That face…

silhouette of person s hand touching water during sunset

Photo by Emre Kuzu

His face sparkled like a multi-faceted diamond. A face that blazed like the sun yet different. A pure white light with flashes of blue, silver, and gold. It hurt my eyes so badly to look at Him but I could not, would not turn my face away. I did not care if I went blind. This face is the One I’d been waiting to see all of my life. His face was all I could look at as if in a trance; like when starting a fire in the Old World. Mesmerizing doesn’t begin to describe it. The blaze was so bright that I could not see anything of His other features at all.

On either side of Him stood two beings, they were a coll alabaster white, not bright white, not shining in any way but pure and cool looking. They each stood facing Him never moving their face from His. They did not speak. They were powerful creatures, I could tell, they were strong and sure of their purpose. They were creatures with a human face that I could recognize and at least seven feet tall and had wings that were about six feet tall and four feet in width. Each feather gently folded into the next. Once for just a second I saw their feathers slightly ruffle from top to bottom and could see these were strong wings. Wings that never faltered  when they flew or fought in a battle or stood at attention. I was afraid.

I was so afraid that my legs could no longer hold me. I was eager to kneel down. It felt good to kneel before Him because in the Old World with decaying knee joints I could no longer kneel in His presence. All the while my eyes were burning severely from His brightness. I felt strong in the kneeling as if I, like the two creatures, am created for this very thing.

Then the most incredible thing happened…He knelt down on His knees too and when He did it was the face I knew it would be. His face. The face of softness and kindness. The face of antiquity yet new and fresh. His eyes were not like our eyes. His eyes were not blue, brown, green, or hazel or gray or any of those colors…they were simply Light.

He took his hand and palmed my cheek and spoke to me. The words he spoke I will not share with anyone ever. They were words just between us. Words I had thirsted for since I was formed in my Mother’s womb by my Father’s sinful Adam’s seed. They were words beyond redeeming love, words of My Story with Him, of understanding with healing and further instruction of what is to come. They were words I had never heard spoken before, another language if you will. They were Peace and oh what joy did flood my soul.

At that moment the same blazing light that came from Him entered into me and my eyes no longer burned at all. My sight was inconceivably and brilliantly clear. I belonged there with Him…every “longing” I had ever known in my Eternal Life and even before in the Dead Life stood right there in front of me. Each one of them actually existed before my eyes and each one was finally satiated beyond measure. He smiled at me and pulled me up from my knees and that is when I felt the scars in His hands. Those beautiful wounded hands took mine and we walked among my life, my dreams. As He held my hand in His I knew I would never have to be separated from Him again.

He said, “let’s walk along the place you loved the most in the Old World.”

Gently without fanfare or fear I heard that beautiful love song of waves washing upon the shore. The smell of salt water and life teemed all around me. There was no stench of dead sea life or decay of any kind just the scent of cleanness. The colors of the water was too wonderful for words. Again, I want to keep this precious moment private…this was our beach, just His and mine. We stayed there and looked for shell and other jewels that were of a beauty and colors I have never seen. We waded into the water and even though it was Ocean water we could drink it and it tasted sweet beyond honey. We picked some living anemone flowers and held them and then put them back unscathed into the water. They swam around His feet as if to love on Him. Oh it is a glorious place We sat down in the sand as white and soft as a cloud and we held hands and rested…

 

 

A handful of words you say…

belief bible book business

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I am a writer. Writers love to read other writers. I can only speak for myself but I like to read to see if I can find that author who has written something I have never read before. I have always been an adroit reader and have read profound words but honestly they have been said before. I have read deeply meaningful stories but they have been told before because we know, according to The Preacher, that there is “nothing new under the sun.”

But what if, what if someone’s words drive a stake into the ground right where you are standing? Or what if someone’s story breaks the chains of your heart and your own story comes to life?

That is the treasure hunt for me. The words, the expressions, the Truth, and the lies…like looking for sea shells for hours and hours and days and days seeing each one as beautifully written. The broken shells, the beautifully colored ones, the plain ones, the big ones, the little ones…all treasures.
In the end of it all I still come back to the most profound words I have ever read and these words DO drive a stake into the earth where I am standing and they DO keep me grounded and rooted in the life I have been given. This author is the only One who has broken the chains of my heart and allowed my own story to come to life…

Just a handful of words you say…yea and what a handful of words they are!

“I am the light of the world. I am the bread of life. I am the Resurrection and the Life. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. I am the door of the sheep. I am the Good Shepherd. I am the True Vine. If you have seen Me then you have seen the Father. I am the Alpha and Omega. I am the Lamb that was slain. I go to prepare a place for you so that where I am you may be there also…”

“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

 

 

 

 

Observation in a Cafe…

portrait of young woman drinking coffee at home

Photo by Chevanon Photography

I suppose all writer’s like to sit and observe people. I am sure they must. I do this without even realizing it, even when I don’t want to.

I was sitting in a cafe yesterday for instance, in a nice part of North Dallas and four teenage girls came in…the following is what I observed and where my mind went…

The perfect girl, I will call her #1. She is tall. She has on designer shirt and shorts with the perfect little wedge shoes and subtle but elegant jewelry. Her hair is smooth and perfect and naturally deep auburn. Her sunglasses are effortlessly perched on top of her head. She is the Alpha Female, the leader, the talker. The others follow her but more importantly they trust her implicitly…

Girl #2 is so close to being an Alpha she has staked out being the #2 girl with authority. She is willing to follow the Alpha as long as the other two girls acknowledge that she is #2. She knows she isn’t as pretty or perfect but she is striking and smart, articulate and unafraid.

#3 is Happy. She is happy to be here. She is smiley and bubbly and very pretty without knowing it. She is easy going so she can never be an Alpha Female and she is okay with that. She knows her place and she knows she is just as smart and articulate as her friends but she knows “the art of waiting…”

#4 is the youngest in the pack. She is beautiful and smart but insecure. Her first words were “I didn’t wear my sunglasses.” She is afraid to step out and speak her mind yet because she is a little scared the others will make fun of her. For now, at this stage in her life, she is a follower but has every intention of overcoming her doubts and become the Alpha Female one day herself. She is the one who interacts the most with #1 because she is learning and soaking in observations. The teacher and the student…

I do not believe that women in the American culture have ever been taught or given the okay to move in packs or accept they are part of a marvelous tribe. Most of us bear the good and bad of life in a private place. We may have one friend or two we can tell most things too but it is rare that we would ever run a joint household as they did in the ancient days…The statement “it takes a village” is not true in the  America that I see. An American woman is expected to do it all and do it on her own and we all can see how well that has worked out.

I digress…so there they were, four girls, just eating, laughing, talking…they are probably nothing like what I observed…it is crazy right? I know.

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…

and then I can breathe…

 

air atmosphere blue blue sky

Photo by Skitterphoto

I suddenly wake and can’t see anything

I start throwing my fear around…

I  open the window

I look for the sun for any signs of the spring

and then I can breathe again

I can feel each Holy  breath…

 

I hear my babies laughing

I smell roses drifting on the breeze

Deep inside a sweet voice whispers

what have you to fear?

and then I can breathe

I can feel each Holy breath…

 

At night I gaze up into the heavens

I hear someone call my name

I laugh at the man in the moon

and peace comforts me again

and then I can breathe

I can feel each Holy breath

 

 

 

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

Swept Illusions

 

two brooms near fence and wall

Photo by Fabio Gasperoni 

Sunshine in my window I heard the screen door slam

The more I lose the more I win guess it’s just the way I am

Leaving the rain behind me living a brand new way

Taking the view I’m given being thankful every day

Swept the illusions all away cobweb’s about what is true

I cleaned out the hidden places guess that’s just what I had to do

Spring rains clears the skies I close my eyes to pray

There is still so much to know guess that’s just my way

Leaving the rain behind me living a brand new way

Taking the view I’m given thanking God every day

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…