Category Archives: Faith

Reflection

Where are you now?


I’m reminded of the view out my window just 36 months ago. I recall the physical position I was in and the literal position I’d put someone else in.  I remember the act in which we were engaged, and how the view was very similar.  I remember the act was very beautiful.  I remember the denial (sans betrayal) of a sanctity that was an illusion.  

I remember the long trip.  I remember the journey towards familiarity and the arrival home.  I remember the relationships created along the way as I delete them one…by…one. 

It’s 5am.  I’m not calling.  There’s nothing left to say.  I’ve deleted the contacts, removed the tags, archived the letters, and folded the dirty rags.  

It wasn’t a lie.  Now I know.  The deception was not my own.  The reflection was joint endeavor–a partnership. It was an illusion–a magic trick at best.  But it’s been said that just because it’s magic doesn’t mean it’s not real.  

It’s realness permeates my soul.  My healing is in real time. It’s 5:30am. 


The light comes through the window of this hotel room of mine. It’s not the Weston, but a different frame of mind…

This time my children sleep next to me.  In a few hours, I’ll leave them behind as I go to facilitate change.  In the fantasy we created, I would lead a reform movement. Now I realize that I am the reform.  Before one can lead, one must learn to follow.  There IS nobility in knowing who to follow.  

Who will follow you?  Not I.  It wasn’t fun.  Those who followed me; they all began to run. Leadership is not about quantifying the movement; it’s about qualifying the purpose.  It’s about writing a goal down, making a plan, and taking action.  A trifecta that was never fulfilled.  ACTION…

Walking with purpose.  Leading with pride?  Preserving the dignity?  Indiscretions un-hide. 

It’s 5:45am.


Sometimes the reflection comes from the glare in the window.  Other times it’s the image in the mirror.  Often we see what we want to see.  Seldom we understand what is reflected back.  

What I saw then was a culmination of naiveness, trust, and a desire to be obedient. Now we have greater wisdom, descernment, and an understanding. Delayed obedience is disobedience.  

I’m grateful for a forgiving God.  For the God within myself is far more forgiving than the God in someone else.  

The flowers never wilted because the flowers were not real.  The dreams (given away with each compliment) could never be fulfilled.  I have to laugh just a little as a smile comes across my face.  

Everyone could see the truth except for the one in the mirror.  

This guy was enticed by another dreamer’s armor. With its shininess and polished exterior, I was mesmerized.  I could not see the chinks in the armor or the pushed-out dents.  The evidence of previous battles was concealed.  

No one else will be able to fully relate to my reflection. It’s clear that the only reflection we see in the mirror is our own. Is this why I keep fewer mirrors in my home? Do we avoid the reflection to escape the reality?

Or have we realized that even a mirror’s reflection is not real. In fact it is reversed.  

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Waiting For the G-Pumpkin


Waiting on anything that you truly want is as necessary to the process of having it…as it is to appreciating the process.  

Analogies  Not everyone one understands them. Let’s break it down.  To want something is to earn it OR have it given freely.  But to have it given freely devalues it worth.  To EARN it is to appreciate it AND develop an intrinsic value far greater than what was even anticipated.  

Slow it down.  Break it down…

Anticipation

Honor the process.  Know the process.  Adhere to the process.  What’s the process?!?  It’s hard to wait on something when there’s a lack of understanding.  It’s difficult to adhere to a process when the standard keeps changing.  It’s impossible to stick with the process if it doesn’t exist.  

Linus asked Sally to join him in his wait.  Together they waited on the “Great Pumpkin.” He had waited for a long time. He believed. He subscribed to a legend that the rest of the world had long since given up.  He was the last to believe, and his belief system could not be rocked. 
Sally, on the other hand, just loved Linus.  She believed in him. They had love languages that were very different.  He was a affirmed by her belief in him. She was committed to serving him. Together they could compliment each other. But there was a lack of communication. 

No matter how much they trusted each other, their goal was not the same.  He sought clarity. He held an energy that was built on belief and eventual delivery.  He was excited for the story he’d be able to tell.  Victory would be his!


She wanted to be by his side.  She wanted to support him.  She looked forward to the victory, but she was not as committed to the process.  She needed proof.  She was no fool.  She wouldn’t wait forever.  She trusted him, not the process. As a matter of fact, she didn’t even understand the process. 

In the end, she gave up.  She waited and waited.  She watched the signs.  She grew cold and weary.  She asked questions, but received no answers.  She could commit no longer.  

In a disappointed rant, she walked away.  She looked back as he yelled, “just wait, you’ll see!”   

It wasn’t about the “Great Pumpkin” at all.  It was symbolic.  She waited on him.  He will continue to wait.  He will surely ask someone new to sit with him in the pumpkin patch.  But it won’t be Sally.  It won’t be Sally!

Dear Bed

How have you been?  It’s been too long.  My apologies are many but I await your apology too.  I know it won’t come because you will never knew why I left you for so long. You don’t even realize that you were wrong for me.  And that I was not at all what you needed. 

My new adventures have taken me away from my true love.  I will miss you. But I am awake now.  I will is you terribly. 

I long to sleep with you again–to hold you tight. Parting is such great sorrow.  Alas, I have moved on. My new life awaits.  

High(er) Heals

Weddings are beautiful.  The innovative ways the bride and groom bring their families together to witness the moment that their lives become one. The smiling pastor and the glistening bridesmaids are all cheerful in anticipation; the groomsmen laughing and trying to remain dignified (still recovering from the night before); the groom smiling from ear to ear; and the beloved bride…glistening in her glory.  

My eyes were filled with visions of hope.  My ears awaited that single phrase, “I do…”  I began to tremble when the bride recounted how her husband-to-be was always there, but waited until the sanctified moment to do what he was called by God to do.  He was obedient. She was ready.  Their story brought tears to my eyes.  For although I’d come close to identifying  with their romance, it was so special and so unique that it was certain that God had his hand on it the entire time.  

As a mere witness to this couple that I barely knew as strangers, my heart swelled.  I was inspired.  Could this be how true love manifests?  There was healing in this ceremony.  It was ordained and sanctified.  Blessed and sincere, I too just know that all the days remaining from this day till the end would be blissful for this couple. 

She spoke of how’d they’d met; how their circles of friends were intertwined, how’d they were destined to be together, and how they had deviated from their paths only to finally come together as one.  It was a love story created before either of them had been conceived. 

Yes!  Stories like this truly exist!

As they prayed, I felt a healing.  

My heart had ached for hours the night before.  I woke cleansed but it wasn’t long before that deep pain crept back up on me.  Certain to be doomed, I was pessimistic as I arrived to the church.  I’d actually called upon several of my brethren to pray for me because my pain was internal.  No doctor could ease my pain.  My discomfort grew into anger which blossomed into rage.  

I was in no mood for love stories or pleasantries.  I resented the smallest gestures of kindness and repelled any hints of a smile.  But as s man of my word, I arrived to the chapel on time to bare witness.  

I’m glad I did.  

Beautiful dresses, handsome tuxedos, scuffed shoes, broken heels…

There were broken heels, but all that was broken is now healed.  

Deuces 

I need to write about this RIGHT NOW!  I want to swallow it whole and choke on the rinds of this melon.  I’m taking it all in and counting back the months.  I’m applying what little I know to the experience and the anxiety and the mystery of what I’ve just come through.  

I’m piecing the remnants of conversations with the omissions.  What was not said; what wasn’t done; what was said in deception and withheld in deceit.   

I’m recalling the passionate moments that were regretted hours later.  The whispers of “yes” adjoined with the sudden “NO!”

The confusion and the worry and the wonder and the anticipation…all lost in a moment. The trust that was lost and the perception that it ever existed in the first place.  

This has happened before and I get to watch it unfold again. Now! 

But this time another man is in her midst.  Will she make the same claims to him that she made to me.  Will he accept her as she is with out the pomp and circumstance?

I was made to feel like a king. She did that.  I thought she was a maker of dreams. She convinced me that I was born a King.  For she was my Queen.  And she waited her whole life for ME.  No longer.  For that is no more.  Now she will be the Queen of another.  His talents and his endeavors, his quests and his ambition will win her over.  In fact, it already has. 


As she disembarks the plane, he will greet her with warmth. For he will immediately  recognize the sacrifice that she’s making for him.  She will speak never again of the sacrifices she once made for me.  She is ready to love again. 

He won’t ask. He will seize the moment. Taking her into his arms, he will whisper things she’s longed to hear.  And for him, she will belong…

Fairy tales always end with someone else living happily ever after.  And to truly love another is to want them to be happy no matter how the story ends.  

But how can it make sense when we see the scenario replay with new characters?  The role of me is being played by a celebrity?!?  And the role of the protagonist is still played by the woman who was once My leading lady???

I shouldn’t be watching; especially from 800 miles away.  I want to change the channel, but like a train wreck…

THAT’S AN AWFUL THING TO SAY!

How presumptuous (and mean-spirited) to conceive such a thought!

Not every two people who are put in the same room are meant to be together.  I’ve just so happened to be that guy who stays in the room with the wrong person for too long. 

And for a consecutive moment, I get to watch the one I thought I’d hold eternally…fall in love with another who is open-minded, open-hearted, and maybe even better designed to hold her heart. 

Damn!  Universe, is it your intention to mock me?  Is my purpose merely to hold a place in time so that the one(s) I love can prepare for their destiny?  Must I grow weary of each lover and release her to an unsuspecting fool?  Everytime this happens, a man completely opposite of me receives the prize.  Not to objectify, but the heart of another is truly a blessing.  

Cantaloupe.  Canteloop!  Can’t elope. 

I didn’t elope.  I was the bridegroom.  It’s an honor that many men never realize.  I’ve had my chance.  Now I will watch yet another man kneel down and propose to the one I once held.  She will say yes, and she will belong…

My place in all of this?  To hurt like I’ve hurt others.  To watch as others have watched me.  To cry, as others have cried.  It’s a cycle that MUST not be interfered with.  

I don’t believe in karma.  I believe in faith.  And my faith tells me that I never had a clue.  I trusted too much, but understood too little.  If it were not for faith, I’d have no understanding at all.  Tis Love!

Tonight is the night that love will be made.  

Selah

It’s the end.  It’s over.  It’s a blessing. It’s the omega–the final word, the final exhale. 

And then with one more breath, it begins again.  With each end, there is a new beginning.  The ashes become dust, and the dust becomes the catalyst for new life. 

With every failed relationship, there is relief and a sigh.  There’s a long dramatic pause.  And then a fresh outlook.  

With every failed idea, a lesson is learned.  A brief sigh of relief–a debrief and a new beginning.  

Even something laid to rest has a chance to live again.  An idea, an opportunity, a friendship–all are an unfilled promise. 

“Energy can not be created or destroyed.  Matter can not be created or destroyed. Instead matter moves through the environment in different forms.”  My student becomes the teacher.  And this teacher is done…

…for today.

Words Hurt


Sticks and stones?  Nah!  Words hurt.  Do you remember the last time someone hit you with a stick?  Probably not. It’s barely a memory and the injury has long since healed itself.  But that’s just it. Our body heals. Our mind…not so much.  
There’s two kinds of doctors: medical doctors (M.D.) and doctors of philosophy (Ph.D). We tend not to think too much of the latter because we put a greater importance on our physical health than on our mental health.  

When we get sick, we make an appointment to see a physician.  It isn’t until we can not pinpoint the physical ailment that we consider  an alternative remedy.  Some of us will turn to holistic remedies before we decide to sit in a psychologist’s chair.  Others may seek counsel from clergy or the comfort of a prayer group.  

Personally, I believe a spiritual sense will bring about more healing than any of the above;  but that’s because when we pray, we release. The stress on our flesh and our souls is often too much to bare.  A simple but thorough release of all worries and stressors will be met with miraculous results.  

But what of the sticks and stones?  “He who is without sin, should cast the first stone…”  And yet we are encircled by stone throwers daily.  When we find ourselves in the center of that circle receiving all those blows, it’s hard to drop to our knees and await a hedge of protection.  Heck no!  We fire those stones right back; and with impeccable aim.  


Metaphors aside for a moment, real stones damage the flesh.  Healing is required.  That healing comes from physicians and the medical establishment.  Unlike with bullets or blunt objects, no tourniquet or bandages are required.  Sticks sometimes pierce, but they are not spears.  A wack with a stick bruises!  Again, no ambulance or emergency medical services will be called. 
“Sticks and stones may break our bones, but [words] will never hurt me!”  

Nonsense!

Why do we teach this to our children?  It’s an age-old tradition that we all recall from our childhood.  The bully teases.  The child responds.   Sometimes with this unwitty chant;  other times with a cry for help, we just want it to stop.  

In second grade, I grew tired of the teasing.  I can’t recall what caused the harassment.  It could have been because I looked different.  It may have been because of where I lived.  Either way, no one deserves that type of treatment.  My parents behaved like it was a part of growing up.  To this day, I can’t quite determine whether my folks were entertained by my growing pains or whether they wanted me to become stronger and wiser.  Instead, what I learned was far less pleasant.  

I came home from school whining that the kids at school were mean to me.  My mother offered a solution.  She didn’t ask what caused it, or what remedies I’d already attempted to stop the bullying.  To her, it was irrelevant.  She didn’t ask who or where.  It just needed to stop.  

Mom said, “I want you to get the biggest stick you can find and find the biggest kid you can spot on the playground.”

“Now you take that stick and beat his ass with it!  And you be sure to do it in front of ALL the other kids!”

“You beat his ASS!”

It didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, especially since it wasn’t THAT kid who was bullying me.  But I would do what I was told.  After all, momma knows best, right?

Wrong!

I found that big stick. I found that big kid.  I made sure I had an audience, and I swung that stick at that kid!

I’d like to tell you that I became an instant hero amidst all my watching peers.  I’d like to  reveille in the 15 minutes of fame…that I liberated all the school-ground-kids from the throws of tyrany.  I’d like to, but I can’t.  Nope.

It didn’t happen that way at ALL!  When I spotted that kid, I walked right up to him. Swinging and muttering, I was just a sight. Whew!  I was going to do THIS!  He saw me coming.  He was surprised, but not worried.  When I got within three feet of him, I swung aiming for his shoulder. He stopped me mid swing.  He caught that big stick. He grasped it from my sweaty hands.  He took that stick and beat MY ASS with it!

I came home bruised. Both my body and my ego hurt.  No one got in trouble.  No ambulance was called and no physician was sought.  I was still stunned. I was almost afraid to approach my mother. But I needed comfort.  


Here’s what she said:

“What happened to you?!?”

“I did what you said.  I got the stick, and I found the biggest kid…”

“Hmmm…I should have taught you how to fight first, huh?”

Warm tears rolled down my face. My eyes burned, and I was no longer reviling in the pain from the blunt force trauma.  My trauma was internal.  I hurt. I was confused. I was angry.  

Those words hurt.  The smiling lips they leapt from exacerbated my torn ego.  Comfort in my mother’s arms I did not find.  Nor was there any respite on the playground the following day.  

My hurt was emotional.  My physical pain had already subsided. My pride was restored when I learned to coexist with my peers, but avoid my tormentors.  
Plenty of lessons are learned in our formative years. Each of us could tell a story.  The biggest hurt in our lives didn’t come from a bullies swing though.  The biggest hurt came from betrayal–the words spewed from someone we thought had honored us.  


Even the malicious acts that occur contrary to our personal and emotional safety hurt.  Why?  Because we thought we were safe.  We’d convinced ourselves that we would not be in harms way.  

It’s when our belief system is rocked–that’s when we hurt.  And that’s the kind of hurt for which a medical doctor can not prescribe a cure.  Even a physchiatrist can not truly heal that trauma.  Monsignor Vitty BoomBox  can’t pray me back to righteousness.  

Words hurt.  Even the good ones; like LOVE.  Words that represent the greatest joy can bring forth the biggest pain.  It’s these types of words that dwell so deep in our heart, not even our brain can make sense of it.  Words that connect the brain, heart, and soul–these are the most dangerous of all.  


Words can drop us to our knees.  Words evoke understanding (or misunderstanding). They cause pain.  Every now and then they heal.  But ignoring the words is no easier than avoiding the pain.  

Sadly, I can find enough words through writing or speaking, through joy or anger, to undo the pain or that will birth pleasure.  At some point those words,  stringed together in the right order will manifest a plan of action.  It is the actions that may create change.  

But regardless of how we act, it’s the words the cause fear or reduce anxiety.  A pill can ease the pain, but the pain is mental.  It’s emotional. It’s spiritual.  And it will return.  

Do you remember the pain?  Use your words, but choose them carefully. 

Words