This is funny story my grandfather was found of telling me. I don't know if it's fact or fiction so I call it "a Harlan Ky WW2 Legend". About a half dozen people in a Harlan County group I am in contacted me to say it was fact.
It seems a draft board official asked a prospective draftee, "what's your name?" He was surprised by the young man's answer, "I don't rightly know."
Now angry the official demanded, "what do you mean you don't know, everyone knows their own name!?"
Sincerely the youth replied, "we was born twins. Mom named us Silus and Gilus. One of us up and died. We ain't sure which one."
Rev J Scott Martin in a blogger and author, more into jscottmartin dot com
I have slowly formed the opinion that God is a whisperer. Now and again he sends a hint. However I am conflicted about my own opinion. After all He wrote a book whose first line reads "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth". But even then He never put quill to parchment but was a Holy "ghost writer." Still when one considers how God could communicate using multiple media outlets, writing in the clouds, mass megaphone, etc., I think my opinion is safe. After all. If God wasn't a whisperer wouldn't He have a Facebook page?
Not job as in work but a man named Jōb pronounced with a long "o" like "grow". Have you read the book? I think it is a book worthy of contemplation many times in a lifespan. One's perspective changes as decades pass and one accumulates his own set of losses and encounters with God. As a result of an argument between God and Satan over Job's righteousness, Job endures unthinkable loss amplified by the ignorant judgements of family and friends. For his trouble he gains an audience with God Almighty whom Job has accused of playing unfair. Job is awed by the grandeur of God and apologizes for complaining. God then rebukes those who had told Job his suffering was a result of sin. Next he restores Job's fortune twofold and Job has 10 more children to offset the 10 he lost. The end.
What? The end? It's like one of those movies you wish you hadn't watched. Did I miss something? It's not that my question wasn't answered. It is an answer I didn't want to hear. It's like when a child ask a parent why they cant do something and the parent answers "because I'm your parent." It does nothing for my curiosity. Yet somehow I know the answer is true. No matter what befalls me, God is good. Who am I to question God? Shall the clay say to the potter why have you made me into an ash tray? God's perspective is eternal. My perspective is temporal. Job's 10 dead children would never return to Job but Job would go to them. To Job they were lost but not to God.
Like Job said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD."
We want our friends to know who we are so we feel understood.
A car nearly hits you.
A utility pole 10 yards away is struck by lightning.
You find a twenty dollar bill on your door step.
You hold in the story trying not to burst.
You calculate to who you want to share the story and at what time.
You rehearse the story in your head while scolding yourself for embellishments.
You encounter a friend. Now's the time. Out pours the story like water from a gutter in a cloud burst.
Did he listen? A nod, a chuckle, a few kind words convince you the answer is yes. As you go your separate ways You reflect on what a good friend he is .
There are other stories, dark stories, stories we are afraid to tell. The stories that haunt our dreams and ensnare our souls. They themselves resist being told. They are ugly, dark, sticky, slimy monsters that covet anonymity. They are true enemies. We only dare tell them to mentors, counselors, close family, or close friends. The irony of life is that dark stories brought to the light lose their power and are eventually discarded. Their memory no longer brings tears or angst.
A poor person pays large sums of money to tell a dark story to their shrink. The rich person pays nothing to tell it to a true friend.
1. I was stopped by soldiers in Uganda and forced to spend the night in a refugee camp. At a different location I was arrested by soldiers the next day but quickly released. The journalist I was with did an award winning documentary that aired multiple times on CNN Español, La Otra Cara de Africa.
2. I got lost in an abandoned coal mine is Pennsylvania but later discovered signs I had left for myself.
3. I rappelled into a 180 foot deep subsidence crack in Harlan County.
4. I once preached for an all night worship service for native Americans in a remote reservation in Costa Rica. I has no advanced warning. The next morning I had the privilege to baptize converts in a mountain stream.
5. I once had to evacuate a Wall Mart due to a dangerous construction situation I was engineer on.
6. I toured a multi-story shanty town in the Philippines suspended by ropes under a bridge and over a river.
7. I have been held at gunpoint twice in my life, once surveying in the mountains of West Virginia and once in item number 1 above. I can't count the time union thugs pointed a 45 at my vehicle after I refused to stop.
Do you ever stop to listen? I mean to hush the noise within and really listen. Is the silence you hear like that of an empty 55 gallon drum, whose metallic echo betrays a void? Or is it the silence you hear that of a universe so well oiled the mechanism and the maker make no noise except the peaceful purr of a well ordered silence?
Certain phrases cause me to suspect the person using them is socially challenged. For example the phrase "I'll be honest with you." Why would I believe a person who just revealed he is a chronic liar who only tells the truth after announcing the same. Or the phrase "don't take this personally." I am a person, I will take it personally. Aren't you just saying "I am about to hurt your feelings but since I warned you first you can't hold it against me"? Guess what, I can. Last but not least variations of the phrase, "I am sure you would agree" or "wouldn't you agree". How do you know if I agree or not? Are you telling me I must live up to your expectations?
I'll be honest with you, I seldom rant so I am sure you would agree you shouldn't take it personally.
If we paid heed to the prime directive. Not the fictional Star Trek "don't interfere with the development of a sub-warp culture", but Jesus' prime directive, "love one another".
Probably Jesus' beatitude, "blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God" refers to an after death experience but this does not preclude a secondary meaning referring to "seeing God" as we love others.
The Summer breeze blows in a Winter freeze all in but one spin of the top. Kentucky bluegrass weathers winter's last gasp to nurture the new foals of spring. Around Keeneland's track soon thoroughbreds prance and Spring will at long last reign supreme.