Serena Hoffman's parents

With her letter, Serena Hoffman included this photo that she took of her parents, Pastor Tracy and Lillian Hammond of Angola, because “they are the best examples that I know of enjoying life with a true relationship in Jesus without pompous religiosity.” She continued, “Both passed of cancer, 2011 and 2012. They were in ministry for more than 60 years together. Their last pastorate was the reopening of the church at York, The Olde York Church ... I don’t remember a day they didn’t laugh or sing, yet they did not let their standards of purity down. They loved the Lord’s holiness while having grace toward people (knowing they needed it themselves) ... Anyone who knew them ... saw that in them, I believe.”

Remember when it was an honor to be a lady or a gentleman

To the editor:

Sometimes, we overlook the title of a page we share a post from. Yes, I know it just happens. Yet, being a lover of just-right words, the title alone can make me cringe with its vulgarity. I can’t find my way past it. No matter if the post itself is entertaining. Part of me shuts the door to the outside world. I can’t absorb the post. Or the show.

Amusement doesn’t come at any cost to me. It just doesn’t. Instead, I find myself at a standstill, wishing for refinement, even daring to pray for beyond that. For absolute beauty of holiness!

Brash and ugly, so much of what’s readily available. Ugh. Just imagine, my mom’s generation wouldn’t think of leaving the house without hats and gloves on. Oh my! Fashion and manners. So nice.

I don’t really think we’ve come a long way, baby. Remember when true gentlemen actually watched their language if a lady was nearby. And ladies, more often than not, lived up to their reputation. They usually watched their own language. And it was an honor to be a lady. Or a gentleman.

I’m really not an uptight person. I promise. I love good humor. I love to laugh. I just don’t think fun has to come with such cost.

Tonight it just hit me afresh. Ladies and gentlemen ... how far society has progressed does not often impress me. I know I have my share of wrinkles and gray hair. But ... this is not just old age talking. (I mean, I’m not even old enough to get the vaccine yet!) It is a-bit-worn-out-me sharing with you that our world could use some softening of hearts, of words, and just a whole lot more Godly wisdom and true love. Considerate friends. An easy chair. A softhearted person. You know what I mean, I’m sure of it. We all have some of that in our lives. In ourselves. In our friends. I’m thankful for that.

This is just me, thinking about things as I’m apt to do. It all happened as I scrolled through social media posts. Looking for ... friendly folk.

I do relax into this: someday, Jesus really will return and the beauty of His kingdom will swallow up death in victory. I really do believe that. Meanwhile, my tired self is anchored upward. Joy is my strength. And the Creator’s song has enough of a lilt to put a bit of a skip into my soul’s “step” ... even at day’s end ... through it all.

And I’ve got my eye out for His artistic touch. And my ear is always open to a just right word or two. Healing balm to the core of my self ... a rejection of ugliness, darkness and contention with gravitation toward loveliness, light and harmony. Glad to know the Author of faith. Counting on Him to walk me all the way home.

Let’s not get lost along the way ...

See you on the narrow path.

Won’t that be nice? Let’s smile when we see each other. We all need that. Right?”

Serena Hoffman


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