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…

 

 

“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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

My Beating Heart

i hate nothing about you with red heart light

Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

 

At times my heart is like a quivering bird in this cage of Flesh and bone

I know it will not withstand such a relentless seige

 

At times my heart is like a big bass drum

I know it will strike strong with the rhythm and the beat!

 

It feels as if I am dying and I cannot stay the course

Then it feels as if I am a warrior crying out “all is victorious!”

 

Some say this is a fickle heart but I know this is not true

For I know this heart in me comes from the heart in you!

 

 

 

No Additives

 

 

alcohol bar beverage black background

Photo by freestocks.org

 

He heals the wounds of a ravaged heart

                                                   oh fathom lavish love!

Drink his grace straight up

                                                  fill oh fill my cup!

No one else will care like this

                                               oh death where is thy sting?

Drink his grace straight up

                                             fill oh fill my cup!

Cannot add to him or take him away

                                            oh pure the bread and wine!

Drink his grace straight up

                                           fill oh fill my cup!

 

 

The Cross of Jesus is the most inglorious event in all of mankind’s history yet is the only event that makes our Glory legitimate…

person lying on cart

Photo by HARSH KUSHWAHA

God spoke, “I looked, but there was no one to help; I was appalled, but there was no one to uphold; so my own arm brought me salvation, and my righteous wrath upheld me.” Isaiah 63:5

The theology (meaning study of…) of the Cross vs. The theology of Glory jumped out at me while reading again the book called The Gospel According to Job  by Mike Mason which I have been reading for over five years along with The Discipline of Disturbance  by Hud McWilliams, who has been my spiritual mentor for over twenty-nine years.

All of that to say it absolutely astounded me  when I realized that there is no glory in the Cross. The monumental indescribable event that took place on that cross was one of absolutely NO glory yet it is exactly that event on that cross that makes Glory for you and I a legitimate option through the obedience of Jesus to die on that cross. and be given by God the Father the Sovereign rule forever. It stirred me so that I could not eat or sleep.

The spirituality of the Cross and those of us who trust in The One who died up on it is that it seeks God and ONLY God and here is the kicker, the work on the cross of Jesus would accept NO GLORY!  There is no glory in sin. God himself is the significant value of the Cross!!! Jesus humbled himself  only seeking God’s will and then doing it.

Glory to God is useless if humans conjure it up in themselves. We see it all around us in the Church. A mega church boasting about their numbers of attendance. The church member who judges others who cannot seem to overcome their sin issues  but never  repenting of their own or the supposed Christian celebrities that millions follow on social media and accept their teachings because they are popular.

The Glory belongs to Jesus and Jesus alone, who’ s very essence is God,  yet on that cross he was a son, a man who had not sought ANY glory for himself only his Father’s.

“Never build your case for forgiveness on the idea that God is our Father and He will forgive us because he loves us. God forgives sin ONLY because of the death of Christ…anything that LESSENS the holiness of God through a false view of His love, contradicts the truth of God as REVEALED by Jesus Christ…”  Oswald Chambers

The lesson is that the Cross is for those who will walk by simple faith seeking no glory of our own. Oh that I might grasp this Truth today and everyday for one day my Faith will be made sight and the glory will be more than eternity can hold. Not mine but His.

“The Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing but to those who are being saved it is the power of God.”  1 Corinthians 1:18

 

In a culture that worships a false normal of beauty and worth…

photo of night sky with stars

Photo by Bryan Schneider

“Some of the greatest lies you will ever believe are told by your own eyes.”  Says the  writer Preston Sprinkle

We have been talking about this issue in American culture for the last twenty-five years and I don’t see much change in the message. Even in the age of reality TV shows like “the Voice” while the auditions are blind so that a judge cannot pick the contestant on any merit other than their voice we find that if they make it past the blind auditions they are quickly given a Hollywood stylist and their clothes, make-up, and hair are tweaked here and there and by the time the contest is over for that season the person is “acceptably attractive.” Even as far back as Carrie Underwood winning American Idol or Kelly Clarkson…if you go back and look at them you can see they were “made” more acceptable.

With God, your image, yours and mine, we are acceptable just as we are but I cannot for the life of me understand why we cannot get past these stereotypes of how one should look, and dress, and even age…

As a believer in God, Jesus Christ and the Bible I have no problem believing that God is omnipotent, omnipresent, all-knowing, all-seeing, creator of ninety trillion million stars, the ocean, the tide, the sun, the earth…(You get the picture). Nobody tells God what he can or cannot do.

I have a harder time believing that this same transcendent Holy God would reach down to his earth and rescue his human race which makes him also an intimate God. A God who desires relationship with the people he created, with me and you. He isn’t playing a game of cosmic chess with us. He doesn’t love us begrudgingly yet most of us have a difficult time believing that same huge God who we believe created us and everything around us truly cares about us. That he delights in us. That he thinks of us more often than there are grains of sand? That he can’t wait for me to come talk and walk with him? That I am more beautiful than any sunset or sunrise could ever be? That he wants to be my friend and even more astonishing that He trusts me? That he never gives up on me just like the father in the story of the prodigal son He never stops looking out to the horizon to see if I am coming home after making a mess of everything in my life! He loves to hear my joy of laughter or singing. He is patient and kind and slow to anger. He loves my face and my body. He loves me!

It is an endless dance of performances and masks that I grow so very weary of. Are you weary? I cannot sustain what I think that you think I need to look like to be acceptable. This is the burden of societal shame. 

So, I must not let my own eyes deceive me in commercial ads, in billboard ads, in Playboy, in movies, in T.V.

I work with young women. Eating disorders, body image, and anxiety is at an all time high in this country. It is a fact. They believe they must be thin, quiet, and good all the time. They believe they are ugly and not made by God and in His image at all. What a toll it has taken on our people.

God sees his children as beautiful. He sees each race as beautiful. His redemption of his children cannot be thwarted by any scheme of Evil or of man. So, I choose to look at myself through the eyes of my Father God who created me. I choose to look into his eyes and see myself as his beloved daughter. A daughter of beauty in every way and that He came down from heaven and redeemed me with his Grace and lets me walk with him daily and talk with him freely and never feel that I am ugly or unworthy of his love and blessings.

My spirituality, my beauty, my worth is upheld by God’s stubborn Grace and deep enjoyment of me.  It is  God whom I reflect and even if my eyes lie to me a thousand times it does not change the Truth one bit. I am precious, beloved, and I do belong to Him. I am beautiful…

I want my daughters and their sons and daughters to know they are more than even their own eyes tell them they are.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity into our human hearts; no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes  3:11

but grief always takes a side in things that really matter…

 

beach bottle cold daylight

Photo by Snapwire

 

Like a message in a bottle bobbing in the water

Sun bleached and salty skinned I washed upon the shore

 

I am made from stronger stuff than it appeared

being born an old soul, competent and sure

 

I wished for middle ground, something I could manage

But grief always takes sides in things that really matter

 

The literal peeling of my skin and raw down to the marrow

I wanted to die and be done with the making of this sorrow

 

Then a warm hand put a cup of water to my mouth

I lapped it up as if water wasn’t all around me

 

A voice said, ” I am grief and I am not here to take you under

But you must take a side in things that really matter.”

 

 

 

 

 

All the Pretty Horses

girl standing near carousel

Photo by Abby Chung 

 

Joni Mitchell and a cup of tea…

I shut the door so no one can see

and dream of something kept underground

when I had to jump off that merry-go-round.

 

I loved the ride and all the pretty horses

I loves what I thought I would be.

I would have sold my blood to be published

so all the work could read.

 

 

I would wax eloquent and be held in high esteem…

all the other riders would admire me.

They would gaze at me on my grand carousel

marveling at all the wisdom I share.

 

Well now I speak in present tense…

the merry-go-round broken down and spent.

For my profound literature there is no need

I still like Joni and a cup of tea.

sjad

Sharp shooter on the roof top (part one)

  1. war chess

    Photo by Gladson Xavier

I dreamed I am  in guerrilla warfare, watching 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