A Fine Time to Grow a Conscience!

July 29, 2019

Friend of mine defined conscience as the capacity to feel everything we feel … at the same time.  I’m pretty sure we all suspect that’s our high calling. If that’s not a terrifying thought it should be.  Is it any wonder we fill our years instead with reactivity and/or numbing agents? I’ve been working on that, knowing that many blind spots remain. Still, I’ve made some progress.  At 65, a strange feeling is emerging.  What do I make of this curious blend of serenity and urgency?


All I know is I’m still needed, thank the good Lord, and I’ve said yes to work, work enough to fill my days and then some. A lot of it has to do with history.  Church history, family history, Big Thicket history … Each new day I try to refine my art and keep my aim clear.  For one thing, I have to discipline my poet into a good-enough curator of accurate details!  For another, I have to be careful not to deify the good old days.  At the same time I have to let the past wash over me and touch me and sing whatever songs I’m ready to hear.  The old fiddle tunes, the back-stories on 18thcentury hymns, the lament of the psalmist –  they do have a way of breaking my heart, not least because my own days ahead are fewer than the ones behind, and I’m so late in loving the songs.


My conclusion: whatever thy hand findeth to do, do with thy strength!

Author: Phoebe Dishman

Phoebe H. Dishman was born and raised in Beaumont, Texas. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother. An essayist and poet, she teaches adult Sunday school, compiles a monthly prayer calendar, edits the Big Thicket Association quarterly bulletin, and keeps a keen eye and ear open for birds.

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