“Suffering produces endurance, and endurance, character,
and character, hope.”
letter to the church in
is such a slow, time-consuming, tiring process.
my first walk after surgery I noticed several long dewberry vines
I continue to see them on my daily walks,
see that very few have reached their sun-ripened black sweetness.
must wait patiently for them to ripen
I must wait patiently for my body to heal.
is no other way.
in optimum circumstances,
will have its own way
do its job perfectly
at its pre-established pace.
cannot use any means of persuasion to hurry the process.
can only use well the time it takes.
retreat today I walked up mountain
the prayer garden.
the crest of the hilltop
the towering oaks and maples
several gray-green majestic stones –
larger than an elephant.
in a section of one massive stone
the trunk of an elm tree –
roots straddling a lower portion.
was the gnarled root system
a fallen evergreen –
in its intricate, intertwined woody core.
in varied hues of brown, muddy orange and sienna.
had taken a lifetime to form that root system:
vibrant tree sending tiny rootlets here and there
a hold for the storms of life
an increased water supply from the ground
these hardened masses.
then years passed as the tree aged, fell,
began the long decaying process
only these lovely brown root bones
left to demonstrate the hard work done by the sapling.
these majestic gray-green stones
not dropped from heaven.
ago they were deposited
the bowels of the earth
the ground that became this magnificent mountain.
little-by-little, as the centuries passed
upheavals came to stand them upright,
the top soil washed away.
the wind and rain rubbed them smooth
deposited the sand at their base
turned them from white to gray
the green puffs of moss
brown tatters of lichens attached to their thin stone skin.
of the stones appear to be small,
easy to pick up,
they are the noses of more massive stone
beneath mounds of earth
waiting for future generations
discover them and marvel at their size.
The trees grew up
The trees grew up
these stones and among them,
at last people discovered them
created a prayer garden in their midst.
so what is this TIME I am concerned about?
and healing and change take time:
eons, sometimes decades and sometimes weeks.
I am healing and creating and changing,
And I am not alone.
More Excerpts from Comfort for the Afflicted
Please Note: All materials that appear on this web site are donated material. They are all under copyright. Please respect all copyright laws. Please email Bonnie Meadows with any questions at bonnietexas at hotmail.com. Thank you.
Our Network for Pilgrim's director, Bonnie Meadows is writing a novel about a small mountain village as seen (and loved) by their new, young pastor. She is entering a contest with a subplot and hopes to share excerpts from her first novel, Autumn Secrets, with the readers who visit the Network for Pilgrims web site soon. Let us know what you think.
We would like to hear from you. Bonnie's writing is a work in progress, so we would like to know what you think and what you are curious about. We are also looking for interesting, real stories about incidents you have personally witnessed. All of the characters and all of the events that drive the plot are imaginary; however, other incidents (like the mountain lion visit) have really happened in the area over the past few years. If you know about an interesting incident that might be included in one of the books, please share them. Email your ideas in the body of the message to bonnietexas at hotmail.com.
Further books are coming as well. There are five books in this series. All of these books relate the experiences of five current women who share their lives as they attend seminary together and become new pastors. Although all the characters are fictional, some of the events they experience are real. Their stories haven't been written yet because they haven't yet happened. Visit this web site often for more information.
Pastor's Book of Secrets
Autumn Secrets—Secrets of First Corinthians—Katelyn's Story
Network 4 Pilgrims/Christ Covenant Int'l Ministries