You’re up on my shoulders
And tugging my hair
For all you hold dear.
I’d carry you anywhere
Delighting that you
Cling so near.
The sun is at apex
And waves wash my feet
And time has been
Frozen it seems.
Oh will you remember
When years pull apart
Our walks and our talks
And our dreams?
This Father is weeping
In spite of the joy
Unearned in your smile.
And thinking the Father
Has carried me high
And kept me from harm
All the while.
Doug Blair, Waterloo, ON
To have a friend
Who gently checks the pulse rate
And shuts his mouth
When I am prone to rant.
To see his smile
When all inside is ripped up
And know he means it
Even though I can’t.
To hear his word
And know it’s steeped in Christ
Hard come by
Transcending all the pain.
Yes, such a friend
One diamond full
Of scintillating comfort
Is priceless gain.
Doug Blair, Waterloo, ON
“XXX is dying of cancer. We had a very special visit together yesterday…when the visit was still “very much with me” I wrote this poem:
A thin spot revealed
in a weathered piece of driftwood
Inside… concentric circles mark its time
when it thrived as greenwood battling against gale and storm
Each year a circle forms
Some years drier than others
a history kept secret beneath the gray and the brine.
The spirals tell its story
Some close and others far apart
A thin spot.
I met a man today
Our circles joined but for a moment
And we laughed at beauty
But in the touching a bond formed
and despite our ashen faces
Wrinkled with wear
we drank to life
and beauty in death.
Our journey has just begun
our promise waits in another forest
where we struggle not against nature
but surrender to its calling
and to circles gone before
that beckon a reunion…the Tree of life.”
Terry Hursh, Kitchener ON, Hope Lutheran Church
Anthony and I started this collaborative effort last September. We had come to know each other a little bit with our writings on another site. We didn’t always agree and we weren’t always civil with each other. Nope.
The thing started to pick up momentum right about the time AG had heart complications and major surgery. Take a well-travelled trucker, put him on his back with illness and see what transpires?
Christmas season found AG pretty much alone, as his mate Jody was compelled to go out of state to visit her Mother after a considerable gap in their getting together. No problem, Anthony got busy on the Web and our exchanges became very frequent. This is evident at http://twelfthmonth.wordpress.com/
The relationship became much richer for us as we learned of the healthy fare available to men who will simply drop the charade and get honest and transparent and supportive.
Now I find myself alone for a period as my wife Hilary undergoes psychiatric care. I have every confidence that treatment arrangements will improve and that all parties might learn from some shortcomings of the past, professionals included. Hilary will be home, and not too long from now. This is the fourth major episode in the last 13 years. Here in Waterloo the few men in my circle find it difficult to approach my “thrashings”.
I can remember visiting her at the dreadful time of 9/11 and the Twin Tower bombings. She was pretty much isolated from world events in an environment of confused, misunderstood and lonely people. Some proved to be honest-to-goodness caring friends of the time. As I related the phenomenal television images to her, I wondered where the “crazies” really were? On the outside? On the inside? Could I really believe my own eyes and ears as people jumped to their deaths before their fellow New Yorkers? As passengers made bold moves, unsuccessfully, for their freedom in the skies over Pennsylvania?
And this time in my passing perplexity, Anthony has been there for me. Selecting hope and encouragement; speaking and writing words of brotherly kindness and God-honouring submission. That is the service of real men. That is winning in ways never to be lost. And we are given in our pains a place of intercession, resembling in small ways the power and the comfort of the Man of Sorrows and Friend of Sinners. And a hurting world waits for some soothing balm.
Love you Bro’.
Each noon for the water
When others were gone
And Jacob’s well good all these years.
Their gossip was hurtful
Could not get along
Alone I addressed all my fears.
The men had been many
Not all had been wed
To me, or to those gone before.
The present one helpful
Perhaps there was love
Provided I cooked, swept the floor.
But here sat a man
And waiting it seemed
And asking me for a cool drink.
And I of Samaria
And he quite the Jew
Oh what would the gossipers think?
He spoke of a water
That never ran dry
That tasted as fresh as the dew.
A strange living water
Relieving all thirst
As if all my past life He knew.
But no condemnation
Just hope in His eyes
And gentle words thrilling my soul
I must tell the others
Could this be the One?
Long pledged to make broken hearts whole?
Doug Blair, Waterloo, ON
I remember working a shift at the grocery store. About this time of year. Hints of spring.
The store manager had the habit of playing streamed in music that usually repeated a cycle every ten songs. But this day the selection seemed strangely different. And then came Bono singing “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”. I felt a chill up my back and wondered if any of the customers noticed anything odd about my demeanour. Here was an Irish pop star singing about the New Jerusalem; singing that nothing else would satisfy the longings of his soul.
But the people seemed to be going about their business of milk, cheese, meats and pastries oblivious to the world’s one great heart cry over this piped-in music. I was near tears. The whispers of the Holy Spirit so very evident.
This morning I was reading from Ephesians chapter three where Paul delights in the great mystery, just then in his age coming to be understood, as Jews and Gentiles found harmony and comfort honestly for the first time in loyalty to the risen Messiah Jesus. That mystery in the Church transcends the awkwardness of Jew and Gentile. It extends to a whole world, all tribes and tongues.
That world right now is percolating toward intense troubles. Bono knows this and gives freely of his largesse to the hungry, thirsty, unwell and lonely. He is living out the mandate of Matthew 25. He has chastised presidents and prime ministers for their comfortable words not being followed up with sacrificial deeds and helps.
He is still looking, neck craning, for that City. And he is acting; and the most amazing of assemblies are catching on.
Special moment out the back porch:
“I was just out back having a conversation something like this: “You walked among them and still many did not believe…the wind picked up suddenly, trees swayed and I just smiled, then cried. it’s a very lonely thing to Love You…I said.”
This is a very special thing about AG. He looks for the presence of Jesus. Often he is not disappointed. And frequently he can let us feel; let us get inside. With things that most others overlook. (Doug)