Simple Songs of Truth

The Foundation
The Foundation

Play for me! Strum on silvery strings!

Old golden hymns of ancient Truth…

Soul calming song, fly on Dove wings!

Remind me of all eternity’s worth!

Tell me of the miracle only Love brings!

 

Spirit’s joy, lifted by Heaven’s mirth!

Saintly song across the ages still rings…

Encircling all of history’s wide girth!

Jesus the Name a saint eternally sings…

Calling the lost home to a new birth!

 

Soft and low Jesus is calling; faith swings,

Life Door opens! Church of one Faith…

Ancient cloud of witness with us sings!

Healing words approving His Truth;

Faith transcends, Jesus in all age’s rings!

 

So strum and sing of Messiah’s birth!

Rock of Ages to you believer still clings…

Glory come down! A Pearl of worth!

Revive us again! Hope in praise springs!

Light the dark! Simple songs of Truth!

 

 

Survivor’s Prayer

If I am still alive when the bitter cloud passes, may I not I not be found stubbornly clinging to the storm because I’ve adapted myself to misery. Instead, may I celebrate in sunlight as I embrace the sparkling new day the sun reveals. Let me move forward to clean up the damage left by the storm and not be stuck hanging on for survival long after the storm has passed. A powerful storm forever transforms the landscape and the lives of those who survive but help me, Lord to accept and embrace the transformation. May the storm not live on in me in thoughts that exist in loops and refuse to move forward. Make me mindful of the present and keep me from reliving terrifying moments and even repeating them by my actions. I do not want to be a storm bearer, a manufacturer of the misery I survived. Instead, help me share the hope that enabled me to endure. May I be an image bearer of you, Jesus the one who made my survival possible. It is to you that I cling in the midst of every storm. I cling to you now, even though the sun is breaking through the clouds because I need you in good times as well as in bad. I remain tethered to face new storms that soon will appear on the horizon. Even if one of those storms should take my life, I know my soul is secure in you, Jesus. Though I die, I will live. I should never fear the storm but when I do, Jesus, you are always there to comfort and strengthen me. You are there to lead me forward when danger has passed. In you I have hope even, on those dark days when I can feel no hope, joy, or peace. Even when I let go of you, Jesus, I know you are holding on to me. Thank you, Jesus for this gift of faith by which I endure all things to also, overcome. Amen.

The Recluse (Part XI)

“Thank you for taking me to church with you, Maria. I enjoyed it very much.” Estelle opens the car door to step out onto the sidewalk in front of her house and Maria gets out of the car too. “You are very welcome, Estelle. We love your company and I so appreciate what you are doing for Alisha.” As if on cue, Alisha jumps out of the car behind Estelle and gives her an unexpected hug. “Thank you for coming to hear me sing Ms. Williams!” Estelle gasps at the surprising embrace but then accepts it and returns the favor. Maria hugs her in turn and Estelle feels an old ache momentarily fade. It’s been a very long time since she’s felt a human embrace. “I will see both of you soon.” Estelle bends to peer into the car where Tony sits behind the wheel, “Thank you, Mr. Hernandez. Have a wonderful afternoon.” Tony nods in ascent and then looks straight ahead, “Come along Maria…Alisha. We need to get going.” Mother and daughter get back into the car as Estelle walks toward her front door.

Estelle opens the door and is enveloped in the isolation she’s sheltered in for such a long time. The emptiness feels safe and familiar but also, frightening and all consuming. She looks around at the immaculate, perfectly decorated house and has a sudden urge to dirty it up and make it look like someone actually, lives here. Determined but not really understanding the force impelling her to action, Estelle defiantly strides into the living room, looks at the portrait of her mother, and begins tossing expensive, artfully placed cushions from the sofa and chairs willy-nilly and even on the floor. Then she kicks off her shoes, lets down her hair and carelessly, flops down on the beautiful blue sofa. She stretches out as for a nap then reaches for a perfect rose pillow to support her head as she stares into the painted eyes of her deceased mother.

Those eyes leave Estelle feeling frozen. “How many times did I reach for you, Emma? How many times did I need a mother and even though I could see you and touch you, my mother was never there?” In a flash, Estelle understood herself as having always been an orphan on the emotional level. In fact, she’d been forced to be a mother to Emma from the time she was a small child. “Was I a good mom, Emma?” Estelle yells at the portrait as tears begin to spill. Then she remembered what the preacher said in church that morning about somehow, being able to have a parent-child relationship with God because of Jesus’ death on the cross. The idea of having such a relationship is very appealing to Estelle but it doesn’t make sense to her. She also, remembers the words of Jesus and the validation she felt upon reading them. “Emma! Do you know or care how much pain your drinking and constant neediness caused me? Do you know how hard Dad and I worked to keep your drinking secret and how much life we lost trying to protect you? Were you ever aware of what people said to me or what our neighbors thought?” With tears streaming, Estelle counted all she’d lost to Emma’s drinking and the black hole that drinking was used to anesthetize. Much of her childhood was consumed in that hole and even more of her adult years after her father passed. “Even now Emma, you steal my life from me because you never had a life! You never became a whole person! You used me to live for you and I’ve never lived for me either…” Estelle fiercely wipes the tears from her eyes, “I’m going to find a way to be more than the arms and legs of Emma Williams! I want to be a whole woman and live my life!” Estelle moves a few more objects out of place, gives Emma’s portrait a hard stare, and leaves the room.

It’s anger that gives Estelle the energy to move despite these new inner revelations. It is also, anger that numbs and gives her the fortitude to fight her excruciating, emotional pain. In the sanctuary of the only bedroom she’s ever known, she removes her church clothes and puts on her favorite pair of yoga pants and a big t-shirt. Then she goes to the bathroom to wash her face and pull herself together. When she catches her eye in the mirror, she gives herself a hard stare much like the one she unleashed on the portrait of Emma. “I-want-more!” she states firmly just below the tone of a shout.

In the kitchen, Estelle makes a sandwich as she recalls the words she heard in church that morning and remembers the warmth of friendship she’d enjoyed with Maria and Alisha. “Relationship. That’s exactly what’s missing in my life.” Estelle counts the relationships she was never able to enjoy, the school-chums that couldn’t come over to play or for sleep-overs; then later, the young men who could never find room in her life because her life belonged to her mother. “Now, I’m left alone and I don’t know how to connect to others because I never learned.” This truth comes down cold and hard but also, clarifies the solution. “I need to learn how to relate to people.”

Estelle takes her sandwich and a glass of milk with her as she goes into her office for her lap-top. Thinking she will lay down on her bed and catch up on some reading, she starts to enter her bedroom but then suddenly turns and decides to use Emma’s room instead. Pushing decorations aside, she puts her things down and rips open the bed. The frilly comforter lands on the floor where it stays and Estelle builds a comfy seat for herself from the pillows. She opens the curtains to let the sunlight in and then settles in bed to finish eating, not caring about the crumbs spilling all over the expensive satin sheets.

“If I want to know who Jesus is, I guess I need to read the Bible.” Estelle doesn’t own a Bible but quickly finds one online. Not knowing where to start, she decides to begin in Matthew, the book from which they’d read that morning. Estelle reads all of the Gospels and is transfixed by the person of Jesus described in those pages. “Such an ancient story that touches my heart in a way I don’t understand.” Estelle whispers to herself but also, to God. “He suffered so much but He stayed true to You and You were always there for Him. What a wonderful relationship. God, I don’t know what I have to do exactly. I don’t really understand but I want that relationship. I want You to be my Father too. I am all alone and I need You!”

Estelle closes her lap-top, pushes it to the other side of the bed, then sinks down off the pillows, and drifts off to sleep. Before long, she is wandering from room to room in her house-dream. She is a little girl to whom the house of her childhood though small, appears very large. The house is cold, empty, and Estelle lost, meanders circling from one silent room to the other, calling for first her mother and then her dad. There is no answer. The house is filled by an arctic wind and then goes black. Little Estelle shivers in the dark fearing she’ll also, disappear in the void; when suddenly, a bright light appears!

To be continued.

For previous posts in this series go to https://joyindestructible.com/the-recluse-series/ where posts are listed in ascending order.

THEM

What can be done about THEM? You know who I mean, those people over there who are so different from us and are messing up everything. If we can just control them somehow, or get rid of them, then things will be so much better. They don’t think right, dress right, or act right. Something has to be done about THEM!

It’s true the world is in great turmoil. Corruption abounds in a culture where evil is embraced as good and people are afraid to say anything contrary to the practice. Money rules and the recent bombshell called the Panama Papers bring home how corrupt that rule is at this present time. The world is very tolerant of evil morality and practice but highly intolerant toward human beings. The cruelty of the Narco culture seems to be permeating everything along with their mass amounts of money that fuel the world economy and line the pockets of powerful leaders. People are afraid and their fear causes them to identify with the aggressor in hopes of achieving personal safety and gaining control over others they perceive as a threat. Tribes are forming and battle lines being drawn in preparation to find a solution to THEM by many diverse groups of people. Increasingly, those solutions are violent.

The fear of OTHER and the tolerance of evil is tearing us apart and we seem to be utterly, confused as to how to stop evil without destroying each other. The stand we have to make is within. Giving into the pressure of political correctness can’t completely silence our conscience. Basic right and wrong doesn’t change and each of us must listen to that inner voice and change our personal actions. THEM is US and none of us is free from sin. None of us can control the evil in another but all of us can do something about our own evil. Ending any confusion about what is good and evil is as easy as reading the Ten Commandments. Let me assure you, they have stood the test of time and their validity isn’t likely to vanish in a generation. The generation that ignores them is certain to vanish but their truth will remain.

Old habits are hard to change but bad habits are changeable. To find remedy from sin requires that one see themselves as a sinner. God’s Law is the mirror that reveals every human being as a sinner. None of us measure up. We all break at least, one of those Laws on a regular basis; most of us break more than one. Only, Jesus lived by those Laws perfectly because God’s Law is spiritual and fallen human beings aren’t spiritual. Without Jesus we have no hope and the purpose of the Law is to show us our need for Jesus. Without Him, we stand condemned as dead to God and doomed to die a second time after final judgment. Jesus is the only one who can save us from the penalty of our sin and faith in Him is the only way to receive the Holy Spirit’s help in learning to uphold God’s Law from a heart that’s been changed.

The one thing I know for sure about THEM is that Jesus loves THEM, just as He loves me. Because He loves me so much that He was willing to die for me and save me from the second death, I am also required to love THEM. That doesn’t mean that I must go out and develop a deep, emotional bond with all people but I am to strive to treat others as I want to be treated. Everyone is part of the human family, a sinner in need of God’s grace, just like me. My love may not change anyone I encounter, or be the impetus that leads them to faith in Christ, but learning to love THEM is sure to change me. This is my only true avenue of exacting positive change in the world.

I know many people are burdened with worry and fear as to the condition of society today. Those concerns are well founded. The problems are complex but the answer is simple and power lies in the hands of the people. We can turn things around by choosing to do what we know inside is right. It won’t be easy but we have a powerful ally in Jesus. “If God is for us who can stand against us?” We have to begin by ceasing to stand against God out of fear of peer pressure. We have to cease from standing against ourselves by refusing to hear our conscience. We have to cease to deny our need for Jesus as the remedy for our personal sins.

Please, consider Jesus. Don’t deny true love and the power to become the man or woman God intends for you to be. Let’s not waste our time trying to straighten out THEM when the enemy we can do something about is within.

 

 

To My Word Press Angels

I’ve been going through a tough time in my life and one of the reasons I started this blog was to remind myself of joy because at that time, I felt very unhappy. It worked. I did retrieve my joy in Jesus but not in the way I expected. I didn’t expect to be ministered to by angels here on Word Press but dear, loving angels are exactly what God has given me. All my angels have common sounding names: Jim, Maria, Wally, BJS, Patrick, Jacqueline, G.W., D. Wallace Peach, Miguel, amoafowaa of Mum C Writes, Lonely Arthur, Pauline, JacobEmet, Kathy, Robert and many others who pray for me and encourage me through this painful time in my life. I have angels from all over the world who have shown me they care. I know Jesus lives because I see Him living in you.

I’ve spent most of my Christian life as a Baptist but God doesn’t care about that and often speaks to me in my dreams, anyway. As some of you know, I’m going to visit Mayo Clinic soon and there in those expert hands I hope to find the right treatment to put my weird disease back into remission. Last night God sent me a very special, very vivid dream. I opened my eyes and all of my Word Press angels were there to see how I was doing and to give me a hug before I go to Mayo. I know I dreamed this because of all the prayers being said for me by all of you. It was a very sweet, very encouraging dream and I’m sharing it because even though, I will probably never get to give any of you a real hug, I love you all. Thank you. Your kindness has helped me survive some very cold, painful days. I am blessed to have such dear angels. You mean the world to me.

The Cost

I’m not a perfect Christian and I won’t pretend to be. In fact, there is nothing more anti-Christ in spirit than an exclusive, pretentious Christianity that upholds a false holiness. I sin less often than when I first believed but I still struggle with sin and I will continue in this battle with my sin until I pass from this world. The good news is that after I die, my war with sin will be over and I will enter eternity free from sin. None of this is due to my self efforts but to Jesus who bought forgiveness for my sins by giving His life for mine. Any victory I’ve won in self-control has come by surrender and obedience to God and not by my own strength. Before I knew Jesus, I lived to sin but when Jesus became the center of my life, I died to sin and began to live for Him. Jesus put a new desire in my heart, that of wanting to please God and I am no longer driven only, to satisfy myself. The inner conflict this created isn’t pleasant and each victory over my sin requires a death to self. Jesus died to set me free of the penalty of sin (the second death) and I in return, die to my selfish desire daily, in order to live for Him. When I falter and give in to my old ways, He forgives me, heals me, and sends me back into battle. Nothing about this process is appealing to a world driven toward achieving temporal perfection. I’m not a good Jesus sales-person for those seeking to package a more modern Jesus who promises to give people all that their hearts desire in the here and now. Serving the Jesus I know and love, the Jesus of the Bible, comes at a cost and delayed gratification in the world to come is the prize for which I contend.

I regret no sin habit I’ve left behind for Jesus. I’m more than grateful to be free of the drugs I used as a young person. I don’t miss cigarettes or alcohol. I am eternally thankful for all the dysfunctional behaviors God has helped me correct and the inner healing that only the Bible can give. I’m happy that I learned to live within my means, remain faithful to my husband, and live a quiet life. Trading my sin for values that work is the greatest blessing of my life but I know all these blessings will pale in comparison to living in a world free from sin. The thought of my complete transformation into the likeness of Christ is more than my mind can fully comprehend but I do love to try to envision it. The amazing thing is that the more I die to myself the closer I come to being the woman God originally, designed me to be. With each wrong-headed desire I give up, I find greater happiness and increased joy.

I know these words I write seem a bit crazy to those from a Darwinist, secular viewpoint but I’m old enough now that I don’t care about speaking anything but that which I’ve come to know as true. There is no hope in this secular culture, not even for those who are among the fittest. Our world seems to be becoming crueler each day and the most repugnant cruelties are hidden beneath a veneer of politically correct words and outright fear. Children suffer the most in this world because they are the weakest among us. They are murdered in the womb as a means of birth control much more often than to save a mother’s life but abortion is the sanitizing term applied no matter the reason. The more powerful mother has all legal protection and the weaker child has none. Children are abused by parents and bought and sold for sexual pleasure at alarming rates but little of it is even reported. Old people are next in line for abuse in this culture, where equality must be earned. The ageing must remain young for as long as possible to retain viability. Women must become more like men, men have to be more in touch with their feminine side, and children must be more adult-like in a world where equality is gauged in equal outcomes. The more the world tries to make everyone the same the more heartless and dysfunctional it becomes. Everyone is trying to earn status as one of the elite fittest but the reality is all are victims of inequality and abuse. I see insanity in the world and find sanity in Jesus. God loves all of His children despite their sin and all have equal value in Jesus no matter how diverse or lacking in power. Human life matters in God’s economy but in the world, human life is valued less every day.

Accepting Christ into my heart and making Him the Lord of my life was the most important decision I ever made. My faith isn’t magic. Faith is better than magic because it is based upon divine truth and not any sleight of hand. When I opened my mind in belief and Jesus entered, I became a spiritual person, a new creature in Christ. I received new life and a new beginning. My attitude changed and I found the guidance I needed in the Bible to transform my lifestyle from unhealthy to healthy. I received the strength needed to correct my dysfunctional behaviors and world view. Jesus turned my upside down world right side up. Without Him, I would die in my sin and carry that sin with me into eternity. I would never know anything but cruelty. Because of Jesus I know the unconditional love of my Heavenly Father even though I presently, remain in a cruel world. I will not die in my sin. I will die once and be free from sin to live eternally in Christ. What I have received from Jesus is available to all. My hope and prayer for anyone, who reads this testimony and is tired of their sin, will open their hearts in faith to receive Jesus and His gift of eternal life. He doesn’t promise to make you rich, famous, or powerful but He will give you a new desire for God that leads to a future free from your sin.

John 12: 23-26

 

My Consequence and My Pardon

I am a sinner saved by grace and in this present world, I will never be anything else. That doesn’t mean that the grace I’ve received is a cloak for evil. My profession of faith isn’t a ticket to sin without punishment. What I do avoid by my acceptance of Christ is what the Bible describes as the “second death”. I believe in Judgment Day and on that Day the pardon I’ve received through faith in Jesus will keep me safe from the final death of spirit and soul that I and all human beings deserve. Jesus didn’t die to make me a moral person. Jesus died to give me and anyone else who will accept it, eternal life. Jesus died in order to reunite God and man. Faith in Jesus isn’t a matter of morality. It is a matter of life or death. However, I am changed by having Jesus at the center of my life and my desire to sin is diminished by my greater desire to please God. The gift of eternal life is a morally transforming gift.

As a sinner saved by grace, I still suffer the consequences when I sin. Those consequences are natural and inescapable. No one is able to break God’s Law and avoid what those wrong actions create even if they escape human punishment. I have been sick for the better part of forty years now, due to a serious sin I committed against myself as a teenager. I have changed my life since then and there are those who love me and think that God is being very unfair toward me in allowing me to suffer for a mistake I made as a child. I know that if God hadn’t intervened in my life, I never would have been able to change my life, and I would most likely be dead, forever separated from God. My illness is simply the natural consequence attached to my sin and part of my cross to bear. Others doubt my faith or think I suffer needlessly because my faith is weak but my faith doesn’t come from me. It too is a gift from God and the consequences I endure prove the durability of my precious gift. Without Christ, I would be a physically broken bitter old woman. With Christ, I am a physically broken joyful old woman. All that should have embittered me has taught me empathy and opened many doors into the lives of others that enable me to share God’s love and comfort with my fellow, suffering sinners. The consequence of my foolish actions keeps me humble and in a position that allows God to work through me more effectively. I endure because I know ultimately, my healing is coming. Because Jesus died for me, I will physically die only once, and I will rise again to live with Him in a better world.

As a sinner saved by grace, I also suffer as a result of the sins of others. In fact, some of those sins are what drove me, as a child, to use drugs. However, I am still accountable for my actions as those who hurt me are accountable for theirs. The sin I committed against myself hurt me, hurt the people who loved me, hurt the people who love me now, and most of all hurt my Heavenly Father. My sin put Jesus on the cross and His physical sacrifice made it possible for me to be granted forgiveness from God. In the same way, I a sinner must forgive those who sinned against me. That doesn’t mean they will accept my forgiveness by taking responsibility for their actions. I can’t do their part of restoring our relationship. I can’t force what even God doesn’t force upon others. It does mean that I pardon them just as in Christ I am pardoned. I am unable to do this on my own but because Jesus lives in me by faith, the Holy Spirit enables me to do what is humanly impossible.

This is what the cross means personally, to me. I know it sounds very foolish to most but that is the power and the ultimate wisdom of the cross of Christ. True foolishness is to reject the free gift of eternal life by denying the price Jesus paid to obtain it and then offer it freely to all who will believe. True foolishness is to deny the fallen state of mankind and our need for God. We can never be Him and will only die trying. My prayer during this time of year when the world considers the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is that eyes and hearts will be opened to realize the need for salvation found only, at the foot of the cross of Christ. Please, accept your pardon today.

 

 

Eternal Spring

I wonder if I will ever be too old to notice the first day of spring…

The first glint of butterfly wing or the special song new birds sing.

Carpets of purple verbena woven with soft grass for hungry deer,

Wonder of long gently warm days; far removed from winter fear.

This season that comes as promised by the power of resurrection!

Experience of nature bending all thoughts to a spiritual reflection…

It’s no coincidence that Jesus died to rise again giving me new life!

This sermon nature preaches each spring cuts my heart like a knife!

By His wounds I am healed, daily revived by His resurrection power!

He bled for me, died for me, lives for me and reminds with a flower…

That I belong to Him and even though I be dead by His call I will rise!

I am merely a form moved by His Spirit eternal without any demise…

Though I crumble my soul is kept in Memory until new eternal spring!

 

The Recluse (Part VIII)

Silence in isolation is morbidly obese and Estelle feeling overwhelmed and breathless under the pressure grabs Caravana and heads straight to bed. Institutionalized thinking she developed during the long sentence endured in her personal prison drives her to seek out the only escape she can easily access, sleep. Her dreams are usually much livelier, interesting, and socially attached than her real life but just like conscious reality, her dreams also have a course and purpose of their own. Not long after drifting off, Estelle finds herself walking through her familiar house dream, once again. She steps from the room she now sleeps in, through her bedroom window and negotiates the familiar broken-down passage way into that secret, other-house-addition attached by her streaming subconscious. She wanders its halls aimlessly, inspecting each room. She wonders why she leaves these lavish furnishings here in these forgotten rooms and never moves them into the other house. She notices a door so very, familiar from the house of her conscious world but is confused as to why this door and this room are here in her private dream-house. Feeling the rising terror of a nightmare, Estelle walks into Emma’s room, and hears the door slam shut behind her. In vain, she tries to open the door and get out but the door won’t budge. She runs to each of two windows in the room but finds they are false windows and this room is an inner room with no access to the outside. Estelle feels the world begin to spin with the sensation of falling and just before she hits the ground, she wakes up to a concerned Caravana staring into her face.

Depression settles over Emma but because she is a true survivor, she valiantly lifts the invisible, leaden slab-weight off herself and slips out from under it, thereby enabling her to get up to do what she must do to continue living. She walks from her bed to her familiar bedroom window (the only one she’s ever known) and pulls back the curtain to make sure there is a world out there and not just a landscape painted on a brick wall. She hears laughter and looks over toward the Hernandez’ residence and sees the small family hugging, hurrying, talking, carrying Bibles, and piling into their car. “Church again?” Estelle thinks first critically and then curiously, “What does it mean…God?…church? Why do people believe such things and what do they get out of it?” God was never a part of Estelle’s upbringing and none of it made sense to her. The Hernandez family was her first real contact with a sort of people that always seemed otherworldly, distant, and rather threatening to Estelle. Now, a new face of Christianity is emerging and that face belongs to the small somewhat, dysfunctional Hernandez family. As they drive off down the street, Estelle considers what she just saw and compares it to her own experience of family. The William’s family consisted of only three persons, with one daughter but that’s where all resemblance came to an end. It was obvious that Tony loved Maria and Maria loved Tony. Their focus (though too subservient) was on their daughter. Her wellbeing was their upmost concern, even if they didn’t always express it in a way best for Alisha. This little, imperfect family enjoyed a lot of love. Did that love come from their religion? Was there something to this God stuff?

Estelle’s thoughts wash backward into feelings she’d rather not explore but has no power to stop, now. That bond of love was not what held the William’s family together. It was Emma’s need that formed the adhesive of her family. She and her father’s drive to fulfill a self-imposed duty to serve that gaping lack had kept the William’s family together. As to a damaged false idol, Estelle and her dad paid all homage to Emma and found their sad, life’s purpose in trying to satisfy the poverty they called wife and mother, with themselves. Their worship and service were futile because what Emma needed was the personal development of growing to become a complete person. Joe’s love for Emma was a kind of sad penance that Estelle would never understand. He worked himself hard to give her what she demanded, while not even sharing her bed but instead, sleeping in a separate room that resembled a monk’s cell. He tried to give his daughter the things she needed but was emotionally, unavailable. He was too overwhelmed with trying to complete his wife to have anything left for anyone else. He emptied himself out for her and died with nothing. Emma was a non-persona and had nothing to offer anyone, let alone her daughter. Estelle, with no deliberate thought, simply tried to relate to her mother by mirroring Joe’s relationship with Emma. In this moment, the past and the present congeal in Estelle’s mind and heart and she realizes she grew up as an invisible child. Her parents were so lost in themselves that they seldom saw her and never knew their daughter. Even worse, she knows she remains unknown, unattached to others, and is an obscure woman.

Finding it hard to breathe, Estelle opens the window. The day’s last golden rays of sun-light stream in with sparkling, intensity and a sudden gust of strong wind pushes a weakened Estelle down on her knees. With head and hands on the window sill and tears streaming, Estelle without thinking finds herself praying, “God? Oh… God…? God. I need you! I don’t know what to say…or even if you hear me…but I can’t be like this anymore! Please, help me find my way out! Please! Send someone to love me so, I can know what love is before I die!”

The powerful gust of wind now settled into a gentle, caressing breeze is comforting and Estelle lifts her eyes to witness a brilliant gold and peach sunset that she understands as a visual reply to her prayer. Peace settles over her and the painful ache of an unnamed longing she’s always born ebbs away. None of it makes reasonable sense but her heart accepts it all gladly, without question. Caravana rubs against her thigh purring and she knows he understands too.

“Oh, Caravana! I don’t know what’s coming tomorrow but I think everything has changed!”

To be continued.

For previous posts in this series visit my Page entitled “The Recluse Series” at https://joyindestructible.com/the-recluse-series/

Turn Back

I am an old fashioned girl, I guess.

Still a bit new to being an old lady;

I’ve lived long enough to see a few things.

I’ve learned a lot and I know what works,

And what doesn’t.

 

I remember many things that are now, forgotten.

 

I’m still quite taken with chivalry.

A man who offers me his coat when I’m cold,

Opens the car door for me.

He respected me enough to marry me,

Before I gave him a baby.

 

I still like that now discarded word, wholesome.

 

Values that stand the test of time;

Boundaries, manners, appropriate, even etiquette.

Masculine, feminine, equal but different.

Family formed to raise children,

“In the nurture and the admonition of the Lord”

 

“The hand that rocks the cradle rules the nation.”

 

A mother’s job is the most important.

Nurturing a stronger nation, shaping its leaders,

Reward more valuable than money:

Respect and families that stay together,

Bound by mother’s unconditional love.

 

“Wait in your room until your father comes home!”

 

The man who puts a roof over your head!

Food in your belly, clothes on your back; honor him!

Accept his strong discipline in healthy fear.

When you grow up be like him!

Work hard, take care of your family.

 

“Fashions come and go but the classics never go out of style.”

 

Yes, I’m old now and time softens the edges.

It wasn’t perfect back then, it wasn’t like Ozy and Harriet!

But everyone knew what was right and wrong.

In our high ideals there was consensus,

Truth was upheld, good wasn’t evil.

 

“When evil is exalted the innocent become prey.”

 

In this new century there is little desire for Truth.

Free morality held in by tight government regulations on everything else.

More government requires more taxes!

Working mothers can no longer rock the cradle.

Corrupt leaders rise; sociopaths, megalomaniacs!

 

God, they say is like me, old fashioned. They’ve removed the old landmarks.

Confusion is rampant and people are angry that America’s promise is gone.

While old ladies like me pray that America will turn back and bless God.