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The Rev. Dr. Richard C. Lamb: We're all actors on a stage

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- We were introduced to a drama in early April. It was nature's sudden burst of splendor. The wooded hills in Kanawha County had stood still, lonely, forever it seemed. Then the trees and shrubs started to bud, green leaves sprang forth, and flowers powered through hard ground in colorful array. It almost took one's breath away.

Leaves soon filled out the trees. I couldn't see distant places anymore. However, what was near was more than sufficient. We saw inherently a power that can suddenly change things, create anew. No more were we in a drab world. I felt enriched!

Seasons change and so do we. Who doesn't need change? Life seems full of it. There are setbacks at times that challenge the best that is in us, seemingly bringing life to a halt. Yet when there is suddenly a hand on our shoulder, showing kindness, our hearts are uplifted. Life takes on a different hue. Through kindness we all have a part in new creation. The drama of change in nature is there for all of us, to lift up our hearts and stir up our thoughts afresh. On reflection, once I was poor, and then things took a sudden turn and life no longer seemed clothed in drab apparel.

The Bible calls the poor in spirit "blessed." That seems a switch from what I have just said. But the poor in spirit are the humble who realize that there is a lot more ahead, challenges and helps that will renew and heighten the importance of our lives. In short, we believe that there is much more to come. When early settlers rode over these West Virginia hills, it was surely an ordeal. But their minds were set on what they believed would surely come, their very own home place, peace, a new life for their family. Life is never "same old, same old" unless we allow it to be. I suspect that many early settlers thought their new home could be just around the bend or over the next hill. We all have the capacity to lift up the hearts of others and I believe the Creator God has strongly suggested in many ways that it be so. After all, aren't we made in the image of God?

Deep calls to deep in life. And a good rest that comes from knowing you're no longer alone does wonders for the spirit. As Shakespeare has said, "All the world's a stage." We are all actors, yet part of the great audience. So is our Heavenly Father -- and He doesn't miss a thing!

Dr. Lamb is parish associate at First Presbyterian Church, Charleston


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