In my War Room

woman wearing black tank top leaning on table

Photo by Engin Akyurt

 

As if at forced shutter speed all life  now is slow motion.

A stealthy enemy invades War Rooms with limited detection.

At what price can we buy peace of mind and human devotion?

This peripatetic killer cares not for education or station

and will only be stopped by God’s love of our Nation.

 

 

I am still right here my neighbor.

I will pray through this long dark night with you.

Let us lift up our pleas to the One who heals.

Let us be the ones called courageous and true.

I will, I will fight in my War Room for you.

 

Get the Kill Shot (based on a true story)

man in camouflage army uniform holding rifle

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.

The River of Mercy (the infinite flow of God’s Grace)

woman on body of water

Photo by Daria Sannikova

We lost all of the image of God when we were found  outside of His Holiness. We are born rationalizers, barterers and liars.   Yes we are all created in His image just as he says but Sin’s first act shattered that mirror image inside of us, at least until such a time as we receive the Power of the Cross of Jesus to regenerate us, to rebirth us from our darkness into His perfect light!

It doesn’t take much to look around us and see these powerful tools of the deception of Sin.

  • Rationalizing our need for redemption and need for God By using our intellectual achievement or even our good morals or religion.
  • Bartering  with The Holy as if He could be bought with our arrogant rhetoric of being self-sufficient, mantras of our feeble idolatry of self love, celebrity, money, or even good deeds.
  • Liars- we are all in darkness and deceived by our own Sin some even professing a form of godliness but do not Honor God as our Lord, not do we give Him thanks.

 

Sounds bleak doesn’t it? However, we have been given The Good News. We have been given infinite Grace flowing in the River of Mercy so that we might repent and obey to be Reborn into the Image of God in all His Goodness and power!

I am learning that the River gets deeper not shallow the further down stream I go. I am depending and counting on the fact I have been born again by the Blood of Jesus Christ and I have nothing to offer Him and  never did but here is the beauty of the Truth of God’s plan to bring us back to Him in every way… The beauty of The Gospel is this: His love and Grace and all that implies is freely given to all who will receive it.

 

I have seen the River of Life and Mercy

A crystal clear river flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb

All who come to this river will be clean and whole

All burdens washed away, no more sorrows, tears, or death…

Revelation 22

Magen veLo Yera’e (Defender that shall not be seen.)

switched beige table lamp

Photo by 祝 鹤槐

Like silver liquid the moonlight poured over my head spilling down my back renewing my eyes and my mind…

I had stepped outside the hospital to get a breath of fresh air. It had been a long shift and my body, mind, and spirit had grown weary…

As often happens to nurses, I often received words, tokens and notes of thanks and appreciation throughout my career from patients and families, and each one is so very meaningful…

Loss is hopefully made a bit more endurable by compassion and kindness. It is perhaps the truest calling of a nurse, for inside of me lives “Magen veLo Yera’e” which in Hebrew means “Defender that shall not be seen.” Of course, that Defender is not me but the Spirit of Jesus abiding in me. For there is no one good but God as Jesus said, so I know it isn’t me doing it, but I digress…

As I look back over the past forty years my memory runs to the many wonderful people, I have had the privilege to care for and their families. For some there is a reluctance to embrace the future and losing meaning of the past. For some they linger in the pre-dawn haze digesting an outcome they perhaps always knew was coming.

The greatest gift these people have given me is the privilege and opportunity to see that God’s design of our longing to live is not a fragile thing. It is in fact the very strongest thing about us. Yes, our physical bodies wear out with time or disease. Ah, but the soul, the spirit of a person, it fights for life! We were designed for life not death and that is why the “Unseen One who defends us” is the Holy Spirit who lives within those who believe.

Jesus told his follower that He would send us the exact essence of himself in the person of the Holy Spirit to comfort us, to guide, and teach us about Him. It is the transforming phase of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus that He sent us the Holy Spirit, who is unseen but defends us all the way into eternal life.

This is one of the many gifts that nursing has been to me for I have seen, I have witnessed the presence of the Magen veLo Yera’e. He is faithful. He is comfort. He is Peace. He is Jesus the Christ, the presence of the Holy God himself. Jesus is the gift of eternal life and the forever Defender of our Faith and there is a day coming for each of us when we will see Him face to face and we will know Him in Spirit and in Truth. So, when the night is long and dark and grief comes and hope seems so silent I remember the “thank you” from my patients, other human beings just like me with whom I am allowed to care for, hold a hand, say a prayer, shed a tear, and talk of our loved ones we will miss and already miss. Oh yes, there is much physical  technical data in taking of lab work, blood pressures, procedures, surgeries, and various myriads of daily physical care. But the expressions of “thank you” and the bittersweet outcomes are more than a gift.  I have been gifted with the precious sight of a Child of God being carried home in the arms of the Magen veLo Yera’e, the unseen shield, the Holy Defender of God’s precious people.

Seven months ago, my own Mother who was not acutely ill but was called home from this body while all alone was in fact not alone at all,  the unseen defender was present to the very end.
In this season of giving gifts I am like the little drummer boy…I have no gift to bring before my King but the thanksgiving of letting me know some of His children in this intimate way and being an eye witness to the presence of Magen veLo Yera’e, The unseen miraculous presence of The Holy.
So, you see there is much more to our Christmas celebration of the Jesus Child for with Him he brought all we need for life and godliness.

I Know…

 

aerial photo of boat on sea

Photo by Pok Rie

 

I was not your faithful friend

I was not truthful, no

I am not the best daughter, sister, wife, or mother

But I know The One who is all I have not been

 

The One who is a kind and faithful friend

The One who always tells the Truth, yes

The One who is the best in me that I cannot be

The One who’s is all I have not been

 

So when you think of how I let you down

And remember the times I did not live in truth

I want you to know that I know

Jesus is The One who is all I have not been

I was flayed open with a razor sharp knife

silhouette of girl during evening

Photo by luizclas

He was the only one there in that dark still night

I was flayed open with a razor sharp knife

He said are you ready to rise from the dead?

Through sobs and his blood yes was all I said

 

He said I am the love you are counting on

I am the only One when all  others are gone

I am the one who carries you when you fall

Through doubts and sorrow I’ve paid it all

 

He is the one who  gave His all for me

He fought for me to the bloody end

And on that day when He rose again

He said I am all I have ever been

 

He held me there as life seeped in

He is everything no one else has been

He is my champion, teacher, Redeemer, and friend

He is the one I will count on until the end

 

 

 

 

 

Bell Fright

door wooden bell old

Photo by Little Visuals

 

Her hooded gray blue eyes are unexpectedly bright

She speaks of the “old days, the days of Bell Fright

The terror, relentless ringing in the darkest hour of the night.

 

Communism she says, “did not deliver futures bright.”

Just more betrayal and fear, and torture called Bell Fright.

Not the Nazis, no but Comrades Stalin and Marx

Different regimes but same death toll ringing in their hearts.

 

Haunting broken melodies played on Hungarian violins

She still shivers with the memories of dark dank cells

She says  no one ever knew before  it could be so cold in hell.

 

This poem is inspired by the book Goodbye to Budapest by Margarita Morris and to all who have survived the Bell Fright of dictators of evil.

 

 

Eroding survival default (letting the Spirit of God be my coping skill)

 

red human face monument on green grass field

Photo by Mike

Oh yes I learned at an early age that my face and eyes and smile could paint a picture of self confidence and a surety I could articulate all the answers expected of me. I am after all, my Father’s daughter and “no one” would get next to me…

For years I danced this dance of being strong and able. Of not letting by hurts show. Of being articulate to hide the pain. Of keeping it all together for the sake of…

By God’s grace over the years this survival mode of being all together began to erode away as I grew into the realization I wasn’t made to just survive and I wasn’t made to please others or be strong or lead. I was made in the Image of God to live my life in such a way that He would be known and glorified by it (my life).

Now when I see my self coping with life in that old default survival mode more often than not I can spot it and go to the Holy Spirit for guidance and He is always ready and present. God does not help those who help themselves. Nope. That is recorded nowhere in Scripture. God knows that we cannot save ourselves  which is why, of course, He saves us through His Son Jesus, by Grace, by Mercy, by His atoning blood shed for us. God saves people who think their coping skills are working until they aren’t. God saves us because of who He is not because of who we are or anything we have done. This is a great relief to me and probably any fellow believer in Christ. This truth gives me great comfort every day.

When Jesus told the disciples that He had to return to the Father’s house to prepare a place for us and said he would send us The One who would dwell in us, with us, guide us, and yes give us heavenly coping skills until that glorious day we go to our Father’s House forever.

How are your coping skills working for you? Eroding survival skills are a slippery slope that gives way to dying. God’s way is so much better. I choose not to go back to my comfort zone in order to avoid exposure, pain, or suffering. The cost is much too high so I choose to stand in The One who really did pay the highest price for me.

 

The first time I touched heaven…

sky sunny clouds cloudy

Photo by Skitterphoto

The first time I touched heaven I was a five year old little girl who knelt down beside her parents and prayed to Jesus, who loves me…The faith of a child was heaven…I touched  the face of pure love. I prayed to Trust Jesus.

A twenty one year old college girl alone in the sand and sea with Hope renewed. I touched the King of the Kingdom and I confessed all my fear and failure… and we walked anew.

A thirty year old wife and mother…tired and scared of what I didn’t know. I touched the Spirit of God and he whispered to me that He would never leave me…I rejoiced in Peace.

A thirty-four year old woman who was breaking her marriage and her life and had depression and despaired of the goodness of God…but he gave me a man who would not walk away and I touched a Faith restored in God’s goodness.

A forty-five year old daughter I put my Daddy in his earthly grave and a light went out of me in this world but the Light of the World kept shining and I touched the Power of the Resurrection in Jesus Christ.

A sixty-three year old grandmother of five…I kneel each day in gratitude for every breath and every family memory…I touch Joy unspeakable and full of Glory…

When I leave this body to go to my Father’s house…I will go to The One who died for me and I will touch eternity and live forevermore in His presence finally touching my Lord who is Heaven…

Sharp Shooter on the roof tops…

automatic weapon bullet camouflage close up

Photo by Pixabay

 

I dream I am  in guerrilla warfare, watching for sharp shooters on the roof tops

The King was right when he said we do not fight flesh and bone

Yet we insist on killing our own over and over,  the choice made, cannot be taken back

There are many traitors among us, or most likely they never were a child of the King

They look just like me so I cannot know who will gun me down, it is not for me to judge

The Truth can pierce the bone from the marrow, I know because it happened to me…

I must don God’s armor at all times, be vigilant in lie detection, oh the enemy is so smooth, it is a false light…

My heart is pounding, I cannot be silent, for every day is a day of war in the spiritual realm, to immense to be ignored.

The manifold wisdom of God sees all, the Captain of the host holds all power in his name, Messiah, Jesus, God with us

So I take up my weapons… the belt  of Truth, the shield of Faith, the helmet of Salvation …

I continue to walk behind the enemy line for I know the Battle is the Lord’s, I long to remain a diligent warrior

The sharp shooter is still on the roof, the scope on the rifle is aimed at my head, I can see his eyes dead like dolls eyes

I choose to keep walking

 

I walk on vigilant always for any inkling of the enemy’s presence…deafening silence

yet in a split-second a pervasive white mist envelopes me…

I feel heavy weight and aching in my body  and spirit,  it is the supreme stealth weapon of the enemy

It is shame, my most relentless foe

The ballast of Shame slaughters aggressively,  the deadliest of weapons, worse than sarin  gas…

If I don’t kill it, it will kill me and all it touches, shame is unholy from hell

I cry out to the King,  blood seeping from my chest, a razor-sharp slice

I did not feel it at the point of entry

Towering above the shame the King appears, brandishing his two-edged sword

it blazes and radiates like a million Suns, in a blink the sharp shooter

on the roof top falls dead

I am blind now, crouching down behind my shield of Faith

the King wields his Holy two-edged sword and shame screeches like the demon it is…

instantly there is silence, my heart is no longer bleeding, I regain my sight

The Holy Spirit is the watchman, the Angels encamp around me

I savor the Holy rest of  victory this day…

 

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