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Friday, September 28, 2012

of a brother...

it's his birthday today, and he is somewhere.

none of us really know where.

he's "gone to ground" as my sister beth says...buried somewhere anonymously-in hiding.

he is the youngest of four boys. he was a blond, curly-haired, angel faced little man with a sweet smile and a tender spirit, born in a time of trouble and near-death for my precious mom. he was her 'valley' child and she sang her way through the terror as she lingered in the shadows.

perhaps the shadows followed the child.

life twisted him.

he tried to stay straight- i know he did- but wrong choices wove a web from which he could not- cannot- escape.

i think of him often...remember the innocence and brilliance of his childhood, the golden voice of him...before harsh reality seared his soul.

before his golden curls were forcibly cut off so that he would look more "boyish".

before cruel words and mocking taunts and secret trouble drove him from home.

i remember my little brother. and i pray.


Monday, September 24, 2012


both fathers

sole survivors
of tragic wipe-out
of all else

each breathing man
crushed by fire
by water
snuffed out in seconds

the two fathers
left alone
to live long lives
that wander into sunset years
slow and steady


we the children
surprised by life
think of the fire and water
that our small cells
escaped so narrowly

we breathe
we breathe

-the story behind this is that both my husband's father and my father were sole survivors- one of a freak fire in a workplace, the other of a training plane crashing in WW2. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012


'sticks and stones may break my bones,
but words can never hurt me'

that's an old proverb.

and that's also a lie.

cruel childhood words are the most painful weapon ever to pierce our hearts and wound us. they carry a weight of unknown damage that can lacerate a little heart to the depths. and they create a maelstrom of injury that may take decades to heal.

this week a child said innocently to my little girl, 'so...i heard you were found in an orphanage?'

i was sitting nearby and in the split second of silence that followed, my heart stopped. then instantly i heard my own too-bright voice saying, 'oh no...her birth mommy couldn't keep her so God gave her to us...'

and then fielding the inevitable volley of follow-up questions...

'she's ADOPTED?'

'why did her birth mom give her away?'

and so on.

we had told our daughter the circumstances of her birth long before this happened, and this was not news to her. she knows her story.

but in the days that followed, i watched and listened carefully for questions and comments from my little one, because she was the heart for whom this was 'sticks and stones'.

all was quiet.

then today, as she was playing with a friend, out it came.

'pretend your birth mom couldn't look after you so she gave you away, and you were adopted by someone else, and then.....'

oh, my sweet little girl.

if only i could spare you the pain of others' careless, ignorant words and questions.

if only i could protect your precious heart from the bruises and cuts of others' attitudes and speech.

if only i could change your past and you had been born, in your own words, 'in my tummy'...instead of- and i'm not second-guessing God here, just thinking out loud- how it did happen.

thankful as i am to have you, it's hard to explain just the way things were. people just don't get it. i'm not sure you and i and daddy get it. and children say the most hurtful things of all because they just spit out their thoughts unfiltered.

all i can do i pray that the great Healer finds ways to bind up the slashes and scrapes that you have already received on your sweet spirit. I pray that the great Forgiver teaches you to forgive those who ask too many questions, stare too hard and long, and say things that you cannot possibly be expected to understand.

and i pray that you- and i- will learn to be gentle with words, slow with questions, and ready to bring healing and forgiveness to every difficult and awkward situation.

especially when we have no answers.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

while i was sleeping

weird and wonderful things are happening in my spiritual life recently.

i'm having visitations from Holy Spirit in my sleep...

one night a couple of weeks ago, i dreamed that i was 'slain in the Spirit' (an old Pentecostal term for falling down almost unconscious during prayer or ministry time). i have actually been 'slain' while awake, and felt the presence of God so strongly that it was like a soft blanket with anchors of steel that held me to the floor while HE did a work in my heart. 

DISLAIMER: nobody has ever 'pushed me over', either...and i've made it a point to keep standing when everyone is falling around me because i truly don't want to be a part of mass hysteria...

but this was different- because i was alone, and sleeping, at the time.

i fell over sideways (in my dream) and lay on the floor in a trance, awake (but sleeping) but not able to move. in my arms i held a huge golden circle of light that was warm on my chest. i lay there for a long time (while i was sleeping) and the presence of God trembled, vibrated, warmed...strangely powerful and beautiful. 

after awhile i sat up.

then a lady bent over me (in my dream) and said some words in a language i did not understand. she laid a gentle hand on my (sleeping) shoulder, and i was slain again. over i went on the floor, still clutching the huge circle of golden light, and this time the air around me was a rainbow- a pulsating kaleidoscope of light that throbbed around me, through me, within me. 

for an eternity i lay there, bathed in the light, filled with the light, paralyzed by the light. my worlds of inner and outer consciousness bridged and melded and swirled together in stupefying wonder. 

(SPOCK would have been proud.)

when i awoke from the dream, i was changed...i felt if something wonderful was going to happen. had already happened.

i wonder what HE is up to now...i'm on the brink of something...and the air is crisp and clean and smells like sunshine and the pulsating circle of light thrills within my arms.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

of tambourines, sandals, and Jesus freaks...

i'm remembering a beautiful song that we used to sing back in the early 70' was the end of the Jesus Movement and we were all still pretty much hippies, even though some of us were young marrieds with kids...

we'd get in our home groups, close our eyes, and sing and sway as acoustic guitars strummed the hypnotic tune from Godspell...

"day by by day...O dear Lord, three things I see Thee more Thee more dearly...follow Thee more by day..."

those words have followed me through all these decades. they are still the prayer of my heart.

forever i'll be a child of the 60's...the decade when everything was changing and anything was possible. over-arching it all, from my perspective, was the Person of Jesus Christ, the King of the Flower Children and the Man for whom tens of thousands of us chose willingly to be called freaks. we were truly Jesus freaks. the spirit world was rocking, the tambourines were jingling, and we danced in the footprints of the Jesus boots of the Lamb of God- in our bare feet and our sandals -

and we loved him.

tomorrow i will hum this song to myself my mind i'll rock back and forth and fling my long hair and my bracelets will clink and the earth will shake and Godspell will ring out a call again to the millions of kids in a generation who needed and found something to live for...

and it will be my birthday, and i will love him far more now that i did then. and day by day i am still following in His footsteps...

because i am still a Jesus freak, and He is still the King of the Flower Children.