Saturday, November 2, 2019

Interesting Intersection

It was a perfect description.  Anyone driving on that street near my house would know immediately what my friend was saying.  In touting a Saturday morning local event, she said "It's at the church near the 
interesting intersection."  

Got it.

I drive there almost every day.  It's one of those road places that have life lessons built in.  How many times have I sat at that place and thought "You could get killed here."  The object is not to get killed here.  Or even banged up.  So how do I avoid it?  I could never describe to you the layout of this particular intersection.  And yes, my friend, interesting intersection fits perfectly.  First  of all, on your approach, pick your lane depending on where you want to go.  The intersection is directly west of a fork in the road so the cars coming from the east might go behind you or in front of you.  You never know.   Proceed to the stop sign with caution.  Be ready to slam on the brakes at any moment lest a car coming from the east will suddenly be in your path.  And it will be moving fast. 

 At the same time, cars will be appearing from the west.  They might be going straight headed for any of three options on the main road.  They will also be moving fast, hoping to hit the traffic light to their advantage.  I'm telling you, it's a jungle out there.  And the jungle could hurt you bad.  As I said, pick your lane.  Look in all directions three times.  Look again.  When you think you're safe, proceed into the intersection with caution, fear and trembling, ready to stomp on the brakes at any moment.  
And stay in your lane!

In case you haven't noticed, life is full of interesting intersections.   We come to them every day in one way or the other.  How we proceed in the moment could have far-reaching consequences or simply a momentary inconvenience.  Just yesterday, as I exited the local mall I came to an intersection choice that was compounded by Friday afternoon traffic.  Being a person of a certain age, I've seen this choice before.  "Not dealing with this..." said my brain.  And I made the choice to abandon the direct route to my destination through the heart of the busy intersection.  I turned the other way, drove all the way around the mall to a less hazardous option.  And breathed easier.

What about those other life choices.  The ones that aren't based on physical circumstances involving cars and traffic.  The picture shows the intersection of a mountain road and a river.  The road is steep, rocky, and narrow.  But if I don't stay on the road, I'm crashed into the river...the wet, rocky river that doesn't go at all where I need to go.  The choice: keep it on the narrow road or 
I'm buried in water and rocks and mud.  

Robert Frost said it with his memorable line:
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood...

Have you encountered an interesting intersection lately?
Look in all directions.  Proceed with caution.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Breezes and Shadows

Some of the best things in life are imperceptible.
- Sue Holbrook

And often those imperceptible things don't need a lot of words.  Shadows, breezes.  Faith breezes.

The shadows show the gentle breeze.  It was faith that brought me here.  I needed a touch from that gentle hand of God.  The one you have to be still and quiet within yourself to feel.  

I sat.  And watched.  And listened.  And felt.  The waves came and drew back.  Children looked for shells.  Sandpipers scoured the shore for tidbits of food hidden in the sand and chirped their conversations as they scampered about.

This was truly a Faith Breeze.  Needed salve for the spirit.  I recommend it.

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.  (Psalm 103:1)

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Six Years and Counting!

Time passes.  Thankfully.  

As I wrote down the date this week, I realized it was the anniversary of a most significant day in my life:  May 14.  On May 14, 2013, I had a bilateral mastectomy.  In 2013, I marked the date on this blog with the following story about the night following my surgery. It just proves you can usually find something to laugh about.  I repost it here with my message from my cancer/chemo experience:GET YOUR MAMMO!

A brief look at the journey

June, 2013
First chemo session
covered with my prayer shawl

July, 2013
AJ buzzes the hair off

July, 2013
My favorite hat

Judy and me
April, 2019

Our Midnight Visitor

Let me set the scene: My room on the fourth floor of our local hospital, the night following my surgery.
The participants: Me, Friend Judy, Nurse, 2 Nurse's Aides.
Judy and I were having our version of a sleep-over.  When you're 60+ years old, your sleep-overs are held in places like hospitals.  She was making every effort to find some comfortable spot on the recliner and I was in and out of goofy-land, still dealing with the effects of anesthesia.

In one of the rare moments that we were both settled and quiet and ostensibly sleeping, the door opened, the lights flipped on and the poor nurse came in for the requisite check of my vital signs.  It was well past midnight...that no-man's land of who-knows-what-time-it-is.  Nurse was most apologetic and we tried to be nice.  Since she was already there, I decided I should potty.  I pushed myself to the side of the bed, put my feet on the floor and stood up.

I looked down, straight into the face of a huge cockroach.

He had obviously been disturbed by the sudden light.  The next few minutes rival anything ever filmed for a slapstick comedy.  The nurse jumped back, announcing that she couldn't do roaches.  The first aide ordered "You watch it and see where it goes.  I'll get something to kill it with."  Yeah, right.  That was roach's cue to make a move, heading straight for Nurse.  All the while, Judy added exclamations of disgust for the whole scene.  I simply sat back down on the bed and waited for it all to be over.

Roach ran straight ahead, then skirted the wall and headed for the bathroom.  I'm sure he had never heard such bedlam in his short life.  Aide 1 returned with Aide 2 just in time to head the scoundrel into the confines of the bathroom.  There followed at least five minutes of "Where is he?"  "I've got him...Nope...he's coming at you."  Wham...blam...whack...And then...silence.

The offender was dispatched to his eternal reward and flushed down the toilet.  Nurse and Aides defended their territory, saying the creepy thing had to have come into the hospital on somebody's shoe or clothing or in a box.  Whatever.  Judy continued to spit and sputter.  Me...I just laughed, after I finally used the potty.

The whole story just proves once again:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven...a time to weep and a time to laugh...
                                                  - Ecclesiastes 3: 1 and 4

Whatever your circumstance, find something to laugh at today.  It helps. 

2019 Thought:  If you are dealing with cancer today, take heart, be strong, and hang onto your faith.  God knows right where you are and he will never leave you or forsake you.  Cancer will change a whole lot in your life, but it cannot take away your salvation or change who you are.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

From Bunnies to Jesus

There is something about the doings of a three year old little boy that just puts life in perspective sometimes.  Especially when the little boy is named Ellis and he's smart as a whip.

Ellis is my grandnephew...the grandson of my brother.  He is pictured here with his mother, his baby brother and the Easter Bunny.  Ellis' facial expression, assisted by his hands, tells everything we need to know about his opinion of this giant dressed-up fake rabbit.  Obviously, this photo op was his mother's idea.  I'm told he didn't want to sit beside the rabbit.

Fast forward 24 hours and he had an aisle perch on his Papa's lap at church:

He was catching every bit of the performance of the children's choir. When it was done, he came to sit next to me for the Pastoral Prayer.  At the end of the prayer, the congregation recites the Lord's Prayer.  That little three year old said every word exactly right.  

It was my favorite moment of the day...a Faith Breeze for sure!

What a way to start Holy Week.