encouragement, Human Behaviour, Human Nature

The Gradual Shock

When it first shows, we either deny it, embrace it, or cover it.

The off-white ceramic tile floor held tables, chairs, and persons. New, round tables were dotted with various beverages and paper plates of colourful food. Emotions varied according to each person’s experience, connection and memories. Laughter peeled through the community room; so did sniffles and polite nose blowing.

Unlike family reunions, yet actually similar, are funerals. Saying good-bye isn’t like the hellos of a fam-jam, yet the gathering is similar in the way a lot of people haven’t seen each other for a number of years.

I sat with a coffee, and a rumpled tissue pushed under one eye then the other. The acoustic guitar tribute got me. I noticed not just me. Afterward, I watched mostly well dressed feet going in purposeful directions on the clean floor. Some headed back to food and beverage tables, other strode to greet people who had nearly become strangers.

I recognized many, and the surprise was subdued, because people grow older, I know. Nonetheless, it grows where a once proclaimed illusion of never ending youth is taken for granted. The gradual shock of grey hair.

The shock got the spirals of my long lost friend’s rock and roll pride. The grey strands mingled with intrusiveness in his soft brown length. Bit by bit, some were tentatively welcoming maturity. Others, years behind my age, the gradual shock left them entirely white. Silver graced the crowns of many, working its way to temples and tips. The gradual shock is a respecter of no one.

How did we all get this old? We’re only in our fifties.

I mingled, my silver stripes demoting me from childhood golden locks. My peers silently brought me to a realization this February: it’s okay to look older. It’s all right to let the gradual shock cajole me into aging gracefully.

Funerals are the celebration of lives lived. Weddings, a celebration of lives joined. Both of these events demonstrate how time waits for no one, starting with matrimony; babies, grown children, then funerals of parents, and next our friends….

I observed. I said good-bye. I cried. I viewed photos. I mingled. I hugged. I laughed.

I wondered how it is going to be for me.

Thanks for reading.

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encouragement, Spiritual

Tenacity Isn’t Genetic

PATIENCE IS HARD EARNED (fiction)

Me:
I seem to be lacking the tolerance I need. Waiting in a grocery store line up is okay. Waiting for a prescription to be filled isn’t too bad. Waiting to hear back from a publisher is ridiculous. I can hardly stand it.

Jesus:
You do lack patience. You couldn’t even wait out nine months to be born.

Me:
Don’t get me wrong, Jesus, I am not asking for patience. I did that once. It wasn’t pretty.

Jesus:
Trials are not festive, nor is a hurried spirit joyful.

Me:
It’s hard to have joy inside when I keep getting disappointed day after day—because the wait was supposed to be six months…ish, I guess. It is only the seventh, though, isn’t it? I guess I am impatient. I am confident they’ll let me know either way. They let my friend know. It was a no, but they got back to her. When, though?

Jesus:
Everything happens for a reason, everything has its own time. A hurried spirit loses hope.

Me:
I haven’t completely lost hope. But I’m getting irritated.

Jesus:
You are a measure beyond having good faith in me. We can determine your patience further.

Me:
Isn’t that what we’re doing now?

Jesus:
That is what I am doing now. You are preoccupied with negative thoughts.

Me:
Oh. Okay, so how am I supposed to just get more faith about this?

Jesus:
Be farsighted about the eventual outcome. I said I would help you. Do you trust me?

Me:
Yeah, but…

Jesus:
Do you trust me?

Me:
I do, it’s just that…

Jesus:
Do you trust me?

Me:
Okay, you’re right. You’ve taken me through a lot. I just have to wait.

Jesus:
And trust while you wait. Your endurance is being built upon. I know your needs now and for the future. Do you not have an appointment is a half hour?

Me:
Oh! Yes I do! Thanks for reminding me. I’ll talk to you later.

Jesus:
I’ll always be here. I love you.

Me:
Aw, I love you, too. Thanks for making me feel better.

Jesus:
Anytime, Little Lamb. Have a good appointment~

© Lynn P. Penner, 2015

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encouragement

It Doesn’t Need To Be Sophisticated

When I was a little girl, I talked to God the way I talked to my dad. I told Him about my day, what was good, what wasn’t. I asked for things I needed. I wondered aloud if I could help someone that day. I told Him He was really, really cool, and I practically clutched his robe and dragged behind him when I needed Him so badly I couldn’t let go. It was simple back then.

As I became older, I noticed Christians used sophisticated language and certain rituals to pray. In churches I chose to check out in my adult years, I found that listening to people repeat after the pastor or minister seemed empty; it was rote. I never bought into it; it didn’t seem like genuine, solid communication to me.  Anyway, perhaps I’m wrong, but what I’ve shared today is what gets me through, not being highly evolved in the rules of prayer: 

TIME WITH THE ONE WHO KNOWS

Creating a prayer to be heard
is more simple than you think.
Just close your eyes,
see not the world,
but imagine love instead.

Cuddle up with the warmth today,
the One of mighty strength,
and be absorbed in the shelter there
that cold rain does not penetrate.

Ask for all in Jesus’ name,
for He went through the same heartache
that we all do struggle with
in our lives this day.

Close your eyes and say
whatever’s on your mind,
good or bad to report,
Jesus hears all your prayers
and delights in your given time.

He understands what’s on your heart
even if it’s just tears some days.
And that’s the beauty of spending
time with the one who knows
His family with ageless intimacy.

© L. P. Penner, 2008

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Spiritual

Although My Path is Sometimes Dark

I KNOW

You are with me; You do know me. My needs are at Your feet and my praises as well, Lord. And at my feet is the path You’ve set me to travel. I shall succeed knowing that although my path is sometimes dark, and I cannot see my way, Your voice I follow, Your hand I take, Your advice I seek.

From the blue print of my life, You show me a room at a time. It’s a complicated house tour, yet the sun-filled room is nigh. My life’s goal, my hope is there in the sunshine, a victory-scented breeze circulates…. I will pass words around the world, floating on a breeze, for I am a writer. My words, You say, have strong purpose: Hope, help, heart-healing. My heart’s voice, my ministry.

I hope to encourage people, and that includes those who strive towards mental wellness. I’ll write about that some day.

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encouragement, Spiritual

Ten Really Important Suggestions

PRAYER FOR UNDERSTANDING: Hi, Jesus, thanks for always listening to prayers. Old-fashoined language is on my mind. It’s just that it sounds so severe in our modern world to hear or read that we must obey the Ten Commandments. Is it okay to change that slightly to say Ten Imperative Rules? See, my take on this is our Free-will. So if our modern world could better understand this concept You’ve laid out, we humans might be easier to contend with, because we would have a fresh take on this obeying and this commandment business. You only ever want the best for people. I know that, Jesus, most of we humans know that. So can You help me to go through the big 10 and make it seem less for the days of old and more for humankind in today’s world? Yeah? Cool, here goes then:

  1. He IS God, not your stuff or other people or substances. There are no other gods, just Him. And I don’t believe He is a mean, scrutinizing face in the sky, either. He created us, why wouldn’t He be caring?
  2.  Graven images are heavenly or earthy things you make to worship.  They are off limits, end of it.
  3. Never bow down to or serve any god but Him; not singers, celebrities, public figures etcetera. He is jealous, and will not forgive for three or four generations, so do your kids a solid and heed this.
  4. Remember that childhood game where you knock on someone’s door then run? It’s even worse than that to say Jesus’ /God’s name uselessly. Work on that, because we aren’t held guiltless for it.
  5. For our own good, take the sabbath day to kick back and rest. God knows how people burn out, so rest and dedicate time to visit with God/Jesus. While you’re at it, anyone who works for you is also given rest, even animals.
  6. Give merit to your parents. Maybe you have just one, so honour them. That’s a hard one, I think. Some parents are really messed up these days, but do your best since if it weren’t for them, there’d be no you, of course, and you’ll receive blessings for honouring them the best you can.
  7. Don’t murder your fellow humans in cold blood. Jail’s nothing compared to judgement.
  8. Have one partner, (tall order, I know), marry them and don’t cheat on them. This means pornography, too. There are more reasons for that than the obvious.
  9. Stealing is, was and has always been wrong. Leave other people’s stuff alone. That means don’t even covet others’ things and life. It leads no where good, honest.
  10. Lying is a huge mistake. Either you’ll make a fool of yourself, or the other guy gets hurt. It isn’t acceptable to God. It shouldn’t be acceptable to us, either. Please don’t lie about others, like gossiping. Cage the beast, folks.
  11. There is no 11, but I’m not sure how to take off the bullets. Anyway, if this helped, let me know, because I really feel like I’m sticking my neck out here, my attempt is innocent, not deliberate blasphemy. I’m not a minister. I’m a writer. Just a layman with ideas. Happy weekend, everyone~
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encouragement, Spiritual

Ask and Watch What Happens

Dear listening God:

I know it isn’t good to assume, but I’m pretty sure there’re countless people looking for better jobs. I feel for the moms or dads, or both, who are struggling to support their families. I’ve been there and I know what it’s like to send a kid to school in thrift shop clothing; to have to tell a kid that they can’t go on a school field trip because there isn’t enough money. I know what it’s like to be marked out in a grocery store when sifting through food to be left behind is a hard decision because there isn’t enough money in the bank account, and each item is needed. It’s stressful and wearying when bills come in and the cost is more than the funds coming in. You know just what I mean, Jesus. The list goes on. Everything so freakin’ expensive these days.

Would You to please help in whatever way is specific to each person struggling to make ends meet? You always somehow help me when I ask, so please create the circumstances necessary for the burden of poverty to lift off Your people. Also, bring those people who need this prayer to read it so they can agree on it. It is true that where two or more gathered in Your name, You will be there. Amen. Thanks, Jesus, for listening.

Your penner of prayer,

Lynn

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