At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.
Many of you were here last October to meet Ed and Marion Smith. Ed spoke to the congregation about his book From The Ashes of My Dreams, which chronicled his difficult but courageous seventeen month journey through rehab following an automobile accident that changed his and Marion’s life forever. It was a great night and we all fell in love with Ed and with Marion (OH).
I recently had the good fortune of spending more time with Ed and Marion Smith. I find that Ed and Marion have a special quality that is very hard to define and even more difficult to articulate. Schweitzer’s quote above comes very close. Ed has been writing a column in The Telegram for what seems like forever. In his words I often find myself rekindled because he touches the place inside of me where the fun lives, the creativity lives, and the joy for life lives. Getting to know Ed and being in his presence that ability is even more present. I came away from our visit with the Smith’s with the fire rekindled. It was sparked by two people who live generosity and good humour. Their ability for colourful and intelligent debate is an added bonus. All of it together meant that our friends Ed and Marion gave me just what I needed the most…themselves! I thank God for having met Ed and Marion and for the ability they have to bring so much joy to our lives.
My Father and Mother also had opportunity to meet Ed and Marion over a wonderful supper (thank you Marion). The rapport between my Dad and Ed was great. Mom got her licks in too. It was so entertaining that Ed mused about it in his column ‘The View from Here’ in The Telegram. You can read it by clicking here. Prepare to laugh!
Schweitzer discovered in 1915 something he called ‘Reverence for Life.’ It is a philosophy that was born out of his observing too much suffering in the world around him. He came to believe that all life was so important. That living things should be respected. He believed that the only thing we are sure of is life itself. Because of that he felt that we should honour all life and realize that in so doing we are reverencing and honouring a divine plan. Nothing is more important than life itself – it connects us with all of God’s creatures. I think that Ed Smith has captured ‘The Reverence for Life.’ He captures it weekly in his column. He and his family capture it is the hospitality and love for others. He captures it with his ability to rise above many challenges to honour that which is life, and light and hope.
Each day brings a new challenge. Many of you have emailed me about yesterdays post. Thank you for your reflections. I wrote that post as a response to the many things that are happening around me. I hope that I can each day seek to ‘reverence life’ in the midst of darkness. It is not always easy to do. My prayer is that I might continue to work toward that ‘Reverence for Life’ that Dr. Schweitzer wrote about. On the journey to there I will keep offering thanks for that sense if reverence for life and the rekindled flames that I experience from good folks like Ed and Marion Smith. In the meantime I’d better go stoke the flames a little…stay tuned!