My used-to-be-boyfriend/now-husband knows I love books. Often, to cheer or surprise me, he will take me to a bookstore or library unannounced. On one such occasion, a few years back we were in a used book store when I found a treasure: a small, well-loved Archibald Rutledge book. As the poet laureate of South Carolina for many years, you can imagine he has a way with words. I am always struck by the beautifully simple way he will state the most complex idea. In this book, he explains his thoughts on why God created a beautiful world. If you ever find his books anywhere, buy them! It will be well worth it for your soul.*
|a candle's touch|
Over the last few weeks, the question keeps arising: how do I have strength to hope? Never mind ME, how do people who live in far greater despair than I find the strength, the will, the belief to hope? To what do we cling when we question everything, including ourselves? To whom do I turn when life crumbles?
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 the strength that is permanent, we have to lean on visions; for immortal hope, we have to trust, not the things that we perceive but those invisible things that our spirits affirm.
– Archibald Rutledge Life’s Extras
*I cannot resist the temptation to note: When I checked out with this book, the lady at the register remarked that she did not think anyone under the age of 40 had ever heard of the man. I was happy to prove her wrong and assure her Ol' Archibald and I were well acquainted. More on him later though.