23 April 2014

impolite refusals

There is much truth revealed in the mystery of dreams.  Jessie, the main character in my novel learns much as she sleeps.  And so, another clip --

She settled into the softness of her warm bed and fell quickly into sleep.  She dreamed again of fruit, boxes and boxes of the ripest and tastiest fruit.  She had set up a stand on a busy street corner and was offering the fruit for free to anyone who wanted it.  She knew there were lots of hungry people, but very few stopped to take what she was giving.  When they heard that there was no charge, many said there must be something wrong with it.

“No, it’s the very best fruit you ever tasted” Jessie said.

“I don't believe it” said a man as he walked away empty handed.  “There’s nothing good that comes for free.”

“Probably old and rotten” said a pretty middle aged woman in tattered clothes, shaking her head “no” as Jessie extended her hand with a large bunch of grapes.  She certainly looked like she could have used the food.  “Are you sure?” Jessie asked again.  “They're really, really fresh and sweet.”

“What’s the catch?” the woman asked, as did many others as they passed by.  “You give this away free and then what?”

“Then nothing” Jessie answered.

“Yeah, right.  So what’s in it for you?”  Jessie was surprised at just how suspicious people were.

“Nothing in it for me” she said.  “I just have all this fruit and I can't eat it all by myself.”

“Then maybe you're just stupid” said a slick looking man in a suit and shiny shoes.  “If you have that much, why not sell it, make yourself some good money?”

She found herself answering the same questions over and over again.  As darkness fell she had almost as much fruit as when she started.

“What a shame” she thought.  “I have so much to give away and no one is interested.  I can't possibly take all these boxes home, maybe if I leave them here someone will take some when no one is watching.”  She filled one box with a variety of fruits to take with her and left the rest there on the corner.  As she was walking away she was stopped by a policeman.

“You can’t leave your garbage out on the street like that Miss.”

“It’s not garbage, it’s good food.  I don't understand why no one wants it.”

“Doesn't matter what it is” he answered.  “You can't leave it there.  Take it somewhere or throw it away.”

Jessie stood before him and started to cry.  She was sad and tired and didn't know how to start moving all those boxes.

She woke with tears in eyes that scanned the room realizing she had been dreaming.

“If someone ever offered me something good, I don't think I would have turned it down” she thought.

“I offer Myself, and people choose to not accept Me” came the voice that she longed to hear.

“But you’re even better than the best fruit.  I just don't understand.  I just don't understand” she thought as she fell back to sleep.

Jessie found herself back near the same street corner.  All of the fruit boxes had been removed and in their place stood a man that looked like the pictures of Jesus that she saw at Bobbie’s house.  She stood close enough to watch and listen.  The man was reaching out his hand to the people walking down the street, smiling, nodding his head and sometimes speaking words of greeting.  While she watched, no one took his hand; instead they ignored him or altered their steps so that they didn't even come close to where he stood. With each passing man, woman or child Jessie could see a shadow cross his face, like a flash of pain.  Then his smile would return.  It hurt Jessie to watch him so she rushed to his side, taking his hand.  Others shouted for her to be careful and stay away.  “Don't trust strangers” they called, or “You don't even know who he is.”

“No” she answered back, though no one was listening.  “You don't know who He is, but I do.”



walking with Emily and the beloved imperfect ones

 

22 April 2014

knock away, I will not answer

back in March
I joined a movement
to smash a love idol
the need to please
anyone, anything
but my Lord

a cross of ashes
began a time 
of letting go, shaking 
off, breaking loose
to live free
between the dust 
of forming and the dust 
of dying

hunger for approval
prowled, scratched
knocked with uncommon
intensity, making itself
known in deviousness

the Holy Spirit held
a mirror, reflecting
heart deep, exposing
dark, need, ego

resurrection Sunday dawned
clouded, chilled
but as always filled
with unstoppable light
even when unseen

I live here, between
the forming 
and the dying
purposed on freedom
yes, the idol still knocks
with predictable vigor
and tenacity

with Christ risen, alive
in me and stubbornness 
of my own, like a child
 sticking fingers in my ears
I will not listen
I will not answer

unless and until
I hear my Shepherd's 
true voice

 

19 April 2014

all in the waiting

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; 

wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing; 

there is yet faith

But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.

Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought. 
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness, the dancing.

T.S. Eliot

One year ago, it was not the Saturday of waiting
for the glory of Easter Sunday, no
that day of rejoicing had come
and gone, weeks before

last year today was a Friday
a different day of waiting
for what we knew would come
but could never prepare for
and by Saturday, she was
simply no longer here

grief is sticky, having 
it's way with me
there is no calendar
for mourning
no limit to tears
I wait for Sunday

Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday
in the stillness with Sandy

 

18 April 2014

Good Friday clouds

By now it was noon. The whole earth became dark, 
the darkness lasting three hours—a total blackout. 
The Temple curtain split right down the middle. 
Jesus called loudly, “Father, I place my life in your hands!” 
Then he breathed his last. 

I set my self
in silence, dark
to imagine what 
we can not
even in the thickness
of clouds cover, we
who have chosen Him
will ever see light

Sunday is just around the corner friends...

Whitespace Community Linkup @ faithbarista.com

joining Bonnie and friends finding whitespace

 

16 April 2014

migraine

migraine pain moved
in Monday night
a greedy visitor
allowing no room 
for sleep, comfort
creativity, rational
thought shoved aside
left my mind edging
delerium, churned

nights extend long
while the world 
slumbers on without 
you, praying
for morning's light
relief, returning hope
of a new day

today fatigue lingers
headache's shadow
but I am indeed on the mend



walking with Emily and the imperfect redeemed

 

15 April 2014

Spiritual Misfit by Michelle DeRusha

Writing about her book Spiritual Misfit A Memoir of Uneasy Faith, Michelle DeRusha says:
My story is ordinary – it’s not a dramatic conversion story; nothing “big” happened to me along the way. I didn't experience a near-death situation. I didn’t survive a tragedy. But in a lot of ways, that’s what makes my story so accessible. It’s about an ordinary person with ordinary questions, fears and doubts who was transformed in an extraordinary way.
I believe this is exactly why this is a must read book for us all.  We who feel just "ordinary" always need to be reminded of just how extraordinary our God is. How many of us find ourselves naked before our Lord, trembling just a bit, scratching our heads, mumbling "I believe Lord, help my unbelief?"

In this close to the bone memoir Michelle shares with brave openness her doubts, fears and growing reliance on a Lord Who asks us to believe what we can not always see.

Some pages left me giggling, like the story of tossed Cheez-It crumbs; others are stained by tears of recognition, when God shows Himself in quiet glory.  Then there are the pages striped by coloured highlighters, that will beckon me to return to the words again and again, like these:
While faith through grace alone is probably liberating for most people, freeing them from the inescapable burden of sin, it scared the crap out of me because it required that I relinquish control.  It carried me full circle back to the aspects of God I couldn't define, hem in, deconstruct, or rationalize.  It carried me back to the heart, which was a much more difficult realm to navigate than the head.  Honestly, I would much rather have earned my entrance to heaven than take a flying leap onto the slippery slope of faith.  Earning seemed much more predictable, orderly, and measurable, so much less fraught with fear, than leaping.  Leaping into faith required me to trust and surrender to someone I couldn't see.
Those could have been my own words, so closely they struck my spirit.  I believe you will be struck in similar fashion.  You need to read this book.  You need to share this book.  It will speak loudly to everyone, no matter where they find themselves on this wild journey of faith.

I was given an advance reading copy of this book.  The opinions I have shared, as always, are my own.

 

12 April 2014

addicted to still

Silence
It has a sound, a fullness.
It's heavy with sigh of tree,
and space between breaths.
It's ripe with pause between birdsong
and crash of surf. 
It's golden they say.
But no one tells us it's addictive
Angela Long

our land was beginning to show itself
black soil damp from the melting
today the snow returns
a fresh cloak
to silence spring
yet again
I will sit in the quiet of this day
asking patience and peace
to settle with the gray

Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday
seeking the stillness with Sandy

 
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