Everyday Gems


Rev. Samuel Johnson Lindamood, Jr. (died 1997) compiled this volume of excerpts from  his favorite books, along with fifty original meditations. Each meditation is  grouped with a selection of readings and bible passages into fifty themed days. He originally titled the creation “Germs” (in the sense of germinal ideas) and intended it as a Lenten manual of discipline. I have shortened and edited the book, working with co-editor Benjamin Wildman, and with the support of Gay Lane, an old friend of Sam’s. Now re-titled to make it more accessible, this moving testimony to Sam’s wonderful mind has achieved publishable form and is in search of a publishing house willing to put it into print. Each day is beautifully illustrated with photographs that match Sam’s serious yet whimsical personal style, including some original photographs by Benjamin Wildman.

Distinctive Features

Here is a portion of Sam Lindamood’s  preface for the volume, including his explanation of the original title.

Lent is one of my favorite times of the year. In a culture which is consumed with consuming it seems like more is never enough. The eyes search for new and exciting sights, the appetite longs for more and varied tastes. A popular song of some years ago said it well: “I can’t get no satisfaction.”

Lent offers a time to overcome our consumerism, “to give up something” as a discipline; not a popular idea, but an important one. Lent offers a time also of “taking on something,” some new and different commitment, perhaps. And, finally, Lent offers a time of meditation and reflection.

So this book—GERMS—is for meditation and reflection during the forty days of Lent, one per day. Perhaps someone “taking it on” will be better able “to give up something” or deepen their commitment. For anyone familiar with Lenten devotional material, it is easy to see why it is unorthodox. Its unorthodoxy, however, is not a cause to be celebrated but a simple statement of fact.

I like the title GERMS because of the Oxford American Dictionary definition: “… a beginning or basis from which something may develop, the germ of an idea.” It is from such readings, scriptural and otherwise, that my sermons, talks, and pastoral work have germinated. I am grateful for each one. I would hope that some of my confreres in ministry who are looking for new material, even as I so often was, will find them useful too.

Table of Contents

The Forty Days of Lent

day 1 – repetitive regrets
day 2 – what is real?
day 3 – running away from it all
day 4 – what does it mean to be a person?
day 5 – loneliness
day 6 – check your escalator
day 7 – the awesome nature of freedom
day 8 – believing impossible things
day 9 – some people are more equal than others
day 10 – the lusts that drive us
day 11 – different strokes for different folks
day 12 – crap-detecting
day 13 – a simple notion of being good
day 14 – no man is an island
day 15 – ready to go
day 16 – what is love?
day 17 – searchers
day 18 – the best things in the worst times
day 19 – finding meaning under any circumstances
day 20 – the therapy of breadbaking
day 21 – you can’t go home again
day 22 – lip-smacking, exuberant delight
day 23 – facing your mortality
day 24 – single-minded not narrow-minded
day 25 – euphoric euthanasia
day 26 – there is hope in a burp
day 27 – dealing with the absurd
day 28 – new ways of seeing
day 29 – strangers and sojourners
day 30 – the human being awaits his besieger
day 31 – the great roles are prosaic
day 32 – unfreakability: the art of quieting the mind
day 33 – giving and receiving
day 34 – growing old gracefully
day 35 – the compassionate beast
day 36 – the will of god
day 37 – the wonder of grace
day 38 – the struggle for security knows no seasons
day 39 – wrestling through to god
day 40 – on keeping on keeping on

The Sundays in Lent

day 41 – the process of taming (First Sunday in Lent)
day 42 – the salt of the earth, not the honey of the hill (Second Sunday in Lent)
day 43 – there is no separation (Third Sunday in Lent)
day 44 – mysterium tremendum (Fourth Sunday in Lent)
day 45 – don’t neglect the blood (Passion Sunday)
day 46 – choosing means renouncing (Palm Sunday)
day 47 – the miracle of metamorphosis (Easter Sunday)

Substitute Days

day 48 – the denizens of the night
day 49 – when you can’t find the tiger
day 50 – beyond astonishment