By: Ted Camp, Silent Word Ministries
I had the privilege to visit Hannibal, Missouri, the place where Mark Twain wrote the story of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. There, I learned that his real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemons. The name Mark Twain came from his days on the river. It was a practice for someone to stand on the front of the boat and drop a weight into the water for depth. He would call out “twain” when he touched bottom then “mark.” “Twain” meant the water was two fathoms or 12 feet deep. Thus came his name Mark Twain.
I have always enjoyed Huckleberry Finn. I guess it is also because I played Huck Finn, when I was a young man at Dade County High School. It was not because of my talent, but I think I was the only red headed Huck Finn in my class. In studying the life of Mark Twain he was famous for his worldly wisdom, wit and remarks. He made a statement that I use much in my ministry, “A smile can be understood in any language.”
He was considered as one of the greatest humorist in America literature. He helped others to smile, but he personally had a sad life. He blamed himself for his younger brother’s death in a steamboat accident, and for the death of his only son, who died from diphtheria at 19 months. He grieved bitterly over the deaths of two of his daughters.
But instead of turning to God, Mark Twain became bitter and pessimistic. When he died at 74, he was alone, unhappy, and hopeless. His success as a writer seemed to only increased his misery and sense of loss. Mark Twain’s life illustrates the folly of a person living without God. He had an emptiness within that could not be satisfied with his money or fame.
Reader, take notice, God has made you with an emptiness that only He can fill. Only God can fill the emptiness within you. “For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness” (Psalm 107:9).
Only God can give you peace of heart and mind. “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). God can fill your emptiness with His peace. There is no substitute for the peace of God. Know God - know peace ... no God - no peace.
These are Words of Wisdom.
Ted Camp is director of Silent Word Ministries, a worldwide ministry to the deaf based in Trenton. E-mail him at TC@silentword.org to be added to the email list for weekly articles or phone (706) 657-8000.