Paper Bag Analogies

It is scary not being able to breath properly. It looks like you have Covid lung the doctor said, congestive heart failure…

My husband told my daughters what pills to give me and when, bypassing me entirely because the lack of oxygen meant fatigue and fuzzy thinking

I had put my soul at the center of this. Dying was just a space in my peripheral vision, something that was going to be inevitable at the rate I was going.

I tried to sing these songs. Eventually I had to just sit in their presence while others sang.

I talked to Jesus about the pain and paper sack lungs. He told me he took the true agony of a pair of dying lungs so that I could be given

More time, heaven after

When I began to think I would actually live a little longer, I was still afraid to take it for granted

I had to talk myself into the river. Tell myself I could ease in, keep your head above water

When I could go under

Hold my breath

Swim again

I told Jesus I would never tell the story without full acknowledgement

He healed me. He gave me back my life at his own deep expense

His lungs for mine

Now I can sing

(Part 2)

Matthew 25:35-39 KJV

[35] For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: [36] Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. [37] Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee ? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? [38] When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee ? [39] Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

When Charles went to juvenile detention for a plea bargained mitigation of a monstrous charge, he received support, letters, cards, an outpouring of support.

I attributed this odd behavior from “good people” (rewarding a child abuser) thus–

  • They did not trust our report?
  • They did not full understand the devastation of his felonies
  • Or Matthew 25 oh, somebody in prison? I better get in on that reward!

Could have been something else, but whatever the motivations, his victims often did not get the same level of support he did. The people who comforted Charles did not comfort his victims.

Only two people outside our family confronted him on his sins.

To this day he does not acknowledge

What he did was wrong

There are lots of hard parts within the gaps between what the

Lord and the Righteous see

Test of the “I Was”-es (Part 1)

Matthew 25:35-39 KJV

[35] For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: [36] Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. [37] Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee ? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? [38] When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee ? [39] Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

The test of the I-was-es:

Seeing Jesus in all our weakness and need

The Exercise of Faith

Recently I told this story to a friend facing loss–

It was a beautiful, uncharacteristically sunny day in Beaver, PA. There was a cop car parked a block from us, I suspected they suspected I might run to Canada with you. You had a cute Sesame Street ensemble on, replete with orange coat. Our church friends were there to help us through.

Your dad wept. He is not usually a crier. I did not. I did not believe at that time that you were going to be away more than a long weekend.

I knew God was gonna bring you back.

The pain that followed was truly unspeakable. I questioned my faith. How could I have been so sure that I would get you back?

I asked God

And He said

“You were not wrong to believe you would get her back, it was just your timeline was off a bit.”

I know you will always be God’s baby girl, because you have always been mine💗

We are the catchers in the rye

Matthew 13:38-39 KJV

[38] The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one ; [39] The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

When I was younger I would read Catcher in the Rye on a yearly basis. First I was Phoebe’s age, then Holden’s and now I am old enough to know that the narrator sounds too much like a middle aged man with a Peter Pan complex.

But the catchers in the rye are older than me and J.D.

They are the injunction of a God who saves us all from the precipice hill of Golgotha. He tells me I owe him all and I agree. He tells me, come with me into the fields

And I go

I try to go

Let us write a book, my loves

Let us write a book my loves where each of you gets at least a single word because, as the Good Book says words are signifiers of eternal things and you are nothing if not eternal.

This time only you and God will be able to decide what words your little lives will signify

And how much each is worth

Words for children

A progeny of words

Like the teeth of a dragon

Sewn beauty in the field

Where once was only sorrow

Jerichos

Long before her son’s whirling and untimely demise, my paternal grandmother believed in her traction with elected officials. I remembered this belief upon my first campaign, which was, parenthetically, about the loss of a single child and an unjust judge.

Who save me

would draw a line between Mamaw and the rise and fall of Hasmonean kings?

Amidst all this talk of unjust judges and rising kings

I tell myself there must be

sycamores in Jerichos still

Awaiting His return