Tuesday, June 28, 2011

(Unedited) Writing Project #1

The room was a big square, walled with old-fashioned yellowed wallpaper that was peeling in spots. The tears in the wallpaper revealed even more old-fashioned Pepto-Bismol pink paint that was chipping and peeling even more. The only two windows were on the west wall which looked out on the more scenic side of the house at the tree-filled park across the street. Unfortunately, there was also a streetlight there also, which poured its light in to the house each night, necessitating window-blackening shades which blocked the only pretty thing about the room.

The floors were bare, unless you counted the gobs of dog hair that lined the baseboards. Last summer, she’d torn out the old maroon-colored wool carpeting. At one time it might have been fashionable, but 50 years of dust and UV rays had rendered it to dry-rotted shreds and threads. The floors underneath were pine wood, hardly durable enough to withstand her own minimal wear and tear, let alone that of two dogs dragging their paws over it. It was now quite scratched up. As luck would have it, at the side of the bed on which she raised each morning (and more than a few afternoons, when the naps of depression took over) there was a popped nail that she repeatedly stepped on and swore at. The nail had popped at such an angle that it was impossible to fully pound back in to the boards. She supposed she could buy a throw rug and place that over the nail, thus protecting the soles of her feet, but that would involve choosing a color and pattern and committing to some decorating style and she didn’t have that kind of energy in her.

The room seemed to mirror her own self – lonely, messy, beat-up, undecorated, worn …old. It had potential, but that potential needed someone with greater talent than she had to bring it about.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Double Take

One Sunday, Barblings #1 & 2 were walking down the aisle and I was taken by how much they look alike.  Aged 17 & 14, there is a bit of an age and maturity gap.  But the manner in which they presented themselves at that moment, they could have been twins.  Both are tall, lithesome teenagers.  Both have medium brown hair cut to similar length and style.  On that day, both bore winsome smiles and a graceful and peaceful demeanor.  Only one issue - B#1 shares not an iota of DNA with B#2.  B#1 is adopted.

So how can that be?  How can they look alike?  It's not nature, so it must be nurture.  Raised by the same parents, living in the same house, sharing a bathroom, the very presence of each other over 14 years has given them some likeness.

As a Christian, the Word says I'm adopted, too.  Have I spent enought time with my Lord to take on some resemblance to Him?  Have I shared myself, given my entire self, MY ways, MY desires over to Him?  My current mood would shout the answer "NO".  But there is hope.

When I feel so unlike Him, when I feel so far from Him, I recall the verses from Lamentations "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end.  They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness." and I cling to this promise.  Every morning is a new day.  And His morning doesn't begin at
5:30am, like mine so I'm safe while I sleep.  No matter how much self-pity I display throughout the day, no matter what hateful thoughts I might have.  No matter what un-Christ-like qualities I might have, His mercy is renewed each day ant I'm able to start each day with a clean slate, the ugliness wiped from my countenance.  I am given another day to grow to look more like Him.


Like any working American, I look forward to Fridays. I look forward to not working Saturday and Sunday and I’m filled with the hope of all the things that I will accomplish over the next 48 hours. And then reality strikes.

Weekends really are the worst for me. They are blatant reminders of the stark loneliness that is my life. My phone does not ring. Like Charlie Brown I wait expectantly for the mailman, but there is no “Valentine”, no personal correspondence from friend or lover. My email is impersonal; my Facebook “friends” only request Farmville or CafĂ© World gifts.

I need the weekends to recharge for the work week, certainly. I need the weekends if for nothing else to get my laundry done. But I hate them at the same time. The silence and isolation attack and pummel me. They grind my heart and hope in to dust. I bleed heartache and misery. But there is no emergency room available to treat my sadness; no police force to defend me against the assault. And so I suffer the violence until Monday morning.
This sounds tremendously unfaithful, and it is.  It's downright sinful, I confess.  I repent...every Sunday night.  And I successfully avoid this particular sin...until Saturday morning, when the cycle starts all over again.