Take a Moment Before You Open the Blinds

Dear Reader:

Yesterday I heard from another blog writer named…Desi Videsh Me under the title of Indians Abroad. Presently she is either touring or living in Leuven, Belgium. I looked it up and it is quite beautiful…with one of the most famous, recognizable churches across from town hall… St. Peters.

Desi had pulled and read a Chapel of Hope blog posted about this same time last year titled…Permanence Lives in the Unseen. I had gotten the thought for the day’s message from Archibald Rutledge’s little book “Life’s Extras.”

Rutledge’s central idea was that everything we can physically visually see will die…at some point in life…animals and plants…even rocks. (I had taken picture of flowers blooming earlier in the spring in my garden for last year’s blog post…and then updated photos of brown remnants of what was left by the end of July…they had dried up and died in spite of all my watering.)

I had then added the once popular icon for movie theatre endings or novels…with the 5-letter Latin word…

FINIS: Finished or Ending

It was the picture, however, that drew me to this drawing…the idea of a hand pulling back a curtain to see what type of weather the day holds…bright and sunny or cloudy and rainy.

I added my own personal thoughts to this drawing…

Haven’t we all imagined that the “finis” of our own lives will result in the opportunity to pull back the “veil” between this world and the next to see what really lies behind the portal of the new life to come?

Nature, in the form of my garden, has taught me more about life and death than anything else to date. I believe God gave nature to us as one of His most valuable “extra” gifts….a teaching gift that keeps on giving throughout our lives…a gift that demonstrates the fragile “curtain” between our life here on earth and the next world.

Archibald Rutledge had experienced an epiphany one day about life and death while grieving for a dearly departed friend…and looked for the meaning in both.

God seemed very near to me in that wood; the beauty of it all trembled with His grace; the music of the birds and trees held His voice. I saw there both life and death- in the green leaves and the brown, in the standing trees and the fallen. If one is honest with himself when he asks the question, What is it that perishes? he will be obliged to answer, Everything that the eye sees. 

In the forest, amid those things that God has provided, I came to understand that if we are to hold anything-and in times of sorrow we must have something to which we can cling-it must be to the unseen.

 For strength that is permanent, we have to lean on visions; for immortal hope, we have to trust and have faith, not from the things we perceive but those invisible things that our spirits affirm.”

Have you noticed how with almost every blog post…we go round and round until we get back to the basic crux of life and death on earth…It is the invisible things …Love, trust and faith in God that sustain us at the end.

It was our beloved Mama Mia (Jackson’s mother and the rest of the Ya’s… second mother) who perhaps best explained  how to stay focused on the sunny side of the street with the invisible hand pulling back the curtain or opening up the blinds.

She said that before she would open the blinds  to see what the day physically looked like…sunshine or clouds or rain…Miriam made up her mind that, no matter the reality of the day’s weather, she was going to have a beautiful day…sight unseen.

So until tomorrow…

I have had Ambika and the drought areas of India in my prayers for days and weeks now…please continue to do so too…to pray for help and rain so desperately needed.

Sis Kinney sent an update…things are doing well but she had one set back…the surgeon found some cancer cells outside the margins…he thought he had gotten it all…so he will have to go back in and clean it out again. Prayers for Sis…that he gets everything this second go around and then with a little radiation this scary ordeal will be over for her…that is certainly my prayer.

Now..on a lighter note…Betsy…Libby’s daughter and her husband, Collin, are in Costa Maya on vacation. Betsy found this sign for a beach located there and just had to send it to us Ya’s. Brooke said, at the rate things are going with 70…she would take this “look” and proudly go with it! 🙂


About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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