Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Thing About Dreams

Ever so often I will read a thing that stirs up my longing to share my peculiar perspective hoping it might inspire someone else. With history as my go-by, I know it’s a risk, particularly for me, because I have never been in step with conventional wisdom so there’s a high probability that the reaction to my contribution to the topic will produce either the sound of crickets, a rebuke, or a gracious pass. I know I’m the only one who gets me, that’s why I talk to myself. 

This has worked for me, but, as usual, my way is rarely right for others. 

The recent topic was about dreams and how long one has to wait sometimes for them to be realized. I shared that I conditioned myself early on to keep expectations on the down side even as I continued to allow myself to day dream, preferring to be pleasantly surprised over being disappointed. I do attribute this, in large part, to my personality type. I’m nothing if not severely practical. But also I believe I had to devise my own coping skills so that I could live here happily, preferring to be happy over being in a constant state of moony dysfunction. 

For me, the glass is not just half full - it’s refillable. It comes down to attitude and definitions of what dream fulfillment actually is.

As a child, I dreamed of  being a ballerina. I spent most of my preteen years on my toes, swirling, pirouetting all over the place but the tough truth was that my parents could not afford ballet lessons. So, by default, that dream simply was not going to happen. At least not in the way the world might define ballerina.

When I entered high school I found my niche in the drama department. One year I played Essie in You Can’t Take it With You. I was on my toes for six weeks through rehearsals and three night performances and one matinee. 

By absolute definition, I was never going to be a ballerina but I did get to experience what it would be like on a real stage in front of a packed house thus I got a taste. My kind of dream fulfillment - good enough! Better than nothing! Move on to the next dream - be an artist, a builder, a designer, a writer. Are those not subjective titles?  

All humans have hopes and dreams, a bucket list. As well they should because this is the stuff of human innovation. It’s also where the color flushes into an often black and white world. 

But too often I meet people who are still clinging to a dream that they hold in a sealed box. It has rigid boundaries, no variation allowed. It has to be a certain way or it can’t be at all. I’ve had this discussion with quite a few dreamers of seeing their names on a printed book. This is why I started my own publishing company more than a decade ago. I wanted that too - to be acknowledged as a legitimate writer but it wasn’t going to happen so rather than allowing the dream to languish I hacked out a path of my own and helped a few others along the way so they could hold that book/dream in their hands. Defining what being a published writer truly means is rarely what dreamers believe it to be anyway, you’ll just have to take my word for that.

In the end all this means is that I do a thing even if no one else knows about it, thinks it’s good or worth sharing. I just do it and by doing it, my way, I have been able to say that my dreams fulfilled have never been what I initially hoped would happen but what I do in the waiting, even it it means going to plan B. Sometimes Plan C.

For Him,


Saturday, August 19, 2017

All Kinds of Bullies

“Feelings, opinions and thoughts cannot be legislated. Laws can be established to provide that behaviors and actions can be held accountable but not thoughts, beliefs and ideas. Once a society decides that all minds must be in sync, that a conscious standard is established for what all must accept as the only way to think, they become enslaved to a far more sinister master.” - Theba Glady

I just watched a video that was, in essence, yet another heart rally call against bullying. Apparently bullying in schools is a human condition that cannot be stopped, no matter how much awareness is raised attempting to eliminate it. Who doesn’t know that bullying in school children has been around since the first one room school house was built but in this modern age of social media access it seems that bullying has risen to a new level of cruelty that often concludes in suicide. 

Hard to understand why it continues. I have my theory.

Apparently in humans, even in the very young, there is an uncontrollable primal survival drive to suppress others in order to elevate ourselves. To impose will, to overrule, is a natural instinct inborn in human nature. Since human nature is a petulant child that cannot grow up, only by slow and careful conditioning, both gentle and stern, to embrace a greater desire to be included/accepted into a tribe or community can we begin to tame our base instincts to force others down. 

Even so it is commonly understood that there are personality types that would rather tower above than integrate and thus choose to be overlords instead of merely one of the tribe. They prefer to rule over others and will use whatever power it takes, muscle or money, to accomplish their determination. Thus we have tyrants in all walks of life.

And so it has been since time began. Tyrants and bullies so driven to rule over others they strive with concerted effort to find their niche and rise to their positions of power. Who hasn’t known at least one of these kind in some capacity - job, school, committee, home owners association, et al, - their intent to impose their will on others. 

Unfortunately, it must be concluded that bullying is a fact of life. 

Some say, when they see an injustice that there ought to be a law. A rule that demands that anyone pressing their will on another should be punished. 

Sounds good, noble even. Who doesn’t want to see justice done for anyone oppressed by another? 

But we do have laws. More than enough. Laws that exist to delineate all kinds of rights, even the right not to be harassed or unduly oppressed. But laws are nothing more than lines in the sand. Demarcation. Delineation. Deterrent. Do this, and this will happen. Those who step up to the line but do not cross over may desire to act on what they believe or think or want, but the law, the line established as a barrier stops them. Those who simply cannot stop themselves, will find trouble waiting on the other side.

That’s the best that can be done though, in spite of enormous good will and hope for all to be civil members of one conhesive tribe. Those who are determined to take enforcement to the next level to demand what, in effect, would be the thought police, to demand that no one even be allowed to think anything that is not deemed acceptable to the ones who have decided what can and cannot be thought, are merely taking bullying to the next level. 

Be warned that to step over this line is to take civilization from the brink over the edge to the downward descent into anarchy. Those who loudly demand that everyone think as they do are the worst kind of bullies themselves convinced that they are right and everyone else needs to bow to their will.

Nothing new under the sun. 

For Him,

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Human Touch

One day last week I thought I’d get checked out faster at the grocery store by using the self-checkout lane. 


Half way in the process the female computer voice demanded I put the scanned item in the bagging area. But since I had already done that I could not proceed without help from the human assistant. The human assistant was helping someone else at that moment - a lot - so I had to wait. And wait. 

A few days later, I popped into my local home improvement store to make one purchase. It was early so no check out lanes were manned. Forced to use the self-check automated system I groaned, stepped up and pulled my item across the scanner. No go. The human assistant, a pleasant woman I’d guess to be in her mid to late fifties, came to my rescue. She discovered the bar code was obstructed by a plastic packaging band. She moved it over the scanner again, the screen went back to the beginning. She pressed the screen several times, then held the band away as she tried another pass. Success! As we waited for the machine to process my credit card I turned to her and said, 

“You know, if you had been over there (pointing to the old-fashioned check out counter) we would be done by now and I would be on my way to my car. Instead, this new and improved system, that still needs a human to make it work, is actually slower and less efficient.”

She laughed and said, “Well these young managers come in and think it’s better.”

Standing so close I was compelled to put my hands on hers, folded at her waist. I looked her straight in the eyes and replied,

“They can’t replace humans, no matter how they try.” 

She nodded in agreement and said, “Some things just don’t need to be improved.”

We connected as only humans can do in that tiny measurement of time. 

A day later, in the afternoon, I was whizzing through the fast food lane for some salads at Wendy’s. At the first window the young man, taking my money, asked,

“Would you happen to be Parker’s grandmother?” 

I beamed a surprised yes. He said he had been part of the fifth grade team at Parker’s elementary school that built the Chicken City parade float that I had directed. Then I sort of recognized him but, that was five years ago. Not wanting to slow up the fast food lane, he quickly remarked that he was graduating next year, I said wow-and-good-to-see-you as he handed me my change and I moved forward.

On the short drive home I admit I was a sudden mess of emotion. How many times have I been there done that? I recalled the tall young man who approached me years ago and introduced himself as one of my cub scouts from my son’s den. 

Awash with all sorts of disconnected bits of memory that caused a strange welling up of fluid that threatened to make it difficult for me to see, I could not help but consider the odds of having met, at that place and time, that almost grown boy who remembered me and what a joyful nano second it had been. 

I had already been mulling my next blog post about the downside to the growing love of AI and all things robotic based on my two experiences with self check out stations and somehow that encounter put it into a perspective I had not considered and it all clicked because it’s no secret that fast food companies are looking at replacing humans with computers.

When the young man handed me my change, for one millisecond, we connected, hand to hand, fingers to fingers. I once read that when humans touch as in a hand shake, there is a chemical response in the body - endorphins release. Humans touching humans, even if just eye contact, or voice to ear, enforces what computers or artificial intelligence can never reproduce. That spark of a living, breathing human being, so wonderfully made by the Great Creator, nothing can or will ever replace. Serendipity in human contact adds to us in ways no computer can ever do.

There is a great evil working overtime now, seeking to destroy God’s great creation in every way possible. Imitation is not perfection though. Nothing can replace the small everyday experiences of human touch. Nothing. And even if by a miracle that could happen someday, what would be the point? Perfection by whose definition? 

Is it not ironic that we are in a constant quest of improving, redesigning, perfecting in ways that are determined to replace us instead of just putting a bit more effort in ourselves, the original perfect design? 

For Him,

(Philippians 3:12) Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect: but I press on, if so be that I may lay hold on that for which also I was laid hold on by Christ Jesus.  (3:13) Brethren, I could not myself yet to have laid hold: but one thing [I do], forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before,  (3:14) I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Out of Context

While reading hot topics in The Facebook followed by comments from people who have their fixed opinions, I’ve noticed, in particular, those who proudly consider themselves the highest of intelligent thinkers seem to be the most practiced at making specious arguments - drawing conclusions based on comparing apples to oranges. 

The Facebook is a stirred pot for sure. Gather folks together and there will be disagreement. I can’t help but recognize and count the various classic debate techniques almost as though they are following a printed guideline. 

The most common tactic for attempting to shut down one who takes a different view is the adroit combining of a concept presented as ‘fact’ as though it is foregone conclusion with a snarky final jab implying that anyone with half a brain ought to understand. This usually signals the downward spiral into ugly name calling. I give this sort of interaction wide berth because, frankly, I don’t care to debate anything with anyone anyway. 

Live and let live, right? Thus far we still reside in a country that supports the right of all to have opposing views, though I see disturbing signs that this is a dying construct. It seems the loudest voices are those who tout freedom of speech even as they condemn other views being expressed. But that’s another topic for another day.

I will admit to secretly admiring those who have the gift of effective argument though. I am talking about those who have truly done their homework, know the irrefutable facts and are gifted with the art of clear communication. I also freely admit I am not one of those. I think this is because I must have been elsewhere when the power of persuasion was being issued. Thus any tactic of rebuttal will effectively shut me down but not in the way an opponent is likely to assume. 

I don’t give up because I am bested, I bail when it is clear nothing I can say or do will coax someone else, if not to my side, at least to agree to disagree. 

I console myself with the Scriptures about not casting pearls among swine and when you find you are not welcome, turn and leave, shaking the dust off your sandals as you depart. Stoic that I am.

We live our lives, form our opinions, and dig our heels into our fixed perceptions based on what we want to be true, not necessarily what is true. And this perception is woven from a million little threads of individual experience, good and bad that we collect along the way. Sentient beings that we are, we still are mostly shaped from personal sensory experience and thus our take-away is often myopically out of context. From all the things thrown at us we pull only those familiar threads that we recognize and then artfully reweave these into our own tapestry of assumption. 

Perhaps this is the rationale for Christ admonishing us not to judge others, lest we wish to be judged ourselves. God knows us from the beginning to the end. He knows that we see that which we want to see when it better fits our perception of how things ought to be, as well as how we prefer to justify our POV rather than ask a few pointed questions the answers of which might threaten to unravel our context.

Since I know for sure that it is not possible for me to know everything and furthermore it’s not even close to possible for me to be right all the time, I refuse to be frustrated at being silenced by those who think they are. I respond with a smile and let them think they won. 

Proof is in the pudding, everything comes out in the wash, time will tell - as the old-timers used to say. 

For Him,

Prove all things: hold fast that which is good.  (1 Thessalonians 5:21)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Can We Talk?

Though I have stayed at a Holiday Inn once, I’ve never thought of myself as a professional anything. Even when I earned a pay check and could have legitimately claimed I was in the middle of a career - I never thought of myself as anything other than me just being what I do. 

Like it or not, sometimes you have to meet things face on to realize the truth of a matter. 

My epiphany on this came when my granddaughter recently interviewed me for an assignment. She has just entered graduate school. In a few short years we’ll be able to call her ‘Dr. Olivia’. 

[Allow me pause here for a proud moment to gloat.] 

For the assignment she had to interview a geriatric (that would be me) and write a lengthy report, the object being to humanize an old person. I’m a bonafide Boomer so my generation, now entering our retirement years, will likely make up a large part of her clientele for a few years after she becomes a physical therapist thus I was the perfect subject for her report. 

Plus, I have a lot of human history to tell. 

While she was learning all about my past seventy years, I was forced to dig out some vintage information - growing up, family of five in a two bedroom one bath house in the American boom years after WW2, then the hippy years, the Vietnam war protest years, the photo of me in my senior year book the moment I found out JFK was shot - all the little dots connected to one another, this leading to that, that leading to something else - all of which the unearthing caused some serious introspection for me later and into the next few days. 

Bragging makes me squirm, so when I say I have done a lot, I’m not boasting. I’m revealing that I am a nutcase who is driven to do things - to stay immersed in a learning curve of some kind or other - always jumping into the middle and working my way out to both ends, which, over time, has naturally added up to a lot of odd, sometimes unrelated, experiences. Frankly, I didn’t mind telling Olivia my history, in this case, but it’s not something I usually do because, for one thing, who would believe me anyway? It’s almost embarrassing to see that look of incredulity on people’s faces. 

The timing was interesting, though, as this exercise came at a critical juncture for me because lately I’ve found myself swept up into a rite of passage that’s forced me to admit there’s so much more behind me than in front of me and even worse, realizing that none of it matters. Not really. Everything I learned, my assorted accumulated knowledge, my crazy quilt biography, isn’t worth the paper Olivia’s report will be written on. 

Except. Except for the humans who are here because God graced me with them in spite of my lack of skill set in parenting. My kids and I sort of grew up together - working our way out to both ends. 

All this is a rambling lead up to why I am blogging about this. 

For more than fifty years (not including child raising) of doing, creating, making do with the limited materials, tools and skills I had to express the various forms of the art of my life, I admit I loved best my guitar and writing songs that no one ever heard but me. I kept all my favorite songs in a blue cloth binder. When I could no longer play guitar because of my old hands, I gave the binder to my oldest grandson, Hayes, who is a multi-tasking artist in his own right. When I discovered I could play ukulele, I asked him to let me have the binder back for awhile. 

I think that’s what did it. 

That was the thing that unlocked old dusty bins of memories and set me thinking and sorting, trying to make peace with what A E Housman referred to as the land of lost content. 

There are no words to explain to a young person how it feels to realize you are officially an elder, a geriatric. But this I know, life is a carousel, goes round and round and round. We leave to those who follow us so we have to try to tell them if nothing else so that one day they say - oh, now I understand. 

Because, it’s just the kind of hairpin I am, regardless of the handicap of advancing age, that I can’t not do my art - as jack-legged and amateur as it might be - so I took one set of lyrics I penned forty years ago and made a video. 

For Him, 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Not If But When

I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. (Ephesians 3:16 NLT)

The strength of the Lord's people is none other than the strength of the Holy Spirit in the inward man. Right at the very center of the being, deeper than thought or reason, deeper than emotion or feeling, deeper than all that which comprises the more outward man which, under given circumstances, may prove weak and incapable of standing up to the situation. In the variations of our soul life, the changes of our moods, our ideas, our attitudes, our feelings, our minds; deeper down there is that strength which does not let us go. That is the true nature of spirituality. 

It is not the tremendously forceful conviction of our intellects or the mighty power of our wills. When these cannot stand up to conditions of intense spiritual antagonism, opposition or perplexity, there is that more inward thing, right in the inward man, which is of God – the Holy Spirit: “Strengthened with might by His Spirit into the inward man.

Test that out and the result is that when the mind is bewildered by the perplexity of a situation, and the arguments are all in the direction that a mistake has been made, a wrong course has been taken, everything is false – when all the feelings are churned up, disturbed, anxious, fearful, or when there are no feelings at all, they are simply petrified by the position – when circumstances are all arguing in the opposite direction of that which we, in the purest moments of our fellowship with God determined upon. 

The world around us – and very closely around us, even within the sphere of our own natural life, our own soul life – is an inexplicable mystery. Then spirituality is proved by that inward strength which abides: that standing when you cannot go forward; that holding when you can do nothing; that remaining when all the forces are seeking to sweep you off your feet. That represents a measure of spirituality. That is the true nature of the child of God. 

The opposite is to be carried away by argument, reasoning, appearance, circumstance, and all such things. That proves a lack of true spirituality. In a sentence, true spirituality is not to live on the outside; it is to live with God right down deep in the inner part of your own being, where He, the Spirit, is.

For Him,


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Real Dads

This is when I say some loving words about dads. Allow me to be frank, if not crude here, I am not referring to sperm donors. No. What I want to bring some deserved attention to are the real men who step up and take care of the children given to them  regardless the circumstances. 

These are those:

• Who do whatever the job calls for no matter how tough or thankless it seems sometimes.

• Who pace back and forth at two am, colicky baby on a tired shoulder, even though he has to get up and go to work in a few hours.

• Who go to work and provide for their families, sometimes two jobs if necessary, putting his own desires aside for as long as it takes. 

• Who take every opportunity to spend time with their kids, reading to, teaching how, sharing, kissing boo-boos, answering toy phones, sipping pretend tea, building lego space ships, dancing with, laughing with, mentoring in as many life skills he knows.

• Who are strong to discipline and hold accountable in the short term for the sake of a good long-term.

• Who never stops fathering even if he lives somewhere else.

• Who never allows any other relationship to supersede the love he has for his child.

• Who never puts the value of money and possessions above his child’s best interests.

And if the kid(s) he is fathering does not share his DNA...

* He does his job as though he never understood DNA anyway. 

Happy Dad’s Day to all the men who are real father’s, you are the true heroes.

For Him,

Thursday, May 25, 2017


The Lord does not put us in glass houses to grow us, to be His trees; the Lord does not protect us from the storms, the adversities; He exposes us to the bitter winds and the scorching suns of adversity and trial. The Lord is working in us that which is according to His own Nature – eternity, the enduring, the everlasting God – that which will not be easily or hardly carried away. 

He is putting substance in you. Oh, today we fear that the appeal to become Christians is so often in terms of having an easy or a good time; being happy and enjoying yourself; well, thank God for ALL divine joy, but this is true to the House, to the City, that the first thing the Lord is working toward and seeking to work into His people is that substantial, steadfast, enduring faithfulness that is according to His own nature. Substantial! Oh for substantial Christians that don’t need coddling and nursing and running after all the time; being pandered to to get them to go on or stand up. Men and women like cedars of Lebanon; like the hewn stones – weighty, accountable, and responsible to carry weight – and all that is meant by strength.

I can only remind you again of what a large place that has in the Word of God: be strong, be strongin the Lord in the strength of His might, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. Think again. Want to understand why the winds are allowed to blow so fiercely... the storms? To get us away from that natural, easy-going-ness or cheapness, lightness, frivolousness and to make us people of weight. Strength – through testing, through adversity – strength... to endure throughout all ages. There is much which is going to be carried away in the last great testing, and if, therefore, trial and adversity is the only way to deepen us, to put caliber into us, I suppose we must expect more of it as the time shortens.

By T. Austin-Sparks from: Aspects of the City 

For Him,

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Happy Mother's Day

If a picture is worth a thousands words I say, shut up and put up a picture.

Happy Mother’s Day to all my dear hearts. May you have a special and blessed day.

For Him,

Monday, April 24, 2017

And There It Is

A dozen years or so ago I still participated in an online forum where people gathered under the umbrella of a common interest. As often happens when two or more people from diverse backgrounds and points of view gather you can expect a certain amount of straying off topic and the inevitable disagreement. I stayed longer than I should have when the civil rule of agreeing to disagree dissolved into all out dissension. The turning point, when I knew I had to move on came the day I made a bold prediction.

I don’t recall what thread of thought launched the conversation but when I posted that I could see the day when Christianity would be under assault, not only from cultural change but through actual laws passed. I predicted that one day it would be dangerous to declare oneself to be a Christ follower. 

And the flame-throwers lit up their word weapons.

One response in particular stuck in my craw. The resident proclaimed atheist challenged me with a pious question. She asked if I had ever been mistreated or maligned as a Christian. As simple a query as it was it was most certainly pregnant with dark and hidden implications. A whole treatise on the history and rise of the ills of Christianity sat waiting to be launched as argument for the demise of religion in general and Christianity in particular. I knew her point of view on this. She had made it clear in other discussions that she felt religion was the cause of all wars and suffering in the history of mankind. 

I weighed my response carefully, knowing that she was poised to unleash a litany of examples to back her claim - beginning with the Inquisition and ending with the myriad of present day dogmatic religious cults claiming to represent the God of Christianity. 

Sometimes you just have to pick your battles. Rather than give her an open invitation to spew out her hatred for all things Christian, I took the high road and let her win the point by default. I replied that, no, I had not yet had my faith challenged but that my reference was to a time in the future. It was lame but it did end the discussion because it gave her no fuel. I posted in that forum less and less after that and then soon stopped altogether. I doubt they missed me. I must add that I shook the dust off my sandals as I left. Sometimes that’s what you have to do. And it’s okay. 

My memory of this experience was jarred up from the depths as I read more and more stories of Christians, all over the world now under assault.  Not just in the Communist countries or those with other religious majorities. where churches are destroyed and whole populations forced to flee from their homes. Of course, one might argue that these are incidents in far away places. That sort of thing can’t happen here in the United States of America where religious freedom is held as sacrosanct. Christianity is too big to fail here in the West. Right? 

But I’d like to point out that in the past decade the subtle warnings I noticed back then have gone from a distant tinkling to a steady clear ringing. The headlines becoming more frequent - schools remove all things Christmas from December, a teacher in Tampa forbids her students to wear a cross necklace in her classroom - a college student is not allowed to write an essay from a Christian perspective. Christian businesses are not allowed to enforce their beliefs in their own establishments. TV shows and movies usually represent Christian characters as nut cases. Case in point: slow change often comes from subtle social conditioning that then leads to laws. 

In the past fifty years, political correctness has successfully begun to nullify the text of the first amendment by demanding that Christians are no longer allowed to hold fast to the fundamentals of their faith because these might step on other’s religious/cultural beliefs. The hypocrisy buried just beneath the loose covering of righteous words like - inclusion, equality, diversity, and the modern embrace of all roads merging to peaceful coexistence, is actually the ultimate weapon to tamp down and silence Christians into submission. I call this out as hypocrisy because PC does not appear to apply to other religions. Only Christianity. 

Had I posted such comments in the old forum, I would easily have been slam-dunked into retreat by a single question - how are acts of equalizing religious freedom going to lead to outlawing Christianity? 

There are two possible responses:

1. The coward’s way out: [cue crickets]

2. The brave-heart’s reply: Upholding religious freedom will always be a rope walk that leaves gaps and gray areas that cannot be fully implemented. It can never be satisfactorily accomplished through laws written and imposed because demands and permissions will always overlap and conflict. Therefore, individual right of freedom to choose is accompanied with individual responsibility to stand up for or stand down in a situation when rights collide. Sometimes you choose plan B.

I was finishing middle school in 1962 when the Supreme Court made its historic ruling to outlaw prayer in school. I vividly recall hearing the announcement on the evening news. I looked at my mother and asked, “How can they stop me?” She looked stunned and replied, “Out of the mouths of babes.” 

Uncounted numbers of Christians practice their religion in secret in countries like China. There are a rising number of countries in the Middle East that are openly and actively seeking to eradicate all traces of Christianity. Those who stand by their beliefs in countries that are hostile toward the faith must do so without help from laws protecting their rights. Though my faith does not require human law to support or sustain it, I can appreciate being allowed to openly proclaim and practice my Christian tenets. I can also grant that when my guidelines clash with law that is put in place to protect the majority rights, I can adapt. I can pray silently anywhere. 

That’s not the issue in what is now unfolding. 

Like the movement of a glacier, the slide has been so slow it seems almost imperceptible, I do see clearly, just as I did when I dropped my prediction in that forum - when, not if, the day comes that how I choose to believe is compelled to compromise in the name of equalizing religious freedom by conceding to another religion or cultural reform, not just law, or else be fined, jailed or die, that is when I will choose to stand on my beliefs.  

The moment revealing the true agenda comes when the concept of individual freedom of choice becomes a specious argument used like a weapon to silence me.  

But I am Christian - hear me roar.

For Him,


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Waiting for Dawn

(Luke 23:55) And the women, who had come with him out of Galilee, followed after, and beheld the tomb, and how his body was laid.  (23:56) And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments. And on the sabbath they rested according to the commandment.  But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came unto the tomb, bringing the spices which they had prepared.  (24:2) And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb.  (24:3) And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.  

When I try to imagine being one of those women on that horrific longest day - the ‘Sabbath’ after Christ was crucified - the agony of waiting in the paralyzing silence of defeat, I temporarily set aside knowing the rest of the story - the great good ending. I try to fully experience their grief and dismay, the crushing weight of unanswerable questions - the frustrating unknowable. 

I do this because I need to embrace, firsthand, the fear that they must have felt, the confusion, the despair. I still myself, eyes closed, and put myself there, sitting with them. No one able to speak, hopelessness settled in around them slowly sucking the oxygen out of the space. My heart feels like it’s being compressed by a vise. 

I can’t stay there too long or I’d become dysfunctional. I only need a glimpse of what they must have felt so I can confirm the old saying - it’s always darkest just before dawn - as a solid truth not just a good sounding platitude. 

Because I do know the rest of the story, I can also imagine the shockwave that must have shot through, head to toe, those faithful women who returned to the tomb to finish the job, to pay their respect and demonstrate their love for this man whom they had believed was the Son of God and were not prepared for, nor understood what had to happen.  

Have you ever been there? So immersed in fear and dread of the unknown, convinced you are done for, at the mercy of great evil, then in a flash you are rescued? One minute it’s nothing but darkness, the next minute all is light - exquisite relief.

I have. I’ve been there many times in my now officially long life. While it most certainly is darkest just before dawn, there is another truth - dawn does come - and always right on time. 

When it seems that evil has finally won the upper hand, I go back in time and sit for a few minutes with the women who found the tomb empty. Then I fast forward to the happy ending of Christ risen. The war is won. Until He returns we must continue with the small battles, the minor skirmishes with evil, that test our mettle, that keeps trying to distract us away from faith, when we must sit in the darkest dark and wait for dawn, not just believing, but confident it will come. 

Right on time.

For Him,