Monday, February 25, 2013


The great Scottish essayist and historian Thomas Carlyle married his secretary, Jane Welsh.  She continued to work for him, but when she became ill, Carlyle, who was deeply devoted to his work, didn’t seem to notice, so he allowed her to keep working.  But she had cancer and eventually was confined to bed.  Although Carlyle truly loved her, he found that he didn’t have much time to stay with her or much attention to give her.  Then she died.  After the funeral Carlyle went to Jane’s room, noticed her diary lying on the table, picked it up and began to read.  On one entire page she’d written just a single line:  “Yesterday he spent an hour with me and it was like heaven: I love him so much.”  A reality he had somehow been too blind to see was now revealed with crushing clarity.  He’d been too preoccupied with his work and simply failed to notice her.  He hadn’t seen her suffering.  He hadn't been sensitive to her longing love.  Turning to the next page, he read words he’d never forget: “I’ve listened all day to hear his footsteps in the hall, but now it’s late and I guess he won’t come today.”  He put her diary back on the table and ran out of the house.  Friends found him at the side of his wife’s grave, covered with mud.  His eyes were red from weeping as he repeated the phrase over and over again: “If only I’d known… If only I’d known!” After Jane’s death, Carlyle made little attempt to write again.

Ephesians 5:1-2, “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us…”

Pray with me… Dear Jesus, we do not want You to have to wait for us and neither do we want to fail to communicate our love to the people in our lives who need our time, our words, our acts of kindness, our gifts or our touch.  In Your dear Name we pray, amen.

Pastor Ken

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