Photo by Richard Barnard

Faith & Inspiration

By Charles Towne

Imagine there is this guy or gal that absolutely drives you up the wall. I mean, for whatever reason, you simply don’t like the person and avoid them whenever possible.  Maybe it is one of your school mates, or someone that you work with, or heaven forbid they are a member of your church, or even a family member!

Why you don’t like them isn’t all that important; or is it? They just bug the dickens out of you, tick you off.

Maybe he is more popular than you, always the center of attention, or she got the raise that you should have received. Or it might be something really important, like the way they comb their hair, or they laugh too loud, or heaven forbid, they talk too much, or their breath stinks – but then you wouldn’t know because you have never gotten close enough to find out, have you?

What is important is you can’t stand him or her, and you avoid them like the plague; after all, everything he or she does seems to be calculated to steal your tranquility and your joy.

(Wow. Under the circumstances I am almost convinced that you have good reason for feeling the way you do!)

Now imagine this – HEAVEN! Yes, the tree of life! The heavenly city! Streets of gold!  Angels! Jesus! The throne of God! We made it!  Yes! You made it! Praise God, you really made it! You are in heaven!

One day, Jesus knocks at your door and invites you to go for a walk with him. Yeah, Jesus himself! You always enjoy the time you spend with him. But this particular day he tells you that he has a special treat for you, someone he wants you to meet.

You’re a little stumped. He has already brought you together with all of your family members, and old friends. And when you arrived, one of the first people you wanted to meet was David – you know, The David, King David! And you met Lazarus and Mary and Martha, and of course there was your protector angel, Ariel. You met so many people… so… who could this be that Jesus wants you to meet?

Finally, after walking through a particularly beautiful section of the garden, you come to a magnificent house. But wait, it is not any mere house, for it is made of living trees that exude such beauty and joy, it almost takes your breath away!

As you and Jesus approach the house, you notice an individual pruning one of the trees. At first you take the person to be the gardener, but no… there is something familiar, something you recognize… it’s _______! Yes, it really is. The one you wanted nothing to do with here on earth. But how…? Why…? What did you miss…? Didn’t God know what kind of person they were…?

I think it is time I left the three of you alone. You and Jesus, and…

***

“Which commandment is the most important of all?”

Jesus replied, “This is the most important: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’…The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” – Mark 12:28-30

***

Dear God, O Holy one, help me to be what you created me to be. You did not design your children to be miserable and unhappy – physically, emotionally and spiritually – no, you designed us to be full of love, peace and joy! Why is it that most of us are suffering with anger, doubt and fear? Could it be because we have turned away from you? We separate ourselves from you with our determination to go our own way. We seem to be intent in destroying all that is good in ourselves and all of mankind. Please Father, forgive us! Yes, forgive us and help us to be love to a broken world. Thank you for being with us, for loving us, because it is only because of your great love that we can love! Praise you, Oh Merciful and Holy God, in Jesus’ lovely name we ask it, Amen


Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.

16 COMMENTS

    • Ernie, point well taken. I have no doubt that my poor efforts hit a chord on this one! Isn’t it time we “showed ourselves friendly?” As the bible states so aptly, “If you would have friends you must show {prove}yourself friendly” Bless you and yours my friend, Chaz

  1. Very powerful reminder for all of us! Thank you my dear friend for putting it all in perspective:) May we all choose to look for something kind and loving in everyone today rather than focusing on negative traits of others…….

  2. NH, my dear friend, anger, resentment, jealousy, envy, fear, these seem to overwhelm and control us, bringing unhappiness to lives that otherwise be trouble free if we could, and would only practice mercy, understanding, compassion, joy and love. Let us be love to a broken world for herein lies healing. Bless you and yours, Chas

  3. You said, “What is important is you can’t stand him or her, and you avoid them like the plague; after all, everything he or she does seems to be calculated to steal your tranquility and your joy.”

    You attempt to avoid them but like COVID-19 they seem ever present, determined “to steal your tranquility and joy.” To overcome the fear they generate, a vaccine is needed. That vaccine is love because love casts fear aside.

    • Ed, you said it pal, and aint it the truth? How many time have I wished that I had been more charitable, more considerate, more Christlike with my words, and just as importantly, my actions? Thanks pal, Chaz

  4. YES!! Isn’t it amazing Jesus does not see others the way we do, but through love!! We must remember He is the standard, not us.
    Lord, forgive me for my shortcomings, opinions and prejudices. Help me to be more like you and allow you to shine through me!
    Thanks Chuck…God bless you!!

  5. CSG, And let it began with me! So often in my life I fear I have alienated the very ones that if given a chance would have been my friends. Bless you, Chaz

  6. A bit behind in reading this week as I am on vacation with my grandson – some things take priority… Often times you will hear the word “hate” used to describe feelings toward a person someone disagrees with. Disagreements have led to some of the greatest advances in our civilization. I keep thinking that when we point the “finger of hate” toward someone we disagree with there are “three fingers” pointing back at us. EJA hit the nail on the head…

  7. Mike McFadden, so right pal, if we could really understand what love means! And I am not referring to the warm and cuddly that is often equated with love, I am directed to true love that comes even when someone hurts us. When we come to the place where we surrender our own good for the good of that other in our life. Lord, please transform me so others take precedence. Help me to be like Jesus in all things and in all ways. Amen

  8. You know Chas, long ago Mark Twain said much the same thing but did not have such a Christian outlook of the same situation! If I remember and I must paraphrase because the exact words escape me, he said, “When I consider the sheer number of disagreeable people I have met, that have moved on to a more heavenly existence, I am moved to lead a different sort of life!” I like your version better even though I think his version is funnier!

    • Who knows Richard, perhaps Papa God will make an exception and Sam will be in heaven! Neat thought, but then I could wish the same thing on several of my favorite authors, Bless you pal, Chaz

  9. Dear Charles :
    Thanks for remind Me that Jesus comes in a little while … Tomorrow, next year, or later … But it’s Good to Be Ready !!! And leave the things that keep us tight and Sinner …
    GOD Bless Little Brother and Pray for being together for a Whileeeee …

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