Saturday, February 28, 2015

Rahab Waiting

I wrote a letter to my Pastor today.  He had asked how I was doing and wanted an in depth answer.  I will share part of it with you.


*long sigh*

And so it begins, the bearing of my soul.

*insert waning smile here*

I am good, tired, happy, sad, and all that falls in between. Frustrated mainly.  Mentally I just want to ignore the barrel.  God isn't letting me.  He isn't telling me what needs to be done to enter it either. The more I try and let myself step up to that barrel the more guarded, more broken I become.  Entering the barrel means becoming a child. I can't "adult" and be child.  I can't be strong while being weak.  I can't heal while drowning in hurt.

Can't/won't/don't-know-how to be both/and for those things. Be both adult and child, both strong and weak, both healing and hurting.

I am not depressed, shamed, or self hating any longer.  That is progress that is notable, remarkable really.  I have lost shame, hate, and depression over the last almost two years of living here.  There is forward momentum happening, but now we are at my wall and it isn't coming down.

A big part of me feels like Rahab.   Sitting in her house waiting for God to tear down the wall, so that she could be free of her past and the sins of her own and of others upon her.  Rahab with her scarlet cord.  Rahab with nothing more than her belief in the God of the Jews and her trust that He would spare her.  Rahab just waiting to be free while sitting behind a wall that she could not take down on her own.  Rahab the harlot that sat waiting for God to tear down a wall.

Waiting is hard.

I wonder if Rahab scratched at her side of the wall as she waited, maybe even a fingernail at a time, in passing.  I wonder if she ran her fingers over it, feeling the sheer depth of it, the hardness of that rock that stood between her and freedom.   Rock dust under her nails.

So I wait and I scratch and I wrap a crimson cord around me tight.

"See this cord, Lord.  This crimson cord. The cord of my past.  The cord the color of Your blood.  Both crimson, both calling;  'Forget me not.'  I am waiting Lord, waiting for these walls to crumble away at your bidding, but remember your promise and don't let me crumble with them. "

That is where I am spiritually.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

I just walked away *FMF:Open*

*as always I never time myself for Five Minute Friday.  I let the word speak to me for as long as it speaks.*

Manhattan, New York

The city has a feel all it's own, or maybe that is just the feel that all big cities have to them.  An energy that is palpable.  Almost a vibration.

I walked up the streets.  My eyes open.  Taking in all the sights, the buildings, the people. Eye contact, a genuine smile, seeing more than my destination.

The buildings, oh, the buildings.  Most of them old, ornate.  I wanted to run my hands across their bricks and stones.  I wanted to linger close to them, lean my ear up by them and listen for the whispers of the stories they have to share.  The tales that they could tell.  They have stood long, seen much, held much.  If they could speak what would they tell me?  I could only imagine.  I didn't have time to listen though, I was too caught up in the people around me.  The ones walking by fast, almost all of them looking at their phones, or speaking on a blue tooth.  A city of people talking to the air, not seeing the beauty.  Everyone was in a hurry.  Everyone except the ones without phones or blue tooths.  They were the ones who sat and asked from their concrete corners and cardboard beds.  Asked to be fed, to be heard, to be seen.  I tried my best to see them as I walked by.  To look in their eyes and say "Good morning." I wanted to remind them they were visible, seen, human, even if just for a moment.

Two of them stood out to me.  Made me pause.  Made me hurt. Well, they all made me hurt, but these two, these two made me ache.  One was a young man.  Younger than me, young enough to make me think of him as somebodies baby boy turned man, but still her baby.  He held up a sign that he was hungry.  Something about when he had eaten last.  It hurt too much to read the signs all the way, reading them all the way made me a part of their story. A block away from him I stopped and pulled the stroller over.  I dug through my backpack, hoping the snacks that I had packed in it the day before were still in there.  I dug looking for those two granola bars I remembered tucking away, but I came up empty handed.  They had been left in the cooler bag that sat in the hotel room.  I kept walking. I wish that I had walked into a store and bought him some food.

The second one haunts me more.

He was huddled on his flat cardboard home, wrapped in a sleeping bag.  His sign spoke of being cold.  He was one of the dozens of homeless I had seen that day, but I saw him the deepest.  I met his eyes when I couldn't bear to read his whole sign.  "I am cold." He had slept out in the freezing temps for days.  I only picked up the words my brain could catch in the few seconds I could bear to look. He held a can out with his shaking hand.  Shaking, shivering with cold.  A cold so deep that it found its way into my own body just by a glance at him.  I shivered in his cold as our eyes met.  Hungry, thirsty, freezing deep brown eyes.  We saw each other.  I broke the gaze before I broke.  He didn't need my pity or my ache.  He needed warmth and I had none to give.

"There are so many Lord, God help them.  There are too many for me to touch.  What am I supposed to do?! I am sorry.  Forgive me for walking away."

Now that I am home, I wonder what warmth I could have given. I could have given him the warmth of human compassion.  I could have sat and felt the cold with him.  I could have bought him something warm to fill his belly with.  I could have held his hand, had he let me. I could have done more than just a look, just enough to see him and then to walk away.

Matthew 25

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 

36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 

38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 

39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40“ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Except I didn't. I just walked away.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Barrel I Can't Ignore

I had a dream two nights ago.  It was an intense dream.  I spent yesterday mentally trying to unpack it while simultaneously trying to ignore it. My brain fights itself like that often.

In my dream I was back in my early childhood home.  The first one that I can remember living in.  It really was nothing like that first home, but in my dream that is where I was.  I was an adult in the dream. I was in my bedroom trying to make it nicer.  There was a large barrel like a rain barrel in there.  It was filled with mucky water, smelly water.

I emptied the barrel and moved it over to a corner of the room.  The room already felt better.  Then I decided that I should move that barrel out completely so I put it out back in a shed.

When I looked out the window towards the shed the barrel was glowing and lighting up the whole shed.

Someone told me that I needed to go out there and deal with that barrel, see what was in it.

I told them, "No way! Out of sight out of mind, I am not going to deal with that. It can just stay in that old shed."

The next thing I knew the barrel had moved into my living room where it could no longer be avoided.

A mist was rising from it and it had a glow coming from within it.

It's presence was not welcoming.  It was an evil presence.

I stood across the room from it. I stood there casting out the presence inside that barrel in the name of Jesus and by the blood of the Lamb.  It wasn't working.  I was too far away.

I walked up closer to it. I looked inside and it was swirling, like a portal.  I put my hand inside and the presence above it grabbed me, trying to pull me in.

My sister was there with me.  I called for her to help me.  She walked towards me and then froze, face down unable to help.

I was telling her to say the words, cast it out.  As I was speaking my words were unable to come out well.  My speech slowed, my mouth would not work right, everything was slurred and took extreme effort to say. She was frozen and I could not speak.

Then I woke up.


I know what the barrel is.  I know what the dream is telling me, but
I really just want to leave that barrel in the shed. Out of sight out of mind. I really don't want to have to enter the barrel and deal with it.