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Parson to Person

Parson to Person

Dear Friends at Armstrong Chapel,

Sometimes in the wee hours of the night when sleep escapes me, I read a book that I keep near on a bedside table.  It has to have several qualities.  (1) It must not be too involved to read late at night;  (2) It must have print which is easy to read;  (3) It must be light enough to hold above me and catch the glimmer of a small lamp.  The book I’m currently enjoying is The Wind in the Willows by a Scotsman, Kenneth Grahame.  Over the years, I have seen it referenced but never picked it up.  It is classified as “Children’s’ Literature” but it surely is replete with adult themes.  It was composed 110 years ago but is timeless.  It is peopled by animals such as Mr. Toad, Ratty, Badger and Mole. 

 Last night I read a page in chapter 9, entitled “Wayfarers All.”  It reminded me of friends in Ohio and other points north who go to great lengths to enjoy fairer climes.  There is even a text for this spirit of adventure found in Hebrews 11.  In The Message it reads, “…they accepted the fact that they were transients in this world.  People who live this way make it plain that they are looking for their true home.”

Grahame writes, “Nature’s Grand Hotel has its Season, like the others.  As the guests one by one pack, pay, and depart, and the seats at the table d’hote shrink pitifully at each succeeding meal; as suites of rooms are closed, carpets taken up, and waiters sent away; those boarders who are staying on, en pension, until the next year’s full reopening, cannot help being somewhat affected by all these flitting’s and farewells, the eager discussion of plans, routes and fresh quarters, this daily shrinkage in the stream of comradeship.  One gets unsettled, depressed, and inclined to be querulous.  Why not stay on quietly here, like us, and be jolly?  You don’t know this hotel out of the season, and what fun we have among ourselves, we fellows who remain and see the whole interesting year out.  All very true, no doubt, the others always reply; we quite envy you – and some other year perhaps – but just now we have engagements – and there’s the bus at the door – our time is up!  So they depart, with a smile and a nod, and we miss them, and feel resentful.  The Rat was a self-sufficing sort of animal, rooted to the land, and, whoever went, he stayed; still, he could not help noticing what was in the air, and feeling some of its influence in his bones.”    

Love, hope and  prayers,
Stanley Lawrence

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