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hold my hand

Pastor: This is a place you are safe.
Sinner: No, it isn’t.

Pastor: This is a place to come to feel comforted.
Sinner: No it isn’t.

Pastor: We forgive as we are forgiven.
Sinner: No you don’t.

Pastor: We welcome you as you are.
Sinner: No, you don’t.

Pastor: We will accept you.
Sinner: I want to believe it. I haven’t seen it.

Pastor: You are cleansed. (sprinkling water on kneeling sinner)
Sinner: Yes, I am

Sinner: Are you my family, my friends?
Pastor: Sometimes

AA member: We are.
Buddhist: We are.
Gang member: We can be.
Porn star: for a price
Alcohol: for your liver
Money: for your heart
Drugs: for your brain
Satan: for your soul

A hand reaches over the crowd. A tear stained face whispers above the din of noise and grasps mine. “I will.”
I see in his face the love of a murderer, a sinner, an adulterer, a thief, a beggar, a stutterer. I felt at home. I held the hand.

“Im not a superhero, I will let you down. I cant seem to run fast. I feel weak and unable. I am not worthy.”

I held the hand and we walked. I felt blood from his wrist run down my arm. I smelled the vinegar.

“You are my superhero.” I believed him.
“I will welcome you.” “I know”
“I am your family and friends.” “I know”
“I will accept you as you are.” “I know”

I saw the faces of his loved ones: the list of people who fell short. I knew that if I wanted to be them I would instantly be among them. I also looked back at the others and knew as soon as I longed to not be them, I would be them. I held the hand.

“I don’t ever want to let go.” I thought
“I don’t either, I never have and never will.” Jesus said

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2014 in faith, journey, life

 

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that aint mine

When I was dating my now ex-wife, I once told her that I set my moods from the music I listen to. She never understood that. In hindsight, I wonder if I was simply a mirror of emotion. I was never really sure of how I felt about things and would take on the mood and attitude of those around me. I would pick friends and dates that displayed the emotion I wanted to feel. I had no autonomy of emotion. I simply didn’t know how to allow myself to feel. That sounds bizarre, doesn’t it? When I was growing up, I wasn’t allowed to be mad. We were sent to our room to think about it. I wasn’t allowed to be sad either. As a kid, I was a bit of a crybaby. Unfortunately, every time I cried I got a bloody nose as well. I don’t know why. When I was upset about breaking up with a girlfriend in college and cried, my mom asked me to stay away until I could smile again. My wife used to tell me to not feel someway or another. I assumed that was how everyone did it and so I felt the way she told me to.

This last weekend I had the occasion to be around some pretty angry people taking pot shots at me. I felt a little like wonder woman deflecting bullets as I chanted that the emotions they ascribed to me were not mine.

I wonder if that is part of the reason my marriage ended. I felt unable to share true emotions with my ex, despite repeatidly trying. I was shunned. My need for intimacy left unreceived. I tried to set up emotional boundaries for myself. I needed to feel as I felt. I laughed, I rejoiced, I wallowed, I cried all when I needed to. I was empathetic but not sympathetic. That didn’t go over very well. I tried to explain that if I didn’t do that, I would retreat back into myself and stop living again. I needed to be alive. There was lip service to understanding and an undercurrent of hostility.

My wonder woman esque bracelets are getting a bit fatigued. IT is hard work deflecting emotions that aren’t mine. I defend my heart by waving my bracelet clad arms around. I know that I cant feel for other people. I try and understand their feelings without absorbing them. IT isn’t easy for me. I seem to be a sponge…a mirrored sponge. There are times the bullets ricochet off my bracelets and lodge in my brain or heart. I am getting better about combating the onslaught.

Victory comes more and more often. My ex saying that I am a deadbeat but admitting she doesn’t send me bills. “That aint mine.” My daughter spewing venom to cover her fear and hurt, “That aint mine.” The ex-in-laws (outlaws?) saying nasty things about me and to me, “That aint mine.” The medical boards rejecting me. “That aint mine.”

God telling me I am loved, unconditionally. “That’s mine.”

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2014 in faith, life

 

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Odysseus and the cactus

Darting across the field. Plunging down the hill. Pedals rotate, feet are a blur. Lungs heave, heart pounds, smile glows. I am on Elena Gallegos bike trail in Albuquerque, NM. The air is brisk. The trail is empty. I am disconnected from the world, and totally plugged into life. The ride is fantastic, I am on my way home. I begin to see the world again. I think about what I need to be doing. I notice the cactus I had ignored moments before. I tell myself to not run into the cactus. The cactus. The cactus. The cactus called like a Siren. I seemed drawn to it. I was Odysseus. I had no crew to bind me to the mast. I fell into the cactus.

I have been navigating a narrow and harrowing trail lately. I am trying to just keep riding. I struggle to plug into life again. I see the cactus. I listen to the harsh comments, the bashing. I feel the hatred and see the cold stare. It calls to me. I seem drawn to it. Fortunately, I have a crew to bind me to the mast. Narrow escape.

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2013 in life

 

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kapow, zap, and zowie

Tough morning trauma for me today. You see, I did laundry yesterday but left it in the basement. I only do laundry when I really need something, usually underwear. True to form, I even washed the pair I wore to work last pm. My problem is that my house is cold and I am faced with the option of going down to the basement to get my boxer briefs. Fortunately, I had my spare pair. MY kids got them for me as a joke, but I cherish them. I had my Flash Gordon briefs. I am a super hero today!

As I got out of bed to make the mad dash to the bathroom, I became “The Slippered Guy.” I was able to bound to the bathroom in two leaps. I was off to a good start. I transformed into “Fresh Shaved Friend,” and then shifted to the villain, “slicked back well showered guy.” I took a break from being the unknown heroes as I put on my Flash Gordon’s. I dressed very quickly. It might have been from the underwear transformation or maybe because I had left the heat off all night.

I screeched into the kitchen, a little whoosy from the speed. I became Coffee Drinking Kid and the “Cheerio Cheer-y-o”. I went to work and was the villain, “Speedy Gonzales.” The police officer understood but said he was the “Ticket Writing kid.” I became the “Bus Driver Dude.”

My adventures slowly drifted away as I drove the kids to school, through fire rings and baracades. We survived the gauntlet only because of my laser vision.

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2013 in life

 

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up, up, and left behind

I am really tired today. I am not all that sure why. I was on vacation this weekend and was pretty lazy. I drove 8 hours each way, but the book on CD was captivating and the drive wasn’t awful. The weather is turning cold. Maybe that is it. I have a few appointments this week that I am not looking all that forward to. Well, that’s not true. I am looking forward to the appointments, just not the pain that follows. I had a few rough conversations with other people. I don’t know. I am just tired.

As I get tired, I stare at the TV or the computer screen and it goes all fuzzy. I say very little. I am currently in my flannel jammies and warm socks. I think of warm tea and hot baths. I think of skin touching with a partner. I think of fireplaces and warm cocoa.

Explain to me why the kids on the bus I drive go bonkers when they are tired. The volume goes up. I cower at the memory of switching seats, and tremble at the vile language. The flirting and teasing abound. And that’s the elementary students.

Today was particularly rambunctious. At the end of the route, I found underwear under a seat. I am a little afraid to hear the story of how some boys underwear fell off. They are superhero briefs. I wonder if, while changing into the superhero of the day from the mild mannered first grader he is by day, that he simply forgot to wear underwear. I wonder if mothers of superheroes say things like, “Wear clean underwear when you save the world from the Undertaker or an Asteroid in case you have an accident.” The best part of being a superhero would be getting to tell your mom that if you have an accident there wont be anyone left to ridicule your soiled or absent boxers.

When I find coats or homework, I leave it on the engine compartment so that the article can be reunited with its owner. The forgotten underwear (I hope forgotten and not fallen off) poses a huge problem. First, do I really want to have some small boy shorts greeting students as they board the bus. A superhero greeting at 7 am can be a tad overwhelming. Then, at what age would it become likely that the near naked boy would not pick up his underwear for fear of embarrassment? It is a lesser superhero, after all.

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2013 in life

 

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