Saturday, April 17, 2021

It’s Easy


It’s easy to feel bad when things go wrong and we realize we made a mistake in a song or said something stupid or clicked on that file and the consequences seem to go on for a mile.

It’s easy to think we’re not good enough and that we really do not have the right stuff to become what we were meant to be, to give of ourselves, to go forward, be free.

It’s easy to frown and turn anger within when we realize that we have committed a sin and someone is hurt or defeated in soul because we were not with it, in part or in whole.

It’s easy to cry when our weaknesses scream and everything comes apart at the seams, when little things tower and are huge in form and we know that we have stepped outside of the norm.

It’s easy to feel all alone in the night when there’s no place to turn and we’re frozen with fright, when life seems so hard and there's no place to hide, and morning is a long way from eventide.

It’s easy to fall on our knees in prayer when our pride has tumbled and is no longer there, to raise our voices and hope for the love that we know only comes from the realms up above.

It’s easy to place at his nail-pierced feet the burden too heavy for our faltering feet, to think that perhaps we can make amends after wondering abroad around life's many bends.

It’s easy to look up into his face and hope that he’ll give his amazing grace, in spite of our weakness; in spite of our sin, he’ll open his arms and wrap us within.

It’s easy to stand by his side once again, and shoulder the yoke that he shares with all men, to keep us going when the times are tough, helping us climb the hills that are rough.

It’s easy to feel indescribable joy when we know that he loves every girl, every boy, for heaven is where he is today, our Savior, Redeemer, our friend come what may.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Unexpected

 


The knock came unexpectedly. I really didn’t hear. But when it came again, I knew, it sounded much more near. I looked out through the window, not knowing who I’d see and there were four big fear filled eyes looking back at me.

I quickly opened up the door and asked what I could do. The girls said they were playing ball, and in my yard it flew. “Will you please get it for us, and then we will be gone. We’ll be more careful next time, our grandma’s watching on.”

I told the girls to go on back and get the ball themselves. I gestured to the path to take, they ran like little elves. I went back to the other side, my feelings in suspense, and noticed grandma standing there, beside the neighbor’s fence.

I went outside to greet her. She apologized and smiled. We shook hands and exchanged our names, our information filed. I assured the girls and her right there that if they needed to, they could come into the yard for ball, or bat or shoe.   

As I walked back into the house, I hung my head and sighed. They’d lived there now for quite some time, my neighbor’s home inside. We had seen each other once or twice but never really known the truth about each other, or seeds of friendship sewn.

How things can change so easily, in a moment that is gone. The unexpected turns us round and we find we’re not alone. There are others all around us who need a helping hand. As we reach out to them, the dove of peace will land.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Lifeguard

 


I feel so alone. There are people, activities, and things all around me, and yet, my heart cries out, consumed with an emptiness that I can’t define or even begin to understand.

Why do I feel this way? Could it be that I am looking too far into the future? I know that there will come a time when those that I love will crumble to the dust, and I will be bereft of their company.  Or is it simply that they are not with me now, and I miss them terribly?

Is my current position of solitude a problem? Here I sit on a single tower, drinking in the freedom others enjoy and yet, is that what I really want? There is so much of me waiting, hoping that there is something more.

I start new relationships, pursue new passions, and dream new dreams, only to have them peter out and fall by the wayside. I return once again to where I am, empty and alone. Will it always be this way? Was there a time I looked forward to waking in the morning, eager to greet the new day, refreshed and ready to go forward? I don’t remember.

Life has simply been one more day, one more round of noise and confusion, one more time when my presence is needed. And yet my heart is left behind, lurking in the shadows…waiting. I always seem to be waiting for something, somewhere else that I can be.

I am in a constant state of anticipation. Like the paramedic on call, any moment the beeper will sound, and my heart will leap into action. I am poised, ready to help, ready to defend, and ready to move in an effort to save yet another person from drowning in the water before me.

Unfazed by the danger at hand, I throw myself into the brink, employing every muscle and sinew to reach them before it is too late. I surround them with the lifeline of my unconditional love, allow them to rely on my strength, and struggle with them as they make their way to the shore. We embrace, a moment of gratitude is shared, and they move on.

I watch them as they fade into the distance, marveling at the miracle that just occurred. There is nothing like being at the right place at the right time, for a life spared is a family saved from being dashed to pieces and left to wallow in misery. In that brief moment, my purpose is fulfilled. My loneliness is gone, and I am content.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

If Only

 


If only we could stop the world and get off for a day, then maybe we could take a break from life’s continuous fray. We could breathe a sigh and take a look at things we just don’t see, and perhaps become the people we were really meant to be.

We could rewind time and change our past to a more desirable state and erase some things that were said and done that really were not first rate. We could lay a firm foundation and vanquish every foe. We could change the future and the past with what we do now know.

If only it were possible, we’d have a second chance. We would be more happy, we could really sing and dance. Then when the world began again, we’d be in a different place. Life would be more pleasant, we could keep a different pace.

But alas, it is not possible. We are where we are now. We are the sum and differential of our past mistakes somehow. We cannot take away what was, it’s the road on which we stand. The future is yet before us, changing like the shifting sand.

What will it take to get our feet back on the solid ground? The world may keep on turning, but our choices come around. Each moment that we breathe, we really have a second chance; each day a new beginning, another song, another dance.

We have within each one of us our eyes with which to see, hands and feet that feel and touch, and ears, we all agree. We can choose a different way, and walk the better road. We do not have to wait until the world ends, we are told.

We do not know how long we have left here upon this earth. One day, indeed, the world will stop; we’ll experience a new birth. We will leave behind all that we know and go to the great beyond. Our eyes will then be opened, like the wave of a magic wand.

Our Maker will encircle us in the arms of His great love, and we will hear the echoes of the choirs up above. We will look down to the earth we left and wonder then once more, why we didn’t see things differently, and head for a brighter shore.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

The Path to Happiness

 


I am surrounded by sadness on every hand. Death and destruction sweep over the land. How can I smile and feel happy today? Things simply aren’t going very much my way.

Life is full of irony indeed. There is much of pain, of want, of need. There are many who have not a place to live and there are those who have not a morsel to give.

Is happiness having an absence of pain? Is it simply sunshine, or the lack of rain? If so, then happiness is empty indeed, for rain has its place once we have planted a seed.

If tears are a sin, then we have all fallen short, for each human being has hurt to report. Can happiness come even when there is pain? Is it possible to smile through the clouds and the rain?

Can I simply this day step outside of the zone, and allow myself a reprieve, a small moment alone to look for the good, to feel grateful, to love, all of the blessings that flow from above?

If I can, then happiness will surely come, for pure joy is a gift from The Sinless One. He said, “Come to me and I will take you in, in spite of your sorrow, in spite of your sin.”

Today, though the tears so easily fall, I will do as the One who gave his all. I will look for others in sadness and pain. I will hold an umbrella for those in the rain.

I will keep going forward with eyes now aware that there are others whose cupboards are bare. I will give what I have until there is no more. I will hold up my light on this rocky shore.

I will live my life full of purpose and love, and shed forth the peace that comes from above. I will serve until I hear the words that say, “Well done, my servant, you are here now to stay!”

Monday, September 21, 2020

Change

 


Change is a merciless task master. It lets us know that the status quo is no longer acceptable and in order for us to get back in sync, we have to do something different. For a time, we grope around in the darkness, hoping to find the light of understanding.

Before we know it, we are blinded by the glare of the obvious and suddenly realize that we have already shed the familiar garments of yesterday. They have been snatched from our grasp before we have time to even look for a wardrobe suitable for tomorrow. We are left exposed for the entire world to see.

Embarrassed and humiliated, we wrap our arms around ourselves, hoping somehow to protect our delicate ego before it is lost in total obliteration. Then, a friendly voice speaks our name. We look up only to find that we are already discovered, that others know about our weakness and imperfection.

We beg for mercy, hoping that somewhere in their heart of hearts, there is room for compassion. We plead and bargain, saying that we will do whatever it takes, just let us be given a covering for our cold, stark nakedness.

A hand comes forward, reaching out toward us with kindness. We see it and put our own forward, suddenly taken aback by the scarred imprint therein. Surely, it could not be! But is it? Truly, he loved and gave all that we might live. Can he really be coming here, just for me?

“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” He says. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matthew 11;28-29).

His grasp is warm and inviting, his arms enclose us and we are brought into his bosom. There, amidst our tears and prayers, we are given strength and peace. He sheds his own garments and wraps us in them, and sends us on our way rejoicing!

We look down, aware that our nakedness has been covered. The garments are richer than any we have ever known. We feel the softness against our skin. We bask in the warmth and beauty surrounding us. Indeed, life is better now than anything we have ever known. We have been redeemed!

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Appreciation

 

Thanks! I appreciate you. I am so glad you are here. It is good to see you. Thank you for thinking of me. That was amazing! You timed it just right. I like how you did that. You seemed to know just what I needed. Hey, you saved me back there. I feel that you understand me.

Words of appreciation are music to our ears. They feed us with feelings of self-worth and help us to know that others acknowledge our efforts. Like rays of sunshine, they give us the warmth of unconditional love and speak peace to our souls.

Sharing appreciation with others validates their sense of being. When we share words of appreciation, we are saying, “I care about you. You are important to me. I want you to be happy. I am glad that you are who you are.” The more we share the gift of appreciation with others, the more it comes back to bless our own lives.

I have a good friend that understands this principle. When I am with her, I feel that I am the most important person in her world. Recently, I watched her interact with others, and found that she does this with everyone. No wonder others flock around her.

Appreciation is not the same as flattery. Flattery is lifting others up for the purpose of our own gain. Its motive is to achieve a relationship of power and authority over others by getting them to become dependent upon us for their good feelings. Those who use flattery do so with the intent to destroy rather than build.

Appreciation is genuine. It is Christ-like love at its best. There is no other motive than the pure desire to share love with others, and help them feel that they are loved. When Christ was on the earth, he went about doing good. Although he had all power and all authority, his only aim was the exaltation of mankind.

Our desire to be like him will lead us to build up others with sincere words of appreciation. Only then, will we be a vital part of his kingdom here on this earth. As he said, “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39).

Always add appreciation when communicating with others. It is the gift of unconditional love, and just may be the boost they need to go on living one more day!