Monthly Archives: April 2019

BITTERSWEET APRIL DAY

25 years ago the world was a different construct. Instant notification was not common. Phones didn’t travel with us everywhere. And often – we just plain didn’t know about things that would change our lives until it was much later than we liked. But once in awhile – times when we least expected it – that instant notification still existed.

April 28th has always been important to me. It was my daddy’s birthday. As a “Daddy’s Girl”, it was a big deal. Making crayon cards. Buying presents with my own money from delivering TV Guides and Saturday Evening Posts. Going fishing because that is what he wanted to do to celebrate. Sitting on the small seat he made for me around the “thinking tree” watching a storm race over our heads.

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”~Prov 19:21

Somehow – I don’t think it was a coincidence that this bittersweet day became even more bittersweet twenty-three years after my daddy’s death. In a crazy turn of events – spending the day with my mom as she had surgery in Columbus – hubby getting busy at work – a Grandpa happy to pick up the kids from school – a busy intersection – – –

Things happen in a blink of an eye.

Today, as I usually do on this day, I pulled out “the accident” notebook. It is full of scraps of paper, newspaper articles, pictures, cards, and notes that I wrote down to keep myself from going crazy when the world seemed too chaotic to handle. I generally cry a little, smile a little, and wonder a whole lot.  It is a time to remember wisdom gained that hard way.

Today I found one page of random thoughts written in red ink. For whatever reason, it had gotten stuck between two pages of cardstock that had various news clippings on them. The format of this one page of notes made me laugh. It has the same format that I use today in a lot of my blogs – as if – I had time warped forward or backward and tapped into “me”. I guess that should not have been surprising since it was probably written in the middle of the night or very early morning while everyone else was sleeping. I probably was “warped” out.

And how in the world have I not seen this page for 25 years?

In any case, I think there is more to write on this Bittersweet April Day. Miracles need to be shared for the world is too chaotic and hateful NOT to do so.

“I remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring i/t to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.”~Is 46:9-11     

     [personal/Jeff Sprang photo]

LENTEN INSIGHT 2019 #3

It has been a month since I have written. The words have been there. The thoughts. The dreams. The joyous bursts of creativity. But the fingers were stayed. For whatever reason – I found myself waiting. So – I waited. I waited some more. Waited for the special silence that always precedes the release of words. And still I waited.

Holy week. 
Palm Sunday
Maundy Thursday.
Good Friday.

A month ago, in one of my many thrift store meanderings, I found a Robert Shaw recording in conjunction with Ohio State University choirs. It was not one from when I was there, but the choral works on it spoke to me once again. The next day, I found myself sitting on the floor of my small utility closet as I pulled out all my classical CD’s. My school room filled with them as I worked. I began singing – not well – but nevertheless – with all my heart in the car on the way home. Finally, letting them filter through my prayers as I lay my head down.

“Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”~Lk 9:58

Two weeks later, I found myself walking through the door of a stately, city Methodist church. The steeple bell rang as I walked the sidewalk towards the church – just as they used to when I walked with my parents. Tears gathered in the corners of my eyes. I was not surprised. I needed the rituals. I needed the music. I needed to hear the oral readings of Psalms and “Our Father”. I needed to remember the community of my history. The birthplace of my faith – my youth – my maturity.

A touchstone of truth.

“Pilate said to him, “You are a King then?” Yeshua said to him,“You have said that I am a King. For this I was born and for this I have come into the world: to testify of the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is the truth?” ~Jn 18:37-38

It is Holy Week.
It is Good Friday.

On Maundy Thursday, I was going to go back to the Methodist church, but instead, I watched the Mass of the Basilica in DC and sang with choir during Holy Communion. Tonight, as I watched some of the Stations of the Cross in Rome, my thoughts focused and the fingers found their freedom. Then I turned on the “The Passion of the Christ”. It is always the last thing I want to do – ever. It is a hard movie to watch. I cry – often. And yet, it is the one thing thing I must do. I must remember the gift. I must honor the sacrifice that an earthly mother made in conjunction with the plan that a loving, heavenly Father made for all His children so long ago.

“There is no greater love than this: that a person would lay down his life for the sake of his friends.”~Jn 15:13

Today was a stormy day in NC. “The swirly winds came and the rain fell on us” as a poem from my high school days stated. I checked my plants. Pulled the flag in under the porch roof. Rubbed the dogs’ heads over and over as they stayed close by my side. Even the cat who has been standoffish all week has spent most of the night on my lap. The winds have quieted and while all three animals and hubby are sleeping in our small TV room, I am at peace.

The stone has covered the tomb, but Grace is about to blow away the cords that hold it closed.

Resurrection Day is coming.

“You are my friends if you will do all that I command you. No longer do I call you servants, because a servant does not know what his master does, but I have called you my friends, because all that I have heard from my Father, I have taught you.”~Jn 15:14-15

It has been an interesting month of being a learner again. Listening to the Teacher of Truth is never easy of me. I am – at this point in life – used to being the teacher in the room. I tend to want to control everything around me. Although – some of my oldest friends say that I have always had that “teacher attitude” – whatever that is. I’m still not sure where it is leading or what is on that path that seems to have very few mile markers. What I do know?

“You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed you so that you also will go bring forth fruit and your fruit will remain, so that all you will ask my Father in my name, he will give to you.These things I command you that you will love one another.”~Jn 15:16-17

 

[google images]