Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Culture Of The Heart

I turn on the camera to take yet another picture of morning sky blaze, but it's slow..and then makes a beeping noise..and then reads "battery exhausted." (And I think of myself...isn't that what I want to say sometimes..."sorry can't turn on right now, battery exhausted." ?)  Anyway, I will use this as an opportunity to feature Ben's amazing photography. He actually uses his ipod to take all his pictures. Then he has an application, right on the ipod, where he can touch up and enhance the images. I love seeing what captures his eye, the little fragments of beauty and life that have moved him.

Day after day I curve and stretch words over image, hoping to give life to the thoughts of a jumbled mind. So many themes all brewing, like: why old books are best, and why the term "gifted" bothers me, because aren't all children gifted? and How Anna is three and still so much my baby; Will was three and I was wanting him to be 'man of the house' when Travis was away. Running in all directions, the thoughts converge here on this blog, this baring of soul.

I share with you because you are my friends. Without emotion, without, passion, friendship falls flat. I opened a book the other day, called "Friendship," by Hugh Black, written in 1898! I had bought the book years ago at a book sale and had never read it. Do you ever just pull random books off the shelf and start reading? I love doing that.  Here is the excerpt I read:

Friendship cannot be permanent unless it becomes spiritual. There must be fellowship in the deepest things of the soul, community in the highest thoughts, sympathy with the best endeavors. We are bartering the priceless boon, if we are looking on friendship merely as a luxury, and not as a spiritual opportunity.

It is, or can be, an occasion for growing in grace, for learning love, for training the heart to patience and faith, for knowing the joy of humble service. We are throwing away our chance, if we are not striving to be an inspiring and healthful environment to our friend. We are called to be our best to our friend, that he may be his best to us, bringing out what is highest and deepest in the nature of both.

The culture of friendship is one of the approved instruments of culture of the heart, without which a man has not truly come into his kingdom. it is often only the beginning, but through tender and careful culture it may be an education of the larger life of love. it broadens out in ever-widening circles, from the particular to the general, and from the general to the universal- from the individual to the social, and from the social to God.....

We should be led to God by the joy of our lives as well as by the sorrow, by the light as well as by the darkness, by human intercourse as well as by human loneliness...The more we know of God's fathomless grace, the more will we be convinced that the way to please the Father and to follow the Son is to cultivate the graces of kindliness and gentleness and tenderness, to give ourselves the culture of the heart...To be a true friend, saving his faith in man, and making him believe in the existence of love, is to save His faith in God.

Isn't that beautiful? Thank you dear friends, for giving me the opportunity to express deepest heart stirrings. Truly, I am blessed by you!