Calm In The Midst Of The Storm

I was buying some food for our Black Lab and our 16 year old Boston Terrier yesterday. The store owner asked me if anyone had ever told me that I had a distinguished voice? I thanked him and considered to myself that I have always thought that my voice sounds a little strange…but at almost 63 years old I have become accustomed to it. The kind Pet Store owner went on to say that my voice had a soothing quality…somewhat like the actor, James Earl Jones. Indeed, no one has ever likened my voice to that of the dulcet tones of Mr. Jones!

Today I was talking with Pastor Kerry. He said that he enjoyed my photos of Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale…and that seeing it through my eyes he felt that it was a welcoming place. I pondered both the comments of the Pet Store owner and my pastor. Both took me by surprise and caused me to think about the impression or influence that each of us have on others who we do not realize that we are influencing. I have always admired those who have the ability to cause those with whom they come in contact…to feel better! Pastor Kerry is one of those gifted individuals. Each time that I speak with him…I feel better for the experience! If we could see the heavy steamer trunks…and the large valises…and the luggage of our complicated lives that we are caring on our shoulders and our backs and pulling behind us…we we would appreciate each other more fully… When a person is seeking to uplift me and to make my burdens a little lighter…during our 2020 pandemic…I am grateful… I watched, from the comfort of my porch as Pastor Kerry preached his outdoor sermon, last Sunday, in a 15 mile per hour wind and 50 degree temperatures…and so many of our church members assisting to make the first congregational gathering, since the pandemic, of First Presbyterian Church of Carbondale a success…and I thought thank God for people who care about the spiritual and mental and emotional welfare of others!

MJ and I agree…where did 2020 go? I have a theory! Our 2020 pandemic has forced us into a life without the customary little breaks whereby we mark our walk through a year… Without the semi-regular visit to our favorite restaurant or bar…or the theatre or a vacation or a mini-vacation…we have lost touch with our time clock! It seems that we should be entering spring…and we are in the fall. I was taking photos of the SIUC Campus this afternoon and I marveled the the autumn colors are vibrant…while I had a dim memory of spring and summer. I think that each of us need to tell each other…that it is going to be alright…

Photo by Tomas Anunziata on

Good times are around the corner! Yes, the corner is a little further than we first imagined it…but it is well within our field of vision! We will travel again…and take lengthy holidays…and celebrate birthdays and weddings and our favorite memorable occasions! This is not the end of our strange new world…but it is the beginning of the end… God is in his heaven…and his emissaries are our next door neighbors and our pastors and our coworkers! Listen to those who care about you and love you! Do not be to quick to criticize…be quick to listen and to understand…

Two days from now will be my 42nd anniversary of being hired at SIUC! October 10th is a holiday in the Brooks home! That is the day that our lives changed for the better and the benefits of a position at the University made all of the difference in the little home of the Brooks! In those days I wanted to be a minister…but it did not seem to be in the cards for me. In those days I dreamed of being successful in sales like my minister at the time was…and like my best friend had become… In those days I had the vision of becoming a leader in some area…as a classmate had told me in high school study hall when she said that she saw me as a leader with a brief case and many people working under my direction. My pastor had told me, when I had nothing and no immediate prospects of obtaining anything, that he had a dream of me becoming a leader of men and that many of my fellow congregants would be working for me. He also said that in the dream I had purchased a brand new automobile! I laughed as Abraham’s wife Sara laughed when the angel told her that she was going to bear a child…when she was much to old to do so… Both of the minister’s dream forecasts came to past…

10 responses

  1. Hell yeah!

  2. Very well put up..!πŸ™ŒπŸ»

    1. Thank you, my friend!

  3. I am sure you do have a nice voice πŸ™‚ and the photos of the dog sculptures are gorgeous. Really interesting to have dog sculptures – are these dogs famous to be commemorated or it is just something the artist liked doing.

    1. They are Salukis. They originated in the Fertile Crescent and are hunting dogs. They are faster than Greyhounds and are the official mascot for Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale,

      1. I see. Thanks for sharing this. I learn something new every day and now I know who are the official mascot for S Illinois Unversity@Carbondale! Thanks BJ

      2. You are most welcome, my friend!

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