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Showing posts from September, 2008

Parable of the Minnows

Father Gregory Ned Blevins wrote this wonderful parable based on his experiences working at a marina. In this parable the net is a symbol of Christ.

So this new job I have, it’s at a marina, which sells live minnows as bait. Maintaining these minnows involves cleaning the tanks in which they live, and replacing dirty water with clean. The cleaning process requires transferring them, with a net, from one tank to another so that the dirty tank can be cleaned. Of course, the minnows aren’t very happy with this process, and invariably, the fastest and strongest minnows are the last to be netted and transferred. What the minnows don’t realize, of course, is that if they are not moved, they will die; the dirty water will kill them. Of course, while they are being transferred, flopping in the net, out of the water for a second or two, they FEEL like they are dying, and if they are especially strong, sometimes they jump out of the net. If they fall back into the water, they’re fine, but often,…

Ed Pacht on the Parable of the Wooden Bowl

Family Table

I am blind.
I am weak.
I stumble and mutter and drool.
My manners are bad.
My complaining is loud,
and nothing I do comes out right.
There's food on the floor
and stains on my clothes,
and dishes are broken and chipped.
Yet here I sit and here I am fed
,and here I can know His love.

I am blind.
I am weak.
I am loved.
I am called.
I am called to the Table of Love.
I may be a problem,
I may give you pain,
but I'm called to the Table of Love,
the Table where He offers Himself,
and, wounded, His hands feed me,
and hold me,
and take me for his very own,
and join me at His Table
to the everlasting family of Love.

ed pacht
Sept. 28, 2008

Parable of the Wooden Bowl

The old man’s sight was failing. His hands trembled. He could no longer live alone so he went to live with his son, his son’s wife, and his four-year old grandson, Andy. Eating was difficult for the old man. Peas rolled off his spoon. Tea spilled on the tablecloth. The old man chipped a saucer and cracked a plate.

The son’s wife complained so often that the husband finally gave in to her demand. The old man would take his meals alone in the kitchen. He would eat from a wooden bowl. The family continued to eat in the dining room, but Andy missed his Grandpa.

One afternoon Andy’s parents noticed their son playing with scraps of wood. They asked him what he was making and Andy explained, “I’m making a wooden bowl for you to eat your food when I grow up.” The words struck the parents speechless. That evening Andy’s father took his Dad’s hand and gently led him back to the family table.

In our lives we are like the old man, unsteady and blind. We make a mess of things, we break thi…

Hannah Mulliken's "Peace and Quiet"

Some readers will remember Hannah Mulliken, one of my favorite young writers to be published at Student Publish Here! Hannah is in the seventh grade this year. She recently wrote a story about Noah's flood from the perspective of a mouse family living on the ark. Here is her delightful story.

Peace and Quiet
by Hannah Mulliken

Wise old grandpa mouse perched high up in the rafters of the ark, watching Noah and his family care for all the animals.

“Grandpa, grandpa!” called Little Ellen.

“When do I ever get some peace and quiet around here?” Grandpa mumbled. “Coming, Ellen!”

Grandpa slid down the rafters and trudged into the cozy little mouse hole, right next to the horse stall. “Whew!” He sighed and sat down heavily in the rocker. “What do you need?”

“We want to know why we are on this huge boat.” Her brother Mikey hurriedly whispered, “Momma won’t tell us so we hoped you would, because you always do!”

Grandpa smiled. “Well I guess so. Only, if your Momma hears about this, which I know she…

Shakespeare Lost in Translation

About 20 years ago I read a fascinating account by Laura Bohannan of her attempt to tell the story of Hamlet to a group of West Africans. She was convinced that Shakespeare's plot would be universally understood, but such proved not to be the case. What follows speaks of the challenge of translation of meaning across cultures.

I protested that I was not a story teller. Story telling is a skilled art among them; their standards are high, the audiences critical and vocal in their criticism. I protested in vain. This morning they wanted to hear a story while they drank. They threatened to tell me no more stories until I told them one of mine. Finally, the old man promised that no one would criticize my style, 'for we know you are struggling with our language.' 'but,' put in one of the elders, 'you must explain what we do not understand, as we do, when we tell you our stories.' Suddenly realizing that here was my chance to prove Hamlet universally intelligible, …

Gabriela Mistral

Perhaps the most beloved poet of Chile, Gabriela Mistral, was the first female Latin American poet to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. She received the Prize in 1945 "for her lyric poetry which, inspired by powerful emotions, has made her name a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world" – Nobel Citation

Gabriela Mistral was the pseudonym for Lucila Godoy y Alcayaga, born in 1889 in Chile. Mistral’s work is influenced by her Christian faith. She was a lay member of the Franciscan order.

Mistral died in 1957. On her tomb were inscribed her own words: "What the soul is to the body, so is the artist to his people."

Here are 2 of my favorite poems by Mistral:

Tres Árboles

Tres árboles caídos
quedaron a la orilla del sendero.
El leñador los olvidó, y conversan,
apretados de amor, como tres ciegos.

El sol de ocaso pone
su sangre viva en los hendidos leños
¡y se llevan los vientos la fragancia
de su costado abierto!

Uno, torcido, tiende
su brazo inm…