Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Another Christmas Poem

The stabled oxen lend their ears
to hear the cries of our Savior’s birth.

His parents look in wonder at the miracle God has wrought,
fulfilling the promise men long have sought.

The stable’s gloom cannot o’ercome
the joy that floods that gloomy place.

On a nearby hill the shepherds quake,
as a choir of angels thunders with praise.

Come to the manger, of rough wood hewn.
Come and see the Messiah’s face.

Come this night to the empty tomb.
Grasp the joy of salvation’s grace.

Look expectantly, wait with hope.
Know that the Christ will return again.

All you whom God has named His ones,
praise His gift of heavenly love.

Dan Karroll Williamson


Copyright © 2008 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Monday, December 22, 2008

A Christmas Poem

Lonely orb in the star-cast heavens,
Placed to herald the long-sought King.
Beams shine forth with Love’s Great Light,
Pointing the Way to Heaven’s Gate.

Did the shepherds see you first on the
Canopy above and wonder at your light,
Just before the Song of Angels
Pierced the Darkness with glorious sound?

Did the wise men see you first and know,
For they had watched with hopeful eyes,
Longing to learn of God’s redemption,
Waiting to honor the Savior’s birth?

Did Mary see your glow in her baby’s eyes,
And yield her heart to her son, her Lord?
And, what of us, as we wait for His return?
Do we follow your light ’til we find our King?

Dan Karroll Williamson


Copyright © 2008 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Loving Kindness:
Mary E. Nelson

Reading an obituary in the December 18, 2008 edition of the Bradford Journal reminded me of how simple acts of kindness can burn themselves so deeply into our memories that we can recall them many years later.

The obituary reported the death of Mary E. Nelson, 87, of Bradford, PA, on Thursday, December 11, 2008. My connection with Mrs. Nelson came through her twin daughters, Beverly N. Gallup and Barbara Appa. Beverly and Barbara were classmates of mine at the Sixth Ward Elementary School. As best as I can recall, except possibly for 5th grade, we shared a classroom from Kindergarten through 6th grade.

One day during the fall of 1954, the Nelson twins invited me to come to their home after school to play. Mrs. Nelson picked up her daughters, their friend Marilyn Evans, and me after school and drove us across town to her home in a relatively new section of the city. I remember being very impressed with the newness of the neighborhood. From my seven-year-old viewpoint very few “new” neighborhoods existed. Constitution Avenue was so new, that it only had a few houses on it. In fact, not far from the Nelson’s home, a large boulder sat in the middle of the street, marking the current end of the development. (I note from Google maps that the neighborhood has grown a great deal over the course of the intervening years.)

Part of the reason why this simple event made such an impression on me, that I can recall it some 54 years later, rests in the overwhelming kindness I felt from Mrs. Nelson. That she tolerated her daughters dragging home this decidedly much poorer kid would have been quite enough. But, I remember her being very gracious and kind to me.

I’m sure my visit must have only lasted an hour or two. Then, Mrs. Nelson drove me back across town to my home. But in those two hours, Mrs. Nelson made me feel welcomed, treated me with great generosity, and gave me a sense of value and worth that was quite remarkable.

This very special invitation was the first time I had ever been invited to someone’s home to play. Apart from the loving attention of my parents and grandmother, no other adult had ever shown such kindness to me. It created a memory that has lasted a lifetime.

As a storyteller, I wish I could report some lifelong grand connection between the Nelson twins and me. Alas, we came from two very different worlds. They soon became the center of a circle of friends that did not include someone like me. Likewise, I developed acquaintanceships with other individuals, mostly from my church. Our paths rarely crossed and never again connected.

In spite of this, I cannot deny the impact of Mrs. Nelson’s act of kindness towards me. I suspect she was simply being the kind and loving person that she had determined to be. I am also fairly certain that neither she, nor her daughters, would have even a glimmer of a memory of that long-ago event on a crisp fall day.

Make note of this: you may never know the impact you might have on someone just by showing kindness, gentleness, or generosity. Demonstrating the love of God that resides in your heart -- through the power of the risen Lord Jesus Christ and through in-dwelling power of the Holy Spirit -- does not demand that you act in a particular way. Simply and naturally allowing the Light of Christ's Presence to show through your daily walk can have a life-changing impact.

So, from a distance, and with no expectation that any words of condolence I might offer would be welcomed, I offer my most sincere expression of sympathy on the passing of Mary E. Lehman Nelson. And, I shall pray that the God of All Comfort will lovingly and tenderly wipe away the tears of her family and often bring to their memory moments of great joy, as they celebrate the life of, what I am certain was, a most remarkable woman.
Copyright © 2008 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Long Time No Write...

Seems like a long time from April 1st to December 18th. I guess I fail as a blogger if I can only find a muse every eight months or so.

Update on Restoration and Renovation of the Sanctuary and Chapel at the church I attend: work continues on the Chancel; electricians continue to install conduit for the sound contractor; official date given for reoccupation of the Sanctuary -- Sunday, March 22, 2009. To say that the results of this nearly $2 million project "pop" presents the understatement of the year. Much congratulations due for key individuals who led this project and to the many workers who completed their tasts in such an exemplary manner.


No more roof problems at Magnolia Plantation for the intervening 8 months. Did have a significant plumbing problem. The 4-inch outflow pipe from the sump, downhill to the small creek that runs behind "Magnolia Plantation" either collapsed or was purposely crushed by an irate neighbor who has now moved away. I think it is the latter. I think he thought the pipe was on his property. It wasn't. Alas, we nearly had a flood in the basement. All has been repaired at considerable expense.

Since no one knows this blog exists, I guess it doesn't matter that I haven't written in 8 months.
Copyright © 2008 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.