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Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Parable Just in Time for the Holidays

A Story of Memories and Today
Just in Time for the Holidays


To no one in particular, I voiced this dirge – this melancholy refrain which burdened my heart and relentlessly tore at my soul:

If there is any Good – any Love – or strength in Truth, come into my heart this morning. Fill me and wipe away all of the empty echoes of the past - where voices of children rang out, when we were all under one roof, when I was strong, and I knew which path to take - when I could fix what hurt, and a simple hug and kiss made it all better............  Come!”, I appealed to the sky above. “Come into my heart this morning.  I am too tired to hope they will all come home - that there will be a day when all sadness has faded, and when mistakes are past - when wrongs are undone.........  The scars seem as bad as fresh wounds.  Hope is dim,  and I have grown feeble.  Will they ever come home?  Some of the mistakes are mine, and some of the blame is mine, though I never meant for it to be so.  From a broken woman worn out and consumed by what I cannot erase - I used to be sure that all would work out, that good would prevail, and that no one would be lost............  But here I am, calling them home, with no answer..........  I hear my own voice calling out for the children who are gone...........  It seems so bitter now........... Even if they find their way, even if they WANTED to come home,  how will the years that  are gone, be made up for?

Is there such a thing as a second chance – or a third or fourth? I watched the chickens that were oblivious to my troubles, scratching around in their pen. I loved these birds that did not see beyond the worm just swallowed, or past the brief skirmish which revealed the pecking order. I gave them names. I had watched them hatch from their eggs and fight for freedom from the once safe shell that was a barrier to the world around. When the time came – somehow they knew when to engage in the struggle that was necessary for life. I knew I could not help in this process of birth. It had to be the chick who itself cracked the shell that bound them and broke away from the old to enter the new.

All they would ever know was the coop within the yard where they would spend their lives, enjoying the safety I had provided them. Brief battles between hens and one rooster.............. and he crowing his pride in all that was his.

I have always known that children are like chickens; living out the moment, not concerned with tomorrow. They enjoy the love of the mother hen who calls to her chicks when the shadow of the hawk overhead foretells something dreadful. They obediently run to her, snuggling in close beneath her wings until the danger has passed. The top hen calls out her victories over the lesser hens, and so their battles go.....

I am not a chicken, and my children are not chicks. And they are no longer within range of my voice. But old habits die hard. Forever linked with my kids, I sometimes sense danger and do sound the alarm even from a distance.

The yard is provided by me, as is the chicken coop. Their food is provided by me, and I oversee the relationships between them making sure there is harmony within.

As I am pondering all of this, I begin to imagine that I am perhaps more like a chicken than I think. Although my life has been painful at times and not at all easy, it has been a home for me. I have been protected from some things evil – much that is evil. And there have also been good things – uneventful things.

Twenty two years ago, I began to peck at my shell. Somehow I knew to hope for a better life – that it was time to leave one and enter another. I have broken down impossible walls and pierced through hard places so that I have glimpses of Goodness, Truth and Love.

My shell is Parkinson's Disease. In my battle against it, I must wage my war alone. I find my strength as I battle. I grow and get closer and closer to leaving the pieces and remnants of this shell behind. I know that on the other side of this broken shell, there is Love, Goodness and Truth. But in all honesty, I must admit that when the shell was whole, it too was good. Though I would not have chosen it, there was safety and room to grow – protection from what I was not ready to face.

PD has marked out the boundary lines around me and kept me within certain perameters, for reasons I do not know. But I don't have to know. Goodness, Love and Truth have protected me, and helped to shape me. My shell would not have suited you, nor yours mine. If you look and are willing to see, you will come to the same conclusion. That you are not alone, and you do have what you need to become who you were born to be. When it is the right time, you will break through the last and final piece of eggshell. Grow now where you have been planted. Don't struggle using up all your strength for battles that do not need to be fought. Trust the owner of the chicken coop! He is God, and He is Love. He does not give you an easy birth, but one that will take you from Hope to Love............






Thursday, October 30, 2014

I Had a "Moment"

Last night I had a "moment".  I was just so sad............  The whole world is broken ,  I'm broken, you are broken, and those you know are broken.  This globe that we live on has been abused and taken for granted - unappreciated.

In my corner of the world, I see things that just make me despondent.  They are little things to be sure, but much loved, and missed when they are gone.  For instance, the stars..........  We live outside of our small city, and it's rather like country - or at least parts of it.  We used to be able to see the stars so much brighter than they are now.  When I slip out onto the back patio, after dark, where once the tree frogs and other night creatures. sang out, there is silence.  The still quiet of the night that comes from small populations, and the absence of convenience stores is even disappearing.  More and more I hear the rumble of loud engines as cars go by, in place of the lowing of the cow for her calf, or the packs of coyotes that run free.

My daughter is a bee keeper.  I've learned that bees are very docile workers who do really amazing things:  they dance in the hive when they find a good food source and they want to tell the others; they produce and share with us that wonderful food - honey.  They pollinate our flowers and vegetable gardens and without them we could grow no food.  But for some reason, bees are disappearing..... (http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/the-importance-of-beekeeping-zbcz1402.aspx

A person with a disability will look at things differently  than someone who is strong and healthy.  We may be afraid to try new things, or stop doing old familiar things because we cannot depend on our bodies to respond to things in the needed way.

But I will move on from this sad moment.  I don't want to get stuck.  I can do little to change the world, but I can  decide how to live in my little corner..........  and you can too!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Is It Truth or is it Not?

I awoke this morning with a sense of well-being.  You wouldn't think that possible in this world and in this day.  Not only is this a dangerous and  hostile world, but I am disabled, and am a step behind everyone else.  It is getting worse every day, with new acts of violence and new calamities.  I don't have much of a chance at coming out of this in one piece and unharmed.  There are terrible things going on - it is rather like Pandora's box............  It is as if every bad possibility becomes reality.  What IS going on???

My beliefs are not approved or agreed with by the majority of people, and the rights I have always known and enjoyed are crumbling away faster than we can name them.  People around the world are being bullied and even killed for believing the way I do.  And it's not just death for a difference of opinion, but beheading - of children - by throngs of evil men who are led by evil rulers.

Why do I have a sense of well being?  Well it is not that I have faith in a particular outcome in this polluted world.  It is not that I think I will beat this world system.  It's certainly not that I believe man will triumph on the side of good, but I know Who I belong to.  I do know the general outcome of this world that the God of the Bible created, but that is not so much comfort in the moment - every moment.  I know Who I belong to.

If man has proved no other thing, than the fact that he is incapable of good, and in need of a Savior, then that is good.  Our best and most valient efforts have landed us in a world of terrorists with the doors of freedom closing and with no way out.  We need a deliverer.  I think we all  would agree about that.

Well, I know my Deliverer!  I know in whom I have trusted.  As I sit here trying to choose the right words that will convey to you who my Savior is, I am a bit frustrated.  There are no words which I know that will truthfully describe to you Who He is.

Perhaps this one quotation from the Bible will enter your awareness as you read these words, and work its way through your entire being, and become a part of you.  I pray that it does:

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever  believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."  John 3:16

Believe and embrace the Truth - be true to it - and it will set you free!  If you cannot tell whether or not you are embracing the real truth, then ask this question:  Does it set you free?  If not, then it is not the truth.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Joy and Trials

James 1:2-4

Consider it all joy my brethren when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

I read that the deeper meaning of the word “joy” is to be satisfied. I want to ask you if you are content or satisfied with your lot in life. James says that we should be. In fact, he says that when we encounter rough waters – when we encounter various trials – we are to meet those trials with contentment.

By definition “trials” are sufferings that put strength, patience or faith to the test.

James was talking to fellow BELIEVERS. That's US.

How can we rejoice or be content when we are suffering a trial of some sort? We are not glad to be unhappy – but we celebrate the fact that in the midst of painful, hurtful circumstances – God is there – with us – meeting our needs. The God of the universe has made Himself small enough that He has concerned Himself with and acquainted Himself with MY problems! It's not the problems that matter so much (the problems come and go) but with a sense of wonder I am transported far beyond my trial – and I “see” God holding me up, bending over me, attending me, expressing His tender love for me....

When I say that I 'see”it, it is through the lens of faith. I am believing that God is who He says He says He is and that He loves me the way He says He does. To do this I have to know what the Bible tells me about Him.

Do prepare now for the testing of your strength, faith, and patience by READING the Word. We must first KNOW the Word. Then we BELIEVE that Word. Then we ACT on the truth of that Word. It will feel bad at first. But push through that pain. There is joy unspeakable on the other side of that trial.


As I write this I am reminded of my childhood. Whenever I got sick, my mother would take care of me. She would take care of me. She would feed me delicious meals, medicate me, see that I rested in bed, freshen my sheets every day, and so on. I loved the attention. I didn't like being sick, but I loved the TLC. I think James is telling us this same thing: You don't have to like the trial, but rejoice in your heavenly Father's tender loving care over you.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Power of Love

Thank You, heavenly Father, for sending Your Son to redeem me.  I can't figure out why You would want me, except that You love me.  You ARE love.
Love is not weak or polite, nor does it wink at sin.  Love is the power and creative genius that made the heavens and the earth and all the creatures in it.  Love not only lifts me up amidst the sorrow and the torment of things gone wrong, but it also crushes the counterfeit of good.  It will obliterate the hypocrisy of disease.
Love is tenacious in it's pursuit of us.  It never gives up as long as there is life and a chance of redemption.  Jesus set His face like a flint towards the cross, and did not shrink back.  At the time appointed, we will see that magnificant power under control.  That's what love is.  It does not cower before anyone, and is obedient only to theTtruth.  Love looks you in the eye and unfalteringly speaks the truth.
My truth today is PD doesn't control me, - like love gone wrong - It attacks me, and like a twisted piece of metal it is a mangled version of life.  But He Who is Truth and Love will prevail.  I will endure to the end of this life that evil has for the present claimed - until the coming of His great great kingdom and the unveiling of His Truth.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

We Need a Saviour

People with PD need a Saviour (a Great Physician) !  We are broken and cannot fix ourselves.  We have tried diet, excercise, positive thinking, physical therapy, medicine and surgery, but we still have this affliction.  And it progresses.   This is also our  spiritual condition.  We are sinners.  Even if we figure our sins are minimal and we are not as bad as some others - the truth remains:  We are sinners.  Even if we lived a sinless life from our first moment of birth we would still be sinners in need of a Saviour.  Why?  Because every human being has a sin nature that we are born with.  We are tainted from the beginning.  It is just as impossible to get rid of sin and it's effects, as it would be to heal myself of PD.  We are utterly powerless.
As Believers, we have allowed Jesus Christ to pay for all our sin and then to cleanse us from every particle of it in our lives.
I have had a transforming and life-giving surgery that has gotten rid of many symptoms of this disease. This was arranged by God.  I have been "saved".  Spiritually speaking Jesus Christ has come as the Great Physician into my life and saved me from certain spiritual death.  Some people (many in fact) refuse this wonderful gift, (spiritually speaking) and stubbornly continue to refuse help as they weaken and lose their abilities.  That would be like me telling the neuro-surgeon:  thanks for your offer of a better life, but frankly I'm going to decline your offer to help me - to make life wonderful.  I'd rather die.
As Believers, we have accepted the Saviour's beautiful gift.  We could not have earned what it took to pay for all the sin in our lives, but He opened the Book of Accounts, and marked in the space beside my name - PAID IN FULL
DEBT CANCELED
PAID BY THE SAVIOUR
 Thank You, heavenly Father, for Your priceless gift!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I Have Learned What is Most Important

I'm sixty years old.  Sometimes I feel every bit of that plus more........and other times I feel what I'm guessing normal may feel like.  Of course having had this disease for over 20 years now, I don't guess I really know what normal feels like.  Whatever.  But what I want to say is that PD (monster that it is)  has taught me different values - better ones.  Before, I depended upon the temporal parts of me.  Like my youthful appearance, my size 2 body, the gift of grace on a  horse - the way I looked and the way I carried myself.  I also developed character and tried to always be kind and generous among other things, but now that I don't have that young face and body, or those graces, I have had to realize that skin deep isn't good enough.  I want to be good and strong, honest and faithful, loyal and loving.........  What I cannot do physically any more, is a temptation to insecurity.  There are no approving glances or admiration at my physical skills.  Instead I am clumsy and slow.
But, do you know - this is why I have learned what is most important.  It takes courage to face the world with less than everybody else has.  When you step outside your secret world, it forces you to call up the strength you never thought you had.  It encourages you to be forgiving and patient with others, because you know you are taxing on people at times.  You learn to reject embarassment over meaningless things like inability to use a fork correctly, or hold a tea cup without trembling.  These problems force me to grow past the things that I will leave behind when I leave this earth.
I will never love PD.  But I am a different person than before.  I am a better, deeper person.  I am less interested in SELF and far more interested in you.  Life with PD has called forth my best efforts and taught me to notice the little things, because I can't do what I once thought were the big things.
I hope that one day, I will meet you..........  I wonder what you think of life with PD, or just plain life...........  And I want to say, that it takes grace - and lots of it - to move through life with a broken body.  I think you must be beautiful..........and one day I hope I will meet you.