Watermelon and Donuts

There were two neighborhood stores near my house when I was a child. Both lined US-70 just as it slipped out of Brownsville on its stretch to becoming Summer Avenue in Memphis sixty miles away. Occasionally a truck full of watermelon from Missouri would drive up and for the picking of its best, several of us kids would climb up on the back of that ten-wheeler and toss them down to be stacked inside. When we were rid of the last melon gently caught and placed for sale, we cracked open and parceled out the most delectable of all to moisten our palates on a blistering summer day.

Just up the block from there was The Kream Castle. The Sallari’s freshly cooked donuts were lined across a long row of windows. Sometimes I’d leave Anderson Grammar School by way of the front door so I could walk home by those windows which curved around the front. I would stroll by dragging my hand across the glass while gazing on the donut glaze which was glistening in the western sun and glaring back through glass with a compelling summons. Dad’s service station was right next door and I’d go begging if I were short on change.

A wise man once said, “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, healing to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24). “Pleasant” means kind. Kind words are as sweet as warm glaze on donuts just out of the oven. Take the time to form them in your mind. Smooth the sentences out of your memories like rolling dough in a baker’s pan. Concentrate carefully as you shape your kind thoughts of pleasant truth into consolations. Let the words be sweetened with sincere inflection. Award the soul you know with healing that pernitrates to the bones. Become a source of shalom like a juicy wet honeycomb so your friend can retreat into delightful cheer.  

Stephen Williams 


Dust at Dusk

It was brought to my attention recently that the form of dirt we call dust is responsible for the beautiful sunsets I admire so much at dusk. The setting sun shines through the dust in the air – dirt, the soiled floor on the very top of the earth’s crust – the stuff that paints a writing tablet on delivery truck beds where handwritten bumper signs can be scribbled by children who pass by. The despised dull coat that collects on tabletops between dustings that we hastily brush away when an unexpected guest knocks on the door. But the sunset reminds us that God collects the dirt and creates a masterpiece. He created the first human from dirt. And in John 9, Jesus takes his hands and pulls the mud together with his fingers and puts it on the eye of a man born blind. This blind man had woken up every morning of his life smothered with continuing darkness until mud in his eye with the fingerprint of Jesus on it replaced the darkness with years of glowing daylight passing into pink and red sunsets. When the mud gets deep, the material for a masterpiece is abundant indeed. This reminds me that when Job sinks in the mud of disaster, God reviews creation with him (Job chapters 38-41) and then raises him up as one who could only say that he had just been hearing of God (Job 42:5); but now he is seeing! 

Stephen Williams