Month: December 2015
I hope that all of you had a wonderful Christmas. It was a great day that I was able to spend with my 3 favorite guys (husband, and 2 sons). The 24th on the other hand was a little rough to say the least. Here’s why. On the 23rd, I had to have a dental procedure on one of my front teeth. So, the dentist had to give me several shots of a local anesthetic (some type of novacaine) to numb the area. Later that evening, I said to my husband that it looked like my top lip was swelling. He said he didn’t notice. I thought, maybe I’ll just take something and it will be better in the morning. Well, in the morning, my top lip looked like a duck bill! Since the dentist only medicated one side of my mouth. One side was swollen and the other side was kind of the normal side. I looked like a duck that had a stroke. Whew… not a good look!
I went to the Post Office and to Target Department store. At both places, I caught people glancing at the duck bill and looking away. What was also interesting was the customer service people who had to ring up my orders not wanting to make direct eye contact with me. They asked me a question but looked everywhere except at me directly.
When I got to Target Department Store, I sat in the car for a few minutes debating on whether to put on the mask. I looked at myself in the mirror with the mask on and thought to myself, should I cover up this issue? I decided to go without the mask because the mask would give me more attention than what I wanted. I would look contagious even far off. The swollen lip would take a little longer to recognize so, I went uncovered.
I also began to recognize this as an Issue. I thought about people that I’ve come across over the years who have had Issues with their past; issues with not being treated well; family issues, marriage issues; Issues that NO One knows about. Heck, I thought about my own stuff. Issues that only me and Jesus know about. I remember my good friend, Brenda told me years ago about facing your Issues head on. Because if you hide behind them, they may become harder to deal with later.
I walked into Target determined that I was not going to let this issue control me. I’m more than my smile. Though I was very uncomfortable, this issue prompted me to go deeper. To take a closer look at myself. I asked myself, have I ever treated anyone or looked at anyone the way people were looking at and treating me? Unfortunately, the answer the was yes. I didn’t verbally say anything to hurt anyone. But then again, neither did they. However, their actions and attitudes spoke volumes. Their message was clear. My appearance was offensive. Offensive like the persons with physical infirmities; offensive like visible health and mental issues; abuse issues, homelessness. The list can go on and on.
How do we treat people when we see that they have Issues? Though it may make you feel uncomfortable are you loving? Do you change the climate of someone’s day by offering kind words, eye contact or a smile? Do you take the time to really SEE people? If no then, why not? It was a trip to watch the reaction of people that were obviously uncomfortable by my presence.
I’m thankful that the offensive appearance is not part of my lifestyle, just an experience that I had. It definitely has me thinking and prompting me to make some changes. I hope that it’s got you thinking too. Lastly, if you are dealing with long term issues, this blog is not intended anyway to make light of your situation as if I understand what it is to walk a mile in your shoes. I don’t. This is only about my own experience. And my intention to do better because it’s necessary.
The poem that I decided to add with this blog is in audio form. It’s my poem called the Woman with the Issue of Blood that’s inspired by Bible scripture, Luke 8:43-48. If you click on the link below, you will hear me reading it.
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Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments. They keep me encouraged.
YOU be the GIFT
Tonight I watched our President on an episode of Running Wild with Bear Grylls. In case you aren’t familiar with Bear, he is a nature survivalist. On his show, he takes a celebrity with him to “rough” it in nature for a full day. They may drink water from streams, hike, eat bugs and raw fish, etc. He even talks about drinking his own urine for survival. The President didn’t eat any bugs, but he did eat salmon that was partially eaten by a bear. Bear Grylls cooked it for the President on a rock!
They chatted asking one another a number of questions. One of the questions that the President asked Bear was, when he was young, did he see himself becoming an advocate for nature? Bear answered, that he just loved being outside and that this is what he did with his dad. That he was the kid who could always climb the highest trees. Nature was what he was good at. It made me think about the scripture that says that your gifts will make room for you and put you before great men. It doesn’t say certain gifts… but your gifts. (I gotta do better about tapping into my gifts. How about you?)
Towards the end of the show, Bear, who professes Christianity, asked the President if he could pray for him. Bear did a sidebar and talked about how awkward and humbling it was to ask the President of the United States if he could pray for him. He didn’t feel like it was something he was “worthy” of doing. But, he wanted to offer something to this man who sacrifices so much for his country.
We never know how much our small gestures mean to people. That prayer may have made the President’s day. Who knows.
I’m going to make more of a concerted effort to be a blessing; to be more impactful in some way daily. Even if it’s a smile; a word of encouragement; a helping hand. I think that it’s so important. You don’t have to feel worthy or wait for the majority to give you the ok. Sometimes, you just need to do it because there’s a need.
The poem that I chose to go with this thought is called, The Feet Washer. It is inspired by Luke 7:36-50. There’s a woman who has a reputation for being sinful who sees that Jesus has a need. Some say that this woman was a prostitute. And though she has some issues, she is perceptive, brave and bold enough to take the opportunity to meet Jesus’ need. She didn’t do this because she had provocative motives. She did it because she loved Jesus and saw that something needed to be done. Do we really care about people enough to follow this woman’s example?
THE FEET WASHER
A sin-filled woman went to Simon’s house
to see a man she’d heard about.
He was known to heal the sick, even to give life again.
Some people called him, Master.
Perhaps he’d be her friend.
She said nothing when she saw him, but kneeled down behind his feet.
Oh how precious to behold him, this sister began to weep.
She washed his feet with a river of tears then dried them with her hair.
Anointed them with expensive perfume.
Can imagine the fragrance in the air?
Simon thought, Look at that sin-filled woman and how Jesus is enjoying this!
Does he really know who she is? Is he really a prophet?
Jesus knew what Simon was thinking, then began to let him see all
the lessons who could learn from this woman’s humility.
When I came into your home, you gave me no water for my feet,
no oil for my head, no kiss upon my cheek.
But this sister has not stopped kissing my feet since she came into the room.
She washed them with her tears and anointed them with perfume.
Her sins are now forgiven, washed away behind my feet.
He can do the same for you.
He can make your life complete.
Open up, let him in that your sin-filled life will cease.
And He’ll say to you as he did to her,
Your faith has saved you, go in peace.
Angela B. Alexander
PICKING UP THE PEN AGAIN
PICKING UP THE PEN AGAIN
Source: PICKING UP THE PEN AGAIN
PICKING UP THE PEN AGAIN
My husband encouraged me to start blogging again. You should write… put your poems out. He kept saying. So… though it’s been a long while. I decided that maybe I will release a poem. I’m not sure if I will do it weekly or even if I will begin to create new poetry. Everything is over ten years old, just sitting in a box. So, maybe it is a good idea to at least let someone read it. I may record a few so that you can hear how they are supposed to flow. If it’s easy, then I will likely post it on my Facebook page and let you know.
Please let me know if you like the post or if you have any thoughts. A little feedback goes a long way. Here’s the first poem. It’s called, Winter.
I was looking out of the window one day at the bare trees and the snow covered ground. Life seemed still. The sun was hidden behind the clouds. I sighed and thought, I’m so cold. Then I heard a voice that came immediately after that thought, “Then let me hold you.” Startled, I turned around and he said again, “I’ll hold you. Give me your hand.” I asked, “Who are you?” He replied, “Death”. Of course I gasped and told him to leave.
He continued to seduce me into believing that he should stay. The sound of his words played as mystical music in my mind. He intrigued me to dance with him. He wanted to hold me close. He promised that I’d never have to feel coldness clinging to me as an overcoat. His coaxing words were constant. “Allow me into your heart. Come nestle into my arms and I promise to take all of your pain away.”
Tired from our tango, I sat down on the bed. He told me to look around at all the nothing that I had and to think about all he was willing to give me.
Just as I was about to say ok, I felt my heart beating. I realized there was still hope.
I reached for the Bible on my nightstand. I remembered that it was the Bread of Life. I opened it and I ate of it a teaspoon at a time until my strength was renewed.
I read how God’s rod and staff would comfort me. How God promised that lo, He would be with me always. And as bad as I was feeling, that was a pretty good place to start.
Then I saw that I was created as a tree for the display of His splendor. I stood up as a tree stretching toward Heaven. I began to feel warm as I opened my eyes. The sun had wrapped its ray like arms around me. My tears glistened as diamonds cascading down my cheek as I felt my Father’s love penetrating me; resuscitating me back to life.
I declared to my soul, It’s winter, but I shall live and not die.
-Angela B. Alexander