Old Smoke pt. 2

The Preacher gathered up his tender boy with a prophet’s name who loved to coax seeds out of the dark, damp earth into the spring light.

“I think the Lord is about to teach us a new kind of gardening son.  The kind where one’s heart is torn open and the tilling hurts.  The kind of planting deep from our own storehouse into someone else’s life –He’s going to teach us what benevolence really means.”

With that The Preacher and his Boy helped Old Smoke gather his miss-matched hand me downs for the down and outs into The Preacher’s truck and together they made their way to the city where there was more opportunity for grace.

“We got him settled into the motel for a week” The Preacher phoned, “took him to Community Action, and we got him some food, and a few more clothes.”

The Preacher paused in his telling as the weight of the questions:  “How much is too much, and when do you stop, and what if he is just using, and does it really matter?” Found their way into the vibrations of his speech.

“He looks good.  The room was clean, like he was afraid to even sleep on the bed when we picked him up!  I don’t think he can read very well.  I have some applications he could fill out, but he is going to need help.  I want him to make it….to really make it.  Maybe you and The Gardener can stop by and check on him?”

Family!  This was the sound of family on mission. Family being brought to a soul who didn’t know tending, or tilling or what it meant to be watered after a drought.   This was seed bed plowing, and kindness sowing and I could feel the expectation of life out of the ashes- the redeeming love of God blowing and warming the earth of our hearts.  Then the whisper comes from over the hedge wall, the cold north wind of the deceiver…”did God really say?  What if he doesn’t want help?  What if he doesn’t change?  You‘ve believed in him…what if he fails?  What if you cost the church all this money only for him to end up under the bridge?”

I sit on the bench outside of the café waiting for The Gardener and Old Smoke to arrive.  I wrestle with the thoughts of the flesh and the desires of my heart and I pray.  I pray to God to make it not matter what the deceiver whispers.  I pray to God to make this conviction of giving because God gave a reality in my life.  I pray for Old Smoke to want to be tended.  To want to live under the warmth of The Son, to want to believe that love doesn’t judge you based on your old cloak.  Love sees the golden heart.

The door swings open and a fantastic looking cowboy hat struts into the café.  The Gardener grins behind Old Smoke’s back.  “Evening Ma’am”, and there it was.  That sound that first broke my heart, the gentle voice that doesn’t match the weathered face, and that proud tilt of the hat that speaks of other days.  I choke back my tears and hug him.

“Hungry?”

We sit down and Old Smoke pours our coffee a gesture of hospitality that moves me into a memory of those ‘get up before the rooster mornings’ with my Dad.  Times when I got to ride down off the mountain with Dad instead of having to take the school bus.  We would leave early to stop for coffee at the local bakery.    I would climb up on those old wooden stools next to the soda fountain and rub the sleep from my eyes.  I can still hear the Bakery bell chime and smell the fresh rolls and taste the maple glaze on the Big Horn Dad would order to keep his coffee company.

I look at Old Smoke’s hands.  Rough, wrinkled and I remember the way Dad’s bear paw would cup his ‘mug-o-Joe’.  It was always three spoons of sugar and molasses dark. That was the way Daddy drank it.  He taught me to love that dark bean when he let me sneak my gingersnaps into his coffee when Momma wasn’t looking.  It didn’t matter how full I was, or how many cups of coffee I had that day, I always had room for one more when Daddy was pouring.  I looked down at the mound of paper work we needed to fill out just to get Old Smoke a roof, four walls and a toilet.

“You GOT to make it”.  I busted in on their quiet conversation.  My daughter heart beating, my mothering instincts in full force “No one is going to give you a rental reference, no one is going to stand up for you, I can’t have you living under a bridge! ” They both stared at me in their mid-sentence.  Then Old Smoke smiled and nodded.

“I knew the guy here in the City, the one who lived there under the bridge.  He was a friend of mine.  He died. ”

All of those rooster mornings, and molasses coffee moments crashed like breakers over my heart.  Not on my watch. Not with this blood in my veins is he going to live under a bridge. “I.D.  Do you have any form of I.D?  Post Office Box? Social Security Card?” Old smoke moved by my desperation began to fumble in his pocket-

“Here, I managed to save my wallet.”

I grabbed his creased, old leather wallet and began to rummage through the details of his life in frantic desperation.  That was when I felt the Gardener’s strong hand on mine, pressing my manic search for answers against the wooden café table.

“Stop.”  I felt the Gardener’s piercing gaze as I met his eyes.  The Gardener turned to Old Smoke with a tender voice.  “You ok with this?” Motioning to my raccoon rummaging fingers in what was left of his identity spread across the table in between his uneaten pie and my onion rings.  Okay with this?  I was fighting for his life and against all the whispers of the nay sayers what do you mean ok?

“If this makes you uncomfortable, or you don’t want us to go through your wallet you just say so, we don’t want you to feel violated in any way”.  Honor.  The Gardener was honoring Old Smoke’s dignity and I had allowed my fear and worry to cause me to plow in to the one personal possession he was able to save, without a thought to how it might make him feel.  I felt the heat of shame rise in my cheeks.

“Nah,” came his soft drawl.  “Who do I have but you guys….You and The Preacher, that’s all I got in the world.”

Tears hot and wet rolled down my face as I met Old Smoke’s gaze.  “You have to make it”  I said softly.  “I need you to make it.”

A rhythm of Preacher and Gardener in and out of that old motel must have had heads shaking at all the fuss over one old man.  But he was more than that.  He was a secret garden, a God in the flesh lesson of benevolence, a cross roads for a community learning to live the truth on the street and in their homes.  That Sunday envelopes began to emerge in the offering plate, marked special for Old Smoke.  People were owning their plot of ground and staking claim in the promise of God coming close to the broken and the humble and the giver.  He became family to more than just the tender Boy with the prophet’s name who loved to see green things grow.

The Gardener called me on his way home tonight.

“ I am going to stop by the motel and check on our man, haven’t been able to connect with him the last couple times I have stopped, just a little worried about him, I’ll call you when I am leaving the City”.

I hung up and felt the old familiar tightness.  What if he ran?  What if he bailed on us knowing the week was almost up?  I closed my eyes and prayed.  I prayed that he wouldn’t run.  Prayed that he wasn’t high, or drunk, or lost, I prayed that he would let himself be tended.  Hours passed, then the phone rang.

“Just leaving the City.” There was a smile in The Gardener’s voice.  “yeah, Old Smoke had to show me his new place.”

“New Place?”  I stuttered, heart pounding.

“He made it honey.  He did it.  He got himself into a place, and he is going to have money coming on the first and he has a plan.  It’s not much of a place, a small apartment but it is his.”

The Gardener’s voice was thick and trembling with the laugh only a soul vested in another soul who has come to life can hear.

“ The police officer who investigated the fire came to see him while I was there, he found a box of Old Smoke’s things that survived the blaze. It had his Mom and Dad’s wedding rings in them.”

I could feel the weight of my Dad’s hand pouring me a ‘cup -of -Joe’ on that old bakery stool.

“Where is he now?”  I stammered through my tears.

“Oh,” The Gardener laughed, “I had to take him downtown, to that old church on the street.  He was in a hurry and didn’t want to miss the meeting.”

“Church?”

“Yeah, that’s where he has been every night, they are having special revival services and he didn’t want to miss them.  He says he has met some good folks, and they are even going to give him some furniture for his new place.”

I exhaled the breath I had been holding and let the tears of gratitude flow for that church on the street who had found room in their hearts for a broken man.  That church on the street we had become where God has hands and feet in the dirt.  That place where homeless hearts and wandering gardens are tended.  Where the Old Smokes meet the Heavenly Fire and learn that what stands the flame of suffering becomes gold- Pure Gold. That place where we are enlarged as we give until it hurts without counting the measure of the gift.  That place of benevolent dwelling….where God is.

 

 

 

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Old Smoke

I met an old smoke today. A Lucky Strike, unfiltered, roll your own kind of born in the 30’s man. A child of the Depression who was taught-

“there ain’t no one lookin’ out fer you but you so you best get at it”.

I met him as he watched what little he had in this world go up in flames from a heater that got kicked over in the old motor home he didn’t have a license to drive, but that he and his dog Pup, and his blind cat called home.  I sat behind him in the ranch truck as The Gardener and I took him to get some free clothes.   I was taken by the softness of his voice.  Didn’t match the leathery face, and hard hands under the puffy coat someone had given him as he stood shivering in the January bitterness wondering if his cat had got out.

I watched him out of the corner of my eye as we filtered through donation clothes searching for a pair of someone else’s brother’s, father’s pants that just might fit a 32, or was it a 34?

“It’s alright ma’am…I can always wear a belt”.

I studied the way his hands were ashamed to take what he hadn’t paid for, but how they trembled with the need.   It was over the box of underwear that I felt the intensity of tending to another’s soul.  Here in the pile of bleached fruit of the looms, the fruit of the Spirit was manifesting. Love, joy, peace, patience, perseverance, kindness, gentleness, meekness,self-control…..  We exchanged an awkward smile as he nodded that the pair I was holding up might fit, and we moved on to socks.

It was the Gardener’s shout of delight at his great “find” that broke the ice and bonded our hearts like only a perfectly formed and fitted cowboy hat can do.

“It even has a feather!”

The Gardener placed the cowboy hat on Old Smoke’s head and we wondered in amazement at the fit.  As if the weathered brim and the bend in the back were shaped by his own hands.

“Yep, that is a nice hat.”

The Gardener nodded and somehow, Old Smoke stood just a little taller, and his shoulders squared just a little more, and the old cowboy boots he was wearing seemed to somehow make him walk just a little straighter out the door.

The Gardener sat with him outside the grocery store and talked fishing and the best lures for bass on the river, as I went in to fill my cart with things I knew my Dad would have loved to eat if he was waiting for hope, in a hotel, without his dog.  I choked back the tears as I passed over the cans of mixed nuts we always bought Dad to munch on during T.V. time. I smiled as I remembered how one of those nuts broke Dad’s front tooth on his dentures.  Mom was so mad, it cost so much to fix that silly tooth.   I put the can back and settled for popcorn and chocolate chip cookies.   Old Smoke only wanted bologna and bread, and “could I have one of those raspberry teas? I don’t need much maam”.   I ached with the need to feed and care for a stranger’s soul as I would my own.

Do I love him as as I love myself?  Do I  Love him as I love the clean, and beautiful ones I sit on the pew with each Sunday? Do I love him as I love the children I have bathed, and soothed, and fed and raised.  Do I love him as I would the lover of my soul whose inconvenient knocking upon my barred heart’s door at midnight leaves me with the smell of myrrh and dew? I felt my heart break for him and for myself as I scanned the aisles for good things to eat from a microwave.  I felt the holy moment of wonder as this juncture of time and need and God came to me in the shape of a “least of these” with hazel eyes, and a soft slow drawl.

I climbed into the back seat of the ranch truck with my bags of goodies and felt the compass of my heart spin due north as grief washed over me.  I missed my Dad.  I had walked into the empty spaces during my aisle browsing.  Spaces that my Dad and I had filled together in hours of conversation, old movies and peanuts.  For a moment I felt the heavy weight of his absence threaten to capsize me as I slowly put away the cookies and the popcorn, and bologna and bread in the hotel refrigerator.  I hugged Old Smoke as I left, brushing away his noble attempt to pay.

“What can I do to thank you folks?”

“Nothing,” I whispered as I hugged his old frame.   “Thank you, for letting us help”.

The Gardener and The Preacher went to visit this evening and tell the bad news of no room in the Inn for someone who might smoke and fall asleep and burn the establishment to the ground.  They couldn’t quite form the words in their mouths so they hugged him instead and told him they would see him in the morning. Both knowing something must be done, and space must be made for this grace to continue.  The Gardener lingered as they stood to leave,

“You need some smokes?”

“Yeah,” came the slow thankful drawl, “I am out, don’t need nothin’ fancy, just get me the old kind, generic…no filter…”

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Dimah-The Weeping

A wooden carving of Virgin of the Seven Sorrows is displayed in a church in the Andalusian capital of Seville

Dimah

The Weeping

There is an ancient word for tears, a woman word, a feminine word, a womb word-

Dimah

The bitter shedding of the blood of the eyes.  The kind of bitter that comes from hearts ripped open by the ravage of divorce, death, addiction.  The kind of bitter that comes from wrong roads wrong loves, wrong gains and the feast made from them.

Dimah

The way the mother heart spills out all over the place like a gut pile from a kill, helpless to defend against the vultures unable to put itself back into its body, laid bare to the picking of its pieces.

Dimah

The sound that moves in the emptiness of home, that echoes in the ashes from the cold hearth shadows of life sounds that has been shattered by the violence- the violence of dishonor, departure, divorce.

Dimah

The blood of the eye that drips down with each glance at the babies the ones who never get to be. The ones who are but don’t know why, the ones who are but think they aren’t and so they disappear from the earth taking their beautiful life force with them, nd we wade in a river of blood that comes from our eyes…

Dimah

The blood of the eye that is ever present as we watch the ones we’ve held to our hearts and our breasts be flailed against the rocks of life in a relentless pounding of pressure. We long to give our bodies to the ragged edge, to weld for them a bridge of peace, but our hands don’t reach that far, all we have is the scream.  The here I am where are you? The scream we hurl at God, to God, desperately groping the blackness for the thread of light begging for his ‘here I am, I see you’ in the silence of the crucible.

Dimah comes unsummoned from the depths of us as we put one foot in front of the other and live because that is what we do. Dimah comes in the circle of the tribe as we lift weary heads and trembling hands to wipe the blood from another’s eyes away.  Dimah comes in the collective life lived and the common bond of sorrow as we raise one voice, shed one consolidated tear.

Yes, we know the ancient word for weeping.  She is with us an integral part of the living and breathing of mothering.  Yet, she comes with a promise, that the valley we have cut out from the torrents of our tears will one day become a door of hope. And so, we weep with you who weep, we mourn with you who mourn, we wipe the blood from your eyes through the haze of red in ours.  Together, we wait for the dawn and the day star to arise in our hearts and we hope.

 

Tell Me The Story That Will Heal My Soul

The Beauty of She

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I have been teaching an in depth course on the spiritual interpretation of the Song of Solomon for the past few months which has kept me happily immersed in the beautiful language of love, but as this season is winding down I am taking a Spring Sabbatical to flesh out the new inner workings of The Spirit stirring in my heart.  This beautiful message of the Indwelling Life of Christ.  I have found myself vacillating from anger ( why didn’t anyone teach this to me sooner) to a beautiful sense of the eyes of God upon my frame and his wonderful timing of things in my life.

As I find this message coming out in the strangest of places and conversations, I know it is time to put pen to pad and chronicle this journey…and so we begin with story.  Beautiful wonderful story.  Thank you to Major Ian Thomas who has passed…

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30 Seconds To Midnight

Midnight

 If this fire and loss of my father has taught me anything, it is that in light of eternity, very little matters in this temporal world. I don’t say that lightly. I don’t say that with pompous airs of detached stoicism.  I say that from the trenches of gut wrenching tears and an agony that leaves you unable to breathe.  I say that from the underside of the mud in my face, from the taste of my own blood in my mouth, from the bruised knees to which I have fallen. I say that from the place of stripping and knowing in the nakedness, the shame of this life is nothing compared to the glory of his presence.  The beauty of his face, the knowledge of an eternity with the Desire of the Ages is going to be worth all the pain and suffering this life can bring.  Those are not just words but an ever nearing reality.

What do any of us have to say to each other when the world as we know it is crashing and fading, and falling and shifting?  When we can’t look back and point to anything standing saying “this is irreplaceable…truth, stuff, belonging, being” the message of this hour is actually quite simple in it’s terrifying narrowness:  “Do you know your God, does he know you?”

It is 30 seconds to midnight, do I have oil and some to spare the long darkness? Or will I be sent away to discover the truth only too late, and be shut out from the closeness of his presence?

Have I heard my name upon his lips?  What does the sound of his voice feel like?  What is the rhythm of his heart? What moves him in this hour?

The message is simple.  Am I my Beloved’s?  Is He mine? It is no longer a matter of debate or theological argument.  Either I am madly in love as a bride espoused to the groom of her youth, having learned to “love one another as I have loved you ” or, I have grown bored in the waiting and turned to other things to occupy my time trusting that the fiery affections of my first love will be there when I need it.

It is 30 seconds…where am I? What is my message?

Christians Don’t Cuss and Other Fairytales

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I have put myself in time out. The dialogue is something like this:

Right side of brain:  “I never thought I knew how to say those words”

Left side:  “Sure felt good to get THAT off your chest didn’t it! ” Rummages around in the empty boxes looking for more containers of trash.

Enter the principle:

“Christians DON’T cuss”  said in my very best religious, interior critic voice, wielding a hefty rod of correction-the ever present 1611 KJV. ( In old English)

For the next hour I self-loathe, feeling the bleed of incorrectness, flagellating myself with scripture, all the while the four year old me keeps getting the duct tape off her mouth, refuses to stay in her room and her eyes are flashing at my 100th attempt to silence her.

That’s when I begin to sift for truth.  The truth is, I don’t hate God, I don’t like to hurt people, I believe in pureness of speech and thought and I haven’t stopped being a “Christian” because expletives came out under duress.  I am broken.  I am weak.  I am flesh. So much veneer has come stripping off…I thought I was real and honest and without wax aka…sincere:

Sincere:

having or showing true feelings that are expessesd in an honest way

: genuine or real : not false, fake, or pretended

“Without wax” stems from the Latin words “sin” (without) and “ceras” (wax) and was often said to be the origin of the English word “sincerity.” The story goes that the phrase “without wax” first became widespread during the height of Roman and Greek artistry, when sculptures first became a popular artistic medium. When a sculpture had a flaw, artists would fill in the chip or crack with wax, colored to match the marble. Wax was said to serve as cover-up, masking imperfections on what was most likely cheap pottery. An arguably perfect or quality piece of work was therefore free of these imperfections—in other words, without wax. Pottery pieces were even said to be stamped with the phrase “without wax” as proof of authenticity.

Now, in this moment, I feel the earthen-ness of my pottered self.  I feel strangely as though I was more authentic in my tirade of self expression, than any lofty discourse I have ever given.  In my baseness I feel more real than I have in years.  This rattles me.  Am I back-slidden as my religious schoolmarm black belt judo Bible kick boxing interior self  is sure of?  After all, Christians don’t cuss.  They don’t get mad, they don’t drink, smoke, chew, watch movies, dance, envy, doubt, fear, over eat, under eat, purge, binge, gamble, risk, run away, make waves, they are…..good.  Right?

RIGHT?

My four year old self stares me down stamping her foot.  She lifts her face to mine…” Do you LOVE ME?!” I have never asked myself that.  Do I love the imperfections?  The true dark, deep hidden self with all of its unpredictable un-neatness, insatiable curiosity, frivolous spontaneity.

NO.  I love order, and perfection, and beauty and symmetry and color.  I hate black and white, and mess and chaos and instability and above all WEAKNESS!

It is really quiet inside.  That is the truth and I am shocked at the revelation.  Weakness scares me. I have been told most of my life to be strong, even with the passing of my father, the words from my mother were:  “Be strong”.  The truth is. I am not.  I never really have been, and somehow I hear a phrase in my spirit:  “That’s ok, it’s not your job.  It’s mine.”

Then this happens:

“What we hunger for perhaps more than anything else is to be known in our full humanness, and yet that is often just what we also fear more than anything else. It is important to tell at least from time to time the secret of who we truly and fully are . . . because otherwise we run the risk of losing track of who we truly and fully are and little by little come to accept instead the highly edited version which we put forth in hope that the world will find it more acceptable than the real thing. It is important to tell our secrets too because it makes it easier . . . for other people to tell us a secret or two of their own . . . ”
Frederick Buechner, Telling Secrets

and then….this-

“Stop trying to protect, to rescue, to judge, to manage the lives around you . . . remember that the lives of others are not your business. They are their business. They are God’s business . . . even your own life is not your business. It also is God’s business. Leave it to God. It is an astonishing thought. It can become a life-transforming thought . . . unclench the fists of your spirit and take it easy . . . What deadens us most to God’s presence within us, I think, is the inner dialogue that we are continuously engaged in with ourselves, the endless chatter of human thought. I suspect that there is nothing more crucial to true spiritual comfort . . . than being able from time to time to stop that chatter . . . ”
Frederick Buechner, Telling Secrets

I am going to go for a walk and close the book of myths and listen to the truth the stillness brings.

Tohu-Bohu

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Today, August 5th 2015.  In the midst of drought both external and internal, I place my pen to the page and I write for water.  I write standing in the cracked river bed of belief and search for the truth that remains when barrenness has gripped the heart.

I write for wellsprings of promise, wells of heritage, rivers that don’t run dry, I write in desperate thirst for truth.

I write to create something from nothing.  Tohu-Bohu….out of nothing something

 Genesis 1: 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

 

tohu wa bohu: Numerous interpretations of this phrase were made by various theological sources, though it is usually translated as “waste and void,” “formless and empty,” or “chaos and desolation.”–Wikipedia

I believe that in the midst of the swirling pain of blackness you are ready to speak light.  So I hold on and listen to my life.  I listen to the rhythms of ebb and flow. I listen for the brush of angel wings and the sound of the dove.  I listen for the hurricane and the thunder.  You will not leave me formless and void.  

Living On The Circumference

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”  The recognition that one’s life is meant to be lived from the inside out is a milepost on our spiritual journey.  In a society which lays such great stress on outward appearances, labels and symbols of success it will take an earnest concentration on our part to free ourselves from this highly touted living on the circumference. “–Bob Benson, Disciplines For The Inner Life

Living on the circumference.

By definition:  the enclosing boundary of a curved geometric figure, especially a circle.

By association:  synonyms:  perimeter, border, boundary, edge, rim, verge, margin, fringe
By etymology:  This word comes from the Latin, it means to carry, or bear around or about…
As I sit gazing at these words, I realize I am beholding the place where lepers dwell.  The social misfits, the spiritual outcasts, the religiously impure, the broken bodies, minds, spirits of the strangers… the ones no one gets…the angry ones.  The deeply soul sad, the fearful and cautious ones who look for stones behind every passing cloak.  The thought comes to me of Yeshua The Rabbi’s response to the walking dead.  What was His interpretation of Leviticus?

The leper who has the disease shall wear torn clothes and let the hair of his head hang loose, and he shall cover his upper lip and cry, `Unclean, unclean.’ He shall remain unclean as long as he has the disease; he is unclean; he shall dwell alone in a habitation outside the camp.

Leviticus 13: 45-56

Matthew 11:28-30The Message (MSG)

28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

 Grief can make you live on the circumference.  Feeling like an electron slowly moving around a nucleus of sorrow that won’t let you go.  Pulling you ever inward.  I am discovering in my orbit an internal language for loss.  I never knew such words or phrases existed until I found myself walking ragged through the ashes.
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and again:
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 I turn to the Rabbi’s invitation and question whether it is for me.  What is the garment of mourning supposed to “fit” like?  at the moment it is tight and constricting and I can’t breathe most days.  But I can’t take it off.  It is like being strapped into a dress that the zipper has broken on.  To tight to go over your head, to small to slide over the hips. Only way out is the scissors-but the price tag keeps my hands at bay…I have paid so much for this dress.
No one ever told me that grief would feel so much like fear.

The Way Of The Pierced

 Religious contentment is the enemy of the spiritual life always. The biographies of the saints teach that the way to spiritual greatness has always been through much suffering and inward pain. The phrase, “the way of the cross,” though it has come in certain circles to denote something very beautiful, even enjoyable, still means to the real Christian what it has always meant, the way of rejection and loss. No one ever enjoyed a cross, just as no one ever enjoyed a gallows.—A.W.Tozer

Anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.Matthew 10:38

Not worthy.  Anyone who is not beaten, bruised and bloodied in this life….is not worthy.  Now there is something to consider.  How often do we base our ‘worthiness’ to partake of the table of the Lord, to share in His Kingdom, to minister to his Body, on things like, past sin, current failings, poor choices, lack of credentials, lack of affirmation, wrong color, shape, size, gender.  Here it would seem the qualifications have nothing to do with accomplishments or lack thereof, and having everything to do with a choice to live a pierced life.   To make the choice to pick up the rejection and loss and carry it with faith to towards the one who bore it all.  To follow the lead of the shepherd of the cross even if it means, as it did for the 21 Christians who faced the gallows of the Islamic knife recently, to lay our very life down in the following.  As I begin this Lenten season, I am looking at my hands…are they smooth?  Or do I have splinters from the carrying?5-simon-of-cyreania-helps-jesus-carry-the-cross

Waiting For You

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Dedicated to the mothers of daughters, waiting by windows

Tonight,

A circle of heart

Mothering,

Wet tears falling,

Threatening to become an ocean

No one caring,

Linking arms to stay afloat-

All for you.

You. 

You who are every daughter lost-

To the needle

The pill,

The lovers,

The lights-

The darkness.

We wept for every daughter dream

We dreamed for you

When you were catching butterflies,

Or fly balls

Or air over the hurdles.

You.

You who fill our nights with aching memory of laughter

A sound of innocence taken too soon.

We prayed for you.

We prayed for us.

You are us.

We rattled dungeon doors tonight with mother love,

Sent an ocean to cover a desert

We wait now by the lamp post,

Expecting. 

Expecting you.

-Christina Dammerman