much trouble if I don’t do them. Good grief, I better do it.”
And now, one more song, if you’re willing to listen to the melody and just look at the video–because the words to this song are not sung, at least not in this version:
The reason why this song is presented here is to write about foolishness from a Biblical point of view. God’s word, the Holy Scriptures, which are inspired by his Holy Spirit, has some interesting things to tell us about foolishness. For example:
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’ Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.'” -1 Corinthians 1:18-31 NIV Study Bible.
Another little rhyme about an acorn and an oak that occurred to me decades ago:
Sometimes I feel like an acorn, instead of like an oak
Keeping all that I can be inside, until it makes me choke.
Someone may say, “Well, why don’t you just break open, man?
No one can do it for you. You have to do it.”
Well, an acorn doesn’t decide on its own when it’s going to open up.
Maybe something Jesus said can help us to understand.
I’m still trying to understand, too. I don’t know anything.
“Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God. Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me.'” -John 6:43-44 NIV Study Bible.
A man cannot make himself be born again.
John the evangelist [the apostle John] wrote about John the Baptist: “There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God–children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” -John 1:6-13 NIV.
The following song, The Rose, was written by Amanda McBroom, both the words and the music . . . and sung by Bette Midler.
Today is March 1st, 2019. It is still Winter, late Winter.
Spring time is coming.
All you seeds out there . . . are you ready for Spring?
In the Holy Scriptures there is a book titled: Song of Songs.
Some versions of the Bible have the title as Song of Solomon.
And in the second chapter it is written:
“I AM the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.
As the lily among thorns,
So is my love among the daughters.” -Song of Solomon 2:1, 2. King James Version.
The Gospel According to John 15:1-27 ESV: