Keys on Boards ~ Locks Unopened

An hour before curtain, I watched the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's "Green Show" so named because it takes place "on the green" in front of the world-reknowned OSF Ampitheater. Beside the delightful artists who present, it's a fun place to hang out - catch up with locals, meet tourists, watch young children frolic with wild abandon, and old men struggle to get up after an hour on the lawn while their old women laugh at their old men and they themselves, teeter and totter to regain balance. The entire rim of the platform and the greens is lined with enthusiastic, hand-clapping people.

My town is idyllic - something you read about in novels. The buildings charming, including the many Victorian bed and breakfast's, the restaurants plentiful. and their fare superb. Tiny little shoppes dot the downtown and the Plaza. No one who has visited our famous Lithia Park comes away disappointed. At every turn, something is worthy of an "ooh or an ahh" - a bench to plop down upon, landscapes and architecture to admire, a fragrance to enjoy.

As I walked back to my car, shooting eye candy like a tourist, I was drawn to a tattered and worn building. Paint peeled off the siding, cobwebs had formed around the windows and the sides of the building. A stairway to nowhere stood oddly by one side while a chipped concrete wall snuggled against the other.

I like shooting textures and color and this building - in deep need of repair - had both. I walked over to take a peek at what the camera might like. As I neared the building I noticed behind the two windows, racks of keys, locks, bolts, and knobs. A dusty whiskey box rested in the corner. Except for the setting sun bouncing off the glass, the room was dark inside. As I peered closer, a bulb hung by a string. Next to the soft yellow light a man shuffled.

"This is an actual business?" I thought to myself.

There was no sinage on the building. Perhaps they were wholesalers. Maybe this is even someone's home - it is, after all, a residential-business area.

I didn't want to seem too interested and have the shopkeeper peer back through the dirty window and give me a scare, so I lined up my shot and walked up the hill. Still, I wondered what memories this old, unkept building held. And keys... there were tons of keys.
Aren't keys supposed to unlock things? Why hadn't the shops owner unlocked his key to success... why hadn't he taken responsibility for maintaining his property? Of the two questions, maybe he had found success. His definition might be different than mine. Not everything that looks good on the outside is necessarily good on the inside, and not everything that looks awful on the outside is devoid of treasures on the inside.

When I got home, I uploaded my shots. Shooting with a little point and shoot camera's limitations (even with the "behind glass" setting), meant that I'd have to spend a few minutes adjusting some things in Photoshop. That's okay. It's always fun to manipulate your findings - make them more interesting... better... more artsy.

As I was playing around with the exposure, I thought again about what memories were stored up in that building and remembered one of my favorite authors, Corrie ten Boom. A victim of the Holocaust, Miss ten Boom once said, "memories are the key not to the past, but to the future."

"What." I pondered, "had this building seeded into it's future? What legacy would define it? Who was the little man inside? Did he have friends? Was his business prospering? Was he healthy. Did he have needs? Were they being met? Did he drink whiskey?"

The questions would not stop rolling through my mind.

I decided that his keys weren't so much about what they locked, but what they unlocked. My key was in knowing how to ask the right questions.

© Silent Mornings


And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven: and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. ~ Matthew 16:19
Authority ~ έξουσία ~ John 14:12-14
Power ~ δύναμις ~ Acts 1:8
Dominion ~ κυριότης ~ Genesis 1:26-28

© Silent Mornings



Seconds are the slender threads of sacred moments.

Moments weave into hours, forming the warp and waft of our days.

Over time, days collect into weeks, months, and eventually years. They become our past.

We overload our schedules and forget to pace. We bolt from one activity to the next and fail to savor the epochal strands of time. We live as if we are spectators instead of participants and contributors. We consume, consume, consume - distracted and busied in a world without constraint. We are pulled toward this cause, that group, this need, that event.

Computers, radios, and televisions draw us relentlessly to consume insatiably, their information. They implore us to places where we are dominated and directed by external voices (some familiar, others alien). Rather than defining and directing the course of our own lives we submit, by default, to the urgings of others. How do we protect and guard, esteem and honor - the seconds that form minutes and the hours that braid our days into rich treasures. The cords of connection are opportunities to reward a good deed, deposit encouragement, develop intimacy, bask in stillness, listen to the chirp of birds - the laughter of children, foster a smile, release hope, support a need, unravel a wound, surrender a hurt, and unleash the power of forgiveness in kindness and grace.

Some days, this hurry-up world demands we disregard even the utter simplicity and significance of breath - the value of a pause, the innocence of silence.

This span we call time - the cluster of scattered seasons fused by fragmented conflicts and disagreable pain mixed with joyful encounters and tender tempos - precipitously summon and frame our vision. The strands may be tied by a gossamer ribbon unfurled in the wind, or a thick rope tied to heavy anchors.

Some of the things we do everyday... some thoughts we may have uttered a hundred times... a task we could do with our eyes closed, echo the uneventful and mundane. Yet, every second, every minute, every hour, entwines within potential: pivotal arcs - not trivial consequences.

Almost without notice, a rhythmic stitch repeatedly constructs the moments that weave your legacy... and mine. Dare we neglect the threads or this vital tapestry? Is it not our duty to redeem the time?

© Silent Mornings