Those Lovely Intangibles

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.


     ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18



Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures. 


      ~ Jessamyn West



     The very first thing that came into my head when I saw the Jessamyn West quote was the movie (1947 version) Miracle on 34th Street with Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, Natalie Wood, Edmund Gwen.  “Mr. Gailey” and “Mrs. Walker” are having an argument about believing in Kris Kringle.  I love what he tells her when she argues that reality is what life is all about:


Fred Gailey: Look Doris, someday you’re going to find that your way of facing this realistic world just doesn’t work. And when you do, don’t overlook those lovely intangibles. You’ll discover those are the only things that are worthwhile.

Fred Gailey: Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to. Don’t you see? It’s not just Kris that’s on trial, it’s everything he stands for. It’s kindness and joy and love and all the other intangibles.


     You are facing some mountains out there.  Some of them physical, many of them emotional, some deeply rooted in doubt, or the past or the reality of the situation.  We are given some very real tools to face these mountains;

Rejoice always, 

Pray without ceasing, 

Give thanks in all circumstances.


This is God’s will concerning these things.  So, the flashing tool for me today is: Give thanks in all circumstances.

Drop everything (not the steering wheel!) and just praise God…put down your pen, close your eyes and take a deep, singer’s breath and praise God in the midst of this mountainous circumstance.  Maybe this is not your challenge, but you know which one of the three is a challenge for you right now. 


If your faith needs building, choose a favorite anthem or hymn or chorus. Prepare to trust God for the length of that song.  Sing it again.  They may be a good three minutes or more depending on what you choose.  Heck, you may even get to the Hallelujah chorus! No matter what you choose, whether it is “Jesus loves me” or “The Hallelujah chorus,” you have just trusted God for that length of time.  It has gotten to the point with me that when I am feeling doubt, I sing in my head.

This week my song has been the arrangement of “The Lord is My Shepherd from the Vicar of Dibley.


That lovely story about  believing in Santa did much for building faith… of all kinds … and has stayed with me a lifetime because of lines like Fred Gailey’s.  

Remember, today, pick your rule and sing!

The Lord is My Shepherd


Because of Him,





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