The Witness

 

© Jeanne E Webster  All Rights Reserved

The Witness

PART 1

 

“It’s been a long time.”

“Yessir.”

“You haven’t changed much.”

“You neither.”

Moments faltered as stammered thoughts riddle through bygone days; eyes clung awkwardly like a skittish handshake.

“Ya wanna sit down?”

“Sure. Have you been here long?”

“Naw, ‘bout a year.” Hands fidget across the table, waiting for the right moment.

“I, er… I received your letter.” Compassion rendering his unsettled spirit, he gently muttered, “I’m sorry, Joe.”

Suddenly breathing came easier; hearts shifted back into normal sinus rhythm. “Thanks, man. I didn’t know if you’d come.”

“You knew I would. That’s why you wrote to me.”

“Yeah, I knows.” His fingers, stuffed in his pockets, fidgeted open and closed, open and closed, open and closed.

“Well…”

“I knows I have done sumpthin’ really, really bad, Frank. An’ I got’s ta pay fer it.” Clearing his throat he continued. “But that’s not why I asked ya ta come.”

Looking up with tearful eyes, he leaned closer to Frank, “I been doing lots ‘a thinking and …”

“…and I needs ya for my witness.”

“Witness for what, Joe?”

“. . . for when I meet my maker.”

The stagnant air became electrified by the hush. It wasn’t what Frank had expected to hear.

Who’s that Knocking at the Door?

Ornate Wooden Door Valencia Church Guanajuato Mexico

 

© Jeanne E Webster. All Rights Reserved.

 Jeremiah wrote the book of Lamentations (Tears/Wailings in Greek) after personally witnessing the downfall of Judah and the capture of Jerusalem. As his pen so vividly illustrates, His people suffered tragically. God’s fierce judgment crushed them because of their total disregard for His law. No wonder he was called the weeping prophet. Broken in heart and spirit, he grieved over this horrific devastation and urged the people to repent of their sins.

 

As I read this scripture, I imagine witnessing the breakdown of the present day Church! Picture every vestige and denomination– disgraced beyond imagination and completely broken down because of our sins and idolatry. Reflection could thoroughly rupture every true Christian spirit. Revival time would be soon upon us; the old-time tent meetings would spread from shore to shore. I hope and pray we will realize the need to turn our hearts back to God before His wrath is nigh at our door. Lord, have compassion on our souls as we strive to let Christ back into our churches before condemnation comes knocking.

 

The Jewish people read Lamentations every year on the commemoration date of the temple’s destruction. Maybe we ought to integrate this scripture reading into our Lenten services and contrite reflection during that somber season.

Why wait until then? Our walk with Christ is in dire need of realignment now.  How about repentance today?

 

Lamentations 3:21-31

“This I recall to mind, therefore have I hope:

Because of the Lord’s mercies, we are not consumed; his compassions fail not.

They are new every morning; great is his faithfulness.

The Lord is my portion, says my soul; therefore I will hope in him.

The Lord is good to them that wait for him, to the soul that seeks him.

It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.

It is good for a man that he bears the yoke in his youth.

Let him sit alone and keep silent, because God has laid it upon him.

Let him put his mouth in the dust, so there may be hope.

Let him give his cheek to him that smites him; he is filled full with reproach.

For the Lord will not cast off forever.”

Just a Hill

John 15:12-13 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.   Greater love has no man than this . . . that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

 

chalise

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© Jeanne E Webster.  All rights reserved

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“Lord, give me eyes that I may see, lest I as people will,

Should pass someone’s Calvary and think it just a hill.”

~unknown

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“He what?  He committed suicide?  Oh NO!  Why didn’t he say something?  I would have been there for him.”   

This was a true story played out last week in the life and death of a famous retired baseball player, supposedly happy with his job as announcer for a major league baseball team.  Interviews with scores of friends and admirers all related that they knew nothing of his problems.  Reality showed they had been blind to his financial troubles.

It wasn’t a hill he faced; it was his cavalry.  His body was found in his back yard; he had shot himself in the head…and died.  Oh God…!

`

Oh Lord, we are so busy these days, running here and there, feathering our nests, getting a leg up, or just plain living for the gusto of life.  We are blind to the red flags popping up around our friends: the panicky stares, the desperate inflections in their voices, the surety in their steps now wavering down the path.  We gave them fly-away thoughts.  That’s all.

If only, Lord…if only we would linger long enough in the lives of others, so they would feel comfortable sharing their troubles.  Give us eyes to see their needs, ears to hear their cries of desperation, and mouths to speak words of relief and peace.    In today’s fast paced society, Father, the world’s all like one big blur…zoom, zoom, zoom.  Use us for your purposes, Lord.  Open our eyes so we may distinguish between a hill and a calvary.    A friend’s life may depend on it.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

 

 

I LIED

Dune Grass and Sand

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© 2013 by Jeanne E Webster. All rights reserved

 

1 John 4:20 “If you say you love God and yet do not love your brother, you are a liar.  For if you do not love your brother who you have seen, how can you love God who you have not seen?”

 

“Our love, if it exists and mirrors God’s love at all, is not our own but God’s doing.  It is hypocritical to claim to love God while withholding love for others.”  Quote from The Liberty Annotated Study Bible, KJV.

 

True love from God is the human response to God’s perfect and infinite compassion:

1 Corinthians 13.

Love is:

Kind

Non-bragging

Non-envious

Not rude

Not proud

Not easily provoked

Thinks no evil

Rejoices not in sin

Bears all things

Believes all things

Hopes all things

Endures all things

Never fails.

FAITH—HOPE—LOVE:  GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE.

Jesus commands us to demonstrate our love for God through loving others.  Only through His grace and power can I do this.  I profess that I love God, but I fail as a demonstrator.  Oh, Lord, grant me the GRACE and POWER so the world may see Your Light through this fragile living frame.  Amen.

Are you a liar?  Think about it. . .

Be Blessed

Image

Psalm 103–Bless the Lord

Worship the Lord, O my soul
And all that is within me
Praise His holy name.
Exalt the Lord, O my soul,
Never forget all His provisions:

He forgives all your sins
He heals all your diseases
He saved you from obliteration
He surrounds you with gentle love and tender mercies
He indulges you with your every need
So your spirit can soar like the eagle.

The Lord ensures fair justice for the tormented.
He revealed Himself to Moses,
His capabilities to the Israelites.

The Lord is full of mercy and compassion,
Composed and abounding in leniency.

He will not always dispute with us in anger.
He has dealt kindly with us and not exacted due punishments.

His mercy for those who trust in Him is higher than the heavens.
He has wiped out our sins completely, as far as the east is from the west.

As our earthly fathers have compassion on us, so does the Lord have mercy.
He knows our makeup and remembers we are made of dust.

The days of mankind are as the grass and flowers of the field,
Flourishing well until the storms pass over and they are no more;
They will not even be remembered.

But God’s compassion is eternal towards those who worship Him
And it also carries forth to their children’s children
Because they keep their promise to Him always.

The Lord’s throne is in heaven and He rules His whole creation.

Angels, worship the Lord with your endowed strength;
Do His will and listen closely to His voice.

Heavenly hosts, worship the Lord, all you ministers that do His will.

All creation, worship the Lord wherever you stand.

Worship and praise the Lord, O my entire being!

“Everything is from the Lord and is therefore… a blessing!” Shalom.

© Jeanne E Webster

Princess?

 

 

©Jeanne E. Webster

 

 “For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am,  to be content.”  Phil. 4:11

The Princess and the Pea, a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, relates how a prince recognized a true princess. The prospective princess had to endure a night’s sleep on a bed of 20 mattresses and featherbeds, where a pea secretly lay hidden underneath.  If she complained of discomfort all night, she proved she had the sensitivity to discern even minor tenderness, thus possessing princess quality.

What a characteristic to have, especially when dealing with the public.   How about a barometer that could detect a person’s compassionate attributes and use this as a suitability guide for public office, for that matter, many other positions in life:  spouse, minister, doctor, teacher… friend?

~

HAVE YOU EVER NOTICED—

When the other person acts that way, he is ugly; when we do it, it is nerves.

When the other person is set in his ways, he is obstinate; when we are, it is just firmness.

When the other person does not like our friend, he is prejudiced; when we do not like his friend, we are simply showing that we have good judgment of character.

When the other person takes time to do things, he is dead slow; when we do, we are deliberate.

When the other person spends a lot, he is a spendthrift; when we do, we are generous.

When the other person picks flaws in things, he is cranky; when we do, we are discriminating.

When the other person is mild in his manners, he is weak; when we are, we are being gracious.

When the other person gets destructive, he is tough; when we do, we are forceful.

(taken from The King’s Highway)

~

Would we pass the “princess” test?