being seen

it was the first holiday weekend of the summer. it was unseasonably warm. temperatures hadn’t been this high over memorial weekend since 1995.

she had no spectacular plans for the long weekend, save for some reading, rest and a swim. on saturday, she went to the marina for a few hours to sit in the park with a book on the physics of heaven.

she found room under a large tree with others who were enjoying the day. kids squealed from the cold water as they ran back and forth through the sprinkler in the play area.

she settled back in her lawn chair to finish the book she’d begin 1 1/2 years earlier. the chapter she was engrossed in revealed the laws of quantum physics as they related to the power of words. it explained infinite possibilities with both words and intent. fascinating, weighty stuff.

she could only read one sentence at a time, and often had to re-read it several times to absorb the content. her efforts were complicated by the swarms of box elders bugs flying around her head. they began to land. all around her. in her book. on her head. all over her body and the chair. they didn’t bite, they were just annoying. the one that flew down into her shirt required special extraction.

she commanded her angels to keep the bugs off of her. it helped a little bit, but not entirely. as she swatted the bugs away, a young man came flying over the railing above her. he landed in front of her chair and ran down to the picnic table where his mom and younger sister were sitting.

he appeared to be nine or ten years old, quite a handsome young man. he had a lot of energy. he came toward her opposite the sidewalk and began to climb up the concrete wall and over the railing to the deck above. to her dismay, he began to jump from the railing to the concrete below. it was a good ten foot jump. and really not safe.

she watched him without watching him. who was he putting on the show for? he was not careless. he was good. gymnastics would be a great outlet for him. still, this was not safe. she commanded angels to keep him from jumping. his activity decreased but did not stop.

what was going on with the angels? the bugs didn’t stop landing on her and this kid was still performing his circus act. she looked at him more closely when she thought he wasn’t looking. his face was sweet, innocent. there was something else, too. she couldn’t quite put her finger on it.

he began to jump from the top of the railing again. when he landed hard on the concrete just feet away from her, she could stay silent no more. “honey, i need you to stop jumping from up there. it’s not safe. i don’t want you to get hurt.” once a mom, always a mom.

he looked at her as he caught his breath. that last jump had knocked his stuffing loose. his expression shocked her. instead of being angry, he was relieved, almost happy.

someone had paid attention to him, cared about his wellbeing. he looked at her, saying, “okay,” as he nodded his head. then he got up and ran over to his mom at the picnic table.

well. that was just odd. he didn’t get mad at her for speaking up. he obeyed what she asked. he’d been acting out for attention, any attention.

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photo credit: pixabay

he felt loved when he was seen. when she asked him to stop so he wouldn’t get hurt, he felt cared for. he mattered to her. his well-being mattered.

and it didn’t matter if this mom wasn’t his. she just cared. and she told him.

his daring jumps were the only way he knew to get attention, to be seen. he didn’t have to break an arm for her to say something to him, to show him love and care.

people act out in many ways to be seen. desperate for love, yearning for someone to say, “i see you. you matter. i love you.”

any attention is better than no attention. so someone might show love.

(copyright 2017 © jane doe)

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their first date

he called her shortly after their meeting at the food shelf.

he was excited, enthusiastic, like a little child gifted with a new toy.

he rode his bicycle and met her in a public square close to where her clay hut was located.

she observed his gestures as he spoke.

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photo credit: n. leblanc

she listened to his words, the inflection of his voice as he talked about his life.

she picked up different spirits on him. poverty. self-pity and infirmity. the dominant spirit was fear. it controlled the others.

he reminded her of the men and women papa had shown her outside the homeless shelter only days earlier. it has been a set up for this moment with him.

papa had gently asked her to look into the face of each person.

“i want you to look into their faces. look into each person’s eyes.”

“each of them had a family. each of them had hopes and dreams. not one of them ever expected to find themselves here.”

tears ran down her cheeks as she looked into each face that night.

some people engaged her, meeting her gaze with their own.

others stared back with vacant eyes.

some were drug addicts. some were alcoholics. some were mentally ill. some were plagued with all those things.

all of them were tormented and suffering.

those brief encounters with these children of papa had changed her, wrecked her for good. compassion welled up in her heart.

she listened to him talk about his experiences.

she felt his pain, his abandonment, his loss.

she heard the silent questions in his heart.

he wondered what he had done to deserve the things that happened to him.

they conversed opposite each other outside on park benches until it became too cold to endure.

they began the process of saying goodnight to each other.

she walked over to him. leaning down, she gave him a light kiss on his right cheek, kissing the scar located there just above his beard.

it was tender, gentle. a kiss from heaven.

she placed her hand on his heart and asked papa to heal it.

he said he felt something warm wash over him.

it was a tingling in his heart he had never felt before.

she knew what that feeling was. she told him papa loved him.

they made plans to get together again.

(copyright 2016 jane doe)

mercy

picking up every shattered piece seemed impossible.

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photo credit: pixabay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

where to begin. so many questions. uncertainty. fear.

god. he knew what was needed.

he had the plan before she knew she needed one.

worship was needed. worship was first. worship would carry her through this storm.

god sent a gift. a friend with concert tickets. worship concert tickets.

that friend showed up on time. they went. they worshipped.

god was still good, still on the throne. he still loved her. he still loved him

then came the grand jury. then came reduced charges. 30 days. restraining order.

then came feelings. anger. betrayal. loneliness. irritation.

why was the sentence so short?

why did she have to be the one to move?

and god help her. she missed him, that man who was really in there.

god. he showed her. mercy triumphs over judgment.

her heart shifted. the question came. what would she want for herself?

mercy.

he called her after 30 days in jail.

he broke the restraining order.

she went lower in humility. ‘father?’ she asked.

‘mercy,’ god said.

she did not turn him in.

mercy.

Definitions of mercy:

a: compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one’s power; also : lenient or compassionate treatment <begged for mercy>

Source: Meriam-Webster Online Dictionary

b: compassion for the miserable. Its object is misery. By the atoning sacrifice of Christ a way is open for the exercise of mercy towards the sons of men, in harmony with the demands of truth and righteousness ( Genesis 19:19 ; Exodus 20:6 ; Exodus 34:6 Exodus 34:7 ; Psalms 85:10 ; Psalms 86:15 Psalms 86:16 ). In Christ mercy and truth meet together. Mercy is also a Christian grace ( Matthew 5:7 ; 18:33-35 ).

Source: Easton’s Bible Dictionary

(copyright 2016 jane doe)

 

the dark room and the darkroom

 

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photo credit: pixabay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

this place was a dark room, and a darkroom.

she was afraid of the dark as a child.

now, it was the world she lived in.

she knew he wasn’t the enemy.

she knew where the trouble came from.

his demons liked the dark room, the isolation.

she knew what corners they lived in.

they shrank back when she walked by.

she knew jesus was here, too.

he lived in her heart.

spirit brought her verses as she prayed in tongues.

“no weapon formed against you will prosper.”

“greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.”

“he is delivered out of the hand of the enemy by the blood of jesus.”

now was no time to quit.

in her weakness, he was forte.

light was developing in the dark room.

(copyright 2016 jane doe)