Jesus and The Barefooted Man

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Jesus and The Barefooted Man

In the sixties she sat on red-velvet and stared at dead mink eyes
Staring back at her while she listened to the sermon
Teased hair, hats and some white gloves, confetti sprinkled among the faithful
The South, the  Methodists,
The pearls, sprinkled on a few
Folks listening or planning lunch at the Country Club later
Prime rib or fried chicken, thousand island or blue cheese, sweet tea or sweet tea

And now she wonders about the man with no shoes

He told me the day he went to the Episcopal church without me
I cocked my head and tried to get a visual on the thought
We walked to church a few Sundays later, together down a tree- lined street dripping with moss
On more than a few, old oaks
Passed him, smiling big, he not us
You’re going the wrong way aren’t you?
Headed away from church
He not us
Yeah, going to teach Sunday school
Cheshire cat grin on the barefooted man

And that was the man with no shoes
Seen through the eyes of of the lady who wears the pearls, sometimes
And we sat and rocked and smacked some jaws and asked some questions
Later with folks on the porch
Because this is our sometime home
Who was that man in the barefeet
We asked

And there were opinions and there were things said
And it is still the South
And that is good not bad, but true
Really, we all have a story
And this was an old Episcopal church, after all

Suits and ties, after all

The more I thought
And wondered and took myself down to the deep soul places
I had to dream and cry out to myself
Come Lord Jesus and teach us
Now, how to love all the barefooted souls
Who  sit among the mink and pearls

Show us how to love like you
And smile like we are all barefoot
Walking in the wrong direction

Heck, I think every man Jesus touched
Back in the dusty sandal days was barefooted
Walking

I want to walk beside
And wash and love

All the feet
And know the name of the barefooted man

I loathe labels
But I do love a Cheshire cat grin on a barefooted- man running after Jesus
In the “wrong” direction.

See Red Over Malaria. Bite Back

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Ah, they are seeing red over Malaria and coming after me. They are waking up and fighting back.

They hear and read and their hearts are broken; now that they know the pain I cause. I am a deliverer of death. And they are waking up to the heavy toll I take on this world.

I am flying scared.

The souls are waking up and they are fighting mad.

And my favorite weapon is poverty. Because with poverty I can make sure a child is unable to stay protected from disease. And with poverty, I can keep the medicine out of the reach of impoverished children.

And with poverty as my agent of death  I am delivering  Malaria,  killing 655,000 people a year. A heavy heavy toll  every  365 days.

There are 3.3 billion people in the world. And because of my lethal weapon I keep half of those at risk of contracting the disease.

But I hear the tide is turing. And I hear they are seeing red. And I see the tears they weep. And I know they are coming after me. And it is a war.
When lovers of the souls in poverty, and tender generous hearts who weep at the effects of poverty wake up,  I  will have warriors of hope coming after me.

And they are fighting mad. And they are biting back.

I, the mosquito and they the lovers of Jesus, who can fight poverty, Malaria and suffering, we’re at war.

We are in a battle. And it is life or death.

I wish they would all go back to sleep.

(As told through the eyes of the mosquito)
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Compassion is fighting hard against Malaria. Donations from us, the people of hope, the light bearers and the poverty haters, we can donate a little and help a lot.

Donations provide households with treated mosquito nets. And they educate and treat those who are vulnerable, those who are in the cross-hairs of mosquito borne Malaria.

Visit Compassion’s website here to learn more and to hear about ways to give. Click here to go there.
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Consider Pinning or adding this visual to your facebook page today, World Malaria Day. Bring awareness to this deadly disease. It is small but it what I have.
brookgreen tulips See Red over Malaria

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Joining Emily and my team of writers over at Imperfect Prose where we write about redemption. Let’s  help redeem the suffering Malaria causes.

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Two Tear Types – A Week In The Life of A Mother and Daughter

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The stories of our lives. They are lovely in the living, lovely in the telling. And the re-telling sends them out to those who want to capture hope, redemption, love from the lives of co-travellers. We all walk into these story webs, hold on to some, shake some off, release their glistening parts to others.

Your story gives me hope and gives me pause. I gather fragments of redemption when you tell me where you were and where you are. How you love and how you live.

So when I tell you mine that is my hope unfurled before you. That you would hold a remnant of my life. Place it by your ear as a child cups a shell to hear the sea whisper a haunting call, the mystery of the sea of life, just held. Just hold.

We remember better when we record. There are fragile, tender moments that feel like water in our hands. They evaporate but we extend their living by freezing frames, holding on in a form that remains a little longer, life extension in remembering. And tears they hold and record the tender places, drop by salty drop. As they roll.

We sat in the pew on Friday, upright rigid waiting to mourn in harmony. The shoulders of our rock between us. We the mother daughter bookends. And she simply could not stop the tears from rolling fast and long, slow and steady, changing speeds as the funeral moved through stages of remembering. She wept and we could not catch her tears fast enough, her father and I. The stockpile of kleenex was no match for the arsenal of tears. The tears won today. As they should. This was the day for weeping and mourning. So she did. The cold air marched in as she wept. The winter battling spring can be a good companion for a crying girl. Weather matching moods.

The preacher preached of down here and up there, his words wrapped healing round the little chapel, old, historic holding all the mourning as day turned to dusk. But grief can heal. And people heal. And don’t we come together over loss in a way that only God could orchestrate. That though we break we break together and that begins the glueing back together. Maybe even stronger. A down here mystery. The up there realms are dancing in glory. Only if they like to dance. No forced marches there, after all. But yes, the broken whole and yes, the captives free, and yes the tears are dried.

And only hours later when a momma thinks that all the tears have been harvested in this season there are more. And they are rare as precious diamonds from her eyes, falling, running down her soft young cheek. A man may be of few words, she this girl, a lady of few tears.

So when they flow they are precious in their rarity. Infrequent, they send love notes, clues from her heart.

In the mother daughter mystery that started in the womb of reading clues and cracking codes of emotion sent out by child, morse-code tapping in the tears. I am there to translate.

Saturday’s tears are of a new variety. And each one drips like liquid gold. We nestle around to hear the man tell his Jesus story. Big and burly headed to the NFL. He now lives a different story refined by the tender touch of the Nazarene.

She sends out messages in her tears. Of how her heart is hearing life around her. Each one holds a wet penned-note. Some dry before I can break the seal, read the letters from her soul. But that she lets them roll, communicating in the dripping wet is golden. I’d catch each one if I could.

But up there is a tear catcher. And I trust Him to hold them because I am a leaky broken sieve.

And after all. He has been the parent of the crying chid. The Son of Man and Son of God has cried out from the cross-bars of a wooden cross. So I trust The Catcher of All Tears to catch hers and mine. To hold the ones born of joy and born of pain. Bearing clues to love and life and death. Of what can spring forth from the springs of joy and springs of sadness.

Each caught triumphantly by the Father of The Son of Man. Who captures by Him every tear. Not one is missed, not one slips by.

There are two times twenty types of tears, really or even more. Each wet one a clue to more of you and more of me. And I know well the holders back, the holding on who fight with every fiber not to let one roll. To remain high and dry, but cry heaving heavy deep inside.

Be a catcher of the tears down here with me. And leave the ones that we can’t catch to Him who reigns up there. The Comforter, The Healer, the dryer of all tears.

But mother, daughter, father, brother, look for the tears of joy, tears of sorrow in your day. Rejoice with those rejoicing, grieve with those grieving. And wipe the tears with me of those who remain with us down here.

And I shall weep when I survey the wondrous cross and look to it in times of hurt with gratitude. The Restorer of All Brokenness sacrificed for us.

Catch with me two types of tears.

joining sweet dear Laura.

In Which I Quote The Apostle Paul and Anne Lamott

March really did come in like a lion. We felt the wind blow through our family, shaking us up. Waking us up. And the wind burns and the wind deposits a chill in the bones of man.

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And the greatest of these is Love.

Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love

1 Corinthians:13 – The Message

And sometimes prayers are best reduced to “Help,Thanks,Wow” as Anne Lamott suggests in her new book about prayer.
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The best of the three is love. Really.

I know this in a newer and newer way. I have known it. But there must be many definitions of “know” like the Greek has four definitions of love. This knowing takes on a richer covering of understanding. Like the tapestry has more colorful threads. And the weaving is more exquisite and intricate. This tapestry of knowing love.

March 1 knocked us around a bit. And then on March 4th it knocked us around a little more. Sweet daughter was driving when a blue hand crank smashed her windshield as she was motoring down the highway. At highway speeds. And minutes after or before, trauma blurs time, I fell down the stairs and we were really shaken up. The green and purple and blue running around my flesh was an outward sign.

But days after the highway shake up, we are still numb in our rejoicing. That the greatest of these is love. And that God protected our child.

But the hands and feet of Jesus were at work in our suffering. And the body of Christ was loving us through all of our pain. And we prayed a variation of “Help, Thanks, Wow” as Anne Lamott writes in her book on prayer because sometimes these are the true cries of the heart.

We look at the blue metal hand crank and we say “wow”. And we look at the impact on the windshield on the passengers side where there was no passenger that day. Wow, truly. Because we hear the mechanic when he says how close this was to going all the way through.

But we are even more amazed at the friendship that erupted on the scene of the accident. Our friends who came and loved our daughter. The father, mother, and child, a trio of angels ready to love our family in a difficult time. And we say “thanks”.

Our hearts are ready for the lamb part of March. The lion part is still growling and roaring a bit. But God…is growing our faith and showing us Love through His body. The body of Christ.

As I fell down the stairs and wept and shook, I was helped by two godly men. My husband and his accountability partner and best friend. And I wept at the trauma that appeared to be coming in rapid succession. The kind that leaves you shaking and asking and what’s next.

But what’s next is more Love. Because love wrapped around our pain. It bound our wounds and eased our suffering. March 1st left us shaking a bit. We had to pull together and move forward from unexpected change. And love together, The Patient One and I. We processed a big change in our lives under the mantra of we are moving forward.

But forward was paved by love to the left and love to the right. We were hemmed in by it.

Without the pain, without the trauma, without the shaking up in our lives we would have missed this action verb breaking through into our lives.

God allowed us the privilege of seeing Love cover us up. Friends blanketed us with words of encouragement, refocused our pain, and checked on us with words, written and spoken.

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I read the words of a blogger friend to The Patient One. And his response was “keep banging away.” We do feel like this, often, we writer/bloggers. That we are just banging it out.

But if I can bang out love, words of love, manifestations of love and God’s grace then bang away I will.

Though I wish there were a more poetic expression of writing than banging. But I bang like a loud cymbal or a drum if I am not writing and speaking of love.

So today I swim in the ocean of Paul’s beautiful words, again. And again. And every wedding and every occasion I can dive back into to this beautiful truth, I will.

When you have soaked in love and bathed in love and basked in love, you want to give it.

These days leading up to the cross, to the Lamb of God, I want to bang out love and point to the amazing love of Christ on the Cross.

Oh I am ready for the Lamb days of March. But I am grateful for what the roaring lion showed us too. And I want to pray “thanks” to a God who loves us so much it is sometimes unfathomable. Often incomprehensible.

And “thanks” to those precious friends who love us when we are hurting and scoop us up when we fall down. Broken, bruised, banged up but loved.

The best of the three is love. Truly.

Joining Jennifer today for #tellhisstory, Ann and Emily for Imperfect Prose

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