Today there was one more brutal killing. It was in the name of terror, or perhaps hatred, or maybe racism. It was a conspiracy or perhaps a lone-wolf gunman. It happened here, or over there. For one reason or another, it was reported on by the news, while similar events were overlooked. Welcome to one more day in our brutal, broken, vengeance-soaked world.
Oh, summer has clothed the earth
In a cloak from the loom of the sun!
And a mantle, too, of the skies’ soft blue,
And a belt where the rivers run.
And now for the kiss of the wind,
And the touch of the air’s soft hands,
With the rest from strife and the heat of life,
With the freedom of lakes and lands.
I envy the farmer’s boy
Who sings as he follows the plow;
While the shining green of the young blades lean
To the breezes that cool his brow.
In 1986, while organizing some office space at Loma Linda University, I unearthed a stack of small yellow books that had been bulk purchased by Dr. Harvey Elder, a spiritual wayfarer who happened also to be an infectious disease specialist. The discovery of the book, “A Way of Life: Living in Day Tight Compartments,” would be one of the nodal points of my kingdom pilgrimage. I read it annually. Deliberately, I chose to review it in the early morning hours prior to going to the hospital for the scheduled delivery of each of my three children.
Only a dad with a tired face,
Coming home from the daily race,
Bringing little of gold or fame
To show how well he has played the game;
But glad in his heart that his own rejoice
To see him come and to hear his voice.
Only a dad with a brood of four,
One of ten million men or more
Plodding along in the daily strife,
Bearing the whips and the scorns of life,
With never a whimper of pain or hate,
For the sake of those who at home await.
Only a dad, neither rich nor proud,
Merely one of the surging crowd,
John 21 has one of the most interesting of all incidents recorded in sacred history. It’s the conversation between Jesus and Peter.
Jesus and the disciples are having breakfast. After they finish, Jesus proposes three questions to Simon Peter. The conversation goes like this as rendered in the New American Standard Bible.
“Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord: You know that I love You.”
“Tend My lambs.”
He said to him the second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?”