Pat’s Chat (August 4)

Difficult to think summer is on its way out. I remember how much I dreaded going to school when it was warm outside and swimming in The Little Kanawha River seemed to be beckoning me. Or a walk in the woods, or up to Moyer’s Cave. Or climbing the cliffs in back of our house to swing on the grapevine swings. Or just playing Hide ‘n Seek with the local kids. Or devouring comic books Sonny had just walked to other kid’s homes and traded for. Or borrowing enough bicycles so that some of us could take a long bike ride. Going into the school house was not something to look forward to. Although summers seemed to crawl by, I was never anxious to go back to school.

Yet I loved school, really. I loved the camaraderie of school friends, the challenge of learning something, tasking my brain with information that might be on tomorrow’s tests. I loved the handwriting we were taught in the most beautiful cursive you could ever hope to find anywhere. It was taught by my Uncle, Charles Whytsell, in grade school, and he went to all the schools in the county, I believe. From first grade to High School and beyond we had music taught by Autumn Amos. She began teaching us on instruments in grade school so we could help in the High School Band before we were even in High School. I was never good at outdoor sports, so I was relieved that going to band practice and practicing marching was counted as P.E. and I seldom had to go to P.E. I was too shy to want to shower with all those other girls.  

I still get that scared feeling I had during the war if Robin and I watch war stories from World War II. I again get the horrible dread I felt back then when we had to hide under desks, close curtains and turn out lights. It is too real to enjoy reliving the horrible times.

In my life, coming to know Christ was my salvation in more ways than one. I somehow gradually came to know that He was always there for me and that He was and is in charge and if I am scared it, is because I don’t really have faith that it is true, that I really don’t believe Him and that He loves me (even when I am bad) and He will never leave me. I can leave Him, but He will never leave me. These feelings have grown in me so that I learned back then as a little girl to walk through our darkened house during those war years truly believing that Jesus and my guardian angels were there with me and I didn’t have to be afraid that a Japanese soldier or a German gestapo would grab me. I used to dream that soldiers were coming over the hills and down into Burnsville. (I was too young to think that there would be absolutely nothing in Burnsville to attract the enemy to come there.)

Most recently those wonderful feelings of being loved and cared for by God were reinforced by looking at David’s life. God never stopped loving David even when he committed adultery with Bathsheba and then planned and worked out a way to murder her husband, Uriah. He KNEW he was doing wrong, but went right on. I have done that kind of thing sometimes, walking right into sinful situations, knowing it was wrong. I have often gone to Psalm 51 to pray the prayers of David and grasp again my failing faith that Jesus knows, but He loves me still. I pray with David, Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a right spirit within me… Restore to me the joy of  Your salvation and grant me a willing heart to obey You…

Jesus says for us to come to Him if we are heavy laden with worries. He says His yoke is easy and His burden is light. You know what His burden is? To “love” Him best and to love our neighbor. When you are tempted to do something you doubt is good, decide to do the LOVING thing. If you have a grudge against someone, do the loving thing. All of God’s commandments are wrapped in LOVE. Love God above all (first four commandments) and love other people, neighbors, relatives, whoever (last six commandments). The last six ask us not to murder, steal, lie, cheat, desire what others have that you don’t have, etc. So, love is the answer. God is love (I John 4:8).



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