Soaring upon Broken Wings; Becoming Whole


A slight tingling began atop her toes traveling through her limbs, sinews, until each cell was humming with life. The faint sound of clear water dancing happily over and under rocks, limbs, and around bends tickled her ears tempting her to open her eyes. Automatically, her body took a long deep breath filling her lungs with a lightly sweet, clear breath embracing her taste buds with a delectable blend of honey and roses. A sigh releases the air she had claimed as her own.

Willing her eyelids to lift seemed to be a herculean effort causing confusion and a host of inner questions. Her first attempt was met with brilliance so overwhelming she closed her eyes tighter than before. She decided to allow her other senses to communicate to her instead. Beneath her she felt a sun-warmed, soft bed of what her nose identified as tender new grass shoots. Outstretching her arms upon the surface, she concluded she must be lying in a field and not just a bed made from fresh grass. As she slowly caressed the immediate landscape she observed the absence of pebbles, roots, insects or other debris that might have marred her rest area.

A warm honeysuckle breeze danced over her frame causing a slight shiver. It was not cold but the wind skipped atop her skin as if it were trying to encourage her to proceed ever further in her exploration. Softly, slowly the sunbeams kissed her skin bringing color to her cheeks. The rapid beat of hummingbird wings combined with song birds, chirping chipmunks, and the splash of jumping fish soothed her ears. She wanted this moment to last forever as she had never felt such sensations in all her lived long life.

Raising her hand to her eyes she made a second attempt to view the world around her. Gradually her vision began to adjust to the brilliance. It was not a moment too soon as her curiosity had worked itself into a frenzy. At first, the light was so bright that she considered for a moment that the space she occupied was devoid of all color and definition. The adjustment was agonizingly slow but shapes and colors eventually began to come into focus. She was indeed in a field of new grass hemmed in by large evergreens creating an alcove of sorts. Flowers, animals, song birds, and large colorful butterflies among other creatures shared the pristine patch of creation with her. They seemed to be absent of all fear of her and of each other.

Although she considered herself well-versed, the awe inspiring beauty in which she found herself defied description. Still in a reclined position, she found herself looking up into the large brown eyes of a new fawn. A broad smile graced her countenance while the joy she felt bubbled out in the form of a giggle. The fawn cocked his head in wonder at the strange creature that had suddenly arrived in this blessed habitat. Long graceful lashes batted toward her as if the small creature were encouraging her to move. She slowly pushed herself up into a sitting position then froze as if struck by lightning. Two bright blue butterflies with yellow spots were performing a clumsy but intricate ballet within her field of vision but her mind was racing with another thought so overwhelming that she was not able to fully appreciate the pair.

What just happened? Her mind demanded. She returned to a laying position and searched the sky for familiar markers but all she could see was light. No sun, no clouds, no horizon only light. Her breathing became rapid now as she repeated the action of sitting up and lying down in quick succession. Each time she accomplished the task her smile became ever broader until she was squealing with delight. With her last sit-up she followed through to a standing position. It happened with such ease that she was certain this all must be a glorious dream and began thanking her Father for this precious gift.

Looking down for the first time, she noticed she was adorned with a light flowing shift made of the softest gossamer that just tickled the top of her feet. When her inspection reached her hands she took a sharp breath. They were not swollen, red, or disfigured. She flexed them with ease and tears began to accumulate as her bodily survey continued. Nothing was swollen, no sores, and her skin was perfect! None of her digits were bent askew making them unusable; no pain raced throughout her body…no pain. Her hands flew to her head where she found a full head of hair flowing down her back. Her hands lingered in her locks as the welled tears flowed freely from their pools. Without hesitation she ran to the creek, knelt down, and peered into the crystal water. Her thick wavy hair tumbled forward framing her face. The reflection revealed a beautiful woman without blemish. So foreign was this reflection that she turned around quickly to see who was standing over her but the space was occupied by family of rabbits happily munching on clover.

Almost afraid to look upon the reflection again for fear it would be different, she hesitated to return her gaze back toward the glassy pool of water. She chided herself for wasting time in this wonderful dream and returned her attention to a reflection she had to admit to be her own. None of the scars the disease had created were there, no, her skin was so smooth and soft that it felt as if it were a newborn’s skin. Her tongue raced back and forth across her teeth making her smile ever greater. They were all there, perfect, white and shining back through her tear glazed eyes. While growing up she only allowed herself to believe that she had three features that she could consider beautiful, her hair, her eyes, and her teeth. When the ailments and medications attacked them, distorted them and caused their eventual loss, she felt truly hideous in the eyes of mankind. Of course, the skin ulcerations completed the package of ‘monster’ in her eyes. Not only did she not think of herself as a real woman any longer but she barely felt human.

But this…this was not possible…this was amazing, for she was beautiful, she was whole, without blemish. Could this be how she would have existed if creation had not been broken by sin? Could this vision before her be who God sees when he looks upon her?

While these realizations filled her with the utmost joy and thanksgiving her second conclusion blew her away.

“There is no pain…, no…pain but how can this be?”

she marveled as she recounted all the movements she had just performed without giving any of them a second thought. She just thought about them and did it without hesitation or a “game plan” to complete them as per her usual routine.

“No pain? No Pain? No Pain! No Pain!” She cried aloud while jumping up and down in sheer and utter delight.

Born with a chronic pain-filled progressive disease, the woman had never known a single moment where pain had not accompanied her upon her journey. Is this really how other people wake up every day? This is amazing, stupendous, miraculous…yes…it …is….miraculous! Yet, it went far beyond the absence of physical pain. Her heart that had been bruised, crushed, destroyed and reconstructed on multiple occasions did not hurt. There was an absence of sadness. In fact, the very concept of pain was beginning to fade from her recollection as her being absorbed the reality of the world around her.

“Please, Lord, let this be more than a dream. I am sorry to be greedy and ask this of you after you have gifted me such a glorious dream but this is too wonderful from which to awake!” She cried in earnest to her Heavenly Father.

The breeze stilled and the creatures silenced their musings as she felt a presence there with her. It was not menacing but it was quite powerful. Trembling a bit, she slowly turned instantly recognizing the lamb standing before her. She fell to her knees and worshiped him and thanking him for this glorious gift. His hand encompassed hers bringing her to a standing position.

“My child, you are home. Your work is complete and now you are finally home. Your body is perfect, without illness, without pain, without a single symptom of a creation broken. This is not a dream child. This, my dear daughter, is eternity and it is with a glad heart that I welcome you to dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
_____________________________________________________________________________________

To all my friends and family who are broken in some manner,

Remember, this is not your home. You were put here to do a job and when that job is complete, the Father will bring you home so do not despair in the pain and sorrow of today. Do not overly grieve for loved ones who have gone home, for they have earned their reward and are enjoying eternity. After all, it is not good-bye, not really because we will be reunited. Pain is the weapon of Satan because he knows if he weakens us then buries us with troubles our spirits will weaken and our faith may die. Nothing would please him more.
However, have fair warning, if you choose not to follow God’s plan for your life and never start or complete the job he created you for that will not preclude you from death. It will only mean that you wasted your life delaying the healing of creation, for the Father will create another to do the job you were supposed to do.

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Strength within Loss


Predawn air saturated
with tiny water droplets
hang about my frame.

Cool moisture dances upon
my skin sending a chill
throughout my body.

The moon sets as the
sun awakens providing
an ethereal pale silver and
yellow glow all about me.

Inhaling deeply, I taste the
moisture upon my tongue and
I know this is part of you.

I close my eyes allowing the
sounds of the new day to awaken
my soul. Song birds signal to
all of creation; begin the
intricate dance.

I smile, hearing your words
whisper to my soul.
“Ohh, my dear how beautiful
this is, how magnificent!”

Your strong, loving arms encircle
my waist as you deliver tender
kisses to my neck and shoulder.
Our fingers interlace and I
feel your lifeblood coursing
through the steady thrum
of your pulse.

The serenade of birds
is joined by
the life sounds of
the woodland creatures.

The sun commands
the withdrawal of
the moisture laden
atmosphere
charging it with
warmth. A shiver
makes my body tremble
as the transition
from night to day begins.

My beloved moves his hands
to gently cup my breasts.
He speaks soft words of love
as the wind delivers
each to my ear. I grasp
his embrace with intensity
as if my strength could
command him to stay.

Leaning into him, I borrow
his strength and he gently nuzzles
my neck. It is fruitless
but I must ask…as I do
every morning…

“Beloved, please stay…
hold me tightly,
never let me go
or let me come
with you.”

Our fingers interlace
with greater intensity.
A tear escapes
traveling a well worn path.

“My darling, my beloved, I dwell in
your beautiful heart and linger in your
sweet memories.” His words
are carried on the breeze.
Kissing my tear away he whispers,
“I hunger to taste your lips,
to feel my body against yours.
Please do not cry, beloved.
You must be strong until
we can be together
once more. “

The heat of the sun
chases away the wispy
clouds encircling my body.
As its rays traveled up my body
his embrace weakened until
his last whisper settled upon
my heart.
“I love you my darling,
forevermore.”

Opening eyes brimming with tears
I will them not to fall. I must be strong
, for the love of my sweet prince
fills my heart. I will do my best
to honor your memory through my
love and compassion toward others.

I will keep fighting against the night
and your love will be my everlasting
shield and sword. I will not fall to
he who would delight at my
destruction.

Nay, I will
win this day and the next
and then the one after that
until there is no more suffering
and pain in this broken creation.

To my last breath,
until we hold one another
I will be strong.

The Fragile Strength of Hope


       Looking forward in your life, making plans for the future, or working and sacrificing to realize a dream takes a great deal of

courage. Why, because one has to hope and that is a terribly fragile concept. Hope causes us to take a step into the unknown holding

tightly to the desire for a good outcome. We are willing to face whatever pain lies ahead as long as our hopes can be realized in the

future. This, hope, can have enduring longevity due to its stubborn trans-generational characteristic. Hope is said to keep the “idea”

alive. What that idea is matters little except to the person or persons possessing it or offering it as a “truth”. Some put their hope in

their own abilities, intelligence, or talents certain they can secure their future thru hard work and diligence. While many others put their

hopes in another human being, which is a very dangerous endeavor because there are no knights in shining armor waiting to rescue

you and you shouldn’t expect there to be. Humans are increasingly and perfectly fallible; therefore, to put one’s hope in a person is to

set oneself up for disappointment and pain. That does not negate the need to hope and pray the person can work with you to achieve

a common goal. Yet the key to success is your active and vigorous participation in finding or creating the solution to your problem.

         Hope is a word thrown around in casual conversation by people from all walks of life. It may be uttered by a person hoping to get

the new upgraded phone gadget or another wondering if they should dare hope that they can find food for their children today. The

devout of any religion put their hope in a higher being, God, which provides something they hunger for with profound desperation. We

must find purpose and meaning for our lives and for our role on Earth. The stockbroker hopes his or her market predictions will

become reality so they can evolve into an invaluable commodity to all who have money to dabble or invest heavily. Millions of teens

hope they will get to meet, date, or even marry the current pop idol of the decade while others hope they are making the right decision

to give their child up for adoption or abort him or her.

       I  dreamed of “making it”, using the world’s definition, one day hoping that my hard work and perseverance would bring my hopes

to fruition but I am almost back to where I started when it comes to my socioeconomic standing. Unfortunately, I have felt the

reverberation of too many doors being slammed in my face. In fact, every good thing I have ever attempted in my life has soured.

Leaving behind an acrid taste of failure coupled with an overwhelming degree of injustices. Life is difficult for everyone in many

different ways even if it appears otherwise. We all carry scars that we have accumulated along the way and the baggage we drag

around with us filters our view of life and our relationships with others. Some have an abundance of resources to ride over, plow

through, or avoid most obstacles in their path but they must all be traversed in some manner at one time or another. These folks with

worldly wealth and/or fame will feel profound emptiness at some point because material gain means very little when your soul is empty

and all you have become is a commodity.

      We have choices and the one that is by far the most difficult is the one requiring the traveler to continue to hope. Nothing less than

a Herculean effort is needed to get back up and try again after the hundredth, thousandth, or even the millionth time of being knocked

off the path by hardships, sickness, or heartaches. We have a choice to get up each time we land in a ditch or we can passively allow

their foot falls to crush us. Oh, I know how incredibly appealing it is to permit that to happen and be done with the pain but I guarantee

you that no one’s purpose is to be trod upon by another. Alternatively, we can claw our way back up and try navigating over the next

chasm or climb the next mountain. If we choose, we can sit upon the precipice of that chasm or at the base of that next mountain and

weep in despair. I’ve done both many times and I am certain I will do so again. There does exist a time to mourn, to suffer the loss of a

dream, a person, our health even and that is okay as long as we do not stay stuck there in that misery. I’ve even contemplated

throwing myself into the gaping chasm of despair allowing the pain and heartache to consume my being so as not to feel again.

      Pain is a certainty. Everyone will have it and whether it is emotional, spiritual, physical, or psychological holds no relevance

whatsoever. You see, the playing field is leveled when it comes to this factor because no one can escape it regardless of wealth of

spirit, character, or resources. Some of us choose to bury ourselves in whatever numbing agent we fancy while others make it their life

mission to make the world pay for their pain. The only decision that really matters during these moments in life is what you do with it

and how you allow it to shape you, your present and your future. It is so attractive to let your heart harden and begin blocking

everyone and everything out when you are enduring the pain. We either dash the fragile strands of hope unto the rocks or we nurture

it by refusing to let go of it. Hope can be terribly fragile and yet we set it up against impossible odds expecting it to withstand the

onslaught of mankind’s cruelty, disdain and apathy. The biggest mistake we make in those moments is to hope for a positive change

but then do little or nothing to help facilitate it. Hope is not a passive idea. Indeed, hope must be fed in order for it to grow strong and

infectious. In a creation that is full of imperfect people, including yours truly, it is guaranteed we are going to make little and big

mistakes causing ourselves and others to stumble and fall. Yes, hope is a fragile strength when we do not feed it but make that move,

take that step, reach out to help another up out of despair and you will be amazed at how quickly hope will become impenetrable. Hope

is not a concept meant for trivialities, no, hope is meant to become your armor against the onslaughts that will come. The moment you

stop accepting the world’s definition of success, is the beginning of your understanding of the hidden strength of hope. Although, my

life has not turned out how I hoped it would I am exactly where I am meant to be and my hope today is to make a difference in

someone’s life so they can make a positive difference in another’s life and so on. Hope may be fragile but it holds innate power waiting

for fertile ground. Examine your life then define your hopes and dreams making certain that they are inclusive of others because your

goal may not be the one you are meant to reach; instead, put your energies into reaching the one you were always meant to have.

You will likely be surprised by the goal you eventually reach because it will have morphed into something more than you could have

imagined. However, you must be malleable, you must be open, and you must have the strength to accept that you will be knocked off

your path, repeatedly, but you have the resolve to get up every time and find another way. Hope is always there even if you have only

slender threads of it holding you together. There have been times in which I have felt myself grasping in desperation to the frayed

edges of hope but I never let go even though every atom in my body and mind told me it was folly to hold unto it but I did and now it

and my faith has grown stronger and deeper. Each time you choose not to stay down your armor of hope gets stronger. Make the

choice; get up because your purpose here has not yet been fulfilled.

 

Tina Blackledge