I was Captivated…

It’s the depth that no one sees, the deepest soul of things. Paint that hides underneath the yellowed varnish that was forgotten for a hundred years or more, until one brave chisel flaked away the dark to show the light. The ugly turns beautiful like the old is renewed. It causes me to ponder the days of the past…when she was young and I was scared and captivated at the same time.

It’s nearly springtime, and I’m watching as life is battling winter every minute, every second to find its way out of the ground and into the blue sky out here.

I remember when she found a feather for the first time, and she smiled and held it up, and the velvety strands were strong despite the wind and the weather. She throws it in the air and shouts, here bird, it’s the dove we once had that she always called ‘bird’, here’s your feather, at six she’s just beginning to speak of life through words. It flies up to where her little fingers can’t reach, for a moment she whimpers and this second of sadness falls over her.

My breathing lingers on this one feather as it floats down, downward like the oceans wave in slow motion and her smile fills me, the look of discovery and love in her eyes. I whisper, open your hands, open those blessed little hands. The second of sadness turns to joy and glee as the feather spirals down and touches her fingers and I see a glimmer of light in her eyes, nestled in a spot between the tips of her hair and her eyes wide open and Oh, how she shines. This is You, in which I give all my love.

Down on my knees, where I am one with dirt and clay, I take the feather and tuck it in her hair, this little girl He gave me, the little girl in my heart throwing back long, light brown waves of hair with spirally curls on the ends, I smile as she is laughing to the sky. It’s holy laughter and love for His creation in the purest form.

I’m beginning to find Him in the little things, the things I had forgotten. I’ve written here for years about the beautiful ones, the weak, the small, the strong, the almost hidden ones in the Bible, the ones He created that were seemingly invisible to everyone else.

My memories of this innocent and brilliant little girl drift in and out while slicing avocados. I watch the slowly melting away of the thick skin under the cold steel of the knife to reveal the green nourishment, the delicacy and the thick and perfectly-shaped pit, the way a womb holds life, like your mother when she carried You inside of her. I’m speechless how much life can be wrapped up in something so wrinkled, so ugly it’s beautiful in the life it bore.

I feel the pain of that knife slicing, like the birthing of life, so smooth is the pain that has built-up around the potential of life that He placed in my heart. It hurts and the release causes me to laugh and cry at the new life I see.

The dirt is seen, speckles indulging here and there, tucked away deeply, like the clay moulded and breath of life that came before it. It blooms rich like spring and life through grace; indeed there is life shining from every pore. I long to be radiant, to remove the veil so the Light bursting from me can be a witness to every corner.

Tears stream down on my face as the feathers of life move and the ugly/beautiful grace of renewal spreads and the Light of Him flows through me.

I feel something stir deep inside my soul. It’s that little girl that was me and now… is she, tucking the feather behind her ear, she sits beneath a tree with the soles of her feet pressed together and elbows on knees.

Silent whispers breathing softly, your words run through me, interwoven like the roots of Life that is You.

His Life Is Written…On My Heart

I keep one special book near my bed: my dad’s Bible.  It is an old leather black Bible, expensive leather, worn now, with the edges exhibiting tears, folds and coffee stains intruding out of the faded black.  The cover has “Holy Bible” and “Marion W King” written in gold letters.

Inside the Bible both my parents handwriting flood the pages. Both my parents were born in 1932, were in love for a time and he went to be in the Marines. My mom married another man, only to divorce him when he became violent. Years later my dad came home from where he was stationed and married my mom and adopted my brothers as his own.  When my dad died on February 8th in 1982, when he was only 49, my mom gave me this Bible a few years later. I immediately looked for signs of him in the Word. My tears flowed across page after page of all he had taught so many people.

I always wondered what my parents got for their birthdays and Christmas presents, since they grew up during The Great Depression. I imagine Dad got boy things, perhaps toy soldiers?  A pop gun?  What toys were in his childhood years. I will never know.  But I know he got a Bible, my dad had lots of Bibles.  If you found your deceased dad’s Bible what would you do?

I know I have lots of marks in my Bible.  I never could keep up with my mom’s writing though.  She was the “master marker.”  Her Bible is full of underlines.  Her Bible underlines are straight and neat.  I cannot do it.  My lines inevitably invade other verses, they’re crooked and sometimes run right through the middle of the words. I gave up drawing straight lines under verses—I now put squiggly lines.  I once asked my mom to show me how she made straight lines under her Bible verses—sometimes without even an effort.  She tried but I’ve never succeeded.

I don’t have my dad or my mom living anymore but I have his Bible with their marks. I have evidence that he read it, studied it, applied it to his life. I’m so blessed with the many memories and reminders of his life story.  And there is so much of him written in it.  My mom and my dad wrote in his Bible, the Bible I keep near  my bed.  It’s nice to have something—anything—that reminds me of him.

I am 52 now and it is 30 years since he died.  He would be 80 this month. I can remember every detail of what he looks like.  Really, the only harsh memory I have of my dad is that he picked at me endlessly for the way I prayed. In all honesty, I think he was just teasing me, playfully, but I never knew then and it’s affected my entire life since then. I’m going to let go of that memory and stop being afraid to pray aloud.

Paul says in 2 Corinthians 2: 3-5—”Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? We don’t need letters of recommendation to you or from you as some other people do, do we?  You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone, revealing that you are a letter of Messiah, delivered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living One, not on stone tablets but on tablets of human hearts.”  My dad’s life is written on my heart.  It gives me pleasure still to read his Bible.

My dad’s favorite verse: Philippians 4:13 –“I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me”I carry that same verse as my own favorite. I know that through my parents words in that Bible, in their applications of those words to my life, have helped to make me strong and realizing how much I need daily to study and learn those words, so I too can write them on my heart and in my daughters lives.

Write in your Bible!  Even if you use squiggly lines.  Your kids will thank you someday!  More importantly, write your lives on their hearts.  That someday, perhaps one cold night, as they wait to go asleep, they will read your Bible, see your marks, and remember that day, long ago, when you wrote your life on their lives.

To you Daddy, I pray I’ve honoured your memory and served well as your Daughter. I love you!

When We Feel Broken, Where Do We Go?

These are the days we need to spend in prayer, to Yeshua our Messiah and Lover of Our Soul, and spend time alone in my bedroom, it’s where I can be quiet and I can listen. A lot of times I play prayerful worship music and turn the world off completely.

I love the quiet, I like hearing my own heartbeat.

I know that Yeshua gave me this heart, he gives me one beat after another after another; he gives me the tears that are like the spring of living water, those same tears that help me find my strength through the hard days. He’s always there, we just have to tune into Him.

You know we have to just learn to love the silence so we can hear Him.

I’m trying to find healing for my own past and my own self-destructive behaviours.

I have a 19 year old daughter whose been broken and beaten down since she was 9 years old. Fatherless in most aspects, of what a father is supposed to be.

I have never mothered a girl into a woman before and I cannot build a city in a day or even in a whole lifetime.

My friend always says, “The largest a mother ever is, is just before the swollen birth, after that she spends the rest of her life small, so very small”.

The sky was darkened and then lit up slightly just before dawn, then she made her delivery.

Her hair black and long, full of curls everywhere. Her beauty is breathtaking and captivating.

I’m in Great Awe of this Treasured Gift.

Years later, simply being in her presence makes for a conversation.

When her eyes reflect joy, I know then that I’ve done a few things right. When she sits on the ground, she looks up at me, with a wandering soft voice and asks, “what is it?”

All I can think of to say to this beautiful young woman is, “You are so beautiful and I love the sparkly look in your eyes”.

“You are the wonderment of all things of life and of all life’s plans”. 

I think to myself, “Where do I go from here?  Where will the Great Almighty have us in our new chapters of our lives?”

And as I looked into my daughter’s eyes I could see the Holy One, everlasting and eternal touch of a Living Stone full of the Living Water from the well that Yeshua has to offer us.