I don’t know when it started. Maybe it was the time I heard Ernie Campbell, once Pastor of the Riverside Church—say in an off-hand way that every Preacher should keep a little notebook and jot down sayings, experiences and quotes. These could be used for fodder for sermons, he said. What I have discovered after doing this practice for years—is that these tiny quotes and words have become a compass for me. Instead of material for sermons—they are notes for my heart.
A compass points you in the right direction. And these quotes have lifted me up sometimes, set me to traveling down avenues I never would have gone. I might even call them the lifeline of my spirit. In this world of so much noise we all need some quiet moments when we ponder the mystery that is all around us. This is what these quotes have done for me. And so I thought I might share some of these with you. Maybe they might just help somebody else out there looking for a needed word.
“Thou didst in our darkest hour rend the clouds and show thy light.”
--Saint Thomas Aquinas
“I cannot cause light; the most I can do is to try to put myself in the path of it’s beam.”
“I have traveled from love to hate, and partway back again.”
“Welcome everything. Welcome alike what has been, and what never was, and what we hope may be, to your shelter underneath the holly, to the places ‘round the Christmas fire, where ‘what is’ sits open-hearted.”
“Though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong, for the Lord holds us by the hand.”
“One kind word can warm three winter months.”
“Blessed be the Lord for he has heard the sound of my pleadings.”
Once in discussing death Dr. Koyama recalled the story of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. He said Jesus would be the same way today. “Looking into our eyes and heart, Jesus will say: ‘You’ve had a difficult journey. You must be tired and dirty. Let me wash your feet. The banquet’s ready.”
“The healing of our wounds is forgiveness.”
--Alice Walker, poem about her Father’s death.
“I shut my eyes in order to see.”
“You didn’t get the world second-hand.”
“When we lose a sense of the possible we lose it fast.”
--Joan Didion, Blue Nights
“In a world where carpenters get resurrected, anything is possible.”
--Eleanor of Acquitaine, character in A Lion in Winter
These are probably enough quotes for today. From time to time I may just share some of my favorites with you.