I keep a running list of quotes…big thoughts, sometimes too big to squeeze into my already-crowded mind; but ones I don’t want to forget. I save them for the time that things become a little less hurried and preoccupied, when I can truly think about them.
I came across this today, from a deeply inspirational, courageous writer…a daughter in the Lord. Lisa has written several books. My copy of her little book,“I Want God” is full of underlining. She is an honest, transparent, bold voice for this generation. I’m encouraged that there are some like this in my lifetime…that quality inspiration is not found solely in what has been written by “old dead guys”.
I think one of the reasons “old dead guys” resonate with me is that death was tangible to them. What I mean is, a hundred or two (or three…) years ago facing death was a much more common experience. Many of the medical treatments and interventions we enjoy today had not yet been discovered. Longevity was not expected. People died, and it was not as “sanitized” as it is today. Without sounding morbid, the body was seen, often prepared for burial and actually put into a box in the ground by the family. Today all of that is delegated to professionals. We do not face the process. It’s rather like the difference between taking a cross-country flight, and making a road trip out of it. In the first instance, you find yourself in one location, and a few short hours later you have reached your destination not really having a sense of how you got there. You sat and read a magazine while thousands of miles passed by underneath you. When you take a road trip, you have a sense of having truly traveled. You meet people. Enjoy various regional favorites on local menus. Notice varying accents and customs. Note the changing landscapes. Feel the weariness and joys of the journey, the anticipation of reaching the final destination. You experience travel.
I think because the “old dead guys” had such a different perspective on the brevity and purpose of life, it strongly influenced their writings. There was an urgency, a passion, a carefully crafted power in their purposefully-selected words. No rambling for these guys. Cut to the chase. Say it with reverberating force, leaving a lasting impression. Words like these:
His love admits no parallel; for why,
At one great draught of love he drank hell dry.
The sword of awful justice pierc’d his side,
That mercy thence might gush upon the bride.~Ralph Erskine, “Gospel Sonnets”
“The mystery of the incarnation is not greater than that of the Holy Ghost’s indwelling, nor does it appear to me to involve more condescension.” – Spurgeon
“I was but a pen in God’s hand, and what praise is due a pen?” —John Bunyan
“The most solemn truth in the gospel is that the only thing Christ left down here is His blood.” – D.L.Moody
“Above all, measure your progress by your experience of the love of God and its exercise before men.” William Wilberforce
“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.” – G. K. Chesterton
“It takes more grace than I can tell to play the second fiddle well.” – Spurgeon
“The effect of [true] religion is no where else more striking and apparent than in changing a temper naturally quick, excitable, and irritable, to one that is calm, and gentle, and subdued. A consciousness of the presence of God will do much to produce this state of mind; and if we truly loved all people, we should be soon angry with none.” ~Albert Barnes
“Unmask to me sin’s deformity, that I may hate it, abhor it, flee from it….Let me never forget that the heinousness of sin lies not so much in the nature of the sin committed, as in the greatness of the person sinned against.” — The Valley of Vision
“Trust Me with a fuller abandon than you ever have before. Trust Me, as minute succeeds minute, every day of your life, for as long as you live. And if you become conscious of anything hindering your relationship, do not hurt Me by turning away from Me. Draw all the closer to Me, come, run to Me. Allow Me to hide you, to protect you, even from yourself. Tell Me your deepest cares, your every trouble. Trust Me to keep My hand upon you. I will never leave you. I will shape you, mold you, and perfect you. Do not fear, O child of My love, do not fear. I love you.” -Amy Carmichael
To be remembered as “one of those old, dead guys”…those saints who really “got” it… What an aspiration.