Reconciliation, Fire, Iron, and Another Phone Call


Mississippi Delta Sky above Moon Lake

Photo by The Delta Bohemian

By Pontificus Minimus
(Clarksdale, Mississippi)

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”  —  The Apostle Paul.

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”  —  Mother Teresa

Pontificus had the opportunity this week to put to rest some hurts, misunderstandings, and hard feelings concerning some recent activity in the life of his maniacal sibling, Poor William.

Though not always comfortable with his brother’s actions, he does have his back and believes Poor William desires to please the Lord, even if he often stretches the limits of good taste. He says he just can’t “help hisself.”

Momma taught us to strive for peace and to submit to authority. Sometimes easier said than done and not always possible given certain circumstances, but it is a good teaching and worthy of good intentions.

As previously noted in last week’s opining, Poor William got in some trouble with some folks who took offense to him displaying his statuesque body in the snow with no clothes on, though all private parts were covered.

In fact, he had more coverage than most of the folks who complained have on when they go to the lake, the swimming pool, and surely more than most of the actors and actresses who they and their kids watch on television, and that does not include Baywatch, the renowned Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and the Victoria’s Secret Catalog.

Enough rehashing; the beautiful thing about this whole debacle was that Poor William and his bride got to make peace with some folks around the priest’s table and Christianity operated as it is designed to do.

Experiencing disapproval is a given; however, how we deal with it is a choice. Magical Madge shared with us Ralph Marston’s insightful, grace-riddled words, words that convicted Poor William about his slowness in pursuing reconciliation.

Prayer opened a difficult discussion and prayer ended a reconciliation birthed out of a desire by the participants to be at peace, love the Lord, and to do His good work.

I have never had a relationship with much depth if I have not had to work through some difficult things and then make peace in the crucible. The refiner’s fire is designed to burn away what is known as dross–waste product taken off of molten metal, which leaves the metal in a purer state and form.

God refines his people by often burning away those things that are not pleasing to Him and not beneficial to humanity. It ain’t fun, does not happen in a vacuum, and usually requires a lot of what the bible refers to as “iron sharpening iron.”

Iron sharpening iron is usually in the form of people with differing personalities or different ideas painfully communicating until the point of focus is sharper, just like the point of a spear would be sharper when iron rubs against iron. It is a brutal process but the result for the spear and for the person is a much better tool to be used by the Wielder of the object.

While Pontificus was writing this column, the phone rang… It appears Poor William is now in trouble with another congregation and with the Diocese of Mississippi for the denomination where he has membership. Alas, Poor William will have to get the iron back out and Pontificus is going to have to pray it doesn’t snow anytime soon, at least not in Poor William’s backyard.

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  1. Well put Pontificus, or may I call you Pointy? Keep sharpening. Peace be with you, LJ

  2. Poor William,
    I was afraid that your readers might have missed clicking on the link to the Ralph Marston words, so am adding them to the comments here. I find you to be quite likable and humorous and thank you for lifting my spirits with a good laugh from time to time. As being one that takes himself a bit too seriously from time to time, I can’t help but be envious of your pursuit of enjoyment of life!

    Accepting disapproval by Ralph Marston:

    If you give in to the disapproval of others, you’ll simply encourage them to disapprove even more. If you fight against their disapproval, that will also cause their disapproval to grow stronger.

    Your most effective response is to gently accept the disapproval, then let it go and move forward. That strategy will dilute and dispense with the resistance you encounter faster than anything else.

    Stop needing the approval of others, and you’ll receive more approval and support than ever. Live each moment from your own inspiration, not from your desire to look good in the eyes of others.

    You can be exceptionally kind, loving, giving and respectful without being a slave to the opinions of others. Accept that other people will disapprove of some things you do, and you’ll free yourself to do truly magnificent things.

    Your great value does not derive from the approval of others. You are entirely worthy and able to give much to life, regardless of what anyone else may think.

    Graciously and enthusiastically accept that others will disapprove, no matter what you do. And delight in the freedom of doing whatever you know is right for you.

    — Ralph Marston

    Read more:

  3. I also wanted to share a poem I’m sure you are familiar with. I have found it a helpful guide to me through the years and hope that others find the merit of the words as well:

    Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

    Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
    and remember what peace there may be in silence.

    As far as possible, without surrender,
    be on good terms with all persons.
    Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
    and listen to others,
    even to the dull and the ignorant;
    they too have their story.
    Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
    they are vexatious to the spirit.

    If you compare yourself with others,
    you may become vain or bitter,
    for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
    Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
    it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

    Exercise caution in your business affairs,
    for the world is full of trickery.
    But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
    many persons strive for high ideals,
    and everywhere life is full of heroism.
    Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
    Neither be cynical about love,
    for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
    it is as perennial as the grass.

    Take kindly the counsel of the years,
    gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
    Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
    But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
    Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

    Beyond a wholesome discipline,
    be gentle with yourself.
    You are a child of the universe
    no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here.
    And whether or not it is clear to you,
    no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

    Therefore be at peace with God,
    whatever you conceive Him to be.
    And whatever your labors and aspirations,
    in the noisy confusion of life,
    keep peace in your soul.

    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
    it is still a beautiful world.
    Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

  4. Magicalmadge says:

    Cal, I enjoyed reading Ehrmann’s words. Thank you.

    Here’s a little dittie I like to sing from time to time. I’m sure you will recognize the author as well as the song.

    Here’s a little song i wrote,
    you might want to sing it note for note,
    don’t worry, be happy

    in every life we have some trouble,
    when you worry you make it double
    don’t worry, be happy

    dont worry be happy now
    dont worry be happy
    dont worry be happy
    dont worry be happy
    dont worry be happy
    aint got no place to lay your head,
    somebody came and took your bed,
    don’t worry, be happy

    the landlord say your rent is late,
    he may have to litagate,
    dont worry (small laugh) be happy,

    look at me im happy,
    don’t worry, be happy

    i give you my phone number,
    when your worried, call me,
    i make you happy

    don’t worry, be happy

    aint got no cash, aint got no style,
    aint got no gal to make you smile
    but don’t worry, be happy

    cos when you worry, your face will frown,
    and that will bring everybody down,
    so don’t worry, be happy

    don’t worry, be happy now…

    don’t worry, be happy
    don’t worry, be happy
    don’t worry, be happy
    don’t worry, be happy

    now there this song i wrote
    i hope you you learned it note for note
    like good little children

    dont worry be happy

    listen to what i say
    in your life expect some trouble
    when you worry you make it double
    dont worry be happy
    be happy now

    dont worry, be happy
    dont worry, be happy
    dont worry, be happy
    dont worry, be happy
    dont worry
    dont worry be happy
    don’t worry, don’t worry, don’t do it,
    be happy,put a smile on your face,
    don’t bring everybody down like this

    don’t worry, it will soon pass whatever it is,
    don’t worry, be happy,
    i’m not worried


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