The “Bad Guy”

Once upon a time there was a little family. They weren’t sure how to do life, but like all families – tried to do their best. As the family grew up the mom, and dad realized there were a whole lot of things they could be doing better, and they discussed working together towards common goals, so their children could do the same. However, the one parent who always spoke up, was still the same parent that spoke up. The other parent who was always quiet, was still the same parent who was always quiet. This doesn’t seem like such a bad thing, but eventually the outspoken person became the “bad guy”.

The problem with the “bad guy” scenario is that there isn’t one “bad guy”,  there’s two, the one who wears the label, and the other one who lets it happen.

The good news is, this little family didn’t stop talking. This mom, and dad didn’t stop trying to work towards common goals so their children could do the same. Eventually both parents found their “together” voice and decided to wear the “bad guy” label together, and proudly, because suffering for saying the right thing is the best kind of pain there is.

Remember parents, you are your children’s parents, not their buddies. Always speak the truth in love, regardless of the response, and pray more than you eat, drink and sleep.

To God be the glory

 

 

 

…the bread crumbs

It never ceases to amaze me, the way He supplies our every need, and clears a path for us to grow.

This past week I felt like Gretel, following the bread crumbs.  Only, I found myself at the door of something much better than one built of candy.

I have been attempting to follow in my Savior’s footsteps for years, but only really left the boat just recently, became the fisherman, jumped on the sand with both feet. But the leaving continues, the shedding of my skin, the slippery scales of our society sliding off my eyes that I might see – the soul.  Not just my own, but others.

The woman who sat across the table and shared her heart, as well as humor.  The other who sat nearer so I could read every wrinkle and crinkle of her smile, the lines of suffering, and the glow of triumph.

Then another, on a different day, at yet another table.  My ears applauded her thick raspy tone of voice.  My eyes celebrated the meticulous waves, and curls of her salt and pepper hair, as I looked into her beautiful eyes.

And then the question on the exercise sheet; “What do you think of when you see the word “soul”?”

She left it blank.  She said she wasn’t spiritual, but I beg to differ.

Then the question; “What comes to mind when you think of heaven?”

She hoped there was a heaven, but wasn’t sure.

All the handouts, the paperwork, then a book my husband brought home.  What was God trying to tell me?  Where will all these breadcrumbs lead?  One paper said “self-care”, the book screamed “abandonment”.

“Jesus, sort it out for me, and keep helping me see what you want me to see”.

Help me to live with “…an uncompromising vision for the world as God sees it,….having the attitude of Jesus.” – Phil M. Wagler (from his book Kingdom Culture, Growing the Missional Church)

Philippians 2:5-11

Should We Dare Expect the Joy Without the Sorrow?

Who am I that you are mindful of me?

I’m not the first to see the thirsty scorn your living water.

I’m not the only one, to wrestle or to question,

the mysteries of life, our groanings under heaven….

I just learned a couple of days ago that my song “O Morning Star” is on the shortlist of finalists, in the Word Guild Awards, Write Canada 2014, under the best song lyric category.

This song is very personal, they all are, but this one in particular, because it was written to prepare and equip for an agonizing time, for me, my family, and our church family.

Our daughter had come home for a sick day in November to let us know that a friend of hers had just lost her mother, after a long battle with depression and insomnia.  We were heart-sick, racked with tears and pain, but not without hope.  Our daughter brought her friend home shortly thereafter during a snow storm and we were all able to hunker down by the fireplace and hear the young lady tell us all about her mother.

A friend, and mother whose children were around the same ages as mine, had just been diagnosed with cancer, and aggressive kind.  Her family, and our church family as a whole – were devastated, but not without hope.  She died a week before Christmas, and her funeral was held just days before our Christmas Eve service.  Never has Christmas been so sacred or more meaningful. It was as if she was giving us a special gift, a reminder.  After all, that is why Jesus came to a manger, to identify with our sorrows, and sufferings, and eventually put an end to our eternal death sentence, by dying on the cross, then conquering death on the third day.

I had found out on a snowy Wednesday before Christmas that my brother was not recovering as we had hoped he would, from his stroke and related ailments.  I stood before a judge just five days before Christmas begging the Judge to grant me a warrant to get my brother further help.  The Judge granted the warrant but the Doctors would not comply.  We tried.  Did we fail?  Maybe, but….

Who am I that you are mindful of me?

Should I accept to dare expect, the joy without the sorrow?

You are the Holy One, my peaceful revelation.

The certainty of death is swallowed in salvation.

O Morning Star, you are life and light unto my soul, and still I sing….

©Cindy Palin, October 2013

The interesting and profound revelation is; this song was given to me right before any of the above mentioned, happened. Almost as a foreshadowing of what was to come.  I sang it throughout the months of November and December, as well as at our friend’s funeral, and felt God’s comfort and assurance through the journey.  He is  my Morning Star, and He is light and life unto my soul!