Photo by Johannes Plenio
The Chinese refer the human heart as the “Emperor” of all the body organs. As some of you know I spent the largest part of my nursing career as a Cardiac Nurse. In the care of the heart I was in my element and in the technical exploration of the heart even more so. I literally loved looking at hearts and being a very minuscule part of attempting to repair them. There is much that technology’s advancements have taught us in sustaining healthy heart function. Did you know that over an average life span a human heart will beat without fail over forty million times? There is a wear and tear on such a faithful organ that works this hard and there are many physiological reasons the heart will wear out, malfunction, or fail.N
Takosubo Cardiomyopathy is a type of non-ischemic (a situation not caused by “restricted blood flow”) which is phenomenon in which a “temporary weakness of the heart muscle occurs.” In lay-people terms it is referred to as “broken heart syndrome.” A true diagnosis stating the overwhelming loss, constant anxiety, and other emotional situations can lead to a “broken heart.”
In the matters of the heart I believe we have only two options. We try to control it and it still dies or we give it over to God and it really never can die. There is no middle ground.
It is a given that after forty billion beats a heart is going to finally come to a stop. I am of course speaking tongue in cheek here as I am speaking of the Spirit of a person, their heart that does not die.
The writer Charles Martin says it this way in his book Send Down the Rain.
“Love rushes in where others won’t. Where bullet are flying. Love stands between them. Love pours out, empties itself. It scours the evil wasteland, returns the pieces that were lost, and never counts the cost.”
Photo by GEORGE DESIPRIS
I stare out my window
Like a sea wife staring out the horizon
Time moving ever so slow
I have always felt set apart
Looking outside of dreams into the indigo haze
Time capturing the beats of my heart
This is what faith is
The hope of what can’t always be seen
Time cannot define where he is
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 Sippakorn Yamkasikorn
It is like first seeing a wildfire not knowing what it is.
Like orange flickering holiday lights dancing on a black hill.
The odor of burnt vines and smoke are miles and months away
but slowly and surely the wildfire is edging our way.
At first people believe it won’t affect their world
they ignore their inner call to action or care.
The next thing they know all sight is lost in smoke
now everything is burning like the wheat and the tare.
We should have listened to the prophets
their facts written in black and white.
Now the oil of apathy cannot be returned to its urn
The orange lights are now full raging fire that burns.
Photo by Ithalu Dominguez
Butterscotch Sunday melted away
We rode on the train down by the bay
We built little castles with dirty brown sand
We bought Colombian
heard the Stephen Stills band.
You said I was the beauty of the earth
Flowers in my hair, cigarettes in my purse.
I thought that train ride would never end
until I saw you on the bridge with my best friend.
I pack my bags on a Butterscotch Sunday
put on my pink dress and kneel down to pray.
All the dirty brown sand castles crumble down
I’m gonna board the next train out of town.
Cassidy or the Sundance Kid;
the master manipulator or
the quiet deadly one instead?
One in it for himself
the other needs the thrill.
One is the master mind
The other taking what he will.
I have known all kinds of men
and time has shown me well.
A man is either Cassidy or the Sundance Kid
as time will surely tell.
Photo by Angelo Duranti
Her passion is tender.
Her pain is massive.
Her mind is lithe and quick.
Her body is no longer as swift.
Her temple once was a house of cards,
built by her birth, her fear, and her works.
Now she stands on the rock called Jesus
careful to follow him with her cross.
A new temple foundation built,
she is sure of this The Holy One.
He makes all things new with his Holy breath,
and will lead her in both life and death…
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.
I am the girl in the dream, the girl in the hour glass.
I am every blue on the color wheel.
I rise on a great floating bubble that a child just blew out of a plastic jar of soap.
The bubble is Robin-egg blue and I am continually moving toward you.
I am the girl in the dream, the girl clasping turquoise ribbons attached to the moon.
My skin looks quicksilver blue like the Moon.
My heart is an open door that is deep blue like a navy school uniform blazer.
I turn the glacier blue door knob and I am permanently moving toward you.
I am the girl in the dream, the girl who is every blue on the color wheel.
I am soaring up toward the baby powder-blue stars, the blue-gray fog is lifted.
My blue-gray eyes finally see you and my Faith has been made sight.
Photo by Samantha Garrote
Empathy without a clear identity in Christ puts one in a position to stand for everything or for nothing. To understand empathy and to nurture that gift the Empath must always be aware of matching their empathy side by side with who we who are “in” Christ Jesus. (As one who believes and follows Jesus as Lord or as one who is not a Believer.) It is paramount that we build our Christian lives upon our Identity in Christ Jesus, Truth of who we are in Him.
Empathy as well as all spiritual gifts must be held close to and in direct correlation to God’s Word or we will get it wrong. Empathy is a wonderful gift as long as we check and balance it or any gift with Truth.