Tuesday, August 19, 2014


POEM: Yesterdays by Father Abram Joseph Ryan

Gone! and they return no more,

But they leave a light in the heart;

The murmur of waves that kiss a shore

Will never, I know, depart.

Gone! yet with us still they stay,

And their memories throb through life;

The music that hushes or stirs to-day,

Is toned by their calm or strife.

Gone! and yet they never go!

We kneel at the shrine of time:

'Tis a mystery no man may know,

Nor tell in a poet's rhyme.

When I was in college studying English literature, I read many different authors.  Father Ryan was one of my favorites, but it might not be for a reason you would guess.  He was the “Poet Laureate of the Confederacy” and stayed at a home that a friend of mine once owned in Biloxi, Mississippi. 

I recognized the spiritual side of his writing as well as the historical value of the things that Father Ryan put on paper.  It is my understanding that the things we share, write and voice go much further than the first hearing or reading.  They seem to reverberate in the lives of the people that those words attach themselves to.

Ryan’s words attached themselves to my mind and heart just as so many other books, poems and many Bible verses have been attached to my life.

But what sticks out to me is the historical value of what is written or the happenings that become part of our part.  Literature is important.  The Bible continues to come to life as we read it, and as the Bible attaches itself and we allow it to shape our lives.

Where am I going with this?  Thanks for asking.

Sunday evening we spent with a friend who is a photographer that was taking pictures of our oldest daughter Rebecca.  He was taking her senior pictures.  As I looked on the picture taking, saw the pictures later or just stood and thought, I was struck by the truth that this beautiful young lady was the same infant that was crying so quietly some 17 years ago as I couldn’t stop crying.  She is growing up so fast.

History is standing before me and standing strong.  She has become a beautiful young lady full of character and strength.  I have watched her make choices that I am so proud of.  The story can go on and on.

But the day will come when my daughter will go to college.  One day she will announce that she wants to get married, but I will stop there.  Don't think I can handle any more as a dad right now.

We must cherish the time we have.  The children grow up so fast.  We lose friends to death or to moving across the country, and things simply change.  Take up every opportunity that God gives you.

Yesterdays are important.  We cannot get them back, but we can and must learn from them.  Yesterdays afford us memories that strengthen our hearts, they are points of the past that will remind us of happenings, good and bad, as well as things that we must learn from and leave better. 

Thank God for your yesterdays. Allow yesterdays to run through your mind, but don’t allow yesterdays to hold you back from growing stronger and allowing yourself to move forward with freedom and grace.

Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity.

No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,

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