Dio (God) is forte (strong) and presente (present) in every pasticcio (mess)
Author: jane doe
i'm an energetic, lively, passionate woman living out my dreams on the west coast of the us. i maintain a 'perpetual tourist' status to live life fully engaged. some of my favorite things are road trips, hiking, the beach, loud music and writing stories (of course) to accompany my nature photography. i'm told I love well and have an infectious laugh.
my family includes a grown son that i dote on, in addition to a multitude of people around the world i also consider family. welcome. i'm glad our paths have intersected here.
we know life here on earth is messy. i've lived through some things, some badly and some brilliantly, experiencing mercy, grace and unfailing love from heaven through all of it.
as we travel together, take this truth with you in your suitcase: in every mess god shows up in the three persons of papa, jesus and holy spirit. they show up to make something glorious from every mess. they make something glorious of me, and something glorious of you.
sign up so you know when i've posted something new. enjoy the reading and let me hear from you.
first, i heard another sister’s heavy heart regarding the overall apathy she was seeing.
then i recounted the courage and boldness i’ve witnessed in other believers and patriots the last few days.
it all drove me to do something, to take decisive action.
i acquired more testicular fortitude. yes. i did it.
i grew another pair of balls.
and then i went out to do errands, praying in tongues the whole time.
upon visiting my financial institution, i was promptly stopped at the door and told masks were required. i calmly responded that i was unable to wear a mask. the woman was taken aback that anyone dare challenge the deceitful, oppressive and satanic narrative.
she said it was a good thing they weren’t busy. i went to the counter and engaged with the teller. i proceeded to do my business quietly, politely, laughing with her and thanking her when i was done.
the next stop was the discount grocer. no one stopped me or badgered me in any way. i had a great shopping experience, smiled at people and saved $39.00 on my grocery bill.
then i went to the pet food store. i love the owner, always have. but she and her staff have been taken captive by fear. you cannot enter the store without a mask. i entered, offering again i was not able to wear one.
the young woman wanted me to go outside to wait. she would shop for me. i explained that they’re in violation of osha laws by requiring me to wear a mask and not allowing me inside the store. the man working the counter snapped at me, “it’s the law to wear a mask!”
“no, it’s not. all these things are guidelines, not laws.”
“well, we would prefer it if you waited outside.”
the young woman got my things while i stood by the door giving her direction on which items i wanted to purchase. i was not rude or demanding. i spoke the truth and it was offensive. i thanked her when i left, wondering if i would be welcomed back.
i’ve shared the, “out of the shadows,” movie with the owner (not present today), as well as other tidbits of truth. i’ve invited her to coffee or dinner to have real conversations, but she won’t take me up on it.
she knows i love her, but fear has so gripped her, she is too afraid to take hold of any truth that would free her from the bondage.
when i show up now, she’s not happy to see me.
freedom has become an offense.
people are not aware of our god given liberties trampled each and every day.
to not speak truth is not love.
love speaks truth so others do not perish.
and perishing occurs at many levels. it’s how we got here in the first place.
it was both uncomfortable and liberating to speak today.
i held my head high and engaged eye to eye and face to face whenever i could.
and no one will ever be able to ask, “why didn’t you tell me?”
and i will continue to fight for you, even in your slumber, because love does that.
tyranny is at the door with its hand on the knob, attempting to throw it wide open.
it was the weekend, time for another bath to rejuvenate and refresh. it was time for conversation with jesus on a topic she didn’t often broach.
it was painful. questions outnumbered answers. she was surprised when he addressed her thoughts before she could speak.
various scenes and encounters played through her mind like old movie reels.
years had passed. prophetic words had come, gone, fallen to the ground.
when they fell, she lifted them back up in her hands, gently cleansing them and strengthening them with promise.
well meaning friends attempted to console with platitudes and scripture. they didn’t quite fit or comfort.
other not so much friends came with false prophecy to take her away from the directives on her destiny scroll. she was both surprised and amused when demons rose up as lying words were confronted with truth.
she thanked abba for the spirit of truth. truth was a close companion and trusted friend. healing and deliverance came as fast as truth rooted out the counterfeit.
old doors were firmly closed while new ones opened wide to paths of freedom. it was a new season, one she’d waited for in earnest.
hope remained. she nurtured it daily. hope kept her focused and immovable.
new possibilities were presented for her consideration.
she tucked deeper into jesus’ protective embrace, occasionally glancing at his ring on her finger.
the bathtub conversation went to the promise she held in her heart.
it was jesus’ time to speak to it.
“you have said ‘yes’ to many of my sons, trusting me to do the work of transformation in them so you could be one flesh.
none of them have said ‘yes’ to you because of the high price it will cost to walk with you.
they have been afraid, unwilling to surrender to the work or the calling.
walking with you, child, is no small thing.
you have suffered massive rejection and misunderstanding, and yet you’ve never left my side.
i will make things right for you.”
in a few powerful words of truth, he’d blown away the shame, rejection, religion and all the other mess.
memories stirred in her heart like a wooden spoon stirring ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
there was the rainbow at beacon rock. plans for the little restaurant in the gorge. dreams of a home on the coast.
these were not small things. his was intense, passionate. he wanted to rebuild his life. he didn’t want to do it alone. but there were character issues. and pride. it caused him to stumble. and it kept him from yielding to holy spirit, jesus and papa.
she’d seen it often. when pride rose up in him, darkness would cover his face. the tenderness she loved in him was hidden. joy was crushed in anger and unforgiveness.
nearly a year passed since any communication occurred between them. and it was her doing the reaching out. again. he’d gone dark after helping her with the car battery at the airport after thanksgiving. christmas came and went without a word.
she texted him on new year’s day, wished him well. he responded back, but even his texting voice felt small. he wasn’t in a good place, maybe drunk.
now, on the eve of another christmas, memories resurfaced. she smiled, recalling times, places, conversations. his daughter. his family. aunt louise and uncle charlie.
she texted him again, fondly recalling a few details that would make him smile if she wasn’t blocked on his phone. she visited several of his family’s facebook pages, wondering out loud if he’d been home to visit them yet. it was fifteen years now since he’d seen them.
she recalled words spoken over their lives. his momma would be a momma to her. his daughter would be her daughter, just like she’d given birth to her. aunt louise had taken her under her wing, always grateful for how she’d brought him back into communication with the family.
when it got too painful to hold on, she quietly unfriended his momma. she contacted the half-brother and aunt louise to tell them she needed to move on. they wished her well. the half-brother invited her to visit him and his wife if she was ever in alabama. it hadn’t taken long to develop bonds with them.
on a whim, she reached out to aunt louise on messenger, not knowing if she’d even see her message since they were no longer connected. why was all of this flooding back into the forefront?
praying, she got into her weekly epsom salt bath. sitting in silence, papa surprised her with a question. “would you take him back if he was all cleaned up?” her head snapped as she looked up to him. “first of all, you can please confirm this is you. i’m pretty vulnerable right now. secondly, yes, i might, but with conditions.”
the conditions were clear: he needed to be walking closely with papa, jesus and holy spirit. and he would need to come out of agreement with every spirit that does not serve jesus. those two qualifiers covered a lot of ground.
something deeper was working. she wasn’t clear on what it was. more prayer, more healing in the salty, lavender water. thirty minutes later, she was on the living room floor stretching. then cleansing her gateways. this was an important process. forgive, cleanse, release. release is equated with liberty.
late afternoon arrived and she began cooking for the week. chicken thighs fried on the stove, rice cooked in the dutch oven. when the phone rang, she was startled, but not as much as she was when she saw the location of the caller: new orleans. who and why?
she answered. “hello?” “hi ______!” i see you wanted to talk with me. it was aunt louise. calling her. from new orleans. what??? something deeper was working here.
she and uncle charlie were well. the big surprise and subsequent shock came shortly thereafter. he’d been home to visit. finally. he’d been there in october, just a few weeks ago. that was the big surprise. then came the shock.
he hadn’t gone alone. he went with a woman. not just a girlfriend. a fiancé. her head and heart reeled at the same time, shock waves tearing through her senses. aunt louise said something about them being forever grateful for bringing him back to them..somehow, the call ended abruptly.
devastation and betrayal set in. that was her trip to make with him, her family to meet. the new woman had taken credit for getting him there. truth spoke loudly over the top of the lie. she knew well the prophetic words she’d spoken over him two years earlier that propelled him forward to reconciliation with his family.
the truth could not be taken from her. his betrayal could not be ignored, either. he’d chosen not to yield, not to say, ‘yes,’ to papa, jesus and holy spirit. he didn’t want to do the work. it was easier to find someone else who didn’t require so much of him, someone who would be satisfied with mediocre.
it took two weeks to process all of it again. hashing over all the prophetic words, all the promises, all the conversations..and all the character flaws. left unchecked, the character flaws became massive stumbling blocks. indeed, they’d made the foundation of their relationship unstable.
his actions consistently sowed distrust. there was nothing solid to build on. it was unsustainable, shaky ground. she knew his history. if he was challenged to be more, he threw a tantrum. and if he didn’t get his way, he moved on to someone else.
two weeks later, she made a different decision. looking up, she spoke decisively. “i don’t want him back. if he was yielded to you, he would have come back for me. he did not. so i’m closing the door. you close it, too.”
she took back the key and the dream. papa had already breathed new life and purpose into her. it happened yesterday in the salty bath laced with lavender and into the future oils. he’d taken her heart into his large, gentle hands and breathed new life into it. it was beating strong again.
she held the key in her left hand, the side her heart lived in. someone was coming. he would be worthy of her heart, the key and the dream.
destiny beckoned as compromise lost its power and voice.
they’d last seen each other almost six months earlier. it ended abruptly when she decided not to listen to his tasmanian devil fit on the phone after confronting him on bad behavior.
as he spewed angry words across the airwaves, her response was simple and calm. “i am not having this conversation with you tonight.” she pressed the red button on her phone, disconnecting the call. kindness with boundaries. he does not have permission to speak to her this way. no.
the result of the boundary was an immediate facebook unfriend, a block on the phone and an email requesting she never call him again. it’s what people do when the mirror is placed before them. it was also a sign he was not worthy of her heart yet. sigh.
now here they were, giving it a go again. she was excited and wary. the phone call had gone well. now she waited for the text so she knew where to meet him.
they met at a new place, not one of their old favorites
he asked her to meet him at a new place. it was new to her, not to him, but new to them together – appropriate for a new beginning. arriving first, she made her way straight to the ladies room after a brief survey of the establishment.
she took a minute to get her bearings. and breathe. deep breath in, exhale slowly. rinse and repeat.
she checked her lipstick in the mirror, observing the glow on her face. there was a tenderness and light in her features that had been missing for several months. it returned the moment she heard his voice. love does that.
father, jesus and holy spirit were as excited as she was. realizing this was a new day, she asked holy spirit to order their conversation. shaking off any anxiety, she walked back into the bar area and settled at a table near the door. yikes. it was dark in this place. the smell of marijuana wafted in from the patio. it didn’t stimulate her appetite in the least. it wasn’t her favorite, never had been.
when he came in, he’d see her straight off. and he did. he walked in, saw her there, pulled back the chair to reach her and put his arms around her neck in greeting. my god, what a long time it had been since she felt his embrace. he sat down. they looked at each other. he asked her something she didn’t hear. she was so caught up in just looking at him she never heard the words.
“excuse me, i’m sorry. what did you say?” it was almost funny. well, no, it was funny. was she fifteen again? maybe. there wasn’t much that could render her speechless. she let him begin with the catching up so she could just look at him.
he was as beautiful as ever. dear lord. it wasn’t just his physical appearance. he was freer, glowing from the inside out, light in his eyes. his joy had returned. part of that joy was the call he got from her only a few hours earlier.
they glanced at menus. he was a regular here, so he made a couple of recommendations. “order whatever you like.” she ordered something, not really caring what it was. he went up to the bar, placing their order for food and drinks.
he was nervous, though, like a cat on a hot tin roof. she let him begin catching up on his life first. he was going to counseling, paying someone to listen to him vent. that was good. he also commented he’d tried dating, but it was a disaster. she felt some relief with a question mark following. why did he share this? this revelation would prove to be a clue later. she filed it away. guilty people always tell on themselves. they can’t help when it when truth is staring them in the face.
they finished their food while keeping the conversation moving. she studied him closely. he hadn’t been home to see his family yet. another item to file. she was in contact with his aunt/godmother, a lovely woman who prayed for her nephew consistently. she took her role of godmother seriously.
he knew the two of them spoke on messenger, asking what they talked about. she lightly danced around revealing their conversations. there was no need to show her hand except to encourage him to go home to visit. his parents and the rest of his family weren’t getting any younger. they wanted to see him before moving to heaven. it was that simple.
his response indicated he wasn’t ready for that trip yet. he ordered another beer. she asked how he was going to drive home. he wasn’t. an uber driver had dropped him there and uber driver would collect him and take him home. this had become a regular routine. he thought himself clever. it was a good choice for keeping his driver’s license, not so good for other obvious reasons.
it was late now and she had to work the next day, friday. he walked her down the street to her car. he hugged her goodbye, embracing her for a very long time, longer than he ever had before.
she got in her car and watched him walk back to the bar with unease and a heavy heart.
she was twenty years old when it happened, days shy of her 21st birthday. young, tender, naive trying to find her way in life after years of abuse. she was pretty, beautiful even.
modeling might have been her career if not for her head crashing through the windshield of an old ford fairlane. the event had many layers, a redemption for every tragedy. maybe the man who hit them in the rainstorm was delivered from alcoholism. she prayed and hoped.
the scars were healed. indeed, no one even saw them unless she pointed them out in telling the story. her fractured internal condition was well hidden from most people, too. when her mother told her to, “just get over it,” her permission slip to process the pain and loss was taken away.
it was only after she reading, “broken to whole,” that she saw what had occurred within her that fateful night and why it happened. and that jesus was good with it. really good with it. there was never any condemnation nor would there ever be.
having suffered post traumatic stress disorder for decades, the most recent trigger broke the camel’s back. it was the wreck on highway 30, the one she drove past on the last leg of the drive home from seattle. it was the one with the fatality. someone died. it was her years ago, except she’d lived to tell.
if the timing had been different by a few minutes, hers might have been the car hit by the driver veering over the center line. but she was not. this time she was a passerby, speaking life to the victims.
the car left standing on all four wheels was the trigger, opening the wound wide open. it was the hole in the windshield where the driver’s head crashed through. the internal shaking began almost immediately. the other part of her tried to shut it all down, to stuff it back in the box. this time, however, it would not be contained.
he came to pick her up for dinner right after she arrived home. did he see the train wreck inside her? no, thank god, he did not. she was skilled and adept at hiding it from nearly everyone but herself and jesus. he knew. she knew.
today she had new information, new revelation. she had explanations and tools to help her heal. she could talk to that broken, traumatized fragment of her soul. she could help it and be whole again.
the conversation between them began awkwardly, her spirit engaging with a soul fragment stuck at the age of twenty. an epsom salt bath followed to begin the release. it was a process, not something to be done in five minutes.
there were movies to watch to shake the trauma loose and another movie to watch to find out the fragment’s name, the name of the girl who went away 35 years ago. who was she? what was her personality? and how could she bring her back home safely?
the movies were cathartic, internal earthquakes with no richter scale to measure their intensity. more shook free, rising to the surface. the fragment’s name was, ‘lucy.’ now she could call the broken girl by name. she lay curled up in the fetal position in her bed, sobbing deep guttural sobs on and off for hours.
a friend voxed her to ask her a question about someone they were both praying for. she sobbed back, “i think so and so is fine, but i am in this…” and she went on to explain.
he listened, voxed her back. through heaving, broken sobs, she explained until he had enough context to see how to pray. he gave her hope she would come through. jesus had him tell her she was close to completing this journey she never knew she was on or wanted to take.
in all of it, she saw glimpses of the mystery girl ‘lucy‘ who went away. she’d catch lucy peering out from behind her to see if it was safe to come out. sometimes she could turn around to see lucy behind her. it was an odd thing to see part of herself living in hiding for so long.
it was time to come home. when the sobbing was over, she took another epsom salt bath. she spoke to lucy and the other fragmented parts of her, introducing them to jesus for redemption and healing. soon, they’d all be integrated back into her soul. wholeness was coming.
the following day, she rose early and drove to the coast. jesus showed her the scene days earlier. as she drove, fear and panic rose up in lucy. she called her friend. “how do you feel?” the friend asked. “i feel terrified,” came the response. it was real. driving was not easy. pressing through in her vulnerable state was the overcoming part.
the grounding came as her feet pressed into the cool sand. jesus was with her.
broken to whole was tangible and achievable. how did she know?
it was monday, the monday before the saturday she’d be flying out. this was not a simple trip home to see family. there was an assignment from father god included in her itinerary. it would require teamwork between an old friend back home and a conference call connecting the new friend in the pacific northwest. they made up a three-fold cord, not easily broken.
her schedule was somewhat set for the week. swim on monday and wednesday, dinner with him on tuesday evening, then manage details and pack for the trip. he called her out of the blue during the day, wanting her opinion on a jeep he was looking at. she didn’t have peace about it, and neither did he after inspecting the engine. he would wait. she affirmed his decision.
still intending to go swimming, she was surprised when he called again, this time to change dinner to that evening instead of tuesday. another clue, filed away with the others. she met him in the parking lot and walked over to his truck. he didn’t see her coming and nearly jumped out of his skin when she appeared at the driver’s door. she handed him an important book, one that could change his life if he took her counsel. he placed it in the cab, and they walked over to the indian restaurant.
she looked at him like a cow at a new gate.
he was extremely nervous. as they reviewed the menu, she commented on her inability to recall what she had the last time they were there. he remembered though, and recited it out loud word for word. she looked at him like a cow at a new gate. what was this? it was way out of character. it was guilt-induced attentiveness, that’s was it was. it’s a thing. she was feeling sick, not sure why, but ordered some falafel. he paid for dinner and they walked to their customary table in the back to wait for their meals.
shortly after sitting down, he pulled out his phone and showed her a selfie photo of the ‘friend‘ he’d gone to the circus with the saturday past. she waited a polite amount of time, then excused herself to the powder room to compose herself. suddenly, all the clues formed the conclusion. he was seeing someone else, hiding in the safety of his definition of ‘friend.’ it was the woman in the photo, the same woman whose face had appeared ringing in on his phone. she was a nurse, he said. they were just friends, he said.
well then. that explained why he hadn’t responded to her text that saturday morning. hence the dream about the ***hole, too. now safely in the bathroom, trying to contain her emotions, she spoke to father god. “you’d better give me some grace to walk this out, because i’m not feeling it right now.” tears stung the corners of her eyes. how was she going to continue through the meal? grace. grace would carry her.
when she returned to their table, he began to talk about a new place he’d gone hiking. she looked him in the eyes and tested the water. “when are we going to go there together?” he answered her quickly, “when you get back we’ll go.”
he looked at her across the table. he knew that she knew. steering the focus of conversation back to her, he asked about her upcoming trip. she looked at him again and this time, she spoke with her eyes. ‘i know what you’re doing, turning the focus back to me.’ he could barely meet her gaze. it was a look.
switching back to words, she shared with him how she was excited to see the man who’d given her purpose to live over thirty years ago after a near fatal car wreck. as she described how the doctor used to examine her facial scars, she reached across the table and placed her hands on his cheeks so he could feel the same sensation. he was melting under her gaze of love. she had no idea how she was even doing this without coming unglued. love just came out toward him. just love.
consistent, reliable and stable.
somewhere in the conversation, she reminded him of what father god had spoken to her about him. looking into his eyes again, she said it with her voice. “remember what father said about you. you are consistent, reliable….” he finished the sentence for her, the mirror reflecting on him now. “…and stable.” there it was: consistent, reliable and stable. he was becoming those things, though he was unaware how it was happening. he wanted to be those things, too.
most of her meal stayed on her plate. the falafel was dry. she’d lost her appetite once he’d showed her the selfie of him and his friend at the circus. they left the restaurant and walked back to her car. this time, she didn’t loop her arm through his as they walked.
she got in the driver’s side while he climbed in the passenger side. he asked if she needed anything to calm her on her trip because it was going to be intense. she observed his anxiety talking; it was not hers. in the end, he left her with some prescription meds. she placed them in a cubby, only to flush them down the toilet at a later date.
he was consumed with guilt, convicted at his behavior and deception. he knew that she knew. still trying to redeem himself, he told her to let him know if she wanted to get together one more time before she left on saturday. she nodded slowly. she would let him know.
he knew that she knew. and he did not know what to do.
to her surprise, he leaned over to kiss her on her right cheek. he lingered there, his lips pressed against her skin for a long time. he’d never done that before. finally pulling away, he did something else shocking, muttering the words, “love you” to her as his head hung down. he’d told her he loved her without her saying it first. that was a first. he knew that she knew. and he did not know what to do.
she drove home is a state of semi-shock, trying to believe the best without denying how all the clues and pieces had come together to form a whole picture. the next day, she texted him, asking him if he’d like to go swimming with her on wednesday night. it was the last night she could swim before her flight on saturday. he never responded. when she drove home from the pool on wednesday night, she saw why: his truck was parked at the yoga studio.
he was not worthy of her yet. she could not afford any more distraction or heartache before this trip. it was too important. he called sometime on thursday. she couldn’t talk with him. he did not leave a message.
on friday, he called her phone three times during the day. each time, she looked at it, gently saying, “i cannot talk to you now.” she could feel his panic as it manifested in her own gut, making her sick. she quickly consulted friends and then cut all negative soul ties with him. it stopped the flow of his anxiety into her. she did not own this mess or his actions. it was all on him.
details go sideways when truth is abandoned
she asked father when she should respond to him. he advised her to text him after work was over. as she was nearly ready to text him, he texted her. she could hear his fear and anger in the text. “i am trying to confirm if i need to pick you up tonight and bring you to the airport.” clearly, he was distraught, because he had the timing of her departure wrong. details go sideways when truth is abandoned.
breathing in and drawing on more grace, she responded to him likewise in text, “something’s come up, a change in plans. thanks for offering, but you won’t need to take me to the airport in the morning.”
he did not ask about the change in plans. he did not respond at all.
the long anticipated trip quickly approached. like any assignment she’d been given, the warfare and distractions intensified as the mission neared. while warfare was expected, she was nearly always caught off guard by the people it came through.
recent events and dreams revealed details difficult to choke down rather like a massive hairball. while she unraveled freemasonry in her own family, she saw it clearly in his family line, too. he didn’t want to hear about it even as she encouraged him to do the work to be freedom from the curses.
she told him about the resource she’d used. she offered to walk with him through his own process. she shared how much this mattered for future generations of his bloodline, for his children and grandchildren.
they had dinner scheduled the week of her departure. she located an empty spot in the public parking lot shortly before he arrived. when she saw him drive in and park, she grabbed her purse along with her own copy of the book she’d used to get unwrapped from the deadly freemasonry curses. he was on the phone as she approached his truck. she knocked on the door, startling him. why did he look guilty?
as he exited the truck, she handed him the book, explaining again what was in it, what it would bring and offering her help. her heart was heavily invested in this man and his future, more than he realized. he took the book and tossed it onto the seat, quickly closing the driver’s door.
they strolled arm in arm to the nearby restaurant. once inside, she heard him being overly nice to her, compensating for something. smiling, he encouraged her to, “order whatever you want!” as they viewed the familiar vegan menu. what?? that never happened before.
they sat down at their regular table and began to talk. he couldn’t hold it in anymore. before she knew what was happening, he’d lifted his phone toward her so she could see the photo.
the text messages she’d sent him last weekend were never answered because he was at circus soleil with the woman in the selfie. her heart shattered as she took in the image. there he was, cheek to cheek with a pretty young woman, both of them with big smiles on their faces.
“she’s a nurse,” he proudly proclaimed. she was also the woman who called during dinner last week, the same one he met at yoga. she saw it without him saying it. the gifts work even when you wish they didn’t.
in an instant, her clues were verifiable facts and her dream was interpreted. his guilt was consuming him. he’d had to come clean. she tried to keep a poker face and hide her pain, but it was useless. she excused herself to the restroom which quickly became a counseling center between her and holy spirit.
tears sprang quickly. “well. i don’t even know what to do with this. help me keep it together and walk this out.” she quickly recalled past conversations, him telling her he had nothing to give, yet here he was spending significant time with another woman. this after she watched him pull away when she called him out on bad behavior. he didn’t like being accountable.
she saw what was going on. soul fragments were manifesting and causing a mess. they were stuck in time at the same places as when the original wounds had occurred, some decades earlier. they were unredeemed, immature, surly, sweet, unforgiving, childish, charming and petulant.
the restroom was only a temporary haven. someone else would want to use it. she couldn’t stay in there all night. she pulled herself together, wiping away moisture from the corners of her eyes. dinner was going to be tough. she asked for grace as she went back to the table.
conversation was stilted. confirmation of his betrayal sent her reeling. she didn’t have much to say back to him as he described the other activities he’d been involved in.
the falafel had dried out and lost its taste. nuts. she played with food she wasn’t eating, as he offered to take her hiking someplace new when she returned from her trip. she nodded and smiled a lame smile while her inner voice responded, “yeah, okay. i wonder what you’ll be doing while i’m gone.” any remaining trust was all but eroded.
he paid the check, left a tip and they exited the restaurant. she just wanted to get in her car and be alone. her emotions needed a safe place to explode. not quite yet. he walked her to the car and got in the passenger seat. they just sat there. neither was sure what to say to the other. after the awkward silence, they agreed he’d pick her up and take her to the airport on friday.
she observed how he’d been sitting there with his head hanging down. he was feeling badly. he knew he’d hurt her. when he spoke, she was surprised by his words. “i love you.”
then, in a another surprise move, he leaned over and kissed her tenderly on her right cheek. he’d never done that before.
this would take time and some sorting.
it would take much, much longer to sort than she knew in the moment..
the entire region was thick with smoke as fires burned out of control. she was driving back from a quick overnight trip. they agreed to meet for late lunch when she returned. the trip was uneventful until she was twenty minutes from home.
traffic slowed, then stopped. there was a wreck on the highway. someone had died. she was triggered. hands shaking, she used the voice recorder to message him a heads up about the delay and the triggering. he responded saying he would pick her up at the house.
as she neared home, she called her friend to pray with her. images of the wrecked vehicles wanted to stick in her mind like super glue, only causing more angst. she fought to keep her peace. it wasn’t the first time she was triggered by a wreck and a death. she let the thoughts go by, asking jesus to heal her and wash away those images. breathe, just breathe. keep breathing. inhale, exhale. let it out.
he pulled up to the house minutes after she arrived. she jumped into his pickup and they drove downtown to their favorite hangout in town, choosing to sit outside in smoky haze generate by fires hundreds of miles away. they ordered late lunch, happy to have their regular server welcome them.
he pulled out his phone to show her several new family photos sent from his mom. they were photos of his own dad and his daughter together, another of both his parents with his daughter. “look at this!” he said. “purpose. they have purpose! she has given them purpose to live! i guarantee he would not be alive now without her living with them, giving them purpose.”
tears filled her eyes as she listened to him. he had missed all of his daughter’s growing up years, the birthdays, the special events, proms and homecomings. even as regret tried to strong-arm him into condemnation, he was beyond grateful his parents raised his only daughter. she was a beautiful, confident young woman. her grandparents had poured love and care into her. his fought through a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts, battling to get free of years of guilt and shame.
tears in her eyes, she only affirmed him. “i’m so proud of you, so glad you can see this. this was the absolute best thing for her under the circumstances. they gave her a stability you could not. her life would have been destroyed if she’d been with you these years.” it was not an easy truth, but it was the truth, nonetheless. they both knew it.
when lunch was finished they walked to the marina, resting on ‘their’ bench for a minute before walking down the sidewalk. he shared how there were issues with a couple who were friends of his. the wife was having some issues with him being around her husband. he was angry about it, feeling rejected.
she was silent, knowing well the why the wife felt this way. conversation continued as they walked along the river and sat down at a picnic table. the smoke from the fires was thick now. it was getting harder to breathe. wisdom showed up to warn them, but they did not hear her voice.
his work was ongoing drama, too. a new female mechanic was not performing up to his work standards. he was angry at her sloppiness, wanting her to steer clear of his own workspace so he wouldn’t get hurt. he was afraid of getting hurt, afraid of getting sick again. afraid of so many things.
fear had entered his heart as a small boy when he had leukemia. the demon of fear and it’s sidekick infirmity still tormented his mind like a battering ram, keeping him from sleep most nights.
she gently tried to steer him out of the current thought pattern, but he wasn’t having it. suddenly, she’d become the enemy as he looked back at her with daggers in his eyes. she apologized for what she said. it was the quickest way to diffuse his anger and fear.
after a time, they walked back to the truck and he took her home. she mentioned her upcoming trip to him, and asked if he’d take her to the airport. he answered her query with his own. “do you want me to take you to the airport?” “yes, i’d like that very much.” “okay, done.”
a few days later they had dinner at their favorite mexican restaurant in the city. it happened to be the same place where they often had lively conversation about matters of the heart and family. old memories came back to her as they found a table in the backyard.
shortly thereafter, his phone lit up with a photo of a woman on it. she was calling him. the ringer was silent, but it didn’t keep the photo from popping up. he nervously looked at it, then across the table at her, trying to find a way to explain what he hoped she had not seen.
he excused himself to the restroom, clearly busted and guilt-ridden for something she was not yet certain of. filing away the important and curious clue, she later presumed he’d left to call the woman for a brief moment. she saw it, knew she was correct. it was painful when the seer gift showed her more than her heart wanted to see.
they ordered dinner. he began to talk about how he joined a social organization called, ‘meet up.’ it allowed him to meet other people, get out and socialize, so he wouldn’t be ‘that creepy guy” any more. she’d never seen him in that light, but apparently he saw himself this way.
he offered that maybe she could join, too. there were a bunch of christian groups doing things. he pulled out his phone, showed her the app, opening it up so she could see. she might like it. she studied him again. what was this all about? was he inviting her deeper into his world? did he want her to join him in some other type of activities? more puzzle pieces, more filing.
people who go here aren’t looking to date other people
he was going to yoga class, too. hot yoga, designed to release tension, without any of the foo-foo religious stuff. this was purely for stretching and endurance. as they drove down lombard street, he showed her where the studio was.
then he made the oddest remark of the evening. “you know, people who go to this class aren’t looking for people to date. it’s almost 100 degrees in here, so most people don’t have a lot of clothes on.” what??? now, that was just plain odd. what was he talking about? another clue.
her trip was only a week away. he still on board to take her to the airport and pick her up when she returned. the following weekend, she drove north to her friend’s house. she texted him on saturday morning when she woke but never got a response. it stung. something was amiss, out of order. what was it?
her heart hurt as she went to sleep that night. peace was elusive. she would soon understand why. when dreams came, they were vivid, often strange. this one was no exception. it came to her early in the morning, when it was nearly time to get up for the day.
in the dream, there was a race with many people running in it. she was one of them. so was a woman she admired but did not know well. there was a man in the race, too. she knew him, too, but not very well, either.
she observed the man closely. while he wasn’t wearing a shirt, he was wearing running shorts, but something was wrong. he was missing the undergarment one would expect him to be wearing under the running shorts. as he was moving about, he experienced a wardrobe malfunction.
it was not the front of his anatomy suffering exposure, but the backside, the place where one releases excrement. in the dream, she saw his ***hole. it was unexpected and shocking.
at the same time she saw his ***hole, she heard the woman she knew calling her name loudly, warning her. as she transitioned out of the dream, it was her friend’s voice she heard calling her name…
tens minutes later, she had a cup of coffee in her hand as the dream replayed in her mind. oh, my. this would take a minute to process. and still no word from him. why? why was he ignoring her? why wasn’t he responding? it wasn’t like him at all.
the why was revealed in the dream. he was hiding something. he was being an ***hole and he was exposed. was this dream from father or from the liar? what was she to do with it? and what about those clues?
clearly, the inference of the dream could not be ignored. he’d been caught talking out of both sides of his mouth.
it was not funny or cute. it was painful and hard.