Sunday, November 30, 2014

Fallen Water by Sally Thomas

In October of 2012, I wrote a brief post about Sally Thomas's excellent book of poetry, Brief Light. I was going to review it after I read it, but I never did; however, Maclin Horton wrote a great review here.

Now Sally is going to have a chapbook published by Finishing Line Press, and if you like poetry, or know someone who does, I hope that you will go right over there and order one. There seems to be some sort of deadline coming up, so I hope you will do it now.

Here's a brief video about the book.

And a recommendation by David Mills.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Called By Name

Last year, in a conversation about giving money to people who are begging, someone, my friend Louise I think, said that when she gives money to someone,she asks him to pray for her. I thought this was a great idea, and I have found that although some people get a really shocked look on their faces when I do this, and mumble something in an embarrassed manner, most people agree pretty enthusiastically. Then one day it occurred to me that these people have names. So I started introducing myself, and asking them what their names were. There is almost always an immediate change in the atmosphere. We're smiling. We become two people having a conversation instead of participants in a rather awkward exchange. Occasionally, someone is so overjoyed that someone cares who they are, that I can tell that my acknowledgement of him as a person has become more important than whatever money I have given him.

About a month ago, I went to the drive-thru at Taco Bell and had to pull forward to wait for them to bring me my food. While I was waiting, I got into a conversation with a man who was standing there in the drizzling rain with a sign asking for help. I told him my name, and asked what his name was. He gave me a big smile, and said, "People call me Chris, but my name is Christopher--you know it sounds like Lucifer." And I replied, "Well, but Lucifer is the devil and Christopher means 'Christ-bearer.'" He smiled some more and proudly said, "That's right. Christ-bearer." 

I think that we all have a need to be called by our name. It lets us know that the people around us see us as people and not just anonymous ciphers. Our name is even more beautiful in the voice of those we love. It might not be our given name, but a nickname, or Mamma, or some pet name used only by our beloved.

The Lord calls us by name. We don't hear with our ears, but somehow in the deepest part of our souls, we know that He is calling. The name He speaks isn't the name that others use, but we recognize it because the name that He calls us is that which we were created to be. It is the very essence of ourselves. And on those rare occasions when we are still enough, we hear that name, and for that moment, we can almost see through that veil that separates us from that which we most desire.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

While I Was Shopping

This evening, just as I was about to pull into the parking lot of the grocery store, I noticed that a big, peachy, perfect full moon was rising over the trees ahead of me. So when I had parked the car, I stood in the parking lot for a while watching it, because so often when I see something like that I am in a hurry, or the moon is about to set, or I'm driving down a two-lane road with no shoulders so I can't stop. People were rushing in and out of the store. I don't know if anyone even noticed the lovely thing, so when a young woman got out of the car next to me, I said, "Look at that," and she did, and she said, "Oh, that's beautiful." Then after about half a minute she went on to the store, but before she went in, I saw her turn around and look at the moon.

A few minutes later inside the store, I was looking for something on the shelves and a little girl about 5 years old rode past me in a shopping cart. We exchanged hellos, and then she said, "You look pretty," which, I assure you, I did not. But I think maybe she was seeing the moon on my face.