Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Holy Spirit and the Wind

Rapatap, rapatap, rapatap!  The sound reverberates upon my window like pebbles crashing upon glass.  Waking from a deep slumber, I rise to find it is an old friend that sits at my windowsill awaiting for allowed entrance.

Her name is Wind and she is as ancient as time itself.  She can appear craggly and weathered at first appearance, however, she has a soft, warm and tender side to her as well.

She will never enter uninvited, for she knows that each person is the keeper of their own window.  Some choose to lock her out forever, while some are apprehensive, almost fearful at first upon her presence, finally unlatching the window after eons of holding onto a false sense of security and independence.

Then there are those who have known her from time began and welcome her presence into their private abode.  These are the ones who know her and her customs.  Wind is strong and protective to those who allow her the key to their soul.  She is a nuturing nanny who will cradle the children in her care, caressing them with sweet kisses upon their brow.

Often, her charges will be stubborn, unmovable and unwilling to adhere to her wisdom.  And only as a caring parent can do, she will gently nudge them forward onto the straight and narrow path.

When she beholds trouble, she will tightly grip her child and clench them back until the road is clear of danger.

Wind does not take her calling lightly.  She will fight fiercely for her children.  She is an armored soldier who will stand and protect what is hers.

Once the windows are swung open, she will enter by the breath of God, never to be extinguished.  The window opened is entrance to a summer field and the opener of the window becomes a wildflower blowing in the wind.

Melissa

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Quilt of Life

Simple pieces of fabric spread out on a table awaiting the Creator's Hand to christen their place on the Quilt of Life.  They lay fresh, starched and youthful.  A hybrid of colors, patterns and shapes, a halcyon for the soul.

  As the Creator's Hands begin to patch the pieces together, life takes hold, families and friendships fall into place, some instantly harmonious, others prepensely in discord with one another.

Between the stitching, relationships are either forged with fire or threads become unraveled with dissonance.  As the inner fibers and cords begin to age and grow thin, memories return from tides of the past, reminiscent of a gentle hand constructing many into one. 

As time goes by, the mingled squares of material find a commonality through their assemblage, remembering their wellspring of the Lord.

Celebration in recognition of truth, like sunlight dancing on the ocean.  At once, each piece of the quilt is filled with the piercing discernment of service and love.  The insight comes rushing in like an uncontrollable tidal wave, flowing from the innermost core.

Service and love becomes their mainstay, their anchor, their pillar of strength, their moral obligation in a world led to roam bewildered.  In service and love comes a voice of parental glee and love.

The gift of mindfulness in service and love delivers an awareness to returning home to the Creator.  The work is fruitful yet boundless.  Rest will come quickly and willingly.

As the fragment of the quilt ages and decays, it will return home to its Creator, who assembled it with love.  Once embraced in the precious arms of it's Maker, it will be lovingly restored to new again,  blessed to have been part of the Quilt of Life.

Melissa

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Down By the River's Edge

A few years ago I wrote this story for a sweet sister in Christ.  Her husband was in the midst of passing and sometimes I feel that my words are better spoken in writing.  This story is my way of putting words together to tell her that she is always loved and never alone.

                                                 Down By the River's Edge

At the end of every autumn, the majestic oak sets her children free.  Her offspring are light, airy and ripened by the caressing touch of the summer sun.  While their mother's arms once cradled them with shade and love, she now stands regal and tall as her children say their goodbyes one by one.  She holds onto her empty nest while her children are to find their place in the world, a journey to lead them to the river's edge.

As they fall from her protective bosom, they begin to experience a collective feeling of loneliness, yet still comforted by an unquenchable desire to seek their place.  As they tumble down, they will start to go their separate ways.  Some may choose to stay put, withering at the feet of their mother.  Others will be attracted to the false light emanating from the farmer's burning fields and find that their choice only brought them to sorrow.  And, there will be those who hear a voice in the trickling of water calling their names.  At first the sound of the water is faint, however, each step and breath will bring them closer to the source of these living waters.

The path to the river's edge will not be an easy one.  There will be days filled with muddy walkways and scrapes with thorn thrushed bushes.  However, the sweet call of the living waters is inescapable.

There will be times of lost hope, however, for the children who decide to make the journey to the river's edge, they will be mightily blessed for their faith and love in that voice which calls from the river.

After their long journey, the now tired and weather ravaged children of the majestic oak, begin to see and hear the cascading waters of the river.  No sound or sight could be more beautiful than where this arduous and toilsome journey has brought them.       

They are older now, maybe even a little wiser.  Their once crisp bodies are now torn and transparent from the elements of time.  They begin to enter the river and skim the sides of the river bed.  They soon notice that they are not alone.  There is a man standing in the middle of the river with out-stretched hands.  His loving face says it all and they know instantly that He is Jesus.  He is there to lead them across the river, to the eternal waters.

Somehow, upon seeing Him, they know that He was always with them and will always be.

Amen!

Melissa

Monday, July 9, 2018

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be...

Yesterday, my husband and I went to the grocery store.  This is my least favorite chore to do.  I do not know what it is, however, the simple task of having to go to the grocery store is enough to send chills down my spine and set me into a panic.
Artist:  Hubert Salentin

Often, my husband will go with me on the weekends, just so that I do not need to go alone during the week.  I usually hold onto him very tightly as we meander through the crowds.

While we were in the produce isle I thought I had recognized a woman that I had once known.  I told my husband that I thought the woman had been my hair-dresser that I used to go to many years ago.

I saw her again at the deli counter and I walked over to her and asked her if she was Linda.  As she turned around, I told her that I was Melissa and she remembered me from years ago.  Linda is beautiful, glamorous, and stylish.  She is what I used to want to be.  I used to pay her exorbitant amounts of money to color my hair red.  At that time of my life, I bought expensive clothes like there was no tomorrow.

I stood there and complimented her on how young and beautiful she looked, and she was not able to find any words to compliment me with.  I laugh at this because I am no longer the woman who colors my hair or buys expensive clothing.  These parts of my life are gone and I am ever so thankful.

The Lord has most certainly changed my life over the last six years.  What had once been immodest and tarnished is slowly being transformed into something modest and of worth.

When I became a Christian, I not only fell in love with Christ but also with his Saints.  I especially love Mary Magdalene.  I look at her life before coming to Christ and I see a woman who was lost and lonely, however, upon accepting Christ as her Lord, she became a woman of noble character.

I can now see what I was, am now and ever shall be, and all with thanksgiving and glory to God.

Melissa

Monday, June 18, 2018

Spray Painting the Sky

The word spray painted the sky, in imperfectly scattered letters, upon the hand painted clouds, not unlike a simple gift given by a child, offered with sincerest love.

Just moments ago, a man lay dying in his bed, listening to the voices of loved ones making utterances of lifetime emotions poured into rapid goodbyes.

An old friend named Farewell stood silently and unseen waiting in the well lit and humble room, to take this gentle soul home.

The passing spirit of this man was the only one aware of the presence of Farewell.  Light as a feather, he jettisoned to his friend, like a bird set free from his cage.  Pure joy was emanating from him as he realized that he was now able to breath without artificial air being fed through a tube into his weak lungs.

Vigor and warmth percolated from this man, like a brimming cup of fresh morning coffee.  What had once been weary was now made alive.  Death had lost its sting and there was no more fear or illness, only a bounty of love and an awaiting homecoming to his King.

The soul of this man firmly clasped the hand of his companion, Farewell, and was preparing to take flight for his journey.  However, there was a request that needed to be made before his departure from this native land that he had called home for many decades.

The man had spent his life as a meek and mild servant of the Lord's.  Every word spoken softly and with reserved and unpretentious decorum, nevertheless, this moment at life's passing required a jolt of undaunted sincerity.

The appeal was made to his friend for a life-closing gift to be granted to his family.  This man had spent his life, never in thought to himself, but always in selfless love and consideration to others.  He knew that each family member and friend was a precious blessing commissioned by the hand of God.

Farewell peeked into the eyes of his fellow brother in Christ and knew that he would help him in his request, which was made out of a benevolent heart.  Before Farewell could ask how he would like to bequeath this gift to his family, the man of humility, spoke one word.  Air!

At first Farewell appeared to look perplexed by his one syllable choice, then like morning's dawn, light was quickly revealed.  Air was a signal to his family that he had been unbarred from a deteriorating body and his soul was liberated and unchained, setting forth to life eternal with Jesus.

An airplane was dispatched from the skies, and began to bellow out smoke, like residue from a chimney on a chilly autumn morning.  Slowly letters were formed on the painter's canvas made from blue sky.  The letter 'A' was rough hewn, raggedy, but legible.  Next came the letter 'I', made like a stroke from an old ink well pen.  'R' came lastly,  appearing like stone chiseled out from a newly formed sculpture.

The Lord's divine providence perpetuated the families need for, should we say a breath of fresh air.  Just a few clock ticks before, the family had said goodbye, however, now the man who could not breath, with God's help, gave them the gift of a breathless miracle.

Melissa

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Meeting Forgiveness

Artist:  Daniel Bonnell, Jesus Wept
On my pilgrimage I have recently met Forgiveness.  I suppose I was walking in deep meditation, while I happened to find him waiting to greet me by the side of the road.

Forgiveness stood hunched, patient and alert.  He reminded me of what I would imagine a person ancient of days to look like.  He was weathered in skin, craggly like a rock sitting in the elements for a millennium.  His clothing was tattered yet soft, not unlike his own physical features.

He called me by name, knowing me from my inner core.  I felt an immediate liking to him, even before words were spoken. 

He knew my grudges and burdens that I held onto like a security blanket, feeling like a selfish child unable and unwilling to let go.

Forgiveness knew that a long time ago I was able to forgive the man who had killed my father, while I was still at the tender age of eight.  However, he also knew that I was not inclined to forgive my own mother for shutting down after the death of my father and hence, rejecting her own daughter who still needed her. 

I inquired from my new friend why it was easy to forgive someone that I had never met versus the unforgiving behavior that I continued to feel towards my mother.  Forgiveness gazed into my eyes with unwavering compassion and love and simply said, " who should be pitied more"? 

I was perplexed by his answer.  Was this a riddle?  Why not just speak plainly?  I responded back, forthrightly, that I was a simpleton and needed clarification.  As Forgiveness looked into my eyes, I began to glimpse into the past.  I witnessed a middle aged woman who was frightened and was without any coping mechanisms, a woman left behind to carry on, and her old acquaintance named 'Depression' crept back into her, creating a barren and tenantless shell.

Forgiveness revealed to me the other interpretation of death to self.  My mother was willing herself to die.  As the years went by, more and more of herself withered into nothingness, leaving an angry and love-deprived child, confused and numb.

The words came and seemed to have awakened me out of my surreal thoughts, "Who do you pity more"?  My mother, I answered.  In some small way, Forgiveness was able to give me the gift to see my mother's life through her thoughts and her eyes.

I realized that I have been angry at my mother for 42 years.  She finally willed herself to die by the time I was 24 years old, leaving a bereft orphan behind. 

Where I once felt resentment, I now feel sorrow and pity for her, and in sorrow I find forgiveness.

I had one last question for Forgiveness.  I asked my friend, how do we know if our said forgiveness for others is truly genuine?  The answer came and was said in a whisper, "the truth will set you free". 

That is it!  Simply, freedom from bondage and from all of the burdens that are tightly interwoven from it's tight grip are finally released; and God's peace can dwell and with that peace, all that which is left is God's love and this love can be shared with all.

My pilgrimage calls and I must say goodbye to my sweet companion.  Forgiveness draws me close to him and embraces me with a hug that somehow seems to nourish my soul.

Onward I go, burdens dropped by the wayside, however, a gathering of great blessings.

Melissa

   

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Beginning the Pilgrimage

So many questions fill my mind, like an overflowing basin of water.  I ask myself: When is a pilgrim born?  Does the pilgrim have a choice in their decision to begin following God, was it pre-destined before time or was the desire formed while developing in the mother's womb?

  All I know is that the Lord called me to Him when I was 45 years of age.  Forty five long and weary years spent in utter defiance and self conceit, materialism, rage, and loneliness. 

It exhausts me even to think back on those times.  That is why I choose not to look back, but walk forward and in doing so, finding refreshment and life eternal in the arms of my Lord, Jesus.

My walk started just like any new baby learning to walk.  Each day growing stronger and more assured in my steps, not because of anything on my part, but simply for knowing that the Father was there holding me up with each foot stumbling in front of the next.

It has been five years since those first steps were taken.  Five years of ups and downs, some cuts and scrapes, however, always a Father to bandage me up and set me afoot again.

Becoming a pilgrim really has created me to be new creation,  2 Corinthians 5:17-18 tells us:  " If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away.  Behold the new has come.  All this is from God, who through Christ gave us the ministry of reconciliation."  I say, Amen and thanks be to God.

This little pilgrimage of mine is something that will never be made alone.  I have the Lord's assurance that He will never leave me, nor forsake me.  However, there is no promises of a dustless road.  On the contrary, there may be lots of boulders that try to block my view of my destination, but I am learning that these are just deterrents, by no means are they the end of the road.

This blog begins my journal of my experiences of a pilgrim that chooses to walk with Jesus.  I hope that there will be many that join me in this wandering sojourn.  Who knows!  Maybe along the way, some of the unanswered questions will find the answers.

There is always truth to be found in following the Lord.

Melissa

The Holy Spirit and the Wind

Rapatap, rapatap, rapatap!  The sound reverberates upon my window like pebbles crashing upon glass.  Waking from a deep slumber, I rise t...