Wednesday, May 28, 2014

the soft place

Today I took the children to one of my favorite places for lunch, the LA Cafe.  The teachers are on rotating strikes here in British Columbia, so there was no school.

Trevor slurped most of his chocolate milk through a straw while we waited.

"Save the rest," I said, "for when your food comes."

"Okay, then I will do this!" he said, and blew bubbles in it.  I could've fussed about that, for the sake of table manners, but I thought, Meh. Every kid likes to blow bubbles with a straw and he'll grow out of it one day.

Our waitress, Grace, arrived with our meals and offered him more chocolate milk.  I asked for water instead.  She's one of those people—you can tell she's not in this just to make a buck.  Light pours from her as she sets down cups, as she refills them, and she's always happy to see us.

It's the gentleness I love.  Both Grace and Hank, with their smiling light brown faces.

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Voice

In Horton Hears a Who, the elephant's trying to keep tiny people on a clover from being tossed into the beezlenut stew by the kangaroos, and the mayor of those whos finds a small shirker.  He takes him to the top of a tower.
"This," cried the Mayor, "is your town's darkest hour!  The time for all whos who have blood that is red to come to the aid of their country!" he said.  "We've GOT to make noises in greater amounts!  So, open your mouth, lad!  For every voice counts!"
The kangaroos finally hear when the shirker opens his mouth with a "YOPP!" and they come to believe the whos are real.

I do agree that every voice counts.  Every human being has the miraculous ability to communicate in some way.  Being broken and faulty, we're not always adept at honoring that.  I think it's a luxury to have this internet on which I can make my own voice heard in the hopes that something good will be made of it.

Luxury sometimes amplifies my own feelings of emptiness, though.  With the internet comes the emptiness and complexity of too much information, too many opinions, and it can be as if the world wide web is only pointing fingers at me.  Why don't you just measure up already?

But I've been learning to listen deeply to the True Voice—Christ.  He has been teaching and strengthening me to listen well.  It's not like he speaks physically into my ear.  The Voice uses heart language, and as my heart engages with the Voice it affects my mind and how I see images or situations.

I believe my heart, body, and mind are interconnected in a way I can't understand so it's kinda hard for me to explain all this to you, but I'll keep trying.         

Listening to the Voice isn't about shutting everyone else out.  Communication is a gift; people need one another and I believe the Voice speaks among and through people.  Discernment is involved in this because any time someone's not speaking in love it's important for me to recognize his or her human nature.  When people say something in conversation or post on social media and all I hear is accusation or judginess, I take a moment to listen for the Voice.

The Voice of Christ always speaks love:

I have sacrificed everything—my very life—for you and I have risen so you can participate in new and beautiful creation.
I love you, no matter what.
I don't hold your wrongdoings against you.  I remove them and remember them no more.
I give you everything that is good and beautiful.
Don't be afraid; I'm caring for you.
If you are afraid, turn your heart to me.  I'm here, in Spirit, to help you.
Everything's going to be alright... even more than just alright.
I approve of you.

Sometimes, at an intellectual level, we can know about this highest love of Christ yet still not feel peace.  Maybe all that means is there are some damaging thought patterns going on within ourselves that need to be dismantled, or a wound that needs healing, or it could be we have some insecurities that are hindering us from receiving all Christ offers.

You have a voice and it matters, so don't be afraid to let it out.  Christ can bring it into harmony with his own.  Don't ask me how that works.  I just believe it.

Love is always here.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Instrument

"Ever since Sidney made that radio announcement, the Klippensteins keep going on about how I don't play my mandolin," said DeeDee.

"Oh, the poor dears," said Vern.  "So you do play it?!"

"Of course I play it!  Sometimes twice in one day."

"But the strings—"

"So it has eight strings.  It's still a mandolin," said DeeDee.

"I thought it had six."

"We've been over this."

"Oh, right.  It used to have six, now it has eight."


"Somebody needs to tell the Klippensteins," said Vern.

"Two of them aren't real," said DeeDee.

"The Klippensteins?"

"No, the strings."

"Ohhh!" said Vern.

"Two of them," she repeated.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

In Mr. Eisan's Office

It was the multi-colored wall Shaylene noticed first when she entered Mr. Eisan's office.  Her mouth dropped open while she squinted at the huge display before her.  The wall was covered entirely with photographs he had pinned upon it, with no spaces in between.

Mr. Eisan put his pen on the desk and leaned back in his chair.  "Do you like pictures?"

"Mmm hmm," she said dreamily.

Mr. Eisan snapped his fingers to get her attention, then gestured toward the padded green chair in front of him.  "You're welcome to have a seat."

She hesitated.

"Is everything alright?" asked Mr. Eisan.

"This isn't a test, is it?" she asked.

"I wouldn't call it that," he said.

"Okay, because I'd like to tell you I think there's something wrong with me, except not really.  I mean I'm normally a good person.  I've always been a good person, but yesterday I hurt my pet rabbit.  With my bare hands."

Mr. Eisan waited for her to continue.

"So what I did was I got the coal-black dye from the bathroom cabinet and used it on her fur because I read an article in my work handbook.  It said for injured creatures this dye gets to the source of the problem and that's how the pain goes away."

"What happened after you used the dye, if you don't mind me asking?"

"I tried to give her a bath after a while.  A warm one.  I used the blow dryer on her.  Is your boss coming?"

"Pardon?" said Mr. Eisan.

"Is your boss coming?"


"I'm going to take her to the vet soon because she's still—"  She leaned forward and squinted at one of the photographs on that west wall.  It was of a man sitting in a chair near a bookcase.  In front of him stood a boy of about five years of age.  The man was cupping his hands around the boy's head and looking into his eyes.

"Excuse me for changing the subject," she said, "But that photo—I need it.  Please?"

"I'll do what I can to reserve it for you, but you want to know what I'm thinking?" he said.


"I'd like to meet your pet rabbit some time."

Shaylene scowled.

"Oh," said Mr. Eisan.  "My apologies.  If you need the photo, have it straight away.  I'm here to help if I can."  Smiling, he removed it from the wall and handed it to her as gently as he could.