Give me my scallop-shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon,
My script of joy, immortal diet,
y bottle of salvation.
My gown of glory, hopes true gauge,
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.

~Sir Walter Raleigh

A hiker, walking for pleasure, likes to choose between several alluring trails.
The pilgrim desires only the road that leads home.

~Frank W. Boreham

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hat Pins and Button Hooks

New Zealand essayist/Minister Frank W. Borham (1871-1959) tells the story of a small girl running in from school telling her momma that she has learned punctuation. She goes on to explain that "if you say that a thing is so you just put a hat-pin after it; but if you are only asking whether it is so or not, you put a button hook."

Boreham concludes that sooner or later all life matters are reduced down to these two categories: either "certainties or suspicions".

As I was gathering thoughts on the Christmas account of Mary this morning, I saw this

'reduction' there. Mary had her questions in the beginning - big questions - concerning the things which were angel announced. Yet, as understanding came to her, the certainties grew larger and were seen more clearly as the questions were answered and faded away.

Mary's certainties included a settled trust in Her God and with that who she was in His sight and plan.

All this becomes a comfort to me that the really big things are represented by hat pins. My certainties in my Faith-walk outweigh my fears or speculations, they are 'stuck in'. The things that can either wait or be put aside by button hooks.

My faith is the assurance of things unseen. I can embrace the "Glorious Impossibles" in the birth account of the Christ child. I can and do cling to the merits of my Savior's cross, and the strength and mystery of His risen power. There is the certainty of the goodness and mercy that follows me all my days. Oh, and so very much more.

In these simple truths of pins and hooks, is security from the unsettling issues of my life. Here, like a little sparrow in the sight of my watchful God, I can build my nest and find rest.

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