Where Were You?

In the sacred moments of this sacred season, Christians can boldly proclaim what their actions during the passion drama would have been.  They would not have hidden, they would not have run and they would have died for their Lord.
It is easy to look back and be courageous, thoughtful, caring, and concerned.  It is easy to look back and be smarter.

Those sacred moments and opportunities come every day though and the question is, "Where were you?"

Judy lived her life alone, she went to church, she worked with Christians but she had no friends among them. They never asked about her, got to know her or tried to be her friend.  When her relatives died it was her non-Christian, sometimes Pagan, friends from work who supported her, paid attention, and showed her that someone cared.

Where were you?

Dan's marriage was falling apart, his wife was leaving him and his children hated him.  His friends at church turned their backs on him and drove him from their 'holy communion.' As a divorced man....he was not welcome.   He soon found his friends at the local bar where he was accepted, loved, and even cared for by his friends.  He missed his family, his church but felt rejected and hurt and so terribly alone.  One morning, in the cheap hotel where he lived he ended his life.  At his funeral were his friends from the bar but none from his church.

Where were you?

Look around and see the opportunities to be Christ to a hurting world. We cannot be everywhere but we can be somewhere.  Look around and see the needs only you, and others like you, can help fill.  Look around....

When someone asks 'where were you?' when I was hurting, naked, in need, alone,in need of prayer, strength, you can tell them, "I was the one right over there..."


Three Simple Things! Dr. Marvin J. Hudson

In a few short weeks graduating classes will sit in tight and airless auditoriums and on their heads will sit  the cap and tassel so representative of their achievement.  The culmination of effort, accident, and parental dreams.  The hard won finish line to the first great race of any student's life.  Take a deep breath, that is not the flower arrangements in the air, that is the stuff of dreams and hopes.

It is a time when wise and sage advice are sought and so occasionally given.  Were I able to be at each and every one of those events I think I would tell them this...

Dream! If you can find what you love and then do it.  Your biggest barrier is your own belief or lack of belief in yourself.     Remember  these important things - 

  • Never stop learning. The wise store up knowledge but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.  Prov. 10:14
  • Keep a gentle spirit all your life.  A kindhearted woman gains honor, but ruthless men gain only wealth. Prov. 11:16
  • Choose your companions carefully.  He who walks with wise becomes wise, but a companion of fools comes to a bad end. Proverbs 13:20. 
The gathered crowds at all those events will finally toss those caps high in the air, give a rousing cheer and slap one another on the back.  Those students, friends and parents will pose for photos and then go out to celebrate the milestone achieved.

When the dust has settled and life looks them in the face....I hope they remember those three simple things.  They make life a lot easier when all is said and done.  Because...when all is said and done  - that is what you made of your life. 


Hidden Treasures

From the dirt road in northeastern New Mexico the canyon was not visible.  The cattle ranch of nearly a millon acres stretched almost as far as the eye could see. The horizon, as is customary in the desert, merged in a hazy seam with the distant sky.  As we treked out across the pasture covered with scrub brush my companion was telling me about the history of the place.  The owner had shown him the canyon when they were out hunting lost cattle.  He had been the go-between for me to be hiking out across the plain.

A fork of the Sante Fe trail crossed one cliff near the path down.  The well worn and rock hard track was clear as it came out of the desert and then moved away along the rim to continue west.

Climbing, and sliding down the canyon path, a new world came to light.  A row of buildings, a cemetery, an old church and a house or two.  An old artesian well had been tamed and a pump stood ready to fill canteens, buckets or wash tubs.  One of the houses had the tattered remains of more recent occupancy; cowboys as they rounded livestock and others.  A few places, faded gray and rusted over, showed no one had lived in them since the late 1800's.

Sitting on the rocks, drinking from the well, feeling the breeze in the canyon and enjoying the shade of Cottowoods and scub pines, I marveled at this hidden treasure.  From the road there was no clue the place even existed.  You had to climb higher on the plataue at one end and then turn back to see it behind you.  It was the only way baring a fllight overhead.

It is something to remember.  The way may look like nothing but desert, empty, barren and hard to reach.  You will never know what treasures - what surprises - await until you decide to may that journey. Hidden treasures - little surprises to remind us that there is always something more waiting to bring us joy and allow us to sit by fresh water as the wind cools us down from our efforts.

Happy journey.

Seasons Revisited

Recent events and challenges caused me to revisit this post and this subject.  Hope you enjoy...

Balancing precariously on crutches as a fractured ankle began to complain, I saw the sign on the wall "There is a reason for everything that happens".  I squinted down at the wad of bandages on  my foot, felt the bruises which I knew would bloom in a few hours, and really wondered what the reason for this particular incident might be.

I know the sentiment is a form of the 'there is a season for everything' of wise Solomon. An idea that there are some times  or seasons which phase in and out of our lives bringing with them some treasure or challenge. A season for falling passionately in love and, apparently, a season for falling down stairs to fracture an ankle.  Hmmm. I like the first better, I think.

From my Calvinist, Wesleyan, and Holiness background my immediate assumption was it was something to teach me, correct me, or punish me.   Despite the words of Jesus telling his followers the rain falls on the just and the unjust with equal abandon - sometimes we rush in and assume blame when we have no need - and I did that too. Dutifully, however, I prayed, I meditated, and I hurt.

Then I thought I was being too self-centered. 

Yes, I had been hurt but perhaps it  was not an expectation in my life but a challenge to others which was the focus of this type of season.  The poor soul helped by the maligned Samaritan had been bypassed by many people of good faith and ignored. It was not until that hated individual stopped and responded in love and kindness that the core of the story emerges.  

Who was the victim? Who knows; all he had to do was lay there and be hurt through no fault of his own as the "rain fell".  We love to assume that all misfortune occurs as punishment, as lessons, and as God forcing his will on a life.  That O.T. and Puritan influence likes to hasten to agree that problems occur as punishment but those words of Jesus whisper 'taint always so.'  That is definitely not the case in this story of the man by the road side. The victim was not the point of the story. He was the not the one challenged. He was not the one who needed to change.

The rainy season of misfortune does fall on all - regardless if they are saint or sinner - but not everyone carries an umbrella of love, compassion, kindness, or service.  How many strutted past that guy in the ditch, feeling superior that they were not in that place, suffering in such a way?  How many floated past on a bubble of their own inflated sense of grace or their own belief that to ignore reality was the only way to retain their own happy-happy-joy-joy grasp of life?

Sometimes the greatest challenge comes disguised as the easiest of acts: a phone call, a letter, an email, a note.  Sometimes the greatest cost is not arranging a room and getting a doctor (like that Samaritan had to do) but to simply widen our vision to see those around us in need and respond.  

Sometimes the most expensive gift we can give to another human being is the gift of awareness; a recognition that someone saw they were not in their place, were missed and a recognition that someone knew they existed.

Yes, everything has a season....and reasons.... but just maybe not the ones you thought.

Marilyn A. Hudson


The Carnival of Life

Life is sometimes a merry-go-round, sometimes a roller coaster, and sometimes a fun house complete with mirrors and things that jump out at you from the dark. While on this carnival midway we call life always go for the spun sugar and the peanuts, always scream to the fullest, and laugh til it hurts.



I opened my hand and the sands blew away in the breeze;
memories rich and warm filling heart and soul.
No more summer struggle and no more winter's freeze;
somewhere in the distance one pure bell begins its toll.
This is the way of life as one stays and one leaves;
fragrant beauty on the air; one more vessal sets sail on eternal seas