Posts Tagged ‘blessings’

In the Dark

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

It is 10:20 PM.  I just walked into the pitch black emptiness of a cavernous 150 year old church which was full of life a few hours ago.  I’m on retreat at the Abbey of Gethsemani Monastery ( . There is no light, save one flickering candle 200 or so feet from my perch in the balcony.  Actually, I had to feel my way to this pew. As far as I know, I’m alone. The monks have gone to bed, but they will be back at 3:15 AM.  I love to be in in the pitch black. I’m sitting with my back against the end of the pew, with my legs spread out on the seat. I am quite comfortable, as I take in this precious moment of solitude. Watching the tiny flame flicker, I realize that I am not alone at all. I feel the presence of our majestic Creator God, the One who allows me this moment of time with Him.  I’m praying for Him to guide me to what he wants me to hear in this darkness. Hopefully, He will make me a bit more like Him and a lot less like me.

Right now, I am realizing that the blackness is lifting. As my eyes adjust, I can make out the massive wooden trusses high above me that support the roof. There are twelve. I now can see the eighteen stained glass windows, nine on each side. They are beautiful in the light of day, when the filtering sun paints glowing mosaics on the ancient, white brick walls.   Down below, I am able to make out the far away altar.  Even in the dark, it is still the central focal point in this house dedicated to God.

My experience is a metaphor of how God speaks to us when we make a sacrifice to Him of our time. When I entered a while ago, the only visual experience was the candle flickering in the darkness.  Out of the veil of blackness, God is now showing me what I formally could not see.  Likewise, God is faithful to speak to us when we slow down long enough to give Him our ear. If you are not hearing anything, most likely you are not spending enough time listening.

Something to Think About

Why Me?

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

I wrote this a while back when we were visiting the Biltmore Estate. I am writing from our room at the impeccable Inn on Biltmore Estate, nestled among the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, North Carolina. Even though it has been a rainy day, the view is still spectacular and the day has been wonderful.   Shortly, we will be going down to enjoy dinner and another stunning view from our  window table.  It doesn’t get much better!  Earlier today Cathy and I paid ninety-eight dollars to walk through an old house.    To refer to the Biltmore, the largest and possibly the grandest house in the nation, as an “old house” might seem a bit peculiar (; however, I mean no disrespect. It was money well spent.  George Vanderbilt’s house is an incredible masterpiece of architecture, engineering and grandeur — truly a magnificent work of art. I’m glad we were able to come here and I recommend it highly.

Shortly, before our trip I heard the heart wrenching story of Mr. Cho who recently died in China.  Mr. Cho had been a factory worker all his adult life.  He had what was considered by Chinese standards a very good job with excellent health and retirement plans. His future seemed secure.  Two years ago the plant went bankrupt and was closed. In addition to his job, Mr. Cho lost both his health care and his retirement.  Then he got sick; his wife did the best she could on her income of twenty-eight dollars a month, but it wasn’t enough to provide proper care for her husband.   Mr. Cho died last month.  His wife said that her husband “couldn’t afford to live”.

For some reason I’m having a difficult time getting Mr. Cho off my mind. The last two years of his life Mr. Cho and his wife lived on twenty-eight bucks a month.  Like I said, we just spent three and a half times as much for a two hour walk through an old house.  I can’t help but wonder, “Why me Lord”?

Something to think about