Author Archives: Jim McGuiggan

About Jim McGuiggan

Jim McGuiggan was Ethel's husband for fifty-three years. They have three children and eight grandchildren. Ethel went to be with Christ on Easter Sunday, 2009 at the close of a gallant life. He has written some books including: Celebrating the Wrath of God; Heading Home with God; Life on the Ash Heap; Jesus: Hero of Thy Soul; The God of the Towel, The Scarlet Letter; and The Dragon Slayer.

CELL 39

Victor Herman, in his Coming Out of the Ice, tells of a man who kept him from going insane during his first 24 hours in the Russian Gulag.
His cell (No. 39): five and a half feet wide, and ten feet long with a boarded up window at the far end and the cell door at the other. Two benches along the walls and sixteen men to the cell and closest to the door, a parasha, a round vat that served as a latrine and was emptied every ten days.
The stench was choking, silence was required and so was movement. From dawn to darkness they were forced to sit, silent and stare at a hole in the cell door through which the guards were able to watch them.
At night they lay like eggs in a carton on the cold stone floor. Every inch of space was taken and the slightest movement to ease a pain was bought at the expense of a fellow-sufferer.

Herman confessed that after only 24 hours of it he was on the edge of madness and was kept from it only by “the Elder.” The Elder—no names—sat closest to the parasha and to the door and if a guard had it in him to vent his bad temper or rage or whatever the Elder was always the first to get the beating.
This leader earned the right to make two decisions each day. One of them was to give the sign when everyone was to begin to eat. He would count sixteen bowls of soup as they came through the feeding hole in the cell door to ensure that nobody received less than his share. Twice in the night he would signal for the men to change sleeping positions so as to ease the awful agony of cramp and disability when the morning came.
I accept the fact that there are and should be people “over” us—we must have leaders, it isn’t a question of will we or won’t we; we’ll have them! We can juggle the language, change terms, substitute this word for that but we will all be “under” someone in some area of life; there’ll always be someone (or someones) who shows us the truth of things and when he/she does, in that realm we submit ourselves to them.
At its best authority compels us by persuading us that the leader has more in him/her than we have; more of the right spirit or wisdom or devotion, or whatever. They don’t compel us in the sense of coercing or making formal demands for recognition—they earn our respect and submission to their lead simply by their skill their giftedness, character and behavior. But at one point or another if we’re going to live as a community there will be “leaders”.
Leadership can be looked at in terms of how many people we can get under us but that’s the pagan kind that Jesus spoke about on the betrayal night when He spoke of leadership in terms of service. He said, “There’s either pagan authority or Mine.” So, maybe it’s not too sugary to say leadership at its best is seeing how many we can get under so as to lift them. Maybe it’s more about seeing how many we can get into to transform.
There’s something sinister (I think) in attempts to get rid of leadership (however that’s attempted) because we will always end up with leaders (call them what we may or call them nothing). They may speak quietly and with a smile, there may be more than one and they may even ask for opinions now and then but we will have leaders. The group may even “democratically vote” on occasions but there will be those that (ugly phrase but still) “call the shots.” There will always be those judged (not wickedly) not gifted to do this or that and they will happily follow the leaders & happily submit to them. (Call them what you want but they will lead and there will be followers.)
I can’t help thinking “the Elder” at the door was regarded as “the Elder” by common consent and not because he demanded recognition or because he somehow rigged the vote. He manifestly served, but “the elder” still called the shots twice a day and was obeyed without quibbling or worry about questions of “equality” in all things. (There’s something strange too in a person or a group that is pre-occupied with “I must be understood and treated as equal in all ways.” ) We will “obey” someone! Even if I’m given a turn at “calling the shots”—I’m given it by someone(s) with the authority to do it.
This entire area needs, and is worth, thinking about. I recognize that the most compelling piece of this little thing is the telling of Herman’s cell, so reflect on that a while. I’m tempted to say that those who are our best leaders are those who suffer most for us. But, yes, it’s too simple; still it’s not too simple for us to take that aspect of leadership seriously.

 

MR. BOJANGLES

Who are these two in Acts 3:1-6? Indeed, they’re Peter & John.

Yes, but who are they? Who or what are they filled with? And if we know the answer to that what drives them? What “leaves them no choice” to engage in their commission and purpose in life? And if we know the answer to that, what will they offer the crippled beggar?
The beggar thought they were going to offer him money.

And we’re tempted to think they were offering him physical healing. There’s an element of truth in that, of course, but with the treasure they had to offer, to offer only that would have been robbery.

To physically heal him so he could dance joyfully would be no little thing but the years would go by and aging—the approach of Death—would enfeeble him and finally Death would rob him of his dancing. They didn’t want to give him less that joyful ‘dancing’ they wanted to give him more! They wanted to give him Jesus, immortality and the power and reason to dance even a world of pain. A dance that Death couldn’t end! They were offering him DEATHLESS LIFE as a gift from the Living Lord!

The government may provide health through medicine, good income through economic structures, national freedom through military might, education via educational systems and society may give us pleasure through movies, literature, partying, music, art and other fine things (and some not so fine). But Death trumps all these. Only the Lord God trumps Death and He shows that in Jesus of Nazareth who is now Lord of All and conqueror of Death (Acts 10:36; Hebrews 2:14-15). With HIM to offer, they couldn’t and wouldn’t offer less!
And in light of the Lord of Glory they offered him a new vision of the WORLD. His world had been a world of beggary and disease, rejection and helplessness and they offered him a new way of seeing it, a new way of experiencing it. It’s true there was still beggary, injustice and the poor; but now GOD was in it for him. And since God has no “pets” this man is an assurance that He sees all and cares for all of the helpless. God hasn’t died since Acts 3. They offered him a new experience of God! God as one who had heard his prayers, as One who saw his being carried every day and as One who heard his daily begging that had so little success that like many others he just uttered the words without looking (cf. 3:4). What they offered this man was an experience that really did change the world!
In Wasserman’s stage-play, the imprisoned Cervantes is mocked by a lawyer when he heard Cervantes was a poet. The sneering and “realistic” lawyer accused him of spinning nonsense out of nothing and said that people should “see life as it is.” Cervantes snarls back:
Life as it is. I’ve lived for over 40 years and I’ve seen life as it is.
Pain. Misery. Cruelty beyond belief.
I’ve heard all the voices of God’s noblest creatures. Moans from bundles of filth in the street.
I’ve been a soldier and a slave.
I’ve seen my comrades fall in battle or die more slowly under the lash in Africa.
I’ve held them in my arms at the final moment.
These were men who saw life as it is,
yet they died despairing. No glory, no brave last words,
only their eyes, filled with confusion, questioning “Why?”
I do not think they were asking why they were dying,
but why they had ever lived.
When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies?
Perhaps to be too practical is madness
To surrender dreams – -this may be madness;
to seek treasure where there is only trash.
Too much sanity may be madness!
And maddest of all—to see life as it is and not as it should be!

( Holy Father how vast is the host of suffering humans that were and are compelled by the savagery of life that they couldn’t and can’t take their eyes off “life as it is” for them? Only you know. They were never given an occasion to dance and still in their millions they can’t dance and hard people rule over them and won’t allow them to dance. One Mr. Bojangles and his lovely story doesn’t seem enough, surely it isn’t all you have to say; You will do what is right and beautiful. And so it is that even now I have seen some of them smile and dance even in a world of abuse and heartache and heartbreak. Did you do that?  Did you empower them to dance? Even though they don’t know it? I believe you did. Will you thrill us with the teachers the cripple met, won’t you thrill us with the Lord Jesus they gave to him and won’t you enrich and skill us so that we won’t offer people less than the joys of this life but more! Help us also to offer You and change someone’s world. This prayer in the Blessed Savior’s name, Jesus of Nazareth.)

SANE DON QUIXOTES EVERYWHERE

We’ve been entrusted with a great Story and Mission

So we mustn’t be so self-conscious that we can’t rejoice when people respond to our telling about Him. It’s no matter that the teacher is highly praised, he or she knows in his or her heart that it isn’t about them—it’s about Him!
It’s impossible, I judge, to make someone as beautiful as He is to sound or appear ugly, someone as exciting as He is to sound or appear boring; it’s impossible to cry out about someone as graciously demanding as the LORD JESUS is who wants to transform us into sane Don Quixotes who live in a world —It’s impossible saturated with “realistic” crudeness, cynicism, gloom and despair, a world content with this in part because they don’t know there is anything else on offerto present Him as bland, as a sweet gentle lecturer on social ethics whose message is something like, “Let’s all be nice to one another,” as with a tolerant smile He made His gentle way to a permanent place in a waiting tomb like all the other wishful teachers whose words simply don’t work in the real world. A Don Quixote figure who wasn’t made for such a world as this.
But it’s Don Quixote, the one who is beaten, sneered and jeered at, mocked and known as the one who couldn’t see the world “as it is”—it was that one we admire, that one we want to be like; it’s that one whose vision is glorious that we smile at and it is the self-serving, crude, ‘realistic’ and brutish kind ; it’s the bored, cynical and utterly pessimistic who see “the world as it is” that we look at and see the shabbiness of their sane way of life. Men and women who can’t see how a world could be, should be and one day by the gracious righteousness and sovereignty of the Lord Jesus will be.
All over the place we see faces of people stunned with glimpses, just glimpses, glimpses of Him as He walks past their eyes as if they’ve never seen Him before, though they’ve committed to Him years earlier. “This is who I…?” Sometimes, only now and then don’t you know, the wonder of Him fills our senses and we see a world as it could and should be rather than what it is. The emotional response lasts only a while and then we’re back on the ground but we’re never the same. There’s no going back. Once we’ve seen it we can’t unsee it! Myers in that long long poem called Paul phrased it marvelously with words he says about Paul and then words he puts in Paul’s mouth:
Ay, though thou then shouldst strike him from his glory
  Blind and tormented, madden’d and alone,
Even on the cross would he maintain his story,
  Yes, and in hell would whisper, I HAVE KNOWN!

 

“You’ll Like Yourself A Lot”

Salvation, fullness of life comes to whoever by the grace of God manifested finally and completely and solely in the Lord Jesus Christ. Everlasting LIFE is God’s gift!
At this stage of my life it seems a bit tedious to go on and on saying that because to me it’s so obviously true. Still, if it’s true why wouldn’t we gladly say it.
God is magnificent and glorious for out of love He purposed a world and a human family and meant to do them good; meant to do them eternal good and He meant to do so because that’s the kind of God He is as we’ve learned from the biblical witness that comes to its climax in the blessed Lord Jesus.
I don’t know everything about anything but I’m aware that we the human family can be desperately wicked. I’ll make no attempt to prove that point—is there any sane person who would doubt it?
Let me tell you what has come home to me more clearly as the years have gone by—the human family while it can be desperately wicked can also be profoundly gallant and worthy of admiration. I’m not advocating humanism! But I will not deny that there are hosts of non-Christian people who live lives of moral grandeur. To reject! God in any of the forms that takes ends in everlasting loss.

I say that all the evil present in our world is the expression of human corruption and I believe that our corrupt state as a family is the result of many contributing factors. No one is born bad! The presence of and the pervasive nature of evil gets hold of us and as we grow we enter into that evil way.
But it’s very clear to us that evil isn’t the only thing that’s in the world. We’re persuaded beyond debate that God has not left the human family without help in His war against evil. The ways in which He helps the human family are many but He does help us! That there is good in the world as well as evil is plain to see and all the religious double-talk won’t change it. In their millions there are lovers who love others more than they love themselves. There are people who astonish us with their gallantry when they lay down their lives as caregivers to the profoundly and chronically ill. There are people young and old, rich and poor, female and male, educated or semi-literate, red and yellow, black and white who live gloriously in all parts of the world.
There! When we see such people we see the magnificence of God. There are those who wonder how a good God can be lord of a world that is so desperately wicked and that wonder is no strange thing—didn’t God’s own prophets and psalmists wonder the same thing? But there’s something else to wonder about: how can there not be a good God at work in the world when there is so much human grandeur and honor, gallantry, patience, compassion, self-giving and cheerfulness?

Why would we doubt it? What is it, are we afraid to say these people live lovely lives (not sinless lives) in case they think they will earn heaven by their goodness? Because we know they can’t buy their way into God’s love we must call their goodness evil (as some corrupt religion does) or must we avoid praising them when they do so gloriously what we wish we could do?
God help us to believe that all we see that’s lovely and fine is His work. God help us to believe that He has given them more than food and gladness, friends and family, health and political freedom. God help us to believe that He has gifted them with friends and teachers, literature and experiences that mediate truth to them—truth that shapes their character and strengthens their resolve to love and do what’s right and just and beautiful.
Tell them that! Tell them we see that in them and God has richly blessed them with it and maybe that will enable them to think noble things of God; maybe that will turn their hearts to a God who is already committed to them and who expresses that commitment in the moral glory we see in them.

That beats to pulp denying the goodness in them and damning all the evil in them. Link their goodness to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus! Link their harmless joys and pleasures with Him. Help them to admire Him. Don’t begrudge them their decency, honesty, faithfulness—it’s the work of God. Give them some praise! We don’t need to endorse corruption or remain silent about it but we need to acknowledge the presence of God in moral loveliness wherever and in whoever we see it.
Back in 1938 they made a movie about the work of a priest called Edward Flanagan who began a home for needy boys—a home that grew and grew until it became Boy’s Town. It is a moving and fine movie with plenty of interesting characters in it.
As the movie tells it Flanagan goes to the store of his friend Dave Morris [played by Henry Hull] looking for a $100 loan to lease a house to shelter the homeless boys he’d gathered up. Business man Morris wants to know what Flanagan has as collateral and the priest brings out a cheap watch that the broker has scores of—he sells them for a couple of dollars each. What else? The priest has nothing else but a10¢ toy—the kind with a clown face, two little holes as eyes and two little balls you must get settled in the eyes. That? That’s collateral? Against his better business judgment Dave succumbs to the priest’s plea and loans him the $100, refuses the collateral and urges the priest, “You better leave before I change my mind.”

Flanagan says, “Oh, I’m not afraid of that Dave!”

I love that line! I love it not only because it was the right thing to say but also because Dave Morris was such a character that the priest was able to say such a thing to him. How marvelous it is to know such people—they make a commitment and have no intention of backing away from it. You know such people don’t you? Christians and non-Christians. You’ve met or heard of them; you might well be one of them; one of those that people talk about as I am now talking about Dave Morris who helped Flanagan’s dream to become a reality and wouldn’t “change his mind” until such a place as Boy’s Town came into and remains in existence to this day.

The scene from the movie ends with Flanagan talking the storeowner into selling him some stuff for the house with Morris’ own money and then working another scheme on him. The frustrated Morris blusters and protests but is clearly weakening and the priest says to him just as he’s leaving, “Dave, tonight before you go to sleep you’re gonna like yourself—a lot!”

I love that line too and I fervently hope that some of you who read this, in whom Dave Morris is alive and well—I hope that you know God is enabling you and has blessed you and is pleased with such a spirit in you and that tonight you can like yourself—a lot.

BOY’S TOWN

 

Jesus And Eliza Doolittle

The world doesn’t change? Of course it does! Reality includes thoughts and feelings, purposes and promises, convictions and emotional responses as well as rocks and rivers, mountains and recliner chairs, stars and ancient trees, sub-atomic particles and huge blue whales. Reality includes how we relate to the world that is “not us” and since our views change about people and things around us—the world changes.

Yes, but trees remain trees and streets still streets! Of course, and there’s no point in being silly about that; but what do you think the song-writer had in mind when he has Freddy Eynsford-Hill singing,
“I have often walked down this street before/
But the pavement always stayed beneath my feet before/
All at once am I, several stories high/
Knowing I’m on the street where you live”?
Freddy is now madly in love with Eliza Doolittle and ordinary prose won’t capture what he feels. The world is now new!
Well, that’s just poetry!
What’s just poetry? The way the guy feels! No! That’s not just poetry—the description of what he actually experiences is poetic but the experience, the emotional surge, the joy tinged with a little awe is real! He has changed and because that’s true he no longer feels the same about the street he thought nothing of before. The street has now become “her” street and because it’s hers he relates to it differently and that experience of relating is real, as real as the street he walks on. He knows the street is a street but his love for her invests the street with her presence. To tell him he’s silly, that he doesn’t actually rise off the pavement would be silly—it never entered his head that he did. To tell him he doesn’t feel joy and excitement at being on her street would be to talk nonsense for that’s exactly what he does feel! That long stretch of concrete with brick structures on each side of it will never be the same to him.
Reality (the world) actually changes because reality is perceived and experienced and how we perceive and experience reality changes depending on events or truths or convictions and such.
Well, this is all psychological stuff! Of course it is! Should we pretend otherwise? Humans are more than flesh and blood. They’re embodied dreams and fears, worries and joys, relationships and convictions. Should we pretend that the only reality is what we can bump into or see under a microscope or through a telescope? Reality includes the observer—bumping and telescoping and microscoping and whatever—they’re all possible only to personal observers.
This relational truth about things is not restricted to romance—friendship, parent/child, teacher/student and other relationships work the same transforming magic. The same holds true in our relationship to Jesus Christ for God works at the psychological level as well as all other levels.
I mention all this because just some time ago a young man asked me if the doctrine of the life, cross, resurrection and exaltation of Jesus made any difference to the “now” of people’s lives rather than the future and if it did, in what way.

We should insist, certainly, that a glorious future hope affects the present. Paul thought it should, in 1 Corinthians 15:54-58. He spoke of a coming day when for all who are embraced in Christ’s saving work that death would be obliterated and then he says (15:58 NRSV), “Therefore, my beloved, be…always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” The coming resurrection casts a light on their present lives for the Lord—none of it is lost!

The truth is: faith in Jesus is the future, it is the assurance, it is “being sure” of what we hope for (Hebrews 11:1). But that faith in light of the future (and it should never be severed from that) even now makes the world a different place if we have given ourselves in faith to Christ. As surely as streets remain streets pain and suffering remain pain and suffering but in light of faith in Jesus these realities are not the same; we now relate to them in an altogether different way. The pleasures and joys of life take on a new complexion when they are related to Jesus Christ. So do the  world’s great wrongs and the suffering endured by the plundered poor; tyrants are more tyrannical and sinister, injustice more unjust and self-centeredness less excusable.
If we don’t feel that at any serious level it might well be because we haven’t yet grasped at a significant depth (or been grasped by) the truth in and about Jesus. Perhaps if we spent more time prayerfully and seriously reflecting on the major issues of our faith and less on the needful but relatively peripheral matters we’d discover that the world has changed since He came.
Maybe one day, while we’re working our way through the truth about Him we’ll be transfixed by a realization, our eyes will get big and round and though the emotional experience will calm down the world will never be the same. Truth frees but it also makes us debtors to all those God loves! It isn’t always peace and quiet joy but through His eyes it’s always glorious; always cosmic as well as personal and individual!
A new world IS coming but even now we sense:

Heaven above is softer blue
Earth beneath is sweeter green,
Something lives in every hue
That Christless eyes have never seen.
Birds with gladder songs overflow
Stars with deeper beauty shine,
Since I know as now I know
I am his and he is mine.

Write me if you wish if you feel the need: holywoodjk@aol.com

IT’S A MYSTERY

Jesus repeatedly made the point that the entire OT came to fulfillment in Him. It’s foolishness to think He meant every verse and every event recorded in some immediate way has Him in view. It’s also foolishness to think that He meant we should look for a prediction here and there, put them like pearls on a necklace and we’d have Him. He at least means (as Stephen in Acts 7 and Paul in Acts 13 showed) that the self-revelation of God in keeping with His creation and redemptive purpose & in keeping with His promises remain constant and that they are to be seen in the narrative and words of Moses, Prophets & Psalms (Writings) That’s the claim of Jesus in John 5, Luke 24 (twice) and elsewhere.

“It all comes to fulfillment in Me,” Jesus claims and His witnesses agree. See texts like Romans 1:1-4; John 1:45; Acts 2 & 3; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “according to the scriptures”; 2 Corinthians 1:2, passim.

We see Jesus mainly as a savior from sins and most of our speech is about His cross and His dying. We don’t teach/preach much on His resurrection and the little we hear about it has to do with what happens when He returns. Nothing much is said that relates it to God’s creative purpose to create a human family, glorious and immortal to be His companions in unending LIFE and adventure, righteousness, joy and peace with the incarnate Lord Jesus and even less about Jesus indwelling the Church now by His Holy Spirit.
Our doctrine about Christ must include the deity and humanity of Jesus of Nazareth. Not only does He work our redemption and deliverance from all that is satanic, that is anti-God, anti-human and anti-life, He is Himself the complete embodiment of the triumph over the satanic forces. As a human, the human that God is being, Jesus of Nazareth conquered Sin by resisting all satanic temptation and deception, by refusing satanic promises of power, by totally rejecting self-sufficiency and relying completely on God to give Him life—In all that He triumphed over Sin (see the temptation narrative in Matthew 4:1-11). In rising from the dead never to die again He conquered Death.
And all He was and did He was and did as “the Seed of the woman.” Not as the seed of the man! Note the Genesis 3:15 text. God makes the woman to be the satanic figure’s enemy, God makes the woman’s children the enemies of the satanic figure’s children and God makes the woman’s particular child the crusher of Satan and it is the woman’s child that is bruised in accomplishing that triumph. (Note Romans 16:20 for her children’s victory.)
Paul reminds us in Galatians 4:4 that Jesus was “made of a woman.” Not that He was made of a man! The Greek text doesn’t say He was “born” of a woman but that He was “made” of a woman. I’m taking it that this is an echo of Genesis 2:22 where the woman was “made” (built) of a man.
In Jesus we have the perfect union of male and female, distinguishable (!!) yes, but not separable. Here in Jesus we have the new “image of God” (see Genesis 1:26-27; 5:2).
In His rising immortal, triumphant over Sin & Death humankind rises with Him. The image of God in the first phase of creation chose death without God (Genesis 1:26-27 and 3:1-13) and the new image of God chose LIFE in and with God (see Colossians 1:15; 2 Corinthians 3:18 and 4:4).
The old mortal image of God (Genesis 1:26-27; 5:2) dies in creaturely weakness and the new image of God ascends to immortality, power and glory. The old mortal image brought Sin and Death, the new image (last Adam) brings life and righteousness (Romans 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians 15:45ff, “life-bringing spirit”). The one who is received up in glory is triumphant humankind, male and female, the glory and image of GOD, not separable though distinguishable (see 1 Corinthians 11:11)

“This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church.”

[Holy Father, deliver us from all that is satanic that sets women against men and men against woman and enable us to sense the great and wondrous mystery. This prayer in your Son who is the embodiment of yourself in union with man and woman.)

A Worn Face & Kind Eyes

A.C. Benson, Cambridge academic, author and essayist died in 1925. In one of his letters he tells of another period of deep dissatisfaction and depression that began to tell on him. During those periods he said,

“I grow nervous and strained; I am often sleepless, or my sleep is filled by vivid, horrible, intolerable dreams. I wake early in the clutch of fear. I wrestle at times with intolerable irritability; social gatherings become unbearable; I have all sorts of unmanning sensations, dizziness, tremors; I have that dreadful sensation that my consciousness of things and people around me is slipping away from me, and that only by a strong effort can one retain one’s hold upon them. I fall into a sort of dull reverie, and come back to the real world with a shock of surprise and almost horror.

I went the other day to consult a great doctor about this. He reassured me; he laughed at my fears; he told me that it was a kind of neurasthenia, not fanciful but real; that my brain had been overworked, and was taking its revenge; that it was insufficiently nourished, and so forth. He knew who I was, and treated me with a respectful sympathy. I told him I had taken a prolonged holiday since my last book, and he replied that it had not been long enough. “You must take it easy,” he said. “Don’t do anything you don’t like.” I replied that the difficulty was to find anything I did like. He smiled at this, and said that I need not be afraid of breaking down; he sounded me, and said that I was perfectly strong. “Indeed,” he added, “you might go to a dozen doctors to be examined for an insurance policy, and you would be returned as absolutely robust.”

In the course of his investigations, he applied a test, quite casually and as if he were hardly interested, the point of which he thought (I suppose) that I should not divine. Unfortunately I knew it, and I need only say that it was a test for something very bad indeed. That was rather a horrible moment, when a grim thing out of the shadow slipped forward for a moment, and looked me in the face. But it was over in an instant, and he went on to other things. He ended by saying:

“Mr. ——, you are not as bad as you feel, or even as you think. Just take it quietly; don’t overdo it, but don’t be bored. You say that you can’t write to please yourself at present. Well, this experience is partly the cause, and partly the result of your condition. You have used one particular part of your brain too much, and you must give it time to recover. My impression is that you will get better very gradually, and I can only repeat that there is no sort of cause for anxiety. I can’t help you more than that, and I am saying exactly what I feel.”

(But the above is not what I really meant to share with you though it is not without value. I think what Benson went on to say is priceless—an education really, and something I think God would be pleased if we could take to heart. It reminds me of God who showed Himself in and as Jesus of Nazareth–see Mark 7:24 and maybe 5:30. jmcg) Benson continues:

“I looked at the worn face and kind eyes of the man whose whole life is spent in plumbing abysses of human suffering. What a terrible life, and yet what a noble one! He spoke as though he had no other case in the world to consider except my own; yet when I went back to the waiting-room to get my hat, and looked round on the anxious-looking crowd of patients waiting there, each with a secret burden, I felt how heavy a load he must be carrying.”