“And always, from a time before anybody knew of time, the river had been there. From my sitting place where the woods stood up at the edge of the pasture, I could see the river, risen a little, swift and muddy from the spring rains, coming down the mile-long reach above the Willow Run bend, swerving through the bend and coming on down past the landing, carrying its load of drift. And I saw how all-of-a-piece it was, how never-ending—always coming, always there, always going.”
Berry, Wendell. Jayber Crow: A Novel (Port William) (pp. 131-132). Counterpoint. Kindle Edition.
In this, the 4th week of our Book Study over at Michele Morin’s site:
our friend, Jayber Crow, has begun to settle in as the “Bachelor Barber” of Port William. The previous barber had pulled up stakes, and left the town in need, to which Jayber stepped in and found a place that was Home.
(A Little Disclaimer Here: Within these chapters we find some “earthy” language and experiences that might be unsettling if you are expecting only a “Christian Lifestyle” book. However, there is much to be gleaned about how the Mercy of our Lord steps into the grittiness of real life.)
As Jayber begins to find some measure of acceptance into the community, he begins to find his own way of accepting. Becoming familiar with his customers, and learning their individual quirks, he makes some keen observations:
“I liked them varyingly; some I didn’t like at all. But all of them have been interesting to me; some I have liked and some I have loved. I have raked my comb over scalps that were dirty both above and beneath. I have lowered the ears of good men and bad, smart and stupid, young and old, kind and mean; of men who have killed other men (think of that) and of men who have been killed (think of that). I cut the hair of Tom Coulter and Virgil Feltner and Jimmy Chatham and a good many more who went away to the various wars and never came back, or came back dead.”
Berry, Wendell. Jayber Crow: A Novel (Port William) (p. 125). Counterpoint. Kindle Edition.
And once again, the preacher-cum-barber stirred my own heart to look at the kind of acceptance I have been allowed.
has my merciful savior
looked beneath to see my dirty places?
has HE parted the coverings
above my hidden failings?
The River of Eternal Love, that flows from the heart of my Lord, will never run dry. I can never exhaust the supply of Living Water that He offers for the cleansing of my ways.
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Revelation 22:1
Are you faced with the sight
Are you feeling the weight
Would you join me at the foot of the Cross,
at the edge of His River of Love,
for this prayer of
Dear Lord of the Waves,
I confess that my soul
is still so much of this world.
I am so in need of your
Would you have full sway in me,
to part and reveal the places
where I still cling
to the old.
Would you replace my heart of clay
with your Sweet heart of Love,
And cleanse away those old habits
Thank you that your River of Love
is never ending.
Thank you that there is no one
who can care as deeply as you.
In Jesus Name We pray,
“It wasn’t so long ago that we ourselves were stupid and stubborn, dupes of sin, ordered every which way by our glands, going around with a chip on our shoulder, hated and hating back. But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in, he saved us from all that. It was all his doing; we had nothing to do with it. He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously. God’s gift has restored our relationship with him and given us back our lives. And there’s more life to come—an eternity of life! You can count on this.”
Titus 3:4-6 MSG
I pray that this classic hymn from Babbie Mason will bless you as it has blessed me today:
You can find Jayber Crow, by Wendell Berry at Amazon by clicking here.
I am linking this week with these great bloggers: