Monthly Archives: January 2012

WHO IS BOSS?

my daughter, jana, gave
the Innocent Man
the devotional “Jesus Calling”  for christmas.
my son-in-law, aaron, took the picture of my six kids
and gave that as a gift.
i gave him the cross that says
ENDURE.
these items were on the dresser of his room
and had to be packed up with his other belongings
before i flew home.
i just had to see what the author
had to say january 20th,
the day the innocent man didn’t go home,
but went off in handcuffs.
**********
APPROACH THIS DAY WITH AWARENESS OF
WHO IS BOSS.
As you make plans for the day,
remember that is it I who orchestarate the events of your life.
On days when things go smoothly,
according to your plans,
you may be unaware of My sovereign Presence.
On days when your plans are thwarted,
be on the lookout for Me!
I may be doing something important in your life,
something quite different from what you expected.
It is essential at such times to stay in communication with Me,
accepting My way as better than yours.
Don’t try to figure out what is happening.
Simply trust Me and thank Me in advance
 for the good that will come out of it all.
I know the plans I have for you,
and they are good.
**********
have your plans recently been thwarted?
are you trying to figure out what’s happening in your life?
can you surrender your plans,
your ways and your thoughts?
when my heart is troubled about my circumstances,
 i encourage myself by remembering the One
who orchestrated those circumstances,
is the One who loved me enough to die for me.
over and over i say
“God is either 100% sovereign,
or He isn’t sovereign at all.
God is sovereign,
and
i
choose
to
believe.”
He’s
the
Boss.

Why, Lord? WHY?

sometimes i think christians give bad advice.
i remember being told not to ask the Lord
why
when things happened that I didn’t understand.
things i wouldn’t have planned.
things i wouldn’t have chosen.

i was taught it was disrespectful to question a holy, sovereign Lord.

the other day my husband reminded me of
the Lord Jesus’ agonizing cry
Mark 15:34
And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice,
saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?
which is, being interpreted,
My God, my God,
why
hast thou forsaken me?

 

in the midst of His dying obedience,
He asked His father
why.
we know it wasn’t sin because the Lord Jesus never sinned.
 

i don’t think it’s wrong to ask 
why?
if we ask in faith. 
i don’t think it’s wrong to ask
why?
if we ask to the Lord’s face and not behind His back.
i don’t think it’s wrong to ask
why?
if we’re willing to hear His answer.
we have a promise that the Lord Jesus didn’t experience.
 
 
He had to be forsaken from His father because He was 
bearing our load of sin.
 
 
in the midst of our sufferings,
we will never be forsaken.

i know, from talking to friends, reading blogs,
and hearing prayer requests,
i’m not suffering alone.

in the past year
parents lost children,
children lost a parents,
women have lost husbands,
husbands have lost wives.
people have lost jobs,
 been diagnosed with disease,
and suffered relationship problems.
all around me i see pain and suffering.

we’re all suffering heartaches of varying degrees,
but as we weep in our agony,
may we always be on our knees,
 our faces lifted to Him,
our hearts open to His Word,
so that we can hear His answer.

but, draw near to Him and His Holy Word.
draw very, very near.

He speaks in a
still, small voice,
but He speaks.

because of His sacrificial love for you,
His great plans for your future,
He will answer.

 
just ask
why
with
worship.

dressing for success

i looked up on the internet how to dress for success for a trial.
didja’ know there are rules?
black pants, white shirt, ties.
even though we both dislike shopping,
we went shopping.
i bought white shirts and ties.
i even made him wear a white t-shirt under his dress shirt.
i even made him wear real grown-up dress socks,
those kind business men wear with the distinguished
tiny pattern that says, “i have class.”
because some guy died
the innocent man had nice black italian leather shoes
from a consignment store for his trial.
i ironed and primped and fussed as if his life depended on it.
it was a work only a woman could do
and a work a woman would do,
keeping her hands busy because she can’t do anything else.
he looked great.

in the end,
they took away his new white shirt, his new tie,
the italian leather shoes and the dress pants.
they let him keep his white t-shirt
and  gave him flip-flops.

i thought of the widow who brought those nice shoes
to the consignment store.
i know she wishes her husband was still there,
even wearing flip-flops behind bars.
in her mind it would probably be better than death.
i’m trying to remember that.
there’s also another kinda’ footwear the
Innocent Man
is wearing behind bars.

Ephesians 6:15
 and having shod your feet with the
preparation of the gospel of peace;

he’s been faithfully reading his Bible
and sharing Jesus with a few men.

this knowledge slightly eases the pain
of losing his shoes of freedom.
the nice, black italian shoes that came with a shoe horn and extra laces.
those nice shoes that should have been worn for his june wedding.



despite having his good clothes thrown into a property bag,
 he’s still dressed for success.

Ephesians 6 spiritual success.

dressing for success

i looked up on the internet how to dress for success for a trial.
didja’ know there are rules?
black pants, white shirt, ties.
even though we both dislike shopping,
we went shopping.
i bought white shirts and ties.
i even made him wear a white t-shirt under his dress shirt.
i even made him wear real grown-up dress socks,
those kind business men wear with the distinguished
tiny pattern that says, “i have class.”
because some guy died
the innocent man had nice black italian leather shoes
from a consignment store for his trial.
i ironed and primped and fussed as if his life depended on it.
it was a work only a woman could do
and a work a woman would do,
keeping her hands busy because she can’t do anything else.
he looked great.

in the end,
they took away his new white shirt, his new tie,
the italian leather shoes and the dress pants.
they let him keep his white t-shirt
and  gave him flip-flops.

i thought of the widow who brought those nice shoes
to the consignment store.
i know she wishes her husband was still there,
even wearing flip-flops behind bars.
in her mind it would probably be better than death.
i’m trying to remember that.
there’s also another kinda’ footwear the
Innocent Man
is wearing behind bars.

Ephesians 6:15
 and having shod your feet with the
preparation of the gospel of peace;

he’s been faithfully reading his Bible
and sharing Jesus with a few men.

this knowledge slightly eases the pain
of losing his shoes of freedom.
the nice, black italian shoes that came with a shoe horn and extra laces.
those nice shoes that should have been worn for his june wedding.



despite having his good clothes thrown into a property bag,
 he’s still dressed for success.

Ephesians 6 spiritual success.

returning from war

in 7th grade i had a homeroom teacher who had just returned from viet nam.
the first day of class,
he said war was so horrible, he didn’t want us to ask questions.
very firmly, very politely, he repeated his request.
he told us if he felt like sharing a story,
he would.
i was glad he explained that to me.
for years i had watched war clips on the news.
i hadn’t been mature enough to associate
pain, loss and suffering with statistics
and pictures that seemed adventurous to a kid.
occasionally, he would tell a funny story,
like the time some village boys were rubbing their tummies
and licking their lips in anticipation of a delicious
meal they were going to share with the soldiers.
 the soldiers noticed the entire bowl of food was moving.
when they drew near,
they saw an entire bowl of caterpillars,
standing up on end,
moving in hairy rhythm.
i’m also thinking about  a story i read about  a woman
 who had grown up with a withdrawn mother.
as she grew up, she faulted her mother for her own struggles in life.
until,
she found out her mother lost her entire family in the Holocaust.
her pain was so great,
she couldn’t speak of her loss,
even to her own children.
healing came when the daughter  understood and accepted
  her mother withdrew  to
spare her the pain,
not cause her pain.
the mother’s love had been there all the time,
she was trying to live as normally as she could.
today, i’m returning to real life
as a mommy and a gramma.
i have to figure out how to keep living
when part of me died.
i have to figure out when to talk,
and when not to.
i have to learn to endure the pain,
without causing pain.
and i have to learn to refuse those caterpillars,
those waving, hairy beasts in my tummy,
that steal my appetite and my peace.
like my teacher/soldier,
i know they’re not nourishment.

returning from war

in 7th grade i had a homeroom teacher who had just returned from viet nam.
the first day of class,
he said war was so horrible, he didn’t want us to ask questions.
very firmly, very politely, he repeated his request.
he told us if he felt like sharing a story,
he would. 
i was glad he explained that to me.
for years i had watched war clips on the news.
i hadn’t been mature enough to associate
pain, loss and suffering with statistics
and pictures that seemed adventurous to a kid.
occasionally, he would tell a funny story,
like the time some village boys were rubbing their tummies
and licking their lips in anticipation of a delicious
meal they were going to share with the soldiers.
 the soldiers noticed the entire bowl of food was moving.
when they drew near,
they saw an entire bowl of caterpillars,
standing up on end,
moving in hairy rhythm.
i’m also thinking about  a story i read about  a woman
 who had grown up with a withdrawn mother.
as she grew up, she faulted her mother for her own struggles in life.
until,
she found out her mother lost her entire family in the Holocaust.
her pain was so great,
she couldn’t speak of her loss,
even to her own children.
healing came when the daughter  understood and accepted
  her mother withdrew  to
spare her the pain,
not cause her pain.
the mother’s love had been there all the time,
she was trying to live as normally as she could.
today, i’m returning to real life
as a mommy and a gramma.
i have to figure out how to keep living
when part of me died.
i have to figure out when to talk,
and when not to.
i have to learn to endure the pain,
without causing pain.
and i have to learn to refuse those caterpillars,
those waving, hairy beasts in my tummy,
that steal my appetite and my peace.
like my teacher/soldier,
i know they’re not nourishment.

eat. sleep. breathe.

a friend gave my husband some good advice as
we traveled the last few weeks of
the Innocent Man’s life before trial.
don’t forget to sleep.
don’t forget to eat.
don’t forget to breathe.
for the past week through the trial i was barely able 
to eat or sleep.
if breathing didn’t come naturally,  i’d be dead.
last night i found the t-shirt he wore his last day of freedom.
as i curled up in my bed at night,
hoping and praying to sleep enough to survive,
i  held it to my face,
comforted by his lingering scent.
i grieved the day when the scent would be gone,
and i would have no physical reminder
of his presence.
for hours i lay there in the dark,
exhausted, but unable to sleep.
the sound of silence in my ears
was like the static buzz of a tv off-station.
the heartbeat pounding in my ears
assured me i was still alive.
i’ve learned, the sound of a breaking heart
can keep you awake.
i was laying broken, lost and alone
in the deep well of my grief.
when i finally awoke from sleep broken
with agony and sorrow, i faced the first day
of life with the Innocent Man behind bars.
after being awake for a few hours,
i was able to eat more than saltines
for the first time in days.
 with the queasiness gone,
the first few bites tasted good.
but when i thought about what
the Innocent Man was eating,
i lost my appetite.
i kept eating because i needed to.
i have to survive.
i have to keep living.
but, the rest of my salad
tasted like sorrow.
i’m trying to
sleep.
i’m trying to
eat.
and though gasping  sobs often overtake me,
i’m trying to
breath.