Not a mere blowing flame—
A clinking ash, I feel—with shame,
At malendeavor in your service.
But as Jehoshaphat said on that occasion in
Old Testament history,
”The battle is not mine,”
And strategy laid down—in fine
Surrender, may be conquest.
“And it was observed, that in the greatest hurry of business in the kitchen, he still preserved his recollection and heavenly-mindedness. He was never hasty nor loitering, but did each thing in its season, with an even uninterrupted composure and tranquility of spirit. “The time of business,” said he, “does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clutter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the Blessed Sacrament.”
- On Brother Lawrence, in “The Practice of the Presence of God”
there’s a home and a family for me on the other side of the planet.
there seems to be such a romantic notion around poverty — that the poor are all simple, good, smiling, more in touch with themselves, nature, god. magical creatures that sometimes need our help in the practical things of life. no, the poor are human. their brokenness made india a very bitter and sad place to be, but the fingerprints of god there made it beautiful.
i think all of us felt more of a culture shock upon return though we adjusted quickly at arrival. we’re still figuring out how to live back here, though we’ve been here much, much longer than we have been there. henry calls it an “emotional jet lag” — like every part of you aside from your body has been left in another place.
Tradition meets modernity in Taiwan. Countryside temples decorated with hundreds of golden dragons feature large digital announcement boards above the entrances. Sacrifices of fruit, incense, apple soda, and milk tea all along the roads and on the sides of doorways. Old ladies burn fake money for their ancestors in large iron urns, some of which are perforated with stars and flowers instead of the traditional geometric dragons.
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