Trust in the Lord

David Cox, a fine gentleman I used to sing with at St. John the Divine, died this week. At the funeral this afternoon, the Rev. Hall mentioned that one of David’s favorite scriptures was Proverbs 3:5-6, which is the original source for the deTocqueville quote that I mentioned the other day.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will direct your paths.

I need to add that to my list. I need to work harder to follow that advice.

A very uplifting remembrance service. You’ll be missed, David, but you have gone on to bigger and better things.



Subbed at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church this morning for Sampy Wall. They had seven infants baptized at the 11am service. When the Rev. Nutter asked if anyone else was interested in joining them, a girl of about 12 or so stepped forward and said she would like to be baptized. When he asked her why, she replied that she wanted God to be always with her.

It made me feel really good to see her get baptizied this morning. I believe God is with each and every one of us, whether we acknowledge Him or not, whether we realize it or not.

The Bach Choir performed a song two years ago by Michael Horvitz, Even When God is Silent, the text of which came from a poem written on a basement wall in Germany by someone hiding from the Gestapo:

I believe in the sun, even when it is not shining.
I believe in love, even when feeling it not.
I believe in God, even when God is silent.

(Our recording of it from the Thomaskirche in Leipzig in 2001)

I’ll be the first one to admit that I have been extremely blessed in my life. I have been given many talents, parents and a brother whom I couldn’t have chosen any better, friends who are kind, caring, and supportive, the list goes on and on. But even with all these advantages I still experience periods of questioning and doubt when things don’t go as I hope or I meet with obstacles or disappointment. But deep down I do know that He is there. Another one of my favorite quotes, from de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America:

I cannot believe that the Creator made man to leave him in an endless
struggle with the intellectual wretchedness that surrounds us.
I am ignorant of His designs, but I shall not cease to believe in them
because I cannot fathom them, and I had rather mistrust my own capacity
than His justice.


Punitive Damages

I believe that punitive damages are by definition simply fines, and so have nothing whatever to do with the plaintiff in a case, and so should not go to the plaintiff nor plaintiff’s attorneys, but to the state. I’m all for injured parties receiving compensation, but that’s what actual damages are for (including amounts for pain and suffering, lost wages, etc). A judgment ideally should restore the injured party to the status quo ante, or come as close as possible. Letting them receive the punitive damages makes them better off than before, and turns the the judicial system into a lottery system.