And Christmas comes once more…

person holding flashlight in road

Photo by Simon Migaj

 

The crave for connection… As we approach the advent of the first coming of Christ I am reminded that in my sixty three years of life I have never observed a more isolated society even though communication avenues are more brilliant than ever. I love that we share the love of our families on Facebook as this is the most critical form of connection in the human race…though all of us cannot connect with blood family we still have a longing to belong.
There is much data out there now regarding anxiety and shame. I believe that most of us are still very uncomfortable with these very two unraveling entities. Shame unravels the deepest level of our ability to “connect” to anyone and Vulnerability, which causes anxiety,  comes with the extremely high RISK of being wounded. Connecting with another human being is that level that gives life meaning. To tell the true story of your whole heart tells who you are. Most of us guard that story due to past failures to be understood or to find ourselves left like a wounded soldier bleeding on the battlefield…while this may sound somewhat depressing I do not believe this is true…I have lived my life both ways. One, guarded from any and all who might hurt me or think me strange (which no doubt I am strange. Hal) On the other hand I have chosen to take the Vulnerable life path in my latter years and here is why…The most vulnerable person I have the deepest relationship with is Jesus Christ. He chose to be vulnerable in the hopes that those who believe in his sacrifice will always have Hope and Life…deep inside of us we all long for these two things above all else in my opinion… when I reflect on the Courage it takes to deny “shame” and embrace “vulnerability” it is mind boggling…I have messed up innumerable times attempting these two actions of life. The result is it leaves me victorious, humble, and often times “wounded” and at risk for “injury” deep down in my soul but oh my how WORTH it the victories, failures, and wounds have been! As I approach 64 years the end of the month I must say yes I have regrets and there are things I would do differently now but I do not regret one single day that God has allowed me to breathe the breath of an abundant life and to embrace the sweaty, difficult, messy parts as well as the fragrance of a rose or a daffodil in the Spring, the salty sea of Summertime, the woodsmoke smell of Fall, and the biting cold of Winter over and over again…
My Christmas wish is that I would continue to tell the story of my whole heart and that each of you would share yours too. It is the reason for those of us who believe in the Holy Birth of Jesus continue steady on…

Where Charity stands watching
And Faith holds wide the door,
The dark night wakes, the glory breaks,
And Christmas comes once more.

In the Middle of this Young Girl’s Dream

action background blur bottles

Photo by Pixabay

 

I want to stay next time

Don’t wake me up from my young girl’s dream

It is a place that I love and call home

This dream carries me in my older days

a special place where my soul has flown

 

In the middle of this young girl’s dream

all the ones I love never have to leave and

sometimes when the world is unkind

There is only Joy like the Sun’s glow

It warms my hands and soul as I am growing  old

 

 

 

 

There is something here I cannot see…

red moon during night time

Photo by Pedro Figueras on Pexels.com

 

It is viscous and yet flows,  it is the mystery of living

If it seeps from your body you die in less than five minutes

If it feeds a malignancy in your body the disease thrives

Blood shed is the first act of Redemption

Yet man wars on spilling blood in spite of Redemption

The power of the blood shed for sin

The tragedy of innocent  blood shed by acts of sin

There is something here that cannot be seen

But the blood is literal and alive

We humans are all related by blood

but we can only be Resurrected by His blood

 

 

 

 

Magen veLo Yera’e (Defender that shall not be seen.)

switched beige table lamp

Photo by 祝 鹤槐

Like silver liquid the moonlight poured over my head spilling down my back renewing my eyes and my mind…

I had stepped outside the hospital to get a breath of fresh air. It had been a long shift and my body, mind, and spirit had grown weary…

As often happens to nurses, I often received words, tokens and notes of thanks and appreciation throughout my career from patients and families, and each one is so very meaningful…

Loss is hopefully made a bit more endurable by compassion and kindness. It is perhaps the truest calling of a nurse, for inside of me lives “Magen veLo Yera’e” which in Hebrew means “Defender that shall not be seen.” Of course, that Defender is not me but the Spirit of Jesus abiding in me. For there is no one good but God as Jesus said, so I know it isn’t me doing it, but I digress…

As I look back over the past forty years my memory runs to the many wonderful people, I have had the privilege to care for and their families. For some there is a reluctance to embrace the future and losing meaning of the past. For some they linger in the pre-dawn haze digesting an outcome they perhaps always knew was coming.

The greatest gift these people have given me is the privilege and opportunity to see that God’s design of our longing to live is not a fragile thing. It is in fact the very strongest thing about us. Yes, our physical bodies wear out with time or disease. Ah, but the soul, the spirit of a person, it fights for life! We were designed for life not death and that is why the “Unseen One who defends us” is the Holy Spirit who lives within those who believe.

Jesus told his follower that He would send us the exact essence of himself in the person of the Holy Spirit to comfort us, to guide, and teach us about Him. It is the transforming phase of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus that He sent us the Holy Spirit, who is unseen but defends us all the way into eternal life.

This is one of the many gifts that nursing has been to me for I have seen, I have witnessed the presence of the Magen veLo Yera’e. He is faithful. He is comfort. He is Peace. He is Jesus the Christ, the presence of the Holy God himself. Jesus is the gift of eternal life and the forever Defender of our Faith and there is a day coming for each of us when we will see Him face to face and we will know Him in Spirit and in Truth. So, when the night is long and dark and grief comes and hope seems so silent I remember the “thank you” from my patients, other human beings just like me with whom I am allowed to care for, hold a hand, say a prayer, shed a tear, and talk of our loved ones we will miss and already miss. Oh yes, there is much physical  technical data in taking of lab work, blood pressures, procedures, surgeries, and various myriads of daily physical care. But the expressions of “thank you” and the bittersweet outcomes are more than a gift.  I have been gifted with the precious sight of a Child of God being carried home in the arms of the Magen veLo Yera’e, the unseen shield, the Holy Defender of God’s precious people.

Seven months ago, my own Mother who was not acutely ill but was called home from this body while all alone was in fact not alone at all,  the unseen defender was present to the very end.
In this season of giving gifts I am like the little drummer boy…I have no gift to bring before my King but the thanksgiving of letting me know some of His children in this intimate way and being an eye witness to the presence of Magen veLo Yera’e, The unseen miraculous presence of The Holy.
So, you see there is much more to our Christmas celebration of the Jesus Child for with Him he brought all we need for life and godliness.

Truth, like the wind, slips through the smallest cracks

abandoned ancient antique architecture

Photo by Pixabay 

 

Truth,  like the wind, slips through the smallest cracks

invading the rules of order

Truth seeps through the cloistered religious dust

annihilating that which splits us asunder

Rumour and counter rumour that Grace is truly free

 

The darkness of the lie gives way to Hope

Challenging clear-cut rules that divides

Our Salvation is clearly ours to receive

Showing  us the way to the path of brilliant  light

 

Human Poetry

group of people standing indoors

Photo by fauxels

 

If I could capture the bones and skeletons of words

And turn them into poetry and art!

To share skin on skin  one human to another

And release the shackles of a beating heart!

 

My poem would implore us to sing out loud

To praise our God and reach out for one another!

Let us no longer hide our fears in silence

Let our wounds be healed in the balm of His presence!

 

Oh bones and skeletons and skin and hearts

These are the parts of beloved lives lived!

May these words on paper help someone believe

There is someone else out there who knows and sees!

 

It began to astound me (the good confession)

photo of person on bridge

Photo by Andy Vu

 

It began to astound me, I cry out, oh God help!

Truth has become a catch phrase of Hell!

Man has his face in the gutter with his booze!

Woman is killing herself for the fountain of youth!

Children with no interest in conversation or humanity!

Babies without voices filling up the heavens!

Churches re-phrasing God’s word to suit their situation!

Politician ‘s rumors and counter rumors spew!

Evil’s darkness lies in wait for a chance to consume!

The one in the shackles is the only one free in the room!

It begin to astound me that I must always agree with you

Or be outcast as a biggot or hatemonger or shrew!

 

So I will trust in the purity and promises of God

Who is good and loving in all his ways!

I will search the horizon  both morning and night

for that final wave to break upon the shore

when there will be no dying or crying anymore!

For it is a fool who says there is no God!

Yet I am astounded even more at His ever lasting love!

His mercies are new every morning!

I count each day to  be the day of His glory!

May this be the time my faith will be sight!

Was there ever a more astounding  day to  ponder!

 

 “…but you, oh child of God flee these things and pursue godliness, faith, love patience, gentleness. Fight the Good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were called and have confessed…”  1 Timothy 6:11