I am here now

person kneeling on highway

Photo by Ricardo Esquivel

Have you ever had the strange sensation of having traveled off the map of your own existence?

It is like moving in a mysterious land where you only know a smattering of words in that language and feel so far removed from your core being.

Some scholars call this some kind disorder of adjustment but I disagree.

I find this to be a time of challenge and exuberance in this journey.

A bigger lens through which to view the magnificence of this great pilgrimage, from the cradle to the grave and beyond…

then just as quietly or quickly some sound or smell or jolt of love for someone brings me back home.

I am now standing in my familiar dimension and even though I do not feel totally whole in this earth shell…

I know that I belong here for now until I know that I don’t anymore.

…And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.” John 8:32

 

 

Scatters Like a Cloud

 

photo of heart shaped balloon

Photo by Andreas Wohlfahrt

Like a cloud scattered by a strong wind

All illusions of security have blown away

So now I must stand on the Faith I have professed

In The One that keeps me in his sight!

 

All illusions of control are laid bare

Idols crumble like sand castles in the air

Gratitude has pierced my soul

It leads me to The Cross of His might!

 

Palms up, letting go, cleaning the house of my soul

Rhetoric and cliches must be purged in the clutter

Returning to the purity of being His Child

I still Trust in Him,  the Lover of my soul, who has already won this fight!

 

The Shell Seeker

 

 

brown sand

Photo by Miri

Standing on the highest sand dune people moved back and forth on the ground below.  She no longer has their youthfulness of an unlined face but she knew she finally possessed the joy of ageless Grace. The pilgrimage called her to this beautiful place. The wind and the sun an old friend on her face.

Now she is the shell seeker in the wide brimmed hat, as a child playing in the sun she’d laughed at people like that. She remembers younger  days when she grew weary but now the days of peace are what linger here.  Emotions don’t obey the rules they are the heartbeat in being human.  Like waves reaching the shore emotions can be kept for a moment but are better when given away.

The shell seeker’ s eye remains clear and adept while watching the children play. She knows that life is not going back but more of giving it away. The Truth is, life consists in learning and loving well with Grace underneath God’s sun.  To remain whole in the midst of life’s ups and downs, to surrender all secrets and lies is anointing oil to the soul. To shed insincerity and live in the present, the waves echo behind her now compelling her to go on.

Emmet

green grass during sunset

Photo by Nathan Cowley

 

The daybreak drizzle has moved out to sea.

The dawning clouds are steel gray.

The wind is about 10 knots up from the Gulf Stream.

Nations have risen and fallen, two world wars, more political unrest, man has gone to the moon and the World Wide Web has come along, but nothing much has changed on this little wedge of the island.

The tide goes in and out.

The gulls and cranes still swoop and dive and the dolphin still dance. The beautiful gold sea oats continue to hold the sand dunes together…
But now you… have been born!

Your little smile, your hands and feet have changed everything.

I cannot smile without you.

There are very few words of wisdom I will give you as you grow up and let me into your world of sticks, and bugs, and rocks.

You will sleep the sleep of the blessed each night and when I get the chance I will tuck you in.

What I will do my grandson is love you. Love you unconditionally with all of my being and spirit.

Long after I am gone I will still watch over you and love you with a love that has no end.

The daybreak is clearer now, the sea breeze cleansing. The wars and internet have no meaning to me now.

The tide is a beautiful dance and all of God’s creatures perform just for you.

The sand dunes are for you to climb and my whole world is golden.

Love Rushes In

white light forming heart on black surface

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.”

 

I put on my pink dress and kneel down to pray…

white clouds and blue sky

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.

 

Home

people sitting on the edge of a cliff

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…

Home.

Empathy…to stand for everything or nothing…

 

high angle photo of woman on ladder

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.

Just between you and me

vintage black windmill during sunset

Photo by Tom Swinnen

 

What I’m trying to say is we could not have known

The life we made, the trials we have and will face

Nobody else can say they know because they don’t.

 

A step down a path, an opened door is the mystery future and past

A sorrow, a joy, a mistake, a right of choice or not

Between us we live it, two people together alone

 

Like an ancient windmill, a sentry watching it all unfold

Lying down in a field of tulips in the country side

Just between you and me it’s a beautiful work of art

And Christmas comes once more…

person holding flashlight in road

Photo by Simon Migaj

 

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.