Friday, April 29, 2016

There are many things in life that impact us. Places that we visit, people that we meet, they can be metaphors for other thoughts and feelings. In 2009, Walking about an abandoned antlerite mine in Mohave County, AZ, in the desert below the Hualapai’s, great sadness but hope overtook me.  I wrote down my thoughts. This is what came out 2 years later...

The Last Breath of a Mine…. 
She is still BREATHING! I felt her breath!
I see it in her eyes…
To use someone, then discarded them like
To tell her that she is your love,
then you’re gone-
Leaving her without breath.
Why didn’t she see it coming?
Does anyone care?
To use the land, to take from it.
To haul large machines across it
and mar the view.
Leave scars….
She cries herself to sleep most nights.
How could someone she trusted, do this?
They bored deep holes
and erected large wooden structures...
to remove her insides.
He told her not to tell…
Know one else would understand…
They hauled out tons
and built a warehouse of cores.
Copper stones lay about on the ground
The smell of sulfur burns your nostrils.
Her inner parts spewed as they mined.
Dug though.
Only needing small pieces.
Waste, so much waste.

He was suppose to protect her…
Like track lines of a heroin addict they cut roads
all over her body.
Looking, hunting, boring.
Destroying her soul…
Whoa to the abandoned mine,
to those that take, and abuse!
They made her feel special,
then they took only what they wanted.
Left alone, exposed, her soul torn apart.
I walked around.
I picked up beautiful core samples that
came from deep inside her.
She looked away, embarrassed, yet, in need.
She seemed dead.
Used to death, my guess.
I lingered.
I Waited.
Yet, as I waited, I felt a breeze,
not from up above, but a movement of air...
it was cold outside, yet, this breeze was warm.
It was coming from deep down!
A vent of life, deep inside the earth!
It smelled of sulfur.
It smelled like the rocks that were thrown about,
not wanted.
It smelled like a tormented life…
The look in her eyes, begged to talk, to share….
Yes, she was still alive, still breathing!
There was still a chance!
She could grow strong again!
Her discarded parts could be used!
They were beautiful, they had value.
She could be made whole again!
Why did the miners not see this?
Why so much waste?
Why not make every piece useful?
Reclaim her.
Love her.
Show the world that she is beautiful.
Able to be whole.
Polish her cores... gather the stones...
She is still alive!
Build a thing of beauty with them!
Show her honor, that she is still valuable.
Show the world the beauty of the inside!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Lunch with Billy.

For the second time this week I needed to drive into Vancouver Washington to pickup/drop off meat rabbits from our farm. Everything is a “drive” from our home in the “woods”, but Vancouver is a two hour drive from home. So after the long drive and then taking care of farm business it was time for a pit stop. Literally right before getting back on the highway to head home was a Burger King. This was a prefect place to pit stop. They even had cute little signs on the doors that very much explained how I was feeling!

I was in a hurry. Run in, run out.

But……..on the way in I notice that outside, kind of hidden next to the door, was someone sleeping with a blanket over their head. I did the run in, run out thing and was almost back to the car when I was reminded by God that I am to feed the hungry. I reasoned in my mind, that person is sleeping, and I am in a hurry to get on the road, and… and… yes God, I know what I told you…every time I see a homeless person sitting next to a restaurant that I would feed them. I must have looked funny as I walked back and forth in the parking lot trying to make up my mind. Then I remembered when I have not obeyed. That doesn’t feel good. So I went and stood by this pile of bags and blankets and started talking to it. Are you waiting for someone? Yes, it answered. Are you hungry? Yes, it answered. The blanket moved and a young, very young looking man got to his feet. I asked him, how old are you? 19. He looked 16. He gathered his belongings and we went inside.

Inside he ordered a #7 and I got a Pepsi. We sat in a booth while people stared. I’ve done this many times, so it doesn’t bother me. I love to hear peoples stories. Everyone has one. Some are pretty sad.

His name was Billy. He was dirty. A baseball cap covered his shaved red hair, and he had on a very wrinkled winter jacket. He ate.... I asked questions. He was from a Christian home. He started messing with meth at 14. He is suppose to be on probation in Portland. But, he is in Washington. He says that they have given up on him. He says he can’t go home until he takes care of some things….

As he eats and we talk his eyes show hopelessness. He knows the Bible. He knows that he can be forgiven. He is not ready. He is in bondage. Billy shared that he likes helping others, he “found” a package of new blankets and is looking forward to passing these out to others. He has a kind heart.

Near the end of his meal a “friend” showed up to talk with him. This guy was no good news. I told Billy this when he got back. “That guy is just using you.” Billy said, I know…

I talked about freedom, Gods plan for his life, turning his life around, new starts, and getting away from this “user friend”. He picked out an orange New Testament and zipped it into a side pocket of his jacket. He said someone ripped off his Bible! Can you believe that! He said. In that booth in Burger King I prayed for him. I spoke truth and freedom into his life. He covered his eyes because they were wet. Then he thanked me for lunch and headed off down the street, alone.

If I was a man I would have driven him someplace safe. God has a plan for this boys life. Please pray for Billy, for that is why I wrote this. His life matters.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Abbynormal Memory----Library Books

I recently bought another used book online. Not a big deal, many people buy books online. Most books I buy are hardback with their dust jackets on. I always remove the jacket and put it someplace safe until I am done reading the book. I don’t want to damage the jacket. Then when I am done reading the book I replace the dust jacket and place it on my book shelf next to other books of the same category. I have kept record of all the books I have read for many years now. About 16 years ago I was reunited with my high school librarian, Merilyn. At the end of each year she sends out a letter and it always includes a list of her most favorite book reads of that past year. I loved this idea and started keeping track of my books also.

Lunch with Merilyn in 2007

Well, back to the recently bought book. It was used, like 99% of my books, but this one was a past library book. It had on a plastic jacket protection cover put on by the library to keep the jacket safe. When I opened the book and heard the sound of the crinkly plastic cover a flood of memories flashed past. I loved that sound! I had forgotten about it. I remembered back to when I was a Library Aid in high school and how much I loved handling all the books. I loved when new books came in and the plastic cover was extra crinkly and the smell of a new book. I think only readers of books can appreciate that. It is a very relaxing sound, turning pages and hearing the cover make crinkly noises. Very close to the feeling of sitting next to a fireplace.

On the inside of my “new” used book was a little pocket with a card in it! Back before scanners they used a hand stamp . The librarian would open up her ink pad, gently tap her stamp upon the ink, then carefully lining up the stamp with the proper line on the card she would stamp the due back date. How fun! It was almost like getting your passport stamped. It meant that this book was to be read, if the book had lots of stamps you knew it was loved!

I am going to go put a log on the fire and open up a good book!

Please feel free to post your own book loving memories in the comments below.