Coffee and antiseptic is the smell of the hospital to me. That smell is as familiar as coming home and while I know for many people this odd combination of fragrance carries a myriad of meanings and feelings.
What began as a life long journey for this twenty-two year old woman of such an innocence has in the last forty years become one of the most essential teachers of Wisdom on my road map of life.
Forty years ago I was young and new at Loss. Not a master of loss as I am now…
I learned that while “science/medicine/technology” gives a perception of control it simply cannot ultimately answer the deep questions of life. Science can achieve many wondrous feats but it is powerless in its outcome alone.
Once you see a patient’s eye shine with gratitude or you hold a total stranger in your arms as their life tumbles down around them one of two things will happen. Either your heart will break (which is okay and mine often has) or your blood will cringe and you will not be able to stay.
In the halls, rooms, and waiting rooms of this place that smells like coffee and antiseptic I have learned that as driven as we are to present our lives as if full and orderly the soul of a human and the meaning of life cannot be answered by mere science and knowledge.
The stuff life is made of goes on outside of these walls…Normal stuff…pushing your baby on a swing…normal stuff…listening to your clothes dryer hum all night long because you never get all the laundry done…on and on this list could go…normal stuff.
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 John 5:13
Sun flowers turn their face toward the sun everyday of summer…
The ocean is pulled and pushed by the tide without missing a beat…
With each succeeding step I take in this slow dance I see less brambles and thorns and more rich colored roses…
I see bright green leaves of trees and the glorious redness of an apple…
The high meadow mountain where the four rivers flow is getting closer and closer…
The lushness of Eden beckons and sings with the swaying pines…
The scent of jasmine and wisteria mingle through the air…
There is a warm wind that brings the warmth of summer yet I can see the harvest of fall and the daffodils and green of spring all at the same time…
The song of the rivers sing a Holy melody and I dance slowly on…
And oh such music, I can hear it so clearly in the laughter of children and the cries of the hurting…
Each step of this slow dance feels exactly right and I know I am dancing home…
I truly love my daughter’s generation (thirty somethings), well I don’t love all of their music (I can’t believe I am my parents)…I have enormous respect for their mantra…”I don’t have all the answers and neither do you.” I love how they can smell a “fake of any kind” within seconds! They live in a culture that isn’t buying into Christian consumerism, they are not for sale. They do not want to be entertained at Church (God knows there is enough entertainment in social media). They want to know God, experience His real presence and find worship in their own hearts that is not manufactured for one day a week on a stage. I just love that! I will say it absolutely terrifies me as well. The shift in our world to “postmodernism” makes me feel like I am floating in slow motion in water through a world I recognized but it is slipping away. Part of this exhilarates me and part of it so uncomfortable that my heart races, I am anxious, and will wake in the middle of the night and pray. I pray that they won’t throw the baby out with the bath water in some kind of reverse Dogma.
This tension is a must in the relationships of life. The relationship with the God who made us right down to the people who love us for better or worse. The thing is Jesus and “tension” go hand in hand. If we study his life we will see that His “absolutes” were few but man were they TENSE! So simple yet so “in your face”…”hear the word of the Father and do it and love others and forgive everyone else”…are you kidding me?
God intensely loves my children’s generation. No one wants more for our kids than God does! I believe that. For me it is evident in the women my girls have become in spite of me. Their grace and graciousness continue to astound me.
So when I feel alien in a postmodern world I look at them. At the Jesus in them and I take a deep breath and I know that Jesus made a way for every generation to find Him, to come to Him, and that through Him they will find the presence of God’s peace. So when I am not panicking or praying I am cheering them on with all my heart, my love, and my being to “press on” to love Jesus, love others and forgive all.
You were fascinated by my turnings
Women chatter in the market place
I’ve now gone further than your worries
See the lines upon my face?
I need solitude to write I said
I’m lacking the academic brain
It’s so hard not to steal the moments
before they fly off into space.
I speak your promises back to you oh God
Reversing Thunder by your Holy Word!
There is no other Truth to stand on
this sums up all I’ve learned!
The summer sun is baking the side walks and streets.
The Texas horizon looks like a melting mirage.
Summer solstice has arrived and a few things never change.
Even in the shade it is one hundred degrees.
My grandson has begun his love affair with the sprinkler and popsicles.
In his backyard with his parents.
And wonderful cool sheets for his afternoon nap.
And all is right with my world today and I am grateful.
She opened the door, called out his name
he lie there dead, a needle in his vein…
the devils’ been round, staking his old claim
now nothing is ever gonna be the same…
oh God we try to make it right
deliver us from evil, deliver us from night
it seems there is nothing good
nothing that remains…
another child dead
another sad song
one try of heroin
another child gone…
Psalms 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.
The Judas friend, we each know one
So sweet to the face, so easily won
the Judas friend, we’ve each been one
for thirty pieces of silver
the sweet ties of friendship torn…
Yet never a day “twas recorded
when “saving Judas” was done
so reflect on this while you journey
when upon your Judas you come…
a handsome rouge
I bought his candy rhyme
he said, “ooh baby we’ll be together for all time…
a gypsy rogue roams
he wanders far and wide
he always says he loves me, he loves to drink my wine…
dark wee hours bring despair
when I awake and he’s not there
a gypsy man cannot be true
he’s the same man I just saw dancing with you…
Side bar, just a short one I promise… (This sounds like theology 101 but fear not…it is not boring! It is absolutely fabulous for women.)
- In the recorded life of Jesus we can clearly see that he never assumes there are rules in following Him designed for women only. Jesus treated women as unique individuals. Nowhere does he condescend to flatter women, he rather demands as much from them as from men.
You have been anointed by the Holy One and you know the Truth. 1 John 2:20
Jesus’ approach to women is revolutionary considering the cultural norm of his day. When we hear the “Woman at the Well” story in the traditional exegesis, so much is made of the fact that this woman had multiple marriages and is in quite a predicament of living with a man, even as she speaks to Jesus, who is not her husband. Not only is that issue not the focus of this conversation with Christ but he actually gives her an apostolic role: Once she believes and is made a follower of Christ (disciple) she call others as Jesus called the twelve. She says “come and see” and others believed “because of her word.”
I love this declaration of Jesus’ first “evangelist move.” It clearly frees us of any cultural or theological hang up that women are NOT messengers of “The Kingdom of Heaven” that Jesus came to establish.
“Exposure to Jesus and His Kingdom are not related at all to being male or female. The Gospel of Jesus is about receiving the testimony of the Spirit and embracing the hope of the gospel.” Don’t you just love that? (1 Corinthians 2:14)