Daily there are new hits.
The death toll rising and no place to sit,
at the table of commerce there is hunger and doubt.
Some will be let in but so many left out.
So a new reality is here.
In whom will I trust and whom will I fear?
Will people be kind and help s to the bleeding?
My country is dying and my soul is grieving.
Decency and kindness are being crucified!
No one tells the truth, the media is all lies!
My soul is crying in the long dark night!
Deliver us oh God with your Holy light!
Never let it be said of this patriot here,
that she ever gave up her country so dear!
Let her be remembered as a woman who prayed,
“In God we trust until the end of days!”
Photo by Ir Solyanaya
There were many who could accuse her, she knew it was the law.
The very men who used her now want to see her stoned.
She remembers how it started, so hungry and alone.
She rode the tide of shame and commerce, with nowhere else to go.
She heard about the Holy man healing all the sick.
They said he spoke of God’s love for all, even those who have no hope.
So now she stood before Him and prepared herself to die.
He then wrote something in the dirt and gazed up into her eyes
And said, “no man here can accuse you and neither do I.”
Oh the washing of her soul a deluge fell that holy day,
and she followed Him from that time on, He is The Truth, The Life, The Way!
Photo by Eternal Happiness
As I lay down my head in week six of this catastrophe I just want to say if you can fall asleep but not stay asleep that is okay. If a myriad of emotions and logic are surfing on your brain waves it’s ok. If you fall asleep and wake on a couch or a child’s room it’s ok. If you are praying more it’s ok. If you cannot find the words to pray it’s okay. If you are a conqueror one minute and not so brave the next minute it’s ok. If there are a hundred thoughts and feelings lying under the five you speak it’s ok. If you mourn for the dead and grieve for our globe it’s ok. These are where the avenues of grief and change and loss take us. It is ok. If you are active in politico or have turned all media completely off it’s okay. For it is not strength to pretend you are thriving in uncertainty and that you struggle with doubt and fear. It is in our weaknesses and doubts that God comes near. He is not limited not tethered to a cosmic heavenly throne. He is right here with us in our fragility and we are not alone. Jesus knows every cell of human bondage. He knows of courage being one heartbeat away from fear. Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us and He is with us now. So rest your weary head in his comfort when you can. I have seen His beauty and have tasted His goodness and it is a healing balm. Lay down your head and rest my friends for tomorrow we will try again. There is victory in His power over things we can’t understand. I have seen His Salvation in life and in death and He has never forgotten not one of His own since before the foundation of the world. Shalom tonight dear world. As for me I have tasted and have seen the goodness of the Lord and He is more than we can fathom and so if today you fell apart it’s okay because He never will…
Photo by João
The sun has slanted across the sky
thoughts scroll through my mind then fly
That precise sliver in time
The see-saw is tipping to the down side
I slam and am jolted by the sand in my eyes
Suddenly a week seems like a lifetime
I know I never really controlled my world
The lie in my head where I thought I was safe
but being found in Christ I am not forsaken.
Photo by Engin Akyurt
As if at forced shutter speed all life now is slow motion.
A stealthy enemy invades War Rooms with limited detection.
At what price can we buy peace of mind and human devotion?
This peripatetic killer cares not for education or station
and will only be stopped by God’s love of our Nation.
I am still right here my neighbor.
I will pray through this long dark night with you.
Let us lift up our pleas to the One who heals.
Let us be the ones called courageous and true.
I will, I will fight in my War Room for you.
Jolted from my Daydream deluged by the sudden high tide,
I slammed into rapid -fire streams of doubt and fear inside.
Memories, like clouds hide the light, wreathed in glass beads of blue.
I swallow all my viscous dread and put my faith and trust in you.
Photo by Kony Xyzx
She has been hiding here for almost three days…she is basically lying in a sewer. The smell and wetness don’t affect her anymore. To get the shot she must not move. The target is hiding out in a bombed out building. She didn’t eat, barely sipped enough water to stay alive and wore basically a diaper for urine. She has had very little solid food in her so her bowels did not move…she stayed hydrated and that is key but if the shot took much longer she would inevitably grow weaker. One time she stayed in a position for six days…recovery was rough. She would need intravenous fluids after this and a push of vitamins and electrolytes as well but she knew her body and she knew her window of time and the clock was running.
She is well camouflaged by a versatile cape that also provided some protection from rain and dampness. Her small frame is every inch muscle. She is tall and lean. Her rifle is wrapped in strips of burlap and tied down with yarn to ensure no reflection from the sun. To be a good sniper you simply must have common sense. It is a matter of fact. What is the distance to the target? How will gravity influence the bullet across its travel distance? What are the wind conditions? Is the target moving? Is the target getting too comfortable with his hiding place and becoming less vigilant? If the target is moving, how fast is his speed? Most people believe being a good sniper is all about control and having the best rifle but she begged to differ. She believed it all came down to what she believed about herself, about what she knows she is capable of, and what she is willing to do to get “the shot” the first time. She does “know” her rifle intimately however. It is like a part of her body. She knows the rifles scope like she knows her husband. She is precise about everything. Being the best sniper involves making decisions in the split of a millisecond and knowing it is the right decision without question. She is able to slow her mind. She thinks “I am one with this sewer, I am sound. By the time you hear it and try to process it, it’s too late because I am already gone.”
Yes she is a woman. She is a soldier. She is a Special Forces soldier. She is here to serve her country. She does not worry about PTSD or being raped by anyone. Those are the only subjects most of the world like to talk about when it comes to women in the military. She has never been disrespected by male soldiers and she has never disrespected a male soldier. Her calling is to be the best soldier she can be and she is a good one. She is an even better sniper. She will not hesitate to kill the enemy. She does not count her kills but she has never regretted even one of them. She has saved the lives of hundreds of soldiers by doing her job and being the best. She is a daughter, sister, wife, and mother. She is a woman. She is brave and she is one of the elite in her field. She is part of a controversy, not by her choice, in America regarding women in the military but she will carry on because her country needs her. She is paving the way for other smart determined women soldiers. She has counted the cost and is willing to pay the cost. She is an American hero…ahhh, here is the moment, the millisecond has arrived, and she takes the shot…it is done.
Photo by Alex Fu
Even in the darkness I cannot hide from you…
When my fear whispers that I will not be able to cope
that I will never make it out of this hole…
Faith tells me my Father knows what I need
The Father who keeps filling me with his strength
and just in time He supplies all the Holy Light
that I need to battle through this dark night…
I raise my head from my prayer and I see Jesus kneeling there
The Light of the world has prevailed and no earthly power can keep me from His care…
I remember that sweet lavender dawn
you looked at me across the room
you were thinking I was still that little girl
who cried over all the pain and gloom
Ah yes that sweet little girl is still here
but she is not afraid and her heart is free
By God’s grace she has grown into a woman
and can face each path with eyes that clearly see…
We have traveled far, that little girl and I
We have danced and died, laughed and cried
We have known romance and reality
We remember and forget, we dream and sigh…
I love that little girl and the woman she became
she could always spot a faker and call a spade a spade
She is me and I am she woven and spun by God
We travel well together upon this earthly sod…
You said I had become a grown up girl
and what you say is true
This grown up girl is a woman now
and has no need of you…
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.