Timeless truth in a changing world



Pushing the Limit


This weekend I watched the movie Silence. It takes place in 17th-century Japan, when there was heavy persecution of Christians. The story follows two Jesuit priests who are seeking their mentor, who has reportedly committed apostasy and denied the faith. It is an intense movie, and disturbing on many levels. I was drawn into the conflict the characters faced, wondering how I would respond under similar circumstances. Many were strong even in the face of death. But there is one character in particular whose weakness was all too apparent, to the point that I got irritated with him. It was difficult to tell whether he was sincere or not, as he repeated the same mistake over and over. At one point, the priest asks himself, “How can Jesus love such a wretch as this man?”

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In the Presence of the King


This was a matter of life and death. The rule in the royal court was that anyone who approached the king without being summoned was to be put to death. There was but one exception. If the king held out his golden scepter, the person who dared approach him uninvited would live. Queen Esther knew this rule applied even to her, and when she agreed to plead with the king on behalf of the Jews, she knew she could be walking to her own death. Mordecai had tricked King Ahasuerus into signing a death edict for the Jewish people, and Esther knew it was up to her to save them, provided she didn’t get killed first. But she didn’t just run to the throne room. She told Mordecai to gather as many Jews as he could and fast and pray for her for three days before she would dare to approach the king. This was too serious a matter to attempt without proper preparation.

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What a Relief


It is difficult to explain to someone who has never had poison ivy what a relief it is to replace a used gauze bandage with a clean one. Poison ivy is rather a disgusting thing to have. A bad breakout is sort of what I imagine leprosy to look like. It blisters and oozes and makes your skin look like it was burned in acid. And as such, it needs to be covered with gauze to catch those oozing blisters. But you can’t just cover it once and be done with it. It’s important to change the dressing frequently and keep the area as clean as possible to optimize healing. I’m getting over a bout of poison oak myself, and during the worst of it, I had to put on a new gauze covering every morning when I woke up. The old one I had slept with overnight was dirty and crusty and sometimes even oozed through, but once I had a fresh, clean bandage on, I felt immediately better. Yes, I would eventually have to replace that one too, but for the time being, I had relief. In short, I felt clean.

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Cleaning House

My floors are clean right now. I am really proud of this fact, because it’s terribly rare that I can make such a claim. In an unusual bout of ambition over the weekend, I finally pulled out the carpet cleaning machine I borrowed from my mom three weeks ago and cleaned the living room and dining room carpets. I even used the upholstery tool for the couch and recliner for good measure. Then I swept and steam mopped the kitchen floor so we wouldn’t be dragging its dirt onto the clean carpet. It’s a lovely feeling to walk barefoot through the house and feel the squeaky clean kitchen floor and the like-new living room carpet. But I know it won’t last. The kids aren’t awake yet. Once they wake up and daily life begins, there will be milk spilled or Cheerios dropped and crushed, my baby will find a marker and decide the carpet needs a little more color, and the kids will rush in with muddy shoes to tell me it’s raining. Sigh. It’s almost a lost cause. So why even bother?

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Life Lessons from a Child

Over the holiday weekend, we were able to spend some time with my parents at their house. We had a nice cookout, played games together outside, and enjoyed good conversations. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? And it was, except that one of my children decided to throw a pity party after losing a game of badminton. He accused his adult opponent of cheating, started moping around, and made all sorts of “poor me” comments that got old fast. This is far from the first time such a thing has happened. And I’m not gonna lie to you, I wouldn’t mind a Super Nanny at that point to tell me how I should respond. But suffice it to say that when we got in the car to go home I was not pleased. We reprimanded him on the way home and had a fairly stony ride back. Then we got home and everyone went their own separate ways to get away from each other. Some time later, I heard a knock on my door. It was my son coming to apologize. Sweet, right? Yet at the same time, as I’m sure many of you other parents out there can understand, somehow irritating, because I knew this wasn’t the last time this would happen. It seems like we go through this same silly charade over and over again, and it gets to me after a while. Seriously, you’d think by now he would have learned his lesson, right?

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