Monday, November 28, 2016

I Whisper

I cannot speak too loudly.

I’m too weak and tired, too sick to raise my voice.

I’m ashamed that I still need you so.
Will you leave me if I make you angry?
Would you hurt me if you heard me?

Yet I also whisper because I have nothing more to prove.
Hear me or not. Believe me or not.
I will not beg you to listen anymore.

I am afraid, tired and lonely
But I continue to speak.
I must.

If only in a whisper.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Breaking the Silence

"When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long." (Psalm 32:3).

I’ve never voiced my opinion over the outcome of an election but I will this time. 

I’m disappointed and upset. 

I have spent my entire professional life practicing restraint in regard to politics, except to say that whatever the outcome we are supposed to give support to our elected leaders.  I said it even when the person I voted for didn’t win.  And even though I am bitterly disappointed at the outcome of this presidential election, I still feel that way.

I have decided I will express my support by stating my views clearly, including constructive criticism of our political leaders because this democracy guarantees my right to do so. It’s part of the system.  The President of the United States takes an oath to defend this right.  I expect, even demand, our President-elect to do no less. 

Over my lifetime, I have run the gamut.  In my younger years, I was very conservative both in religion and politics.  But now that I am gray and my eyes have dimmed, I see things differently and I have become quite liberal (if that word means anything anymore) in all areas of our culture.

As a minister, I  focused on moral and spiritual issues and I never criticized the nation’s leaders from the pulpit or in any public forum.  But I have taken leave of my ministerial post. 

On an even more personal level, I have friends who range from uber conservative to extreme liberal, and I have held back because friendships are precious and I don’t want to lose them.  But as respectfully as I can, with the hope they’ll continue to accept me as I accept them, I’m speaking up. 

I do not intend to be hateful, hysterical, or insulting.  But I ain’t holding back anymore. I must speak my truth or I will die. 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Below the Surface

Here’s what has happened in the last six months.  My children grew up and moved away.  I was separated and then divorced. I quit my job. I drove a thousand miles to begin a new life.

Now that you’re caught up, we can move on. 

The pressure is off. I can rest. I have enough to eat and a place to sleep.  I’m surrounded by lush vegetation, beaches, and cultures rich with music, history, and art.  Best of all, I have someone new who loves me. For the first time in years, I have quiet and freedom to think and write my thoughts.  It’s time to release the muse so they can fan the flames of my creativity. 

Except….  I’ve got nothing.

Well, that’s not exactly true.  I’ve got a headache. 

And my ears ring.  My heart pounds. My stomach churns right along with the emotions that have yet to settle.  My friends say it will take some time.  

Whatever.  I intend to start my new life even if I stumble a little at the beginning. 

Perhaps it's ironic that in the midst of this tropical land, my brain feels as empty as the plains of West Texas, where the land is dull, brown and flat.  

Yet having grown up in that barren land, I know that West Texas has more to it than one might realize.  Tough mesquite bushes hold fast, never giving in to the elements.  Huddled in their shade are jack rabbits, deer, armadillos, coyotes, and skunks. Underneath bleached rocks are snakes, centipedes, and scorpions. Dig down a few feet into the soil and you find a diminishing water table.  Dig further down and you could strike oil. Overhead, the sun burns hot and the wind is dry, sometimes kicking up huge whirlwinds that we call dust devils.  Angry storms occasionally lash out with lightening, hail, and tornadoes, but most days you can look up to see the endless blue sky.  At dusk the sun exits with a splash of colors. Then night takes over and the sky fills up with a billion stars and galaxies. 

Maybe it’s not so empty inside of me, either.  When I take a moment to look behind the dull headache, I can see that my stubborn passions remain. There are still memories, music, tears, hunger, love, friendships, hatred, laughter, loneliness, sexuality, and scorn. 

Is there any courage left?  Maybe.

What about spirituality?  We’ll see.