The Typhoon

omiri-gate-story.jpg

Photo by Nicki Elisha Shinow

The storm lasted four days. At first the rain poured down in buckets, later it sounded like the whole heavens was pouring down on the surrounding mountains. Villagers huddled together all through the typhoon, covering their possessions as best they could, praying they wouldn’t be washed or blown away.

The oldest of the elders remembered a deluge like this back in their youth. They recalled the year of hunger and poverty after. But most of the people living in the area had never seen such a storm. They wept to see their precious soil washing down the mountain. The small plateaus that sustained them were sliding into the lake down in the valley. Where would they plant their crops?

It would take many months to haul earth back up the mountain in baskets. The elders nodded. It would be so.

Finally the storm passed. All over the mountain folks shook off their stupor and wandered out to survey the damage. So much had been lost! They were shocked to see how the lake had swallowed up so much of the valley below. Even the Omiri gate stood in water.

They shook their heads. This would bring hardship. Every summer visitors came in droves to stand in this gate where the great prophet had once stood and shared his wisdom with his disciples. The locals had always welcomed the pilgrims. Their coming brought much income to the surrounding villages that hosted and supplied them.

Some despairing, some tearful, the people made their way back to their homes. They could see the churning clouds of hunger on the horizon.

The elders nodded. It would be so.

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Story written in response to today’s The Write Practice exercise. Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com, a site for free images.

The Partnership

Many years ago a husband and father died, leaving his wife the burden of raising their six children. How could she face the challenge of financial as well as parenting responsibilities?

Placing her dilemma in God’s hands, she carried on, not only parenting their children but adopting twelve others along the way and raising them all to be decent people and good citizens. Someone asked her one day how she managed to keep it all together. She always always appeared so relaxed in spite of her busy life, surviving on a “bare necessities” budget.

“Oh, I’m in a partnership,” she told the questioner. “That keeps me going.”

“Oh, really? What kind of partnership and with who?”

“After my husband died I told the Lord that I’d do the work and He could do the worrying. I haven’t had a worry since.”

Do you have a partnership like that?

I’ve retold this story from one I read in an Our Daily Bread devotional booklet from the ’70s.

How Did We All Fit?

Memories from childhood summers, when my four siblings came to spend a month with us in our tiny house on Ave F. The upside was, we all fit in the city swimming pool. 🙂

POOR FOLKS

Five children squeezed
in a two-bedroom house;
crammed in every corner
sleeping on the couch,
the floor, three in one bed.
Having too much fun to see
that this was poverty.

A Dollar Per Member

I’m happy to say my project for this winter — reorganizing my DropBox files — is well over half done now! All Articles they go the ART section, anecdotes in ANEC, book reviews in BOOKS, etc. Hindsight being better than foresight, I should have done this from the get-go.

I’m also working away at the “paper mountain” I’ve accumulated over the years, typing in all the snippets, articles, and scribblings I’ve saved in a “Deal With Someday” tub. Which means I’m getting a lot of little poems finished up and ready to post. And our shredder’s about worn out!

Here’s a little human interest item from the new ANECDOTES section in my Dropbox. This was posted March 2014, so very few of you will have read it yet.

One Dollar Per Member Per Month

When the mission work of the church began to spread in Haiti and small congregations became established, It was decided that each member should give a tithe of $1 per month toward the expenses of the national church as a whole. Money to pay the expenses of a general conference would come out of this as well as other administrative costs.

So everyone tithed their dollar a month and things went fairly smoothly, but you know how we people are inclined to procrastinate. Eventually the question came up at a yearly conference: how were some of the very poorest members going to pay this $12 per member per year? Many Haitians had very limited opportunities to earn; it was more than some could do to buy food every day. A $12 yearly “conference tithe” seemed impossible.

The issue was debated back and forth until one elderly brother rose to his feet and addressed the group. “I guess I don’t know what you people are talking about,” he began. “I don’t remember that we ever decided on a $12 per member per year tithe.”

Members looked at him in surprise. “Of course this was our decision.”

“No,” he countered. “Our decision was ONE DOLLAR per member PER MONTH. If you leave it until the year end and then try to come up with $12 each in your household, it will be a serious hardship. It will be a lot easier if each one just pays the one dollar per month. That’s not an unmanageable sum, is it?”

And they all agreed. That wasn’t such an unmanageable sum after all.

Most major projects are a lot easier to accomplish when you take care of them swiftly and in small chunks.

A Winter Night

Poem by Sarah Teasdale

My window-pane is starred with frost,
The world is bitter cold to-night,
The moon is cruel, and the wind
Is like a two-edged sword to smite.

God pity all the homeless ones,
The beggars pacing to and fro,
God pity all the poor to-night
Who walk the lamp-lit streets of snow.

My room is like a bit of June,
Warm and close-curtained fold on fold,
But somewhere, like a homeless child,
My heart is crying in the cold.