“Death begins with bad feet…”

man wearing military uniform and walking through woods

Photo by Specna Arms

The older experienced soldier watched as twenty new young men were milling about the base. He knew they had no clue what they were in for. The Korean “police action” at the 38th parallel between South Korea supported by the  United Nations  (largely the United States of America) against North Korea supported by China and The Soviet Union. The older soldier was still recovering from the unexpected and brutal Battle at Naktong River. That is where his best buddy’s feet went bad. The wet boots along with pouring down rain never allowed much time for drying out. His buddy didn’t even try to get his feet dry and by the time the battle ended his feet were black. Three weeks later he was dead. The Koreans have a saying, “death begins with bad feet.”

My take away from this wisdom is that I have learned to pay attention to where my feet are walking on this journey of life. The small things. My feet get soggy with the cares of the material world of what people think of me. According to scripture we are in spiritual warfare as believers who follow Christ…

For the follower of Christ Jesus  we are taught to put on the armour of God for the daily warfare with an evil , fallen world. Part of that armour described in Ephesians 6 encourages us to Shod our feet with the Gospel, the Good News that the Savior of the world has come.

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation…Isaiah 52:7

 

Fiddler

wood music classic sound

Photo by Pixabay 

 

Part of me just won’t show  

what she needs or what she knows

The anger lies beneath the wind

the fury stirs it up again

 

What did I think would happen

what do I have to lose?

Turn my mourning into dancing

 I put on my high-heeled shoes

 

I can’t drown my sorrow

breathe through the smoky haze

I don’t want to work tomorrow 

but the Fiddler must be paid.

 

 

 

 

All the garbage and the pearls…

brown and green grass field during sunset

Photo by Jonathan Petersson

 

There is something Holy about the Sunrise

 I picture angels filling the heavens behind the Sun’s rays and even more angels among us on earth

All of them singing in worship to God each day

Like a daily Resurrection of His Glory evident to humans once again

I see the center of my own self

.All the garbage and the pearls

My heart opens up like a bleeding Rose cleansing me from within and once again The Holy brings peace out of chaos

I am reminded the well -designed small life I live is not by chance and this is a new day…

The Night Heron

grey heron reflection on body of water

Photo by Leigh Jeffreys

She said what she first noticed was that images were spinning around her frontal lobe like those old 1950 children’s lamp shade night lights. As the lamp would spin around different nursery rhyme stories would glow in the dark. This is what she noticed first.

These scenes of life from childhood to ancient-hood would spin in her mind but then she would immediately forget what she saw. She said it was tremendously frightening at first.

She said with in a few months the the children started coming more often. Telling her what she should do more often. She just smiled and ignored them and worked in her garden. She managed dozens and dozens of tulips and daffodils around her large home built with field stones.  A beautiful home that once was in a country meadow but with human progress was now in the middle of a large city neighborhood. She said she loved to prune the bulbs and separate them each year. She used her little garden mat for her creaky knees and wore the hat which was her Mother’s. She said her Mother bought the hat in China where her family were missionaries until the Communist kicked them all out of the country.  The hat was perfect for long days in the Texas summer and was constructed so well that it looked as good as new instead of forty years old.

I would drive by her house every day on my way to work or to the market and everyday she could be found in her garden. I often stopped to chat.

One day we were talking and she said, “you know children can never know their parents young. That is why it is so hard for them to understand them as adults. They have never seen me run a relay race like a gazelle or fight with my sister. They have never seen me with skinned knees and pigtails. They surely cannot picture me as a lovely teenage girl going on her first date much less enjoying a healthy sex life at least until they were born! I also think they have forgotten that their Father always brought me tulips and daffodils our wholes lives together.”

As fall approached I would see her out there tending the bulb garden with her head bent over and her knees on her mat. It gave me a sense of comfort I think.  Then, of course, that inevitable day came when I did not see her for a week or so but had been too busy to stop by. The next week I saw a for sale sign in the front yard and stopped.

I was surprised when a nurse aid let me in and I knew this must be a bad sign but she was actually looking quite spry. I noticed when she stood up that her back was a tiny bit bent like trees whey they finally wear the shape of the wind. We sat together in some worn but comfortable chintz chairs by the front window. The gray-blue light of winter slanted through the stillness. She said, “Death’s cruel pluck is coming.” She was right.

By spring she was gone. By summer the children sold her house and the lot behind it. The new construction destroyed every single tulip and daffodil. All the lot taken up by a McMansion. They didn’t tear down the beautiful stone house but to me tearing up the garden was the cruelest act. I wonder if the children had no idea what it meant to her. I wondered why they did not see the hours she labored and loved in that garden. I wondered a lot of things.

The last time I saw her she talked about how the night Heron with it’s silver soft plumage was the most beautiful in all the marsh. She said she that the Heron had been visiting her each evening in the shadows of dusk. She said she was stuck in a memory of growing up on the Bayou of Houston and couldn’t remember a lot of things about being an adult.  The last thing she said to me with a gentle smile on her face was, ” thanks for coming to visit me Mama. I will see you soon for good.”  I just smiled and told her goodbye and thanked her for the beautiful tulip and daffodil garden.  She waved and I was gone. She was gone too.

Every time I drive by the property I go through a run of emotion from anger at her children for what seems carelessness to realizing I am not their judge. I feel sad that the beautiful tulips and daffodils no longer dance there in the breeze. I remember her smile and think of the Night Heron. I picture her in heaven with her Chinese hat on bent down on her knees with her mat working in God’s garden.

You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of the aged, and you shall revere your God. Leviticus 19-32

 

Axe to the Tree

 

cut a tree fell a tree ax axe

Photo by Tookapic

when Life is not always

a merry Tale

or Thunder makes war

from east to west…

 

when Day leads to 

a comfortless Night

or Evil and danger bring

your Soul to unrest…

 

put an Axe to the Tree

of all things hidden

keep your Sword always drawn

and sharpened…

 

let the Fair and the Fresh

be your Dream

never forget the High King

of Heaven…

No Shadows can fall where there is only light

silhouette of person in green grass under the sun during daytime

Photo by Pixabay

 

Standing here under the brightest moon

I sense your presence like a cozy room

I feel your holy antiquity yet you make all things new

and now traveling North is true

 

 

I look over my shoulder at the past

and it is vanquished forever into long lost night

It never was what mattered to you at last

and no shadows can fall where there is only light

 

The Key Hole

antique close up door iron

Photo by Lukasz Dziegel

Peeping through the key hole in someone else’s dream

I thought I saw the answers to the meaning of deep things

There was no life-size rabbit or a balded man named Oz

There was simply Light blazing brighter than the sun

The Son, He is the King with lovers all around him

He cried, “everyone is welcome” but some people would not have him

Then once the door was open the King said, “Please come in”

His loving arms enveloped me can I sing that song again?

 

On either side of Him stood two beings…

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…