I have been away from my blogs for a while. If you don’t see me soon, then come rescue me because the grandkids probably have me tied up in the closet!
I had cataract surgery done a week and a half ago. I chickened out last year–something about a knife near the eyes bit! But I was getting desperate, so I did not read any contraindications and just went for it. I had not been able to drive at night for over 2 years, and even daily activities were becoming a strain. I probably should have asked more questions, though, because rather than a piece of cake, this “routine” surgery was more like liver and onions–more uncomfortable than I thought it would be.
I am very chemically sensitive, so having gotten through the procedure with fairly minor and endurable hiccups, the worst part became the reaction to the steroid drops which are needed for speedy healing. This is a five-week process, and I have quite some time to go, but I hope the worst is over.
That was the bad and the ugly. The good part is that somebody turned on the lights! Whites are whiter and colors are brighter, not to mention that everything has distinct edges and not fuzzy, ever-changing ones. The green in the traffic light is . . . well, green green! It is almost like a different color. It is not preferred by me to undergo any surgery, but given the positive change in my sight, I think it was worth it!
My eyes are blue blue again. Haven’t been like this since forever! You don’t think about it because the discoloration and hardening happens slowly over time. Even my own photographic work is brighter and more colorful. And I have discovered I am a much better photographer than I thought. 🙂
We don’t become aware of the hardening process that alters so much of what we see because it happens bit by bit, year by year. And only when it cannot be ignored any longer do we even recognize it is something to be dealt with. I am thinking that is kind of like what happens with our hearts. If betrayals and loss, disappointments and disillusionment build up, then over time the hardening becomes something to radically deal with. It interferes with our ability to prosper and see life and mission clearly. But it starts small, and it builds layer upon layer. I am not sure how to prevent that from destroying my joy, but my desire is that I would become aware of the hurts that bind and settle down into my spirit.
May I hold lightly to pain and hold tightly to renewal is my prayer.
I was once a thief, deliberate, conniving, and unrepentant.
I got twenty-five cents for a weekly allowance, and it was the good old days when that kind of coin really meant something. Well, . . . not really. It didn’t buy a lot even then. And hence the devilish temptation.
Between the one-room school and home was the general store where everything from gum to gum boots smelled like the owner’s cigars. There was cold soda pop in the cooler and a variety of gum and sweets under glass. Nothing was as good as an Orange Crush or Hires Root Beer after a grueling day of study under my teacher Aunt Luella in elementary school. But my twenty-five cents never lasted long.
Every evening, Daddy had this habit of emptying out the change in his pockets and placing the coins on a little ledge that ran along the bathroom wall. Those shiny silver quarters called to me something fierce. To be honest, I also heard the call of the tarnished ones just as clearly; and one day, I anesthetized the prickling of my delicate conscience with the anticipation of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit and a pop.
Having crossed the dark line, the second time was easier, and the third easier still. I got to the point that I did not even wait to see the money on the ledge. I would rifle through Dad’s pockets in the closet.
My larceny progressed day by day and week by week from one coin to two or three, and I stored them on a convenient little shelf inside the metal box spring that supported my mattress. I had found in the trash can this handy little cardboard box, which had a drawer that slid in and out—the perfect size for prepubescent contraband. As it happens, it was also the perfect size to house new condoms, but I did not know that at the time!
I was cautious not to let my candy spending sprees attract too much attention, typically only spending a quarter at a time; and if Mama ever asked where I got the money for that treat, I would just tell her I had not spent my allowance yet.
Sadly, my mom was much better at math than I was, and eventually my pernicious ways were found out. There was also the thing about my face turning red any time I tried to lie, which was a real deterrent to the life of crime I was bent on. When confronted, all my dark deeds came tumbling out in a sobbing, wet confession.
I fully expected a spanking and a repayment plan that would last into high school, but a fifty cent fine, a prayer, and a hug was all that was required to set things right. It was rather a relief to be caught since the cold, hard cash chaffed my sensitive conscience and never quite gave the satisfaction promised.
As it turned out, no sweet was as sweet as a pure conscience and the soft forgiveness of my parents and my Lord.
The man at the entrance handed me a bulletin from the top of a large stack. He gave a vacant smile—a smile saved up all week long for Sunday strangers. His eyes focused somewhere just above and to the right of my forehead. It made me wonder if there was a fly caught in my hair.
The music grew louder as I crossed the foyer and entered through one of the sets of heavy double doors to the sanctuary. Slipping into a back pew, I glanced around. The church was old with dark mahogany and stained glass, the pulpit a million miles away.
The congregation was in the middle of a song, led by a golden-robed choir with bright faces and sure voices. At the close of the song, a smile in a suit encouraged the people to spend a few moments greeting those around them. The lady in front…
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It could have been a lifelong friendship,
a haven’t-seen-you-like-forever-but-everything’s-the-same kind of friendship.
We shared tight, little secrets that only capital F Friends should share.
We pontificated over politics—all the things we could never change.
We wept over children—all the heart-pains that only mothers know
and only Friends can share.
We shared meals, split tabs, told jokes, prayed prayers,
taking time to just be
and sometimes read each other’s minds.
But the shared whispers have disappeared.
The warm hugs have been replaced by unreturned phone calls
and occasional hurried-life passings–as life is passing.
I have grieved your loss as one who died;
but your life is so full
you don’t seem to notice I am not in it.
I thought we would be friends forever,
capital F Friends, unshakeable Friends,
but forever has come to an end.
Wishing all of my blogger friends a joyous Christmas! We are still sick and hoping the bugs die off quickly so we can start 2018 in robust health. Joy to all!
♫ ♬♫ ♬ On the 9th day of sickness, my true love gave to me
fresh squeezed fruit juice
One thing of cough med
slippers for my footies
another hour to sleep in
…………………………the heat turned up one degreeeeeee!!
more blankets on
more essential oils
another round of juice,
and a binge fest of LOST just for me! ♫ ♬♫ ♬
I remember as a young girl a big painting reproduction Mom and Dad had hanging in their bedroom. It showed two young children crossing a rickety bridge, looking scared and alone in the dark; however, unseen by them was a huge angel, towering above, guarding them safely home. Though the angel is much more feminized than possibly angels really are, as a child that image brought comfort; and as an adult, I bought a wooden plaque with that same picture to remind me that I am in God’s care.
In Hebrews 1:14, the author writes, “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?” And in Psalm 103:20-21, we read, “Praise the Lord, you angels, you mighty ones who carry out his plans, listening for each of his commands. Yes, praise the Lord, you armies of angels who serve him and do his will!” And though prophetic of Jesus, as part of His body, we can also draw comfort from Psalm 91:11, which says, “For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.”
In this broken world, it is a wonder to know that what we see is not all there is. We are not left alone to battle the brokenness and the forces that rage against God, both human and demonic. When we feel alone and scared, overwhelmed by circumstance, undone by sorrow, we have the Holy Spirit within and heavenly guardians without, watching over our lives. They are not fat cherubs, sitting on clouds playing harps. They are not the flawed Touched by an Angel deal, but the real deal—powerful beings with a mandate from the Father to guard His very own and war on their behalf. I would say that is wonder-ful!
S omething stinks, and the decay
C omes creeping, creeping, over Facebook and
E mail and Twitter—whatever. And I would have
N ever thought the divide so wide, the pit so deep, and
T he resolution and mending so impossiblly far off.
T wo U.S. candidates plus rancor bipartisanship
E quals bitterness, chaos, and mind
N umbing diatribes. Chill everyone. Take five . . . no, take ten!