Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The glass half full

My father was a disabled veteran. He worked for a while, but age and time made his disabilities insurmountable. He "retired" onto disability when I was quite young - maybe 6 or 7 years old. My mom was a full-time at-home mom and so I and my brothers & sister were raised on public assistance. I look back now and see that God was good and provided my daily bread. I have not always seen it that way. Many times I have looked back and only seen what wasn't there. I saw the half-empty glass, and felt no gratitude at all for the half-full part.

Had my parents been vain enough to put a motto above our door (as so many do today) it would have said, "There but for the grace of God, go I." They could always point out people around us who had it worse. And it was true. There are worse things than being poor. There are worse things than being crippled.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Song in my Heart this Ash Wednesday

I am dust and to dust I shall return.

Go to dark Gethsemane,
All who feel the tempter’s power
Your Redeemer’s conflict see.
Watch with him one bitter hour;
Turn not from his griefs away;
Learn from Jesus Christ to pray.

Follow to the judgment hall,
View the Lord of life arraigned;
Oh, the wormwood and the gall!
Oh, the pangs his soul sustained!
Shun not suffering, shame, or loss;
Learn from him to bear the cross.

Calvary’s mournful mountain climb;
There, adoring at his feet,
Mark that miracle of time,
God’s own sacrifice complete.
"It is finished!" hear him cry;
Learn from Jesus Christ to die.

Early hasten to the tomb
Where they laid his breathless clay
All is solitude and gloom.
Who has taken him away?
Christ is risen! He meets our eyes.
Savior, teach us so to rise.

-James Montgomery, 1820