Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

Frank William Boreham 1871-1959
A photo F W Boreham took of himself in 1911

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Boreham on the Need to Beware of First Appearances

Somebody has said that God must be very fond of commonplace folk—God makes so many of them. Life is full of dingy-looking places and shabby-looking people. But we shall do well to think the thing all over again before, on that ground, we exclude them from our affections and our confidence. As the years come and go we learn that the best and most satisfying springs are those from which, on their discovery, we expected least. Our most treasured friends are not always those with whom we fell in love at first sight.

In his wonderful Life of the Bee Maeterlinck tells us at least one thing to which we may do well to take heed. At one time, he says, it was almost impossible to introduce into a hive an alien queen. The myriad toilers would at once assume that she was an enemy, and set about her destruction. But now the apiarist introduces the new queen in an iron cage, with a door skillfully constructed of wax and honey. The bees immediately commence to gnaw their way through the door to murder the intruder; but, in the tedious process, they are compelled carefully to observe the royal prisoner. And, by the time that the waxen palisade is demolished, they have learned to love her; and they finish up by doing her homage and becoming her devoted slaves.

So true is it that the forbidding may eventually become the fascinating; the repulsive may end in the romantic; the prose may kindle into poetry; the sombre shadows may dissolve into radiant reality; the dingy lodgings may open to us dazzling horizons; life's mocking mirages often pass into most satisfying streams.

If it comes to attractive exteriors and enticing advertisements, theology cannot hold a candle to theatricals, nor prayer-meetings to picture-shows. But they have most radiant outlooks for all that.

And have we not somewhere read of One who is spoken of by those who are happy enough to know Him as the fairest among ten thousand and the altogether lovely? Yet, when first they saw Him, He was to them as a root out of a dry ground, having no beauty that they should desire Him!

F W Boreham, ‘Seaside Lodgings’, The Luggage of Life (London: Charles H Kelly, 1912), 126-127.

Image: “But now the apiarist introduces the new queen…”