Tag Archives: consolation

When there is nothing

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”     — lines from the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling Over 200 posts ago, on my second-ever post on …

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Within our reach

“The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. Take joy!” — Attributed to Fra Giovanni Giocondo This blog gives me an excuse to spend time reading from the wealth of inspiring, encouraging and remarkable writings that have accumulated over centuries.  Much of what I read — …

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Hope I cannot measure

“Green pastures are before me, which yet I have not seen; Bright skies will soon be o’er me, where the dark clouds have been. My hope I cannot measure, my path to life is free, My Savior has my treasure, and He will walk with me.” — Anna Laetitia Waring On a recent Sunday at …

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Hidden inside

“Sometimes what you want is hidden inside what you don’t want.” — Ashleigh Brilliant Just as the prickly cactus produces beautiful blooms, so harsh circumstances can result in positive change and growth.  This does not negate the pain of grief and loss, but it does provide a way through darkness.  Christians believe “in all things …

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But you knew

“You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen.”― …

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Wonders of everyday life

“Remember, looking at bad news doesn’t mean good news isn’t happening. It’s happening everywhere. It’s happening right now. Around the world. In hospitals, at weddings, in schools and offices and maternity wards, at airport arrival gates, in bedrooms, in inboxes, out in the street, in the kind smile of a stranger. A billion unseen wonders …

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Linger in the beautiful

“Meanwhile, let us have a sip of tea. The afternoon glow is brightening the bamboos, the fountains are bubbling with delight, the soughing of the pines is heard in our kettle. Let us dream of evanescence, and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things.” — Okakura Kakuzō Exactly five years ago tomorrow, I published the …

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Permanence and change

“October is a symphony of permanence and change.” ― B. W. Overstreet It’s comforting that some things remain the same. As the seasons remind us, there is a reassuring pattern in nature that helps us stay on track when everything around us seems to be in meltdown. The changes in my personal world, and in the …

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A happy thought

“It was a happy thought to bring  To the dark season’s frost and rime  This painted memory of spring,  This dream of summertime.” – John Greenleaf Whittier Last Thursday, the evening before Jeff’s burial ceremony at Arlington, I opened our front door to family arriving from out of town and found a package on my doorstep. It …

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A pretty good diet

“I am living on hope and faith…a pretty good diet when the mind will receive them.” — Edwin Arlington Robinson It’s interesting that a poet of Robinson’s stature, who penned the devastatingly powerful “Richard Cory,” would describe himself as living on hope and faith. Such somber work does not seem consistent with what we think …

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Close at hand

“Survival starts by paying attention to what is close at hand and immediate. To look out with idle hope is tantamount to dreaming one’s life away.” ― Yann Martel Last summer I bought a small hibiscus plant at a clearance price, and brought it home to our deck. It thrived and bloomed profusely, until I …

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A never-tiring affection

“One by one, as they march, our comrades vanish from our sight, seized by the silent orders of omnipotent Death. Very brief is the time in which we can help them, in which their happiness or misery is decided. Be it ours to shed sunshine on their path, to lighten their sorrows by the balm …

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A willingness to wander

“The thing about healing, as opposed to curing, is that it is relational. It takes time. It is inefficient, like a meandering river. Rarely does healing follow a straight or well-lit path. Rarely does it conform to our expectations or resolve in a timely manner. Walking with someone through grief…requires patience, presence, and a willingness …

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The one who comes in

“A friend is the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out.” — Grace Pulpit I’ve written before about how isolating trouble can be. To put it bluntly, most people would rather not think about illness, disability or death unless they can’t avoid it. Those who are dealing with such issues, often …

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How infinitely rich

“I think these difficult times have helped me to understand better than before how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes around worrying about are of no importance whatsoever.” — Isak Dinesen Perhaps the understanding Dinesen describes is one of the greatest gifts to come …

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More present

He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man. — Antoine de Saint-Exupery At times the pain of missing Jeff stabs me with a grief so severe and sudden that I wonder how I will survive without him. More often, though, I feel …

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Through the rain

O Joy that seekest me through pain, I cannot close my heart to thee; I trace the rainbow through the rain, And feel the promise is not vain, That morn shall tearless be. —George Matheson Sometimes a poem, song, quote or Bible verse stored in my memory will become more relevant, and therefore more appreciated, …

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The strength

“Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.” —Helen Keller I’m not exactly sure how we’ve gotten through the past three weeks, but somehow we have. Some days are much worse than others, but all of them bring small reasons to be grateful. I can acknowledge that in my …

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The arabesques

The arabesques a hope can do…       the dances dreams can make… the patterned pain a mind may shape…      before a heart will break — Joan Walsh Anglund Despite the risk of heartbreak, hope is a better way to live. I really believe that. I am so thankful you are with us …

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Memory of the heart

“Gratitude is the memory of the heart; therefore forget not to say often, I have all I ever enjoyed.” — Lydia Child It’s not good to live in the past or long for bygone times. Ecclesiastes 7:10 reminds us “Do not say, ‘Why were the old days better than these?’ For it is not wise to ask such …

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In the woods

The bee is not afraid of me, I know the butterfly; The pretty people in the woods Receive me cordially. The brooks laugh louder when I come, The breezes madder play. Wherefore, mine eyes, thy silver mists? Wherefore, O summer’s day? — Emily Dickinson I wasn’t all that fond of Emily Dickinson’s poems when I …

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Such a secret place

“I did not know what to say to him. I felt awkward and blundering. I did not know how I could reach him, where I could overtake him and go on hand in hand with him once more. It is such a secret place, the land of tears.” —Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Whether or not one is alone, …

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A bridge with people

“When I stopped trying to block my sadness and let it move me instead, it led me to a bridge with people on the other side. Every one of them knew sorrow. Some of them even knew how to bear it as an ordinary feature of being human instead of some avoidable curse. Watching them …

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Solaced and refreshed

“My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary.” ― Martin Luther I connect with a lot of things Martin Luther said, but none more than this quote.  There is nothing quite like music to soothe, heal, cheer, console or bring cathartic tears.  Music …

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Unfailing love

“The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.” — Psalm 33:5 One year ago today,  I wrote of my joy in seeing Dr. and Mrs. Rodriguez, and having a new grandson, and all the ways we had been blessed with gifts of comfort and consolation amid all the sorrows.  …

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