Friday, October 1, 2010

Day 326 A Word is Worth a Thousand Pictures

Dear friends,

Day 326. How many words have I pecked out here since "day the sky fell down" to paraphrase chicken little? I haven't the slightest idea. More puzzling is the delightful fact that you are still reading, still praying for our motley crew, and still saving me mountains of cash on therapy. Words have been healing. Words have been comforting. Words have been a gift from the Great, Eternal Word Himself. Communication is the original grace. That God would speak the universe into being is mind bending. That He would bend down and speak to us is beyond reason. But it's true.

I had the kind of day that Mark the Lion Hearted would have hated like poison, and that for me was water to the mind and soul. I use a writing curriculum from a company called The Institute for Excellence in Writing. The proprietor, teacher and all around interesting and intelligent mastermind of the organization is Andrew Pudewa, whose writing models and systems have-helped me greatly in teaching my reluctant-with-the-pen 12 year old. But way beyond the fun of listening to him explain essays and key word outlines, was the rich content I gained in particular in his lecture on Fairy Tales and the Moral Imagination. You guys know this is right up my alley, being a C.S. Lewis groupie and a Tolkien fan. Of course I can't tell all here (as Andrew would say, I must pick topics and leave the rest out), but I do want to share with you one insight I grasped.

Fairy Tales express ancient truths that resonate within our souls. To pick the most obvious, there is the concept of good triumphing over evil. (He put lots more detail in this which won't fit here, and might send you to the kitchen for a snack, so I summarize). The second is more complex, but equally satisfying: good may not win, but there is redemption. Read The Little Match Girl for an example. I pondered these things on the drive home, and considered the terrible truth of a husband with shattered bones across the length an breadth of his body, and a daughter with terrible injuries and wondered which fairy tale expresses best my current viewpoint on the matter. I concluded that perhaps it's more the second. Because a terrible, senseless, crushing blow was delivered to my dear ones (evil, part of living in a fallen world, due to someone's sin); and some of the fallout is permanent; but there has been a stunning visitation of hope and healing (redemption). I asked the Great One in the car half way up the Taconic Parkway "why?" I think it's only the first or second time I've asked. I got the sense from that still small voice of His that it's beyond my pay grade to understand, and to continue to trust Him for the final chapter. That may be a long way yet down the pilgrim road. Maybe not. No doubt you have stories with truths in them you can't see yet. Even in fairy tales what is to be is often veiled until the perfect moment. The frog does become a prince. Aslan saves Narnia from eternal winter. True love really does come to the rescue. Now we see through a glass, darkly...

Big fat change of direction here, with no transition.

Thank you to Smitty for pinch hitting for me (see photo). Also for pinch running (is that right?) last nite on the blog. That may be his last entry here. What would I do without the man? To keep with the fairy tale theme, he is indeed my Brave Prince Charming.

And a bit of truly terrific news, our dear Bob the Builder, Dr. Kaushik Bagchi, will be in attendance at the Dessert Nite. We are honored that he will be attending, what with his busy schedule of saving lives and putting Humpty Dumpty back together again. Don't forget to call or email me by October 14th if you're coming!

Of all the words we come in contact with every day, there are some that will live forever. Here are some on my mind this day, by the One and Only Himself, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

"Let not your hearts be troubled. Trust in God. Trust also in me."

The author of your personal story is also your Knight in Shining Armor. He's got you covered for the whole trek, no matter how steep and winding the highway gets.

Your friend on the pilgrim road,


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