Friday, September 05, 2008

A Treasury of Wisdom

Psalm 36:7-9 (New International Version)
7 How priceless is your unfailing love!
Both high and low among men
find refuge in the shadow of your wings.
8 They feast on the abundance of your house;

you give them drink from your river of delights.
9 For with you is the fountain of life;

in your light we see light.

This evening it was a little cooler than yesterday's, but the "swamp creatures" in our neighbourhood were as noisy as ever as I walked down our snaking driveway to add some cardboard to our recycling boxes. A peach-slice moon hung rosy in a swirly grey-cloud evening sky.

As I walked, I thought about a little book I've been reading, called, Mom in My Heart. I picked it up from a table at the back of our church that had a sign saying, "Free--take home." Well, who could resist? Gradually, after waiting decent intervals for others to have a chance, I acquired four or five books that I was thrilled to "take home." Mom in My Heart is the perfect book of short stories to dip into at odd moments, and I must have lots of those, because I'm half way through already.

It says on the front cover that it is: A Treasury of Heartwarming Stories about Moms COMPILED AND EDITED BY JOE L. WHEELER. They are the kind of stories I used to read when I was 11 or 12 and inherited a stack of books with colourful gilded and embossed covers, which had been Sunday School prizes in the early 1900's. The stories are sentimental to the max and full of feverish children, pale faces, trembling hands and lips, and moral lessons skillfully woven into story. Some of them are quite old, and the author's names are long lost. They have survived by being beloved.

At lunchtime today I told a co-worker about the latest story I read in my new-old book. I couldn't shake it from my mind. It was called, Applesauce Needs Sugar, and it took place during the Panic of 1896, a slump in the economy caused by far-off India switching its coinage of silver, to gold. A ripple effect caused by plunging Western mining and silver stocks, resulted in over six hundred banks closing their doors, seventy four railroads collapsing and thousands of businesses failing.

Against this depressing backdrop, is told the story of a Canadian family of 7 caught in the U.S. when the Panic hit. With no welfare and everyone in the same boat, people began to starve. The story is one of desperate faith in the face of grinding hunger and hopelessness and of course, in the end, the mother's faith is answered. But what struck me so deeply was not the true point of the story, that God hears and answers prayers, but the dramatic contrast between a world in which people on the continent of North America were literally starving and living on cornmeal mush, if they were lucky, for days and weeks; and the world we live in now.

How much we have to be grateful for with our comfortable, temperature controlled homes, full fridges and freezers, and far too easy credit. My glimpse into a place and time in the past, has made me realize how much we take for granted.

So tonight I thank God for all of his blessings and ask forgiveness for ever feeling discontent, and for greed that cries out, "More."

Thank you Father for all of your blessings. Thank you for reminding me of how rich we are. Thank you for the blessing of this book and the power of story to teach a lesson I need to remember.

New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

6 comments:

Meg said...

Thank you for a lovely post, Belinda. Your descriptions are sweet. I want to work on that aspect of my writing. You obviously delight in that, and it is a testament to the peace within you that you take the time to do it.

Dave Hingsburger said...

A peach-slice moon hung rosy in a swirly grey-cloud evening sky.

I read those words and said to myself, 'Self, Belinda wrote this post' ... I scrolled down and was proved right. Lovely image, really lovely.

I agree that it's hard to imagine that this country of plenty was born out of wilderness, cold and starvation. We have much to be grateful for and many to thank.

Meg said...

It was the peach slice I noticed most too.

Belinda said...

I'm smiling! It was so beautiful in reality and I am glad you both enjoyed seeing my peach slice moon too. I had just bought some deliciously juicy peaches on the way home, so they were on my mind.

aoc gold said...

I Remember, I Remember
(1)

I remember, I remember

The house where I was born,

the little window where the sun

Came peeping in at morn:

He never came a wink too soon,

Nor brought too long a day,

But now, I often wish the night

Had borne my breath away!

(2)

I remember, I remember

The roses, red and white,

The vi'lets, and the lily-cups,

Those flowers made of light!

The lilacs where the robin built,

And where my brother set

The laburnum on his birthday,

The tree is living yet!

(3)

I remember, I remember

Where I was used to swing

and thought the air must rush as fresh

To swallows on the wing;

My spirit flew in feathers then,

That is so heavy now,

And summer pools could hardly cool

The fever on my brow!

(4)

I remember, I remember

The fir trees dark and high;

I used to think their slender tops

Were close against the sky;

It was a childish ignorance,

But now 'tis little joy

To know I'm farther off from heav'n

Than when I was a boy!

~~~by runescape money

Joyful Fox said...

It warms my heart to hear of Paul's care for you. Maybe I need a Molson too, for when it's too dark in the mornings to walk.