Month: May 2015

Blue – Five Minute Friday

blue ridge mountainsThe blue sky against the deeper blue mountain as the sun rose on the second morning of the drive signaled the end of the low-level dis-ease that had haunted me for nearly five years. Those wide open spaces of Houston, so beloved by so many, had been a never-ending, current that shocked me each time I went out. New York City, though chock-full of tall buildings, only required me to avoid looking up. There was no hiding from the wide open spaces of Houston. They went on forever and ever and ever with no amen, no selah, and, except for a few neighbourhoods where I rarely had reason to go, not even the slightest diminuendo. Those endless distances wore me down, heightened my agoraphobia, intensified my sense of isolation, kept me inside far more than was healthy.

But now, the painful current had stopped. I felt my shoulders relax, realized how tense they had been, how painful the uneasiness had become; I could not begin to feel it until it was gone.

Today, I sit on Bridgett’s mid-century modern sofa in her living room that is smaller than my bedroom in Houston and gaze at the dark blue, glass pitcher that lives atop her kitchen cupboard. Another friend from Houston texts to ask me if I am settling in.

“Still settling,” I reply. “But it’s very good to be here. Last night, I slept well for the first time; feeling more and more at home.”

Suddenly tears have pooled in the corners of my eyes. They threaten to spill over. Those words, “at home,” dissolve some barrier in my heart. I’ve needed to be at home for so long, since Marmar and Papa died, since before I was five. How have I lived all this time without home? Only now can I begin to hear the message the blue pitcher tells me: ‘Your hunger, starvation, dis-ease has always been valid. You always knew it, you needed home.’

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Every Friday,100s of bloggers set a timer, write for 5 minutes, and then post the results. We don’t edit or concern ourselves with whether our writing is flawless or worthy to be seen. We expose our incomplete, unpolished thoughts and words to each other and our readers. Kate Motaung at  Heading Home provides the prompt on Thursday evening. We all link our posts there and tweet them with the hashtag #FMFParty. Join us.

Follow – Five Minute Friday

I’ve wanted to make “Loved As If” my magnum opus and answer all those who are amazed that I follow Christ even though my life has often been “solitary, poore, nasty, [and] brutish.”

Among other things, I’m a student of literature and especially of the stories we call myth and legend. Originally, they were simply the stories one generation handed down to another. Until fairly recently, humans weren’t interested in empirical proof of the facts. We wanted to pass on truth. Aesop and Gilgamesh pass on immense truths that have been part of what it means to be human since the beginning.

“The Epic of Gilgamesh” is one of my all time favourite pieces of literature. It’s also one of the oldest known to man. I’ve always been struck by Gilgamesh’s lament when he first realizes he will die. He prays to the god Shamash because he sees the bodies floating in the river; and realizes this too will be his lot. All that is left is to make a great name for himself. He and his dear friend, Enkidu, undergo many trials and adventures and win great renown. Then Enkidu dies and Gilgamesh loses himself. Death can do that to us.

jesus-and-child-10When I lost my parents, I lost myself. I did not know who I was or to whom I belonged. Knowing that I didn’t belong to the minister, that I gained no identity from him gave me a bit of information about who I was not but none about who I was. That knowledge came from my Friend, from Christ. He condescended to follow me and lead me through the horrifying labyrinth of my childhood. But eventually, I had to choose if I would follow Him. It made me cranky that I had to choose. Then I understood, Christ could not be a beloved magical teddy bear to comfort me, perform miracles when needed, and provide wisdom. He had to be my God as well as my Friend. I had to be willing to follow Him even if my life never became the image I had conjured in my mind and contained more heartache and pain.

He has always been so gracious to me. He has always been there. And I want to follow because of His graciousness and generosity but also because in Him, I know who I am; Christ gives me identity. It doesn’t matter if the identity I have now is the one I would have had my life had been different. This is me. It is the Lord’s doing and it is astoundingly marvelous in my eyes.

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Every Friday,100s of bloggers set a timer, write for 5 minutes, and then post the results. We don’t edit or concern ourselves with whether our writing is flawless or worthy to be seen. We expose our incomplete, unpolished thoughts and words to each other and our readers. Kate Motaung at  Heading Home provides the prompt on Thursday evening. We all link our posts there and tweet them with the hashtag #FMFParty. Join us.

Five Minute Friday: Meet

After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him. Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:66-69)

“When did you meet Jesus?”

So many times I’ve been asked that question. I imagine myself walking along and discovering Him around the corner. Or being introduced at a party — a bbq or wine and cheese — or sitting next to Him at a formal dinner.

words to eternal lifeMy response has always been, “I did not meet Jesus. I have no memory of not knowing Him. Over time, I have come to know Him better and plan to continue getting to know Him. He seems to have just swooped me up like my Papa did when I was little. He’s never stopped swooping me up and I hope He never does.”

Many times, curiosity, fear, attraction have sent me scurrying off after something that seems to be meet and right. Eventually, I discover that if I’m scurrying away from Him, even if it’s towards something that looks glorious, I’m going in the wrong direction. Too often, I’ve gotten what I want only to discover I really don’t want it. (Once is more than enough.) And “swoop”! There He is, swinging me high into the air. Where else would I go?

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Every Friday,100s of bloggers set a timer, write for 5 minutes, and then post the results. We don’t edit or concern ourselves with whether our writing is flawless or worthy to be seen. We expose our incomplete, unpolished thoughts and words to each other and our readers. Kate Motaung at  Heading Home provides the prompt on Thursday evening. We all link our posts there and tweet them with the hashtag #FMFParty. Join us.

2015 A to Z Challenge Reflections

At the end of each annual A to Z Challenge (that’s what the month of April is all about), bloggers write a post reflecting on the experience.

A year ago, I launched launched Loved As If. This year, I reworked the years between escaping the minister and his crazy family and finding healing. In my book, that period is “Attic Clearing.” I encountered many other bloggers and some of their readers. ‘Twas lovely. Blogging two posts each day, one here and one at Glam Of God, a fashion blog I launched during this year’s Challenge, was hard work. And again, ’twas lovely. I’d do it again. Well, maybe I’ll limit myself to one post or write more posts in advance. The A to Z Challenge is a great opportunity to devote a concentrated amount of time to a writing project even when other things are calling my attention. That, along with meeting other bloggers, is what I love.

I do wish it was easier to follow the blogs. Perhaps next year I’ll program a spreadsheet and tick off the blogs I’ve already visited. Except, I happen along an interesting blog and want to return (or, worse, subscribe) and then I’m overwhelmed. It may not be an A to Z Challenge issue but a personal issue. If I program that spreadsheet, I’ll make it available to any who want it.

Thank you for such a lovely challenge. I’m looking forward to next year. Who knows, I might have a theme.

Five Minute Friday: Door

NarniaWardrobeThe image of as Lucy as she peeps through the wardrobe door remains vivid in my mind though I was five when my first grade teacher read us The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe. Opening and looking inside is what I do when I encounter a door (as long as I have no reason to believe there is danger).

On the first day when the firm I worked for moved to new office space, instead of unpacking my office and determining that my cases had been safely transported, I went from floor to floor trying doors. One led to a room that held a huge tank and various bits of machinery — it seemed a good place to hide the bodies if there ever were any bodies. (After that first day, the door was always locked; I checked several times.)

I want to know what is behind a door but more so, I want to know where a door leads. Maybe… Just maybe…

There is a door between earth and heaven. I know the way. Jesus taught us the way. My heart is still torn between the two — earth is so lovely but I, who have longed so much for home, know this isn’t really home. For now I’m content to wait and work towards the day when that door is open for me and I rush through it because I also know Who will be there with outstretched arms.

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Every Friday,100s of bloggers set a timer, write for 5 minutes, and then post the results. We don’t edit or concern ourselves with whether our writing is flawless or worthy to be seen. We expose our incomplete, unpolished thoughts and words to each other and our readers. Kate Motaung at  Heading Home provides the prompt on Thursday evening. We all link our posts there and tweet them with the hashtag #FMFParty. Join us.

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