Elder Norbit’s Walk in the Park


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Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. (Hebrews 13:1-3)

Elder Jud Norbit was a wizened old man, weathered by work and age. He left for his office at a quarter past seven and returned at a half-past six every day except Sundays. He was met at the door by his manservant, Pritcherd, who wore a sympathetic look just as effortlessly as he anticipated every movement in his boss’s routine. There was a nod that passed between them, a glance aside for the mail and afternoon paper, a glass of whisky at his elbow as he sat in his armchair by the fire in the winter, by the window in the summer, and then a decent meal with Mrs. Gray serving in her white apron, followed by a steaming cup of cider in the winter, tea in the summer, on a polished silver tray at his desk in the study. A quick look at the accounts and the necessaries on his computer, a brief email sent here and there, and he closed his browser and rose and stretched. It had been a long day.

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Don’t Be Weary

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:9-10)

Have you seen the “Unsung Hero” commercials of Thai Life? They’re not the usual “roll your eyes” fare. I can’t say many commercials have really reached out and touched me but these did, and especially this one: three minutes long and worth every second. Hats off to the folks who made it. It’s got heart. Take a look:

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At 5:30 A.M.

An awakening: into steady loss
Dreams escaping into the darkness before dawn
Beloved voice cut short, echoing in the void
To a bereaved daughter, groping
Her way past slumbering husband and child
To a lamplit corner in the pulpit shadow of her father
Cold apparition reaching beyond the grave
Promising all he had failed to give her
Had given to countless others in passing
Like confetti, in deliberate clerical abandon,
Overlooking the child craving him, idolizing
With all the passion of the forgotten lonely.

She sat now in disciplined lamplight
Opening the Scripture chapter by chapter
As if to uncover the key to all mythologies
Of the patriarch, under headstone, after all these years
By her alone lamented, having rested in the peace
He had never thought to reveal to her, to say to her,
That she by grace had a Father who chapter by chapter
Spoke to her His love, a Father who would never fail her.

Many times I think of her172px-StAlbansFiveDock_StainedGlass_JesusKnock
And many times in prayer
Many times I’ve wept for her
Wondering through the years
If she ever heard the still small voice
That called her in the dawn
The voice of our dear Savior
Each day
At 5:30 A.M.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20 ESV) 

Winter’s Wife

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He had married her on a dark winter’s morning when hope burned low

And his prospects were dim. Yet her piety to him like the gold of Araby

Shone in a heart ablaze with fire by which to warm cold thoughts

As in the grey light of day the months rolled past, then years,

And the bottom line translated meager rewards

And more mouths to feed though she sang what light was given her

Into a wondrous fount from which he drank greedily,

Shunning all but his own despairing gaze.

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