I and Thou – An Alien in a Foreign Land

An Alien in a Foreign Land

An alien in a foreign land…
Where all that is around feels unfamiliar.
New.

Yet, in some ways, strangely old.
Seeking to find the comfort of an old shoe or bathrobe.  
Lying in bed as the world goes by. 

Feeling frozen in time.  Short of breath.  
Not knowing where your children are or if they are safe.

An alien in a foreign land…
Writing, speaking to unknown faces. New.

Yet, in some ways, strangely old.
Meeting strangers, small talk, and dining in restaurants.
Wondering if this person will call you again. 

Feeling anxious.  Short of breath.
Not knowing what tomorrow will hold.

An alien in a foreign land…
Opening the door to online yesterday in person today. New.

Yet, in some ways, strangely old.
Conversing deeply about life and sharing freshly brewed coffee.
Embarking on a new relationship, perhaps. 

Feeling excited. Short of breath.
Not knowing where it will go.

An alien in a foreign land…
Letting go and letting God direct your life.  New.

Yet, in some ways, strangely old.
Following God’s call to a new foreign land.
Stumbling and falling along the way. 

Feeling hesitant.  Short of breath.
Not knowing where it will lead.

An alien in a foreign land…
Friendly faces are fresh and welcoming.  New.

Yet, in some ways, strangely old.
Sharing time and talents and learning in a new workplace.
Making a difference in people’s lives. 

Feeling humbled.  Short of breath.
Not knowing the impact for years to come.

An alien in a foreign land…
Casting out pebbles to see where they land.  New.

Yet, in some ways, strangely old.
Exploring new places and seeking adventures along the way.
Filling with anticipation.
Feeling thrilled.  Short of breath
Not knowing where the landing will be.

Artwork by: Ernest Mancoba

I and Thou – Better to Receive

12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. John 1:12 & 13

Artwork Credit: Faith Evans-Sells http://www.faithevansells.com

You enjoy holiday shopping. Don’t you? You aim to select the perfect gift for a loved one. Best of all, you love giving the gift and watching it be unwrapped.  All you want is to see the joy and excitement. Lately, I’ve been thinking about gift-giving. I used to think that it more suitable to give than to receive. Yet, in John 1:12 & 13, we see that it is much better to receive than to give. God has a way of turning our thinking upside down. In this passage, we see that our faith isn’t enough. We need to also receive. Receive God. Receive salvation. It is free for you and me. So, you may ask, how do I know if I am a child of God? Your logical mind may agree that there is a God. What does your heart say? It is the heart that causes your behavior to gradually change over time. When you strive to be Christ-like in your daily life, you become a child a God through your acceptance of God’s love.

I and Thou – Zero Contact

Blog_Pic56Relationships are not simple, far from it. Many parents have experienced children who pull away – sometimes for reasons parents can’t figure out others for apparent reasons. Children who distance themselves from parents believe the parents failed in some significant way – typically unbeknownst to them. The parent is left befuddled and profoundly heartbroken. Like a limb that has been severed; yet still feel is there. Human relationships are fragile. A relationship with the Divine is 100% contact. Faith in God is your rock. For those of you who have zero contact with your children – don’t lose hope. As long as there is breath in life – so is there a chance of reconciliation. Today, tomorrow or the day after. May you find restoration.

 

I and Thou – Global Pandemic Part 2

Family Roots.

These unprecedented times in which we now live may cause you to reflect upon the Pandemic of 1918.   Did the 1918 global event impact your family?

It has certainly inspired me to do a bit of family research. I am grateful that my Mom wrote down some of our family history in 1993, of which, I paid little attention to until now.

Since my dad was bBlog_Pic55orn in 1918, I thought maybe somewhere in my family history I could find out whether or not the pandemic affected my family tree. And, yes, sadly, I did discover a death in my family due to the Pandemic of 1918.

According to History.com (https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/1918-flu-pandemic)…

The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, the deadliest in history, infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide—about one-third of the planet’s population—and killed an estimated 20 million to 50 million victims, including some 675,000 Americans. The 1918 flu was first observed in Europe, the United States and parts of Asia before swiftly spreading around the world. At the time, there were no effective drugs or vaccines to treat this killer flu strain. Citizens were ordered to wear masks, schools, theaters and businesses were shuttered and bodies piled up in makeshift morgues before the virus ended its deadly global march.

My maternal grandparents were married in 1910. My maternal grandmother who died way before I was born (at the age of 48), had 5 pregnancies. Her eldest son, died at age 3 from whooping cough. In 1912 she gave birth to  a girl and in 1919 she gave birth to twins, a vibrant girl and a stillborn. 5 years later, in 1924, my mother was born. It turns out she had scarlet fever at age 9. Quarantine signs appeared on the doors of her home indicating no one could enter for 30 days. She writes that she felt like a leper because everything she had touch had to be burned including her toys and books. Hmmm. That explains a lot.

My maternal grandmother was born in 1890, making her 28-29 years old during the Flu Pandemic of 1918-1919. She was one of 7 children. It was my grandmother’s sister who died during the Pandemic of 1918. My great Aunt Bess, (not to be confused with my not “great” Aunt Bess) was born in 1893 and died at age 26 in 1919 leaving two small children behind. I never knew them. (as far as I know).

My father, the youngest of seven children, was born in 1918.

From theconversation.com/past-pandemics, “Those conceived or in gestation during the 1918-19 flu crisis in the US had reduced educational attainment, lower lifetime incomes, and disability rates that were 20% higher compared to those in other birth cohorts.”

I regret not asking him if he felt any impact of the pandemic on his childhood. What I remember most about my own childhood was the reference to “the Great Depression” of 1929. We (me and my siblings) never knew how good we had it – my parents would remind us quite often, especially if we were complaining. My father left school in the 8th grade to care and support his family. Later on, as an adult, my father earned his GED. My father was a sheet metal worker and died from pulmonary fibrosis in 1992.

As of today, June 28, 2020 there have been 10 Million people who have tested positive for Covid19 with 500,000 deaths so far. In the US, there are 2.5 Million cases with over 127,000 deaths. If this Covid19 virus is anything like the 1918 flu, we will be experiencing infections for the foreseeable near future.

To end on a more positive note, live each day as if there were no tomorrow.  Be kind.  Be gentle and please think before you speak. (that goes especially for me!)  God has a purpose for your life.  Go live it!!

As an update to my April 13th post –

My long time friend from high school lost her dad to Covid 19.  Both of her parents had the virus and her father passed away while her mother was recovering from the virus in a rehabilitation center.  So sad, to hear that a couple married for so many years that one spouse could not attend the funeral of the other.  On the other hand, maybe that was a good thing? May God rest his soul.

Photo credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/211528513717826885/

 

 

I and Thou – Love, Sweet Love

Blog_Pic54
Love for a child,
Runs deep in the soul.
Anger shades the leaves so green.
Love for a child,
Runs deep in the soul.
Shame shades the leaves so red.
Love for a child,
Runs deep in the soul.
Blame shades the leaves so brown.
The tree grows and matures through time,
The leaves once green are now so brittle.
Deep in the roots the tree lives on,
The roots fed by love sweet love.

 
Photo Credit:  Abhishek Kumar

I and Thou – Christmastime

Christmas season is a time of reflection and a time for hope. A time to bBlog_Pic47e thankful for Christmas past. To be grateful for Christmas present and to hope for a new Christmas yet to come.

Christmas past is full of memories, good and bad. Ornaments. Electronic games. Church. Children’s Choir. Families hustling and bustling. Cooking, cleaning, and entertaining.

Christmas present is full of friendship, love, and reconciliation. Quietness. Instrumental music. Church. Stillness. Reflection. Sadness. Loss.

Christmas future is full of hope. Hope for a newfound family. Spouses. Children. A new generation. Accepting. Communicative. Trustworthy. Safe. A place to be yourself. No masks. No drama. Harmony. Peace.

Psalms 37:7-8

7Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.

Photo Credit:  Marie Gale

I and Thou – Be like Children


Blog_Pic_30Where can you find love?
In the forest or the trees?
In the pink sky at daybreak?
In the violet sky at dusk?
In the eyes of children.

Where can you find joy?
On the dog path in the park?
On the white peak mountain top?
On the raft in the rapid river?
On the faces of children.

Where can you find laugher?
Listening to a joke?
Listening to a funny story?
Listening to two lovers?
Listening to children play.

Where can you find peace?
Going on a hike?
Going to a place of worship?
Going to work-out?
Watching children sleep.

You are a child of God where really big problems seem so much more manageable. Are you afraid? Afraid to take a risk? Not sure where to turn? Whether you choose the right road or the wrong road, God will be with you. Seek God’s direction, and God will direct your path. Be a child, take God’s hand, and look for the light. The light will guide you. Follow the light. Light is good, light is life…light is God.  Adventures really do connect you deeper to your faith.  Go explore today!

 

 

I and Thou – Celebrate Life!

Mother’s Day is bittersweet if you have a good relationship with one child and a non-existent relationship with the other. How on earth can this happen? Well, today we are not going to try to figure this out. No one is to blame, and no one is to be sad.

Today is a day of celebration!
Celebrating love. Blog_Pic43
Celebrating life.

Whether or not you are in good standing with your children, today is a day to celebrate Mothers; regardless of the emotional baggage that may or may not be there. Mother’s are rocks. Mother’s are saints. Mother’s are close to being divine. Whether your mother is alive or not, think of the nine-month gestation period which she carried you. She loved you from the moment she suspected she was pregnant. She delivered, fed, and nurtured YOU! And, that is worth celebrating!

I and Thou – Dare to Stand

God created all people. Over the years, people have scattered and lost sight of God. Many cultures rejected God and began to believe they were self-sufficient. They didn’t need God in their life. Many people today, still believe they don’t need God and worse, they think that people who do believe in God, are somehow weak or less than. It is the people who dare to stand up and say YES I believe in God, the one TrueBlog_Pic41 God, the God who made heaven and earth that is seen and unseen, who hear God’s voice. The Giver of Life. The Almighty God. God brought all goodness to the planet. It is the people and the work of Satan that destroyed so much of the goodness. In the end, God will reign. Forever and ever. The human mind doubts this, and it is tough to believe that there will be a forever and ever. Life will end as we know it; yet, our spirits will live. It will BE forever. Your soul will commune with God eternally. You will live in the light, and your physical aches and pains will disappear. You will have no more pain. No more sorrow. No more heartaches. You will be reunited with those who have passed onto the next life before you…spouses, parents, all of your loved ones and especially estranged children.  Declare God’s divinity now! Stand up! Be accountable! Ask Forgiveness! Go and spread the Good News! God is alive! Every knee shall bow down to God. Be bold and worship!  All are welcome and that means YOU…it is time…rejoice!  God is alive!

I and Thou – Children are Blessings!

Blog_Pic34Do you have children? It is so important to take time for your children. Leaving children to fend for themselves is not God’s plan. God wants each parent to love and encourage their children and to supply their needs and to build character and to be a blessing. Each child in this world needs to know that they are a blessing. A gift. A gift from God. No child should ever feel that they are a burden. Parents, often, do try their best and may not deliberately mean to damage their spirits. Talk to friends. Talk to neighbors. Encourage them to talk about their children. Encourage them to love their children. And, love takes time. It is not about stuff. It is about time you choose to be with your children. Walk them to school. Play games. Go to the playground. Cook a meal. Love your children and show them they are worth the time. They indeed are a blessing. Make sure they know it!