Category Archives: Late Night

A Letter to All Faith-based Peoples

Dearest Beloved,

Is not your deity(s) greater than anything in this world? Does this not include leaders?

Have you been praying? How is your faith? I encourage you to keep praying. For yourselves, your loved ones, the Earth and those that have leadership responsibilities.

Encourage others to have hope, show them the way to peace and love and a better way.

It will be OK.  Not because I say so, but because there is something greater to turn to. We are not alone.

butterflies

Love always and forever,

Laura

 

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Conversations About Christians This Week

Before I begin, I am a Christian.  I have been since the 6th grade when my Sunday School teacher, whose family was a different color than the rest of us, lived what she taught.  I babysat for her so I saw her home life was the same as her church life.

My home life did not have the same peace and joy.  My spiritual life has been a rocky one.  I am a sheep that keeps wondering. I consider my life path on and off the track. To the point I really don’t want to talk about it in polite circles.

But I am beginning to think that I’ve always been where I am supposed to be. I do know that God has always been where I have been.  Even in the darkest crevices, the most hopeless of times.  I have not been alone.  He has always been there when I have turned to Him. And even when I haven’t.

That is why I go to church.  To spend some time with God and worship Him.  Tell Him thank you, I’m sorry and to please help me in the coming week.  I don’t go because I’m good.  I go to reset, refresh, renew and restore.

I’m the only one in my family who goes to church on a regular basis. They haven’t had the same experience that I have.  One example, my sister was told in elementary school by a friend that the friend worried about her because she was going to hell for not going to church.

My youngest may be moving 5 states away.  We won’t know for several months yet. Sitting in the backyard, trying to think of ways for her to connect with her new community, I suggested she find a church.  She replied she hasn’t had good experiences in churches.  She has found them to be full of manipulation.

I agree there are people who use faith to get other people to bend to their will.  So I told her I thought it would be a place where she could meet her neighbors.  I pointed out she could look for like minded people on meetup.com.

I pray that she finds community where ever she may go.  And I’m sorry the church is not a place of refuge for her.

Last night I had dinner with my sister.  Six months ago she started a new job.  She answers the phone and helps people with their insurance needs.  She confessed to me that the worst people on the phone are Christians.  They throw that word around as if it entitles them to special treatment.

I nodded, I understood what she was talking about.

I cannot refute what my loved ones say, their experiences are real.  Many Christians have been and are a poor example of what Christ has taught us.

If it hadn’t been for the one family that was different in our church when I was a kid, I don’t know that I’d still be seeking out God in his house.

I hope to be one whose example brings those around me back to the love of God rather than push people away.

The Gun Owner and the Thief

I had a dream the other night.  It’s taken me a few days to puzzle out what it meant. And it will take me a while to figure out what I’m going to do about the meaning.

I was in a home, a house I was living in. I was in one of the bedrooms and heard the man of the house yelling out about the guns he kept in the den.  I did not know he had put them there.

In my experience, weapons have a special cabinet and are locked, hidden away.

Another man had entered the house and was taking the 2 hand guns.

I felt concern for the man of the house, the danger he could be in from struggling with fire arms.  I may have even called out to let the thief have the property.

Then a strange thing happened.  The two men became friends, the common bond being the love of the guns.  They stepped out onto the porch and had a lovely discussion about that which interested them both.

I did not leave the bedroom, I had no interest in the discussion. I do not understand the fascination.

And what I puzzled out is that:

The gun owner has more in common with the gun thief than he does the peace maker.

A Message from Esther’s Handmaid

To All who will listen,

I remember when she first came to the palace.  Even then, before the purification, there was something that set her apart from the others.

Many of us were there because our peoples had been conquered. We did what we had to survive. Danger was everywhere even in the midst of all the opulence and splendor.

It was a great honor and responsibility to be chosen to serve her. She was humble and didn’t hit or throw tantrums.  I grew to love her and would do anything for her, even if I had not been her handmaid.

And then she became the favorite.  I kept watch to protect her from the jealousy of others.  I did not know the danger would come from jealousy of her kinsman.

I knew something was wrong but she did not confide in me. I had to wait.  And then she stopped eating.  Alarmed I knew I had to do something.  If something happened to her, I would pay with my life.

I discovered a new law had been written, one that allowed a certain people to be slaughtered on a certain day.  And to inspire compliance, the property of these certain people would pass to those who destroyed them.

I do not understand why anyone would want to kill their neighbor for their possessions but I do know that is the way of man. I had seen to much of death and destruction in my home country. What can one do against such power?

And then I saw a miracle unfold before my eyes.  I did not know that is what it was at the time.  I was frantic that my lady refuses to eat for days.  And then she announces she will go before the king.

No amount of cajoling will dissuade her from her decision.

She has not been summoned and will surely be killed as she approaches.  The only thing that will save her is the king raising his hand.

And he does!

She is that favored. She can be so bold.

He is curious why this lady comes to him and he grants her what ever she will ask.

What does she ask for but to invite him and the most wicked man in the kingdom for dinner.  Now I know she has gone mad. Delirious from hunger, something, for no good thing can happen from these events.

But it does. The king is charmed and offers his lady anything her heart desires.

Another dinner.

Oh, when will this madness stop!? The risks she is taking to have both the king and the most wicked man in her chambers.

I try to warn her. But she reminds me she is the master and I am to do her bidding. With great reluctance  I do as I am told.  Knowing that disaster will strike and we are all doomed.

After what seems like a lovely meal, and the king full of food and admiration, she reveals it is her people that the law was created to destroy.  The wicked man is the one who has created the law. And what is the king going to do about it?

Oh, the chaos that ensues! In those few words, the evening when from an idyllic picture to a life and death situation.  And my lady is the one who brought it about. My heart was in my throat. I could do nothing but watch to see what would happen next.

The king knows he cannot remove a law once it is written.  You would think he would be more careful about what laws he passes. He did alter it and my lady’s people were able to defend themselves.

I had hoped that people would abandon the idea of killing their neighbor for their property when it would not a slaughter but a war.  My hopes were not fulfilled for such is the nature of man.  But many of my lady and her people defeated their foes and kept their lives and their property.

I asked her how she could be so brave and do what is right, even if against the law.  And she told me about her God who is love and is most powerful of all. She told me this God loves even one such as I.

I learned to love God as well.

 

We All are the Anti-Christ

Any time we are not love, we are the Anti-Christ. We are the Anti-Christ every day.

When I call you ‘Jerk-face’, I am not loving you.  Even though I don’t call you that to your face, I’ve thought it.

Especially when you cut me off in traffic.  But I don’t love you when you don’t meet my expectations in other ways as well.

I’ve had neighbors I’ve referred to as ‘the creepy neighbor’  I cannot love him when I think of him in that way.

I do not love you in a myriad of ways.

And you are not loving either,

When you only want what I have and not me. When you lie, cheat, steal.

When you decide it is OK to kill your neighbor all of them that are not like you

or start a rape club

or make a bunch of money even though what you sell hurts other people

or create fear and anger in other people so that they hurt other people

But not all the time.  There are moments in the day you love.

And there are moments in the day I do love you. And it fills my heart with joy, peace and laughter.

If we want to defeat the Anti-Christ, we must start with our own heart, our own choices, our own lives.

And that is why for the rest of my life, I will endeavor to love everyone. And strive to do it each moment.

Love wins.

A Message from Cain

Hey You,

You think that God stopped loving me because of what I did.

He didn’t.  He loves me still.

You think my family stopped loving me because of what I did.

I did, too.

That’s why I ran away.  That and I was afraid someone would kill me. I know how easy it can be, it happened quick. A thought, a lashing out, and it was over.

Anger and fear are powerful and strong.  They change the course of a person’s life if left unchecked.

But love is more powerful

My family still loved me. We might have even been able to reconcile if I had stayed but we won’t know now. But that doesn’t mean we never reconciled.

We did.

And you can, as well.

God hasn’t stopped loving you, no matter what you have done.

God hasn’t stopped loving you, no matter what you have failed to do.

God loves you.

God misses you.

Right here, right now. Be restored.

Cain

 

 

Common Ground

Last night the Aztec dancers came to celebrate Dia de los Muertos.

This is the 4th year I have attended and participated. I am always blessed and plan to continue to be a part of this for as long as I am able.

We are very fortunate they invited us to be a part, it used to be a closed event.

On this night, I get to remember those I love who have passed away. Some of my loved ones have been gone over 20 years, some it has only been a year.  And all of them are greatly missed. It is so good to spend time remembering and loving them.  Thanking them.

Pictures are brought.  I drew mine. Here’s Gpa’s and my Dad’s. Just looking at these pictures makes me happy.

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Another part of the ceremony is to bless the Earth.  We, too, have a day to bless the Earth.

I woke up thinking of what we have in common rather than what is different in our beliefs.  And what a wonderful night it was.

The church has become fractured, splintered and scattered because we do not honor what each other believes.  We think what we believe is more important than what our neighbor believes. But what happens if we honor and accept that there are as many ways of embracing the truth as there people. Wouldn’t that be beautiful?

Why can’t  our interactions be like:

“Nameste.”

“And also with you.”

Forgiving Judas

What if your Lord and lover of your soul asked you to be the betrayer in the story. There would be no guarantee of anyone ever forgiving you. For how could they?  Look what you did?

And what if your Lord couldn’t forgive you until someone on Earth did?

Would you do it?

Someone has to do it. The prophecy cannot be fulfilled without that one damming kiss.

You will be completely convinced that your plan to help him become king is the plan.  You will be devastated when it all blows up in your face.  And He dies.  A horrible tortured death.  And you did it.  Your kiss started the ball rolling.  You even got paid more money than you’ve ever held before.

The kiss was supposed to be the beginning of ruling the Earth with him.  His showing His full glory to the world.  His being pleased with who you are and what you have done.

But He didn’t resist. He didn’t fight. He didn’t shine. He bore the weight of the whip and the cross.  He died.

The silver turned to dust in your hand. The weight of what you have done destroyed you. You missed Easter morning.

And now you wait.

And wait.

For someone, anyone on Earth to say, ‘You are forgiven.’

You are especially hopeful on Sunday mornings when so many go to Church and pray what the Lord, your Lord and lover of your soul taught us to say. Will today be the day that the forgiveness extends to your deeds as well?  Has the prayer become or has it always been one of rote matter of course?

You will know the moment someone extends Grace to you for you will be able to step out of your self-imposed prison of eternal darkness and into the light. The full glory of the love that you so longed for.

You may wait forever for people have been given a choice. And it is hard to choose to forgive someone who has hurt you much less extending that same release to one who has been judged to commit the worst of crimes ever.

So if you will not play the part, someone else will. He did.

And he waits.

And hopes.

Especially on Sundays.

I don’t think I would have taken the risk to be forever parted from the one whose love is most dear.

For me, today and always, may my prayers extend to all. I choose to be the one that helps open the door for those who cannot open it themselves.

Dear Judas,

Thank you for your part in the prophecy.  For being so brave and strong to take the worst role in our estimation. May you find the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. May your sins be wiped clean and you made new when you face the lover of your soul once more.

And Judas, know that when I pray this prayer, I pray it for all who are waiting for renewal. Yesterday, Today and  Forever.

Won’t you extend the same forgiveness to me as well?  For I, too, am in need of a saviour.

Amen.

 

 

The Power of Prayer and the Placebo Effect

I am curious why the power of prayer and the placebo effect are not being explored more fully. There are studies that show people in hospitals have better results when they are prayed for and / or believe the treatment they are receiving will help them.

Um, why would anyone want to pooh-pooh that? Especially without further research? I find it fascinating that someone somewhere can pray for people in the hospital and there be a result that wasn’t expected. If I were running a hospital, I’d do a study on the results if people were hired to pray made the same difference.

If hired prayers made the same or greater difference, I’d be the first hospital to do so.

And on the placebo effect, I would study how serious the condition vs the belief in the treatment. How far could we take the sugar pill? I’m not saying stop doing research on the medicines that do work. I’m saying study what the patient believes.

Does the patient have to know about the prayer to make a difference? And does the patient have to start with the belief in the treatment? Can doctors effect change the outcome if they change the outlook of the patent? Can their statement, “you are getting better.” make it true? Or truer?

When my ex-husband had his first heart attack, I met my daughter at the hospital. To tell you the truth, I went for her. He had made life so difficult for us that I wouldn’t have gone for him.

We sat in the waiting room, until he was out of surgery. They had put in a stint. It went well. Since I do believe in prayer, I prayed quietly. I had started praying as soon as I got the call. I have turned to prayer most of my life, especially when I don’t know what else to do. I feel like I’m doing something useful.

Before we left the hospital, we were able to see him. Several of his friends showed up and we all traipsed in, totally disregarding the rules. I figured I didn’t need to go in the room for there were too many people and as an ex, I might make things worse.

However, my daughter got mad that I would leave without saying good-bye. So I took my turn going into the room. The nurse was at his bedside, trying to do something. I couldn’t tell but I could tell our group had outgrown our welcome.

So I kept it short. Told him hello, and to get better. He replied and then shifted to get more comfortable. He seemed less agitated.

And as I left, I was less agitated. I think the power of prayer helps the pray-er as much as the pray-ee. We may never know. I’m not sure there’s a study on that.

On Writing a Zombie Movie

After Gpa passed away, it felt like the world had ended. I was living in a post-apocalyptic era. Only I knew it.

My purpose was gone. Stripped away. The big question of ‘what next’ loomed over my head.

The local screenwriters group had a contest and I had an idea. So I sat down and wrote. On the one hand it was very strange to spend hours each day writing about a zombie who becomes a vegetarian and yet on the other hand, the process was very cathartic.

I felt like a zombie.

I have continued to treat life as a dangerous place. Approaching activities and people with a great deal of mistrust.

This then becomes a type of self-fulfilling prophecy. People and activities become unsafe.

Um. I don’t want to live like that anymore. What if I approached activities and people as if life were a safe place, full of light and wonder. That they too would share the same twinkle in the eye with me that Gpa did.

Sure people make mistakes but what if I approached the mis-steps and misunderstandings as if we are all doing the best we can?

What if I took the hurt, pain, and loss that I’ve been carrying around and took it to a place I could leave it and start looking forward to all my interactions with everyone I meet today as if I were hanging out with Gpa?

I could stop being a zombie.