The image titled The Homeless, Psalm 85:10, featured on the cover of ELEMENTAL, can evoke multiple levels of response. They may include the spiritual in the form of a studied meditation upon the multidimensional qualities of the painting itself; or an extended contemplation of the scripture in the title, which in the King James Bible reads as follows: Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. The painting can also inspire a physical response in the form of tears as it calls to mind its more earth-bound aspects; namely, the very serious plight of those who truly are homeless in this world, whether born into such a condition, or forced into it by poverty or war.
There is nothing more wonderful than a book. It may be a message to us from the dead, from human souls we never saw who lived perhaps thousands of miles away, and yet these little sheets of paper speak to us, arouse us, teach us, open our hearts and in turn open their hearts to us like brothers. Without books, God is silent, justice dormant, philosophy lame.
This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (NIV)
But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob,? And He who formed you, O Israel,? Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;? I have called you by name; you are Mine!When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;? And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.? When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,? Nor will the flame burn you.? For I am the LORD your God,? The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;? I have given Egypt as your ransom,? Cush and Seba in your place.? Since you are precious in My sight,? Since you are honored and I love you,? I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life.? Do not fear, for I am with you;? I will bring your offspring from the east,? And gather you from the west.? I will say to the north, 'Give them up!'? And to the south, 'Do not hold them back.'? Bring My sons from afar? And My daughters from the ends of the earth,? Everyone who is called by My name,? And whom I have created for My glory,? Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.~Isaiah 43:1-7
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:a time to be born and a time to die,a time to plant and a time to uproot,a time to kill and a time to heal,a time to tear down and a time to build,a time to weep and a time to laugh,a time to mourn and a time to dance,a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,a time to embrace and a time to refrain,a time to search and a time to give up,a time to keep and a time to throw away,a time to tear and a time to mend,a time to be silent and a time to speak,a time to love and a time to hate,a time for war and a time for peace.(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, NIV)
Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?So do not worry, saying, What shall we eat?'' or What shall we drink?'' or What shall we wear?'' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.- Matthew 6:25-34
Take away all the moral beauty and sweetness in the Word, and the Bible is left wholly a dead letter, a dry, lifeless, tasteless thing. By this is seen the true foundation of our duty, the worthiness of God to be so esteemed, honoured, loved, submitted to, and served, as He requires of us, and the amiableness of the duties themselves that are required of us. And by this is seen the true evil of sin; for he who sees the beauty of holiness must necessarily see the hatefulness of sin, its contrary. By this men understand the true glory of heaven, which consists in the beauty and happiness that is in holiness. By this is seen the amiableness and happiness of both saints and angels. He that sees beauty of holiness, or true moral good, sees the greatest and most important thing in the world, which is the fulness of all things, without which all the world is empty, no better than nothing, yea, worse than nothing. Unless this is seen, nothing is seen that is worth the seeing; for there is no other true excellency or beauty. Unless this be understood, nothing is understood that is worthy of the exercise of the noble faculty of understanding. This is the beauty of the Godhead, and the divinity of Divinity (if I may so speak), the good of the infinite Fountain of good; without which, God Himself (if that were possible) would be an infinite evil; without which we ourselves had better never have been; and without which there had better have been no being.