Sunday, June 23, 2013


Old John Keble has written a poem about flowers—”relics of Eden’s bowers”—their “silent lessons undescried (undiscovered) by all but lowly eyes.” Put simply, there is a message enshrined in flowers that we may discover if we’re humble enough to consider them. Thus, Keble assures us, “as we gaze, we know.” He continues...

“Alas! of thousand bosoms kind,
   That daily court you and caress,
How few the happy secret find
   Of your calm loveliness!
"Live for today! tomorrow's light
Tomorrow's cares shall bring to sight,
Go sleep like closing flowers at night,
   And Heaven thy morn will bless.”

Thousands of our kind (folks like you and me) delight in flowers: We "court and caress them." But, few find the happy secret of their untroubled demeanor and loveliness: Flowers do not borrow tomorrow's troubles, but live and bloom for the day and let tomorrow, bring tomorrow’s cares to light. They fall asleep each night and leave tomorrow for Heaven to bless (Cf., Psalm 4:8).

Thus we should "consider the lilies of the field," as Jesus said, for “as we gaze, we know” (Please read Matthew 6:28-34).[1]


[1] For Keble, the entire visible world consists of images of the invisible and the Bible supplies the key to that imagery. Accordingly we can ask God to...

Help us, each hour, with steadier eye
To search the deepening mystery:
The wonders of Thy sea and sky.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


“As no man is born an artist, so no man is born an angler.”
—Izzak Walton

A number of years ago my sons and I enjoyed several days drifting and fishing the Madison River in Montana with two fishing guides who served as our boatmen. 
The guide I drew was a man who had lived on the river all of his life and knew where the big trout held. (And probably knew their names!)  He was a taciturn man—spoke scarcely two-dozen words in all the time he was with us—but his few words enlivened my days. Let me explain. 
We were fishing with small flies in choppy water, and my eyesight is not what it used to be. I was missing most of the takes. In due course, my guide, who was not only silent, but the very soul of patience, began to alert me by murmuring, “fish” when he saw a trout rising under my fly. When I heard his cue, I lifted the tip of my rod and...VoilĂ ! A trout on the end of my line!
I’ve often thought of that guide, the river, and the great and mysterious opportunities that come my way every day—men and women, boys and girls, circling around me, searching for that elusive "something" for which their souls crave—serendipitous occasions to show love and speak of the hope that is in me, opportunities I will miss if not alerted. 
May the Great Angler, who knows every heart, whisper “fish” in my ears all through this day and may I have ears to hear (Luke 5:9,10).

Ferns Each will be like a hiding place from the wind, a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry place, like the sh...