Rapture 2011

20 05 2011

I’m not a prophet, but the end of the world is here.

Tomorrow, May 21, 2011, is the day Jesus will come back according to Harold Camping, and the world will be destroyed five months later.  Some have spent crazy amounts of money helping to spread the news so that no one gets left behind.

Most people familiar with the Bible know there is a verse in which Jesus states that no one knows the hour or day when time will end except Father God in heaven.  So it seems more than a little presumptuous that any minister of the Word of God would be bold enough to name a time.  More than a little!

However, think a little longer with me about this.

Walk down a theater ramp, suspend your disbelief, and listen to the movie theme rising as the house lights dim.  About 15 minutes into the show disaster erupts and people are dying all over the place without a hero in sight.  Tension builds as plot lines intersect until the climax, when civilization is rescued (just barely) by an average guy who cares so much about those in harm’s way, he takes on almost super-human strength and qualities.  An emotional domestic scene wraps up the loose ends as lovers, and former enemies, put pettiness behind them for what truly matters.

Now step back into reality with me, trading daylight for the imposed darkness.  A little shift has occurred in my mind and heart; I am not the same as I was before I entered the theater.  How about you?

So, what if tomorrow is our last day together?  How would that change today?  What pettiness would become unimportant, and what priorities would become clear as metaphorical dust settles in slow motion through sunrays?  Statistically, a pretty big group of people will exit life’s theater tomorrow into eternal reality.  I could be in that group.  So could you.

Dates and equations, histrionics and drama aside, maybe Rev. Camping isn’t as crazy as everyone is saying he is.  And maybe I am a prophet.


Living Reality

16 05 2011

Praying outside changes everything for me.  For one thing I’m usually walking, and that makes it hard to fall asleep.  Not that prayer is boring, but when I’m sitting in the dark with my eyes closed, my heart rate slows, and I begin to relax… until I suddenly jerk myself awake with a snort.  Those around me snicker, and I want to crawl under the brand new olefin-upholstered chairs.  Instead I go outside the walls.

Outside the air contains no polymer vapors.  Even walking alongside exhaust fumes from the heavy traffic, I feel the freshness scrubbing my insides clean of closed up dankness.  My soul prays faster.  (Is it possible to have a prayer speed?)  “Scrub out the insides of my heart; replace it with the fresh wind of your Spirit for Your breath gives me life; carry me along into the fast lane of your will and get me off my comfortable behind; send your Spirit to wash over me like the rocks in this brook carrying away my bad attitude and frustrations that act like the quicksand that almost sucked me; and let me run – run and jump and dance and twirl like the leaves blowing ahead of me as I sing your praises that reach past the clouds holding back the sun into Your holy presence,” my heart gasped for breath.  Because there was more.  Much more that came tumbling out like lilacs so heavy with fragrance, the alabaster vase tipped over and broke, spilling their scent freely and profusely everywhere.

I stopped suddenly, captivated, during a break in the traffic while the leaves fluttered to earth in a slow motion lull as I prayed, taking in the cemetery across the street.  In the momentary stillness I heard a chorus praying with me.  Not audible voices, and not all saying the same words, but praise rising.  Not from the rocks (I was praising Him, so they had to be silent), but from the gravestones.

Many of those whose bodies are buried in the secluded glens across the road are singing in the presence of the Most High God, not needing to catch their breath as I now caught mine.  Through the quick temporal crack, I worshiped with them, inspired by their deafening inaudible song and encouraged by their present reality.

Praying outside changes me.

What I Want for Mothers’ Day

6 05 2011

-A letter to retailers*

The 20-pound newspaper from last Sunday just landed in the recycling bin with a louder thud than I expected. The volume of ads the weekend before Mothers’ Day is second only to the stack in the Thanksgiving weekend paper.  “What mom really wants!” and “She will love you for this!” brought out a cynic-dragon from under my maternal skin.

“What makes you an expert on me, Retail Establishment?” I leered back at the ads loudly clamoring for my attention.  “How do you know I need a solar-powered crystal hummingbird with color-changing LEDs?  Do you think a family birthday bracelet made of authentic imitation gems will make my day perfect?”  (I am not making any of this up!)  A box of pink tools won’t make me feel special, either.  I like tools, and I know how to use them.  “Pink handles with a touch of bling” is just pain insulting.

Can I let you in on a huge non-retail-friendly secret?  Can I tell you what most moms really and honestly want for Mothers’ Day?  You most likely don’t want to know, and you don’t want the word to get out, because it will not be good for your bottom line.  I’m just an ordinary blogger, however, so my small voice in the vast cyber-sea of com- munication probably won’t make the slightest difference at cash registers this weekend.  But this is my blog, and I have something to say on the subject.

What I want for Mothers’ Day

I want to know I’ve made a difference- that the small and large sacrifices I make are worth it and appreciated.  And I appreciate a small sacrifice on this special holiday, something from the heart, something that costs more than cash.   I’d like to be a little spoiled or pampered on Sunday, but extravagance and over-the-topness is hard to take, especially if Mothers’ Day and my birthday are the only days I know you think of me.   A handmade card scrawled with crayon letters made with chubby fingers trumps the flowery Hallmark $8.50 version hands down, and an FTD vase of 24 long-stemmed roses doesn’t compare with a paper cup of smashed dandelions, even when the giver has long-since grown up.

A slow-pace, free from stress and drama, will make my day sweet.  That probably means we won’t be standing in line at noon for a fancy buffet.  Peanut butter and jelly served to me with an ear-to-ear grin while I have my feet up will be lovely, followed by a walk around the block (to work off the fat in the pbj!) with fun conversation and our happy Border Collie, Lizzie.  And we always make new memories with lots of laughter when we watch a slide show or home video, or take a scrapbook trip into the past.

I am an ordinary girl with simple tastes.  Other moms may enjoy adding to your profit margin, but please understand when you don’t see my family in line at a cash register this weekend.  We’ll be enjoying each other and sharing with my husband’s and my mom how special they are to us.

* My family does VERY well in making my Mothers’ Day special.

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