Monday, June 05, 2006

Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen

In this life I've seen everything I can see woman,
I've seen lovers flying through the air hand in hand
I've seen babies dancing in the midnight sun,
And I've seen dreams that came from the heavenly skies from above
I've seen old men crying at their own grave sides
And I've seen pigs all sitting watching, picture slides
But I never seen nothin' like you.
Do Ya - Electric Light Orchestra

I see trees of green, red roses too.
I see them bloom for me and you,
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue and clouds of white.
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night,
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by,
I see friends shaking hands, saying, "How do you do?"
They're really saying, "I love you."

I hear babies cry, I watch them grow,
They'll learn much more, than I'll ever know.
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

Yes, I think to myself, what a wonderful world.
Oh yeah
What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong

Over the past two months I've seen some mighty intriguing things. Nothing as odd as babies dancing in the midnight sun or old men crying at their own grave sides, but I've found them interesting.

I've watched an old man attempt to preach the gospel over a public address speaker in his Chevy to a crowd who was only annoyed by his presence. I'm a big fan of persistence, but I'm not a big fan of screaming Bible verses at people who don't care what the Bible says. Find another way to share, brother.

I've looked out the windows of a country club onto a perfectly manicured golf course. There I saw a golden retriever and a boxer have a swim in the water hazard and go tearing across a few sand traps. None of the country club members saw the canines marring the course. I stood quietly with a smirk on my face.

I've seen a woman fighting cancer. Each time she thinks a battle is won, another battle begins. Yet her faith remains strong that the One who sustains her will also save her -- whether on earth or in heaven.

I've noticed many who are still living with grief over the loss of a friend or family member. Whenever that loved one comes to mind, something in the voice will get either quiet and melacholy or harsh and bitter.

I've gazed into the eyes of angry taxpayers, furious that a project had gone many millions of dollars over budget. And I've seen politicians tell me something that I knew at the time was completely untrue.

I've watched a young man all but confess to killing another man over a wad of cash. He made his plea while his family called to him, "Don't admit to nothin'," and "They can't prove you did it." They thought he should accept no responsibility for his actions. One of the family members even muttered under her breath, "At least he still has 24 hours to change his mind," as if accepting his punishment was a huge mistake. In watching those people, I was reminded that there are far too many times we refuse to take responsibility for what we do.

I've seen community pride as a new public building was opened and dedicated.

I've seen patriotic pride in the eyes of a veteran on Memorial Day.

I've seen selfish pride in the attitude of a group of young women who thought too much of themselves.

I've seen human pride in the attitude of someone placed in a position of authority.

Finally, I've seen Christian pride among a group of believers gathered to call out to their God and to call attention to their faith.

And I think to myself, "It's not always that wonderful of a world, is it?" But the next one sure will be.


Jennifer said...

Amen to that.

Quotidian Grace said...

Beautifully said. Thank you.

eph2810 said...

Yup - looking forward to the next one myself :). Very honest and straight forward post. Pride is an ugly thing and I stubble over it many times myself. Just glad that I have Someone to help me back up.

Glenn said...

Didn't you also see a pretty awesome Indy 500?? ...sorry we missed seeing each other this year pre or post race.

Praying for your Prodigal said...

Loved your post today--can you even imagine what a post from our next life would look like! :)


the voice said...

Well said, brother. It is all about staying on the narrow path, while still trying to plant seeds. God bless you, Ken

Kim from Hiraeth said...

I came here for a visit on the recommendation of a mutual friend (Carol at She Lives) and I've got to ask. . .is always like this here?

An excellent, thought provoking, well written, memorable post.

I'll be back.

Kristen said...

Yeah, Kim, it is. :)

Ed, I am really familiar with some of these...definitely am familiar with the man screaming from the Chevy!

Great post.

julie said...

Sometimes it is wonderful. Great post Rev.

Catez said...

Great post ed - I've linked it.