What Angels Do

Daniel 10:12-14 KJV

[12] Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. [13] But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. [14] Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.

We have so misunderstood and utterly misrepresented

What angels do

Who they are

Or how they might appear

(While surely they might be anyone–

Women, children, the dispossessed)

They stand their ground

Fight for us

Maybe when it would seem

We are otherwise entirely

Abandoned

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💗

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

My Covid Story

Around Thanksgiving I got Covid. I work in a doctor’s office, so eventually all of our staff got the disease as did our immediate family.

Symptoms and severity sorted out by age. The youngest two had the mildest symptoms, the oldest–me, ended up in the ER for a day, facing a diagnosis of damage to my heart and lungs.

First, let me say, that I am mending. I am the recipient of miracles and healing.

But the 24 hours leading up to the ER visit were really scary. The day in the ER was a gift. The oxygen machine they sent me home with was a gift.

And my current pulse, O2 stats, and general health–belong to the grace of my Ransomer.

Jesus gave me miracles, as He has done my whole life.

Covid is a really scary disease. It leaves some scars. It leaves fear and memory of the pain and uncertainty.

But Jesus is bigger than mountains. Jesus is bigger than tiny killer viral agents.

And Jesus never walks away from us.

I know I have been saved and given the gift of my life back.

I will do what I can to praise the One who saved me.

And I will use these beautiful lungs to pray for all of us.

That we feel him there with us,

No matter what.

Woman Up!

I have never been a roller coaster girl. Too queasy, but these days the ride is all mental grit and actuarial tables–I stop in the credit union parking lot just as the preacher on the radio quotes Jesus–ask anything in my name and I will give it to you!

Ok, God, I tell Him, make those doctors brave

Could substitute kind, generous, humble, compassionate

Feels impossible, I tell Him then

He reminds me

Impossible

Is His specialty.

Who protects the wary?

John 5:3-4 KJV

[3] In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. [4] For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.

My first question for you is–do you believe there was an angel who came down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the waters?

So one person each time could be healed?

Crazy, right?

But no crazier than believing that Jesus healed the man who had been at the pool so long, who does not turn out to be the most grateful healed man.

I have skirted the issue of the angel at the pool for years, choosing instead to focus on Jesus and the man and the religious oligarchs who made it hard for Jesus.

I understand that angel complicates everything–messenger of God who brings some healing, brings some hope only

In a certain season.

Damselfly 40:16

People look for hope in all kinds of things–money, elaborate shelter, the absence of risk, the presence of satiety.

Other people

It is not hard to believe in God

By the power of blinking stars and damselflies, it is hard not to believe in God

But what is hard

Is choosing to only

Believe in God

For the hope where there is none

For the rain in a dry land

For miracle in the Iron Age of science

Hard to believe that God could comfort every soul in Lebanon when Lebanon is not sufficient to burn

Hard to believe in Resurrection at the foot of the Cross

But if you can or do

Cling to Resurrection

All things are possible

Miraculous little

damselfly.

Eternal Sea

When I wrote the slim, hasty, typo-ridden memoir Just, I used pseudonyms.

I chose to link my adopted children’s pseudonyms to their first initials C became Sea,

Sea like the color of his eyes

Sea like the cold ocean we stood in together

Sea like the depths, the hidden things both beautiful and terrible, the bigness of it all

Sea, placeholder for the God who makes seas then makes them evanesce

C is lost to me for now. He has disowned both me and the God who made me

But I can still remember

The time you hit your mouth on the hard metal of the seesaw and we had to rush you to the dentist

The way we would wait until you were sleeping to exclaim over your cuteness because

Most times when you were awake there was both sturm und drang

The time we went to the shore and I carried you on my back and you pummeled my head all the way back to the car

If I had a dollar for every time you hurt me or someone else I love dearly

It would not begin to be as much as you are worth

Of your eternal value

Of the Light you can become forever

If you just

Turn and face the Sea.