“The human affair requires a miraculous solution…” (my nursing memories)

 

abandoned architecture auschwitz auschwitz concentration camp

Photo by Pixabay

She said, “the “human affair” requires a miraculous solution.  She shared how her mind would grow wings and soar in the great blue beyond. That is how she knew she was different…her mind would discover life’s secrets as it dipped and glided on the winds and over the Milky Way.  She said “I just never knew that most people did not seem to care to go where their mind would take them if they let it…”

She knew in order to please others her mind must stay tethered to her body but it seldom obeyed itself in this endeavor. She said,  “when people judged her she simply put them away like old worn out shoes because they could not help that they were worn out and would most likely never be able to take wings and fly with her.  It is a choice we each must make.  Most people think it childish to soar above the Milky Way or ride upon a raindrop.”  She said her fondest memory was when she made snow angels in her own snow globe because Winter was her favorite season and she like to remember the angels…

She spent two years in a German concentration camp when she was eighteen years old and she never saw her family again. She would watch the birds fly overhead mingling with the ashes of the dead and let her mind  go with the birds so that she would not become the ashes. Many years after the war she came to America and stayed with a distant Aunt who had also survived. She was put through many psychiatric test and told she was what we now call Bipolar but she never believed the doctors. She wrote beautiful poetry that lifted people up among the hopelessness of the aftermath of such a devastating time in human history. She had a tattoo on her arm and a limp due to a hip fracture she received in a beating in the camp because she did not stand up fast enough for one of the guards.

One evening as I was preparing her for bed I asked her if she believed in God. She looked at me without speaking for a minute or two and then she said with her chocolate brown eyes glimmering with tears, “who do you think let my mind grow wings and soar and still does? Who do you think slept by me every night in that camp and protected me from rape and disease and starvation? Who do you think I rode to the Milky Way with?”

“Oh child, she whispered, our God is bigger than all the evil, the most heinous deed man can dream up.”  As she lay her head upon her pillow and I tucked her in for the night she said calmly, “tomorrow I will be going beyond and will never be tethered to this old body again and when I go please don’t let anyone try to bring me back. I have waited long enough to meet my poet. It is God who writes the poetry of our lives and no one can take that away from you.”

I turned out the overhead light of her hospital room and I walked out into the night air and I stared up at the Milky Way and I cried. I cried and smiled at the same time. I knew I had been given a great gift. I would never forget that the “human affair” requires a miraculous solution and The Holy God is the poet of that solution. 

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
    Or where shall I flee from your presence?
 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
 If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.
 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light about me be night,”
 even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light with you.

Psalm 139: 7-12

 

 

 

 

Unencumbered by manipulation…

grayscale photo of the crucifix

Photo by Alem Sánchez

As I prepare my heart during Lent season heading toward the Holy day of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ I keep coming back to the thought of The One in whom I put my trust.

All of us “trust” something or someone, as as a result, we worship the very thing we are trusting.

Dr. Hud McWilliams says, “for a relationship to be authentic, one must realize that a choice has to be unencumbered by manipulation.” (no fear, no rules, and no behavior that merits you favor). “

Looking back on my youth I have come to realize many of my relationships had an element of manipulation or my own agenda in them but now I see that Jesus never manipulated people to engage with or follow him.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:2

God gives us the ability to openly choose Him through Jesus Christ.  No manipulation, no winning a lotto, no position of prosperity or health. So, I remain humbly astounded that my relationship with God can be truly free and without manipulation…

Exposure

art blur close up colors

Photo by Garon Piceli

I lie down under the burden

      of the courage that I lack

For you to see the sin in me 

      cannot be taken back

It is my greatest fear at times

      you might finally know

The dark and filth I tasted once

      I never want to show

Exposure of who I really am

     could it drive your love away?

After all you’re only human      

     dare I hope that you would stay?

The truth of exposure that I fear

     is a mystery not of loss

But a debt that is fully paid

    willingly hung upon a Cross

The girl on the side street…

astronomy dark dawn dusk

Photo by Matheus Bertelli

Once I was the girl on the side street flashing in and out of the dark. I was taught a role to play for the well being of my family and for my Dad’s livelihood.  I played it well. Such a mix of tender family moments peppered with the fear that maybe Jesus didn’t really come for me…

…now the ocean’s wind catches each regret, each sin, and sorrow throwing it into the eternity of a perfect God to be forever forgotten.  In the light of the moon a young woman, who thought the stars would stop shining above her found the Maker of the stars and the freedom and love and the lullaby when He sang a Holy song baptizing over her in waves. So now I am drifting, sailing and it was you who came for me.

On that day when the sun tipped over the edge of the earth and spilled colors like buckets of orange, pink, and violet as a reminder of the power of Holy light. The young woman once ravaged and scarred by guilt and shame found joy in the warmth of The Son. Lifted from the darkness you came for me.  You hold me in your arms and by your own wounds, scars, and stripes you heal me. The girl on the side street finally came home…

All her colors run together on the floor

beautiful calm clouds dark

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

All her colors run together on the floor…

she has been here so many times before

She is sure this time they will stone her

Condemnation beats in her heart and her soul is torn…

 

His gentle words were more than she had hoped for…

He bent down in the dirt and wrote a word

He spoke gently lifting her face to see Heaven

“No one here can condemn you anymore…”

 

All the colors of New life swirled around her at once

Blood red drops in the dirt became white as snow

the blue of the sky filled with angels singing “gloria! ”

He said, ” your sins are forgiven now you are whole… “

I’m not far from that girl

jill

1975

She is still keen on being loved for who she is inside

Her gray – blue eyes can still cut through a room looking for true hearts

and she still feels poetry in music and loves a Rocky Mountain high…

 

I’ll raise a silver chalice to the girl I was in my youth

She is always  with me never far from where I am

and she loves the life she is given walking strongly in the Truth…

 

Her thoughts still flow on paper and she still gazes  at the stars

A few times we have both flown too close to the Sun

I am older now and wiser and that girl is never far…

My Beating Heart

i hate nothing about you with red heart light

Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

 

At times my heart is like a quivering bird in this cage of Flesh and bone

I know it will not withstand such a relentless seige

 

At times my heart is like a big bass drum

I know it will strike strong with the rhythm and the beat!

 

It feels as if I am dying and I cannot stay the course

Then it feels as if I am a warrior crying out “all is victorious!”

 

Some say this is a fickle heart but I know this is not true

For I know this heart in me comes from the heart in you!

 

 

 

In a culture that worships a false normal of beauty and worth…

photo of night sky with stars

Photo by Bryan Schneider

“Some of the greatest lies you will ever believe are told by your own eyes.”  Says the  writer Preston Sprinkle

We have been talking about this issue in American culture for the last twenty-five years and I don’t see much change in the message. Even in the age of reality TV shows like “the Voice” while the auditions are blind so that a judge cannot pick the contestant on any merit other than their voice we find that if they make it past the blind auditions they are quickly given a Hollywood stylist and their clothes, make-up, and hair are tweaked here and there and by the time the contest is over for that season the person is “acceptably attractive.” Even as far back as Carrie Underwood winning American Idol or Kelly Clarkson…if you go back and look at them you can see they were “made” more acceptable.

With God, your image, yours and mine, we are acceptable just as we are but I cannot for the life of me understand why we cannot get past these stereotypes of how one should look, and dress, and even age…

As a believer in God, Jesus Christ and the Bible I have no problem believing that God is omnipotent, omnipresent, all-knowing, all-seeing, creator of ninety trillion million stars, the ocean, the tide, the sun, the earth…(You get the picture). Nobody tells God what he can or cannot do.

I have a harder time believing that this same transcendent Holy God would reach down to his earth and rescue his human race which makes him also an intimate God. A God who desires relationship with the people he created, with me and you. He isn’t playing a game of cosmic chess with us. He doesn’t love us begrudgingly yet most of us have a difficult time believing that same huge God who we believe created us and everything around us truly cares about us. That he delights in us. That he thinks of us more often than there are grains of sand? That he can’t wait for me to come talk and walk with him? That I am more beautiful than any sunset or sunrise could ever be? That he wants to be my friend and even more astonishing that He trusts me? That he never gives up on me just like the father in the story of the prodigal son He never stops looking out to the horizon to see if I am coming home after making a mess of everything in my life! He loves to hear my joy of laughter or singing. He is patient and kind and slow to anger. He loves my face and my body. He loves me!

It is an endless dance of performances and masks that I grow so very weary of. Are you weary? I cannot sustain what I think that you think I need to look like to be acceptable. This is the burden of societal shame. 

So, I must not let my own eyes deceive me in commercial ads, in billboard ads, in Playboy, in movies, in T.V.

I work with young women. Eating disorders, body image, and anxiety is at an all time high in this country. It is a fact. They believe they must be thin, quiet, and good all the time. They believe they are ugly and not made by God and in His image at all. What a toll it has taken on our people.

God sees his children as beautiful. He sees each race as beautiful. His redemption of his children cannot be thwarted by any scheme of Evil or of man. So, I choose to look at myself through the eyes of my Father God who created me. I choose to look into his eyes and see myself as his beloved daughter. A daughter of beauty in every way and that He came down from heaven and redeemed me with his Grace and lets me walk with him daily and talk with him freely and never feel that I am ugly or unworthy of his love and blessings.

My spirituality, my beauty, my worth is upheld by God’s stubborn Grace and deep enjoyment of me.  It is  God whom I reflect and even if my eyes lie to me a thousand times it does not change the Truth one bit. I am precious, beloved, and I do belong to Him. I am beautiful…

I want my daughters and their sons and daughters to know they are more than even their own eyes tell them they are.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity into our human hearts; no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes  3:11

The Devil Came to Cuba

 

antique automobile automotive car

Photo by Pixabay

Blue crystal deepest ocean

Hot sun high in the sky

The devil came to Cuba

Had to run or die

 

You came seeking refuge

The way so unclear

Fighting hard for freedom

You let me see the years

 

We are old and wise now

We cannot count the “ifs”

I still hear your Latin song

And taste Cuba on my lips

Hard paths, strong shoes…

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She was pulled into the boxcar with a burning jerk to her arms with dogs barking from behind. She could not think a straight thought in her head so she must be losing her mind.

Just a day ago she was laughing  and dancing and playing in the sun. The evening brought screaming and raping now her parents are gone.

Suddenly jostled from a dream where she was safe and warm. The dead dark of night brought more cries of agony raining down like a storm.

Now she is ordered to walk into the woods and not speak to anyone. She focuses her eyes on her old sturdy shoes the tops of them all covered in blood and urine.

She can hear her Father’s voice so gentle and kind.  Reminding her not to fear the hard path for God is on her side.

“He will not ever leave you nor forsake you nor will he disregard your state.  He provides you with strong shoes to walk the hard path.”