Mrs. Dowson stood in the doorway of Arthur's room and buttoned the cuff on the sleeve of her pink blouse. There had been a button missing but Marie had replaced it despite all the work she had to do: the cooking, cleaning, and all the other housework. Marie was a treasure -- that is how Mrs. Dowson's mother would have described her. Mrs. Dowson crossed Arthur's room to the mantel where the Seth Thomas clock was located. She tried to set the time; the clock had stopped at two o'clock, but it was a lost effort; the brass key that had been under the clock was missing.
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Oscar Wilde penned a powerful story about behaviors and definitions and justice called The Picture of Dorian Gray. Dorian was a handsome young man, a model of physical beauty and moral virtue. People complimented him on his good graces. Parents pointed to him as an example to their youth. One artist even painted an exquisite portrait of him.
"Have you seen it?" whispered the Barbie doll to her next door neighbour.
The next Barbie doll in line was instantly alert. There were five different Barbie dolls, who lived jumbled together in the toy cupboard but who were so jealous of each other that they rarely spoke. "Seen what?" asked the second Barbie doll, blue eyes darting all round the room.
"The Princess," replied the first Barbie with glee. "Caitlin's done her hair and it looks terrible!"
These verses from Mark's gospel are a call to commitment, a call to sacrifice, and a call to give up everything of earthly value in life. To say these are difficult verses is truly an understatement. It is pretty clear that the disciples are not at all ready for what Jesus is saying. They are not ready for Jesus to die and they certainly are not ready to die themselves.