Blessings…

Man climbing up by stepping on another man

 

If you hear about obtaining blessings for yourself and family without concern for those struggling outside the church door, fire your pastor.

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Sh*t…

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I spent time writing the most heartfelt acceptance of my daughters introversion only to accidentally delete the whole message.  Rather than attempt to recreate it I’ll just sit here and pout about it’s loss.

Words…

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A phase of distance not uncommon for the years,

passages to find their way.

Unexpected words reveal intimate meaning,

joy from the reminder of love.

A token of great value, simple words bringing a pleasing smile.

Stare…

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As he stands there staring off into eternity he sees it.

ReCatholication…

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After seemingly years of struggle we’ve now come full circle and found ourselves content and unashamedly back in the Catholic Church.  This journey has encountered many valleys to cross and hills that need climbing but home again we now are.  For most people this would be less of an issue.  Years of conditioning in the evangelical church found us lacking and uninspired.  Our family has all but found church lately uneventful and dare I say unnecessary.  I find it hard to acknowledge these words coming from me as this doubt was never covered in seminary, but oftentimes the hardest person we have to be honest with is ourselves.

My daughter has been the driver in this homecoming for our family.  A dear child with a passionate seeking heart coming up with many questions and securing fewer answers.  Each Sunday she would ask us about going to church only to be met with a chorus a groans followed but rationals why we need to pass this week.  Top her credit, she kept asking even when the answer was quite clearly not what she desired.

One week we were approached with a unusual request, “can we go to Grandma’s church?”  My wife and I looked at each other with startled eyes.  Unknowingly we both shrugged our shoulders and said  “sure.”  As each of us was raised in the Catholic Church and have been away for an extended period, our quick commitment gave us concern as memories of a brutally harsh church experience of youth surfaced.

Fast forward, it’s been a couple of months and so far the roof of the church hasn’t caved in and we still desire to go each week.  Without getting too caught up into tomorrow, today we still enjoy attending.  Here are a few points I’ve observed of our transition.

  1. Saturday night mass fits our life plan just perfectly
  2. Digging the ritual and ceremony of the service
  3. Priest – humble, genuine, honest, and thought provoking
  4. Watching my family worship together is special
  5. Comfortable taking what I need and leaving the rest for others to enjoy
  6. Fascinated by the mystery/unknownness of God expressed
  7. Love that I don’t have to worry about being a leader in church
  8. The congregants drink wine and beer at gatherings without any concern
  9. Friday fish fry – enough said
  10. Quiet reverence inside the building.

Let’s see how next week goes!

Forgetting…

For the first time in my life I’m acknowledging some real fear.  Not the fear in worrisome activity seeking to avoid a painful encounter.  Not the kind of fear of not attaining some far-fetched goal in the future, no not that kind.  What I’m fearful of is forgetting.

Perhaps I can point to a busy schedule filled with many responsibilities and activities for my forgetfulness.  Sometimes in response to overloading my thinker, my brain will just decide to take a breather and chill, often to the frustration of my zip-zooming lifestyle to which I’ve become so accustomed.

Sadly, I see this as more of an onset rather than a temporary adjustment.  Each day I’m finding it harder to remember details which should be so familiar.  More and more I catch myself standing alone not remembering what I was just doing or what I was intending to accomplish.  My ever free thinking mind has slowly ebbed into a more concrete perspective seemingly losing much color and hue in verbal communication.

My lips seem to often be talking for somebody else and not sharing what my mind is really trying to say.  Almost like somebody is poorly translating my speech into another language at the most rudimentary level.  My brain seems to be shouting out enthusiastically inside my head while a monotonous drone leaks from my lips.

I think I could handle the loss of many functions if I had to.  Sight, sound, speech, even movement.   But the loss of my mind terrifies me beyond any created horror imaginable.

Festival…

Lessons learned camping at a music festival.

  1. An air mattress is a necessity not an option.  Better still, a Sleep Select mattress.  Trying to use two comforters on the hard ground may be fitting for a young buck but certainly not for an out of shape middle aged man.  I awoke literally sore in every part of my body.
  2. Sleep is not a priority for most campers.  The after concert parties seem to go on all night long and keeping quiet for the old men trying to sleep wasn’t close to important.  When I say parties I mean the hooping and hollering all night kind.  Turns out, most campers sleep in the daytime, this would have been good information to have known beforehand.
  3. Privacy doesn’t exist.  Tents are placed seemingly on top of each other and everything that happens manages to be a group event.  Middle of the night sneezes are excused by caring neighbors and sleeping farts are group giggled.
  4. Early morning pee runs can be a terrifying adventure.  Trying to dodge sleeping neighbors passed out haphazardly while desperately avoiding sit down invitations for conversations all the while trying to stay focused on the prize port-a-potty across the field.  All this with little light to work with and a perpetual haze, not to mention the soreness from a poor nights sleep creates a Herman Munster type gait.
  5. Warmth and acceptance really rule the event.  Even though the hours may be opposite of the norm, sing-alongs and campfire chats are found everywhere.  No strangers exist as a come on in just as you are attitude prevails the campers.  Everything is shared and nothing is expected back except kindness, somethings though I must admit, didn’t need to be shared.

Community comes in many shapes, sizes, colors, and ages.  I was grateful for the pleasure of meeting some really fine people who totally dig life in the now.

Together…

Morning comes with you beside me,

eyes awaken to see my bride.

A random encounter that magical day,

here we are fourteen years later.

You’ve taken my dreams and given them expansion,

my heart warm in your embrace.

Outside struggles that have drawn us closer,

we are one, we are family.

Wanting nothing more than the kindness given,

content and at peace with our love.

Growing old with my friend, no greater gift.

Forward!

Friday Night…

 

They sit across the crowed restaurant eyes focused on their meals,

a Friday night tradition.

Trying hard to make a dreadful situation tolerable,

Dad and the kids force a smile to each other.

Every other weekend this is their life,

making the best of a horrible situation.

Conversations were easy, laughter flowed freely, eyes once held a sparkle,

when all lived together.

Now extreme effort to make this arrangement palatable,

everything is strange and foreign.

Scanning the room, there’s another, and a third,

how do I recognize them?

Sadly, I lived it.

Stuff…

 

A memory wasted,

love withheld, isolated and alone.

A life of paranoia,

fear of losing a possession.

A lesson for the observer,

people give value to life,

things just clutter.

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