Monday, April 23, 2018

The Waiting Is Over

When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered around Aaron and said to him, ‘Come, make gods for us, who shall go before us' . . .
Then Moses turned and went down from the mountain, carrying the two tablets of the covenant in his hands, tablets that were written on both sides, written on the front and on the back. The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved upon the tablets. 
-- Exodus 32: 1a, 15-16

Sitting, writing, watching our clothes and towels rotate in four washers in the laundromat in Jacksonville, I'm meditating on the Old Testament lesson in The Daily Office this morning.  It spoke to me.  

April dreamed of a woman (Holy Spirit) passing to a world famous prophet a box with five things written on a single piece of paper to then pass to me through a car window is what connects me to this lesson.  It connects, as well, to a word I received from a person who prayed for me at Bethel Atlanta a couple years ago - five downloads coming to me.

The Hebrew children believed Moses wasn't coming back from the mountain.  They coerced Aaron to make them an idol, a golden calf for them to worship.  They couldn't wait anymore.  They needed to get on with their spiritual focus and to be like every other nation, to worship an idol, a visible deity that didn't frighten them.  They couldn't wait anymore.

We've been waiting for years.  We actually believe we've been transitioning from a denominational mindset to our destiny in a fresh anointing for a new day promised.  Alleluia.  We've waited for Jesus to step through the battle and unlock the door we're meant to walk through.

We've waited, and, being grasped by the shoulders in worship one Saturday evening, Jesus came and turned us to face north from where we came, and where our calling directs us.

We've waited, and Jesus came again in our spirits.  April could see him walking on a path with a sword set on his right shoulder as he strolled nonchalantly.  She then felt a tap on her shoulder during worship and turned expecting to see him.  That same evening she believed she heard a voice tell her the waiting is over.  We've waited.  Now, its over.

God's wrote the ten words on both sides of the tablets.  Moses is the the one who brought them down.  He was the one meant to accomplish the task.  If they waited patiently and didn't rebel through idolatry, things might have turned differently.

In February, the single word impression, baptism, came to me during worship.  I believed a fresh baptism awaited us upon entering the new day of anointing and purpose in ministry.  

Upon reading of Jesus' baptism in Matthew several days ago, I felt the impression again.  This was our baptism.  When Jesus told John he should be baptized to fulfill all righteousness, in attending and worshiping the tree churches we have since leaving Albertville, we've fulfilled what was right, as well.  Its what were supposed to have done.  To mark our time here, we worshiped, contributed to and prayed for the three congregations.  The time has now come to move on just like it was for Jesus to begin his earthly ministry with baptism, and the Holy Spirit descending upon him.

We waited through worshiping God and loving God's people in three separate settings over four years.  We waited without surrendering and consequently diverting spiritual passions to worship an idol, to abandon a calling.  No, we waited because God is faithful.

I believe, with the waiting being over, this lesson tells me the words from God, from Holy Spirit like April's dream, are due at any time.  God wrote them in Exodus in a medium to be read, cherished and followed.  The waiting is over.  The calling is about to be manifested.  The words are due to be delivered from the hands of God.  So much is at hand right now.

The other laundromat I've frequented has grown so dilapidated.  Many of the washers and dryers are broken down.  The atmosphere is one of hopelessness and failure.  Its quite convenient for me, but there's no attraction. I know they miss our quarters.  I don't know if I'll ever return there since patronizing a much newer and pleasant laundromat. Waiting for a better option is no longer necessary.  

Monday, April 16, 2018

"Its My Turn to Fight"

Upon hearing of his decision to enter the corn, Ray looked at Terrance and asked, "Are you gonna write about it?"  Terrance without a thought, shrugged his shoulders and responded, "Of course I'm gonna write about it.  That's what I do."  Ray said in return, "Good."

 Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle 
-- Psalm 144: 1
This verse captivates my imagination every time I read it.  Fingers along with hands can be trained for battle and war.  The psalmist attributes to the Lord such preparation.  I can't imagine myself ever engaging in battle with the use of my hands as weapons; however, my use of a keyboard or a pen in journaling to record the works or words of the Lord to inspire worship or repentance could be attributed to God's training of my fingers for his purposes. 

This psalm was part of my scripture reading one day in March.  Early that same morning, I dreamed ironically of warfare and weapons.  

I was in a big office room full of desks and Facebook logos (?).  There were windows on three sides of the room.  I could see the building was nestled in a pine tree forest on the side of a mountain.  The room could have been a lecture hall, but it was full of office desks.  I was there with a man who was a colleague.  A third man was accusatory of us and our female boss.  He spoke violently toward her.  My partner told him that was enough.  He took out a magnum revolver and hit him in the forehead handle butt.  We both knew we had a legal obligation to report his violent words and hold him accountable.

My partner now looking like Al Pacino told him to sit at the desk which was at the highest level of all the desks in the room.  He told the man to type a letter of apology and explaining his inappropriate words directed toward our boss.  The man couldn't type.  He took company stationary, paused and wrote a simple message.  "I quit."  He signed it and left the room.  

The two of us grew anxious.  We gathered our things in order to leave, as well.  We were uneasy because we felt he'd seek reprisal against us as we left the building and went to the parking lot with the sun setting.  

The dream then shifted to the bottom of the mountain.  April, her mother and me rode rafts in a pool flowing off of a larger body of water.  April said we had food for breakfast but nothing after that.  Her mother said we were familiar with such circumstances, but we'd be alright.  

I then watched in my head a news report or documentary about shepherds who herded animals on that mountain.  They were admired for their work and devotion to their tasks.  The story then began to document the killing of many of the shepherds.  They were involved in a revolution. Their adversaries had shot them.  The weapons the shepherds carried were vintage World War I era rifles.

This story instilled passion in me.  I then said, "It's my turn to fight."  Ascending the mountain quickly, I possessed a machine gun which was superior weaponry than what the shepherds carried. Moving up the mountain briskly and without fatigue, I sought to engage the enemy.  I then came upon an Hispanic man in a blue checkered shirt.  I wasn't sure if he was my enemy.  He smiled at me and there the dream ended.

Now, to the interpretation.

Two days later, I had a phone conversation with someone from a church looking for a new pastor.  This was the second conversation I had with someone from that same church.  This discussion was more informative and left me more uneasy about providing this church pastoral leadership, but I wanted to honor their inquiring of my experience and interest in joining them.  The church was split and troubled and very conservative in its view of women in leadership.  As the conversation concluded, I told the person I needed to process what we discussed.  She would be indisposed over the next few weeks and was uncertain if anyone else would be in contact with me.

The next day, I knew I needed others to pray for us and any other conversations I might have with this church.  The spiritual insight I received from my friends who prayed helped greatly.  One of them believed she heard the Lord say, "Steps" regarding my prayer request.  I hadn't told either of our friends about my dream.  Steps were in the dream and added to my understanding.

The office room had many steps.  In that part of the dream, my adversary spoke violently about our female boss.  The leadership in the church thought of women as secondary citizens and incapable of providing spiritual leadership.  In the dream, I didn't openly oppose the man, but my colleague did.  I believe this symbolized that this church and its dysfunction was not my fight, and I shouldn't take it on.  

When I climbed the mountain, I climbed quickly almost as if I wasn't taking steps at all.  In the office, I followed the lead of my colleague to confront our opponent and call him to account.  It wasn't my fight.  Ascending the mountain, it was my turn to fight.  This seems to me to be apostolic.  I'm sent to take land away from adversaries for the sake of my King and to honor the loss of many shepherds (martyrs).

What am I to make of this?

The critical matter for me is the fight.  I've agreed to participate in a prayer team for a Chrysalis flight in May, and this is an opportunity for spiritual warfare, but could this be the extent of the fight?  I don't know for sure.

What I do know is if there is more understanding or revelation still to come, I feel the same way as Terrance Mann did, Of course I'm gonna write about it.  That's what I do. 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

A New Prayer for a New Year

At the close of a year and the start of a new one, I've been given something fresh to pray.

People we know have experienced in 2017 some of the worst things in life.  There are some who've experienced new and exciting opportunities.  There are even more folks who fell right in between enduring struggles while encountering gifts of grace and mercy in spirit, soul and body.  2017 has been a mixed bag for most.

As 2016 was winding down, April received a scripture as a gift and a point of focus for faith.

Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope;
    today I declare that I will restore to you double. -- Zechariah 9: 12

We grew to realize 2017 was a year of hope for us.  We were not forgotten.  By the middle of the year, April had a new and better job, and, like Jackson Browne sang years ago, we moved into our own apartment in the shade of the freeway.  Hope has been a stronghold for us, and we saw things double to our benefit.  Alleluia.

We've sensed 2018 will be a year of unique and powerful things in our lives.  Some may say its inappropriate to affirm such an optimistic viewpoint while so many suffer.  We've come to agree this is a year of faith in which we'll witness miracles and divine manifestations we've never seen before.  There's no reason not to believe such miracles and outpourings of grace and mercy from a loving heavenly Father can come to those who endure difficulties as 2017 cones to a close.  I encourage those who so readily condemn our optimism to begin to believe God is working in the circumstances of those who need what only God can provide.

Our lives in the shade of the freeway grew to be redundant as autumn led into winter.  We struggled individually to find peace and satisfaction in our work while remaining hopeful that God's plans for us could still unfold.  

One of my joys in reading scripture lessons from the Daily Office in the Book of Common Prayer is to be moved by sparks of light that emerge from the lessons that prompt me to pray in faith.  A declarative statement of what God can do or what a faith community is believing has inspired me to pray and believe the same for a friend, family member, our nation or myself.  I've also found phrases or verses that spoke honest feelings that inspired me to be equally honest with my heavenly Father, as well.

As the mundane continued unabated, I settled into praying daily one of several phrases I constructed from my reading the Psalms this fall.  I prayed, Rouse yourself, rise up and make haste to help us for we have not forgotten you.  This was often prayed from varying points of emotional awareness.  I was sometimes hope-filled in prayer and sometimes insistent with a clenched fist and jaw.  

Much to my pleasant surprise, the Lord made it known to me it was time for me to pray something else.  

One early morning as I was returning to the receiving area in my store to retrieve another pallet of produce, I glanced at a video monitor used to broadcast commercials 24/7.  The image on the screen was of a product with the name, MaraNatha.  I don't even know what kind of product it was.  What struck me was the word.  Maranatha is an ancient Christian breath pray, Lord, come.  What happened next was what left my mouth agape.

As I digested Maranatha being used as a product's name, I heard in my spirit John Michael Talbot, a Christian recording artist and Franciscan monk, singing his composition, Send Us Out. The refrain brought tears to my eyes and assurance God was still with me.

Send us out to proclaim the reign of your Kingdom.
Send us out to proclaim and to heal.
Send us out with your power and your authority
To overcome and to heal the world.
The refrain continued to bring me peace and joy for rest of my shift. When I went home to tell April of this experience and play her the song which she was not intimately familiar, something dawned on me. This is what the Lord wants me to pray now instead of calling him to arise and help us. I believed in what the words said. Come, Lord. Send us out now with your power and authority to overcome and heal the world. Now is the time.
I dreamed about a month ago of baking cornbread. My father put a pan of batter in the oven and asked me to take it out in 20 minutes (I'm not a cook). My mother was there and took it out a few minutes late. He came back and asked me if I had. I said Mom did. He looked at the pan. The bread was black along the edges and dark brown elsewhere. He touched it. It was hard, and he cussed.
When I awoke, I knew the dream meant our moving on was overdue just like the cornbread was overdone.
I write this to give testimony of what the Lord spoke to me in a language of song and visual image that I can't miss and pray a new prayer for the new year.
I also write this to encourage you to seek or expect to find or to be gifted with a new prayer to pray for the new year. A new year is automatically a new season for all of us, and with that, a new focus of our hope and faith for self and or our world.
Ask the Lord what might be a new prayer to pray this year for you. I encourage you as you pray to believe you receive it, and you shall have it. The new year is a new opportunity to believe afresh in the God who makes all things possible for the one who believes.
Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

I Want to Do What I Want to Do on Christmas

"I want to do what I want to do on Christmas."

On a podcast I listen to frequently, there was a discussion led by the host who was upset a country club in Delaware to which he's a member will be closed on Christmas.  He's Jewish, but that wasn't the heart of his argument.  He had no problem the employees of the golf course being off.  His point was the private course could be left open and members were encouraged to leave the carts where they found them, pick up after themselves and leave everything the way they left it. I was bothered by that.

What made it worse was one of the guests repeatedly said, "I want to do what I want to do on Christmas!"  It greatly bothered him stores were closed and certain services were not available on this one day of the year.  I don't know why this shocked me so.

The host being Jewish and wanting to play golf on Christmas was fine with me.  It was a shame, I guess, he planned a holiday in Rehobeth, but he couldn't look forward to playing golf on that one day of the year.  Being familiar with the host's broadcast persona, which may not be who he truly is, I knew he wants things the way he wants them how he wants them (rather Scrooge-like).  It just bugged me he kept saying it was wrong for the golf course not to be open on Christmas.

It infuriated me the guest wanting things open on that one day so he could get and do what he wanted on that one day of the year.  He sounded sincere to me.  My disdain for such a attitude was on several levels.

First, SHUT UP!  Are you a child that you want things the way you want them? If you don't, you'll threaten a tantrum?  This particular guest was a broadcast journalist probably making a minimum of six figures easily.  Poor baby can't go shopping or go out to eat one day of the year so others could spend an entire day off from work.  This brings me to the second level.

Could you just try to think about somebody else beside yourself?  There's such a disconnect between the wealthy in this society and the rank-and-file worker in this service oriented/retail based economy.  Perhaps its always been this way, and I'm more sensitive to it now because I'm one of those workers.  I listened to this podcast on the way home from a hard day at work, and these "one percenters" complained about having to put up with things being closed on Christmas. As Bruce Cockburn sang years ago, "If I had a rocketlauncher . . . "

Its fine to be wealthy and have things in your life the way you want them without hurting or dehumanizing others.  No complaint here.  This discussion about one day of the year being a nuisance because your rights to play or buy are infringed illustrate the chasm between the have and the have-nots in this society.  The "haves" have the luxury to seek and find what they want when they want it most of the time.  The "have-nots" have to earn what they can how they can and look forward to the meager amounts of relief from the daily drudgery in the form of A DAY OFF.  Have you seen A Christmas Carol lately?

Keep in mind, I believe the media created War on Christmas is ridiculous.  Christ being taken out of the public square because he offends is absurd (The church offending others is another topic). The creche having to share space with a menorah may be a reality in some communities.  Got no problem with that.  My Christian responsibility is to love, not to be prejudicial toward anyone.  Christ died for all.  God is love.  You're right, I should love the "one percenters".

I close with these last thoughts . . .

The secularization of western society is a real thing, and its a challenge for the church.  Its been relatively easy for Christianity to thrive in most of our American communities.  Angry men stepping into sanctuaries and "opening up" their semi-antomatics on children and elderly is a topic for another post (Why are people so angry and/or mentally disturbed?)

Christianity is not meant to fortify our class or racial prejudices.  Its meant to declare the good news of our God loving us so God bore our sins on himself and died the death of a blasphemer and law-breaker. Upon resurrection, the Lord then recognizes us as righteous in his eyes of love forever.  This good news is to be advanced in deeds and words, if necessary, so the world might know.  Being Christian doesn't mean we're suppose to live a privileged life of being the dominant and blessed.

The podcast caught me.  I got angry at what I heard was a prejudicial, classist world view.  Forgive me.

Finally, I simply write, have a wonderful, restful Christmas with family and friends or alone, but remember and honor those who enjoy a day off or have to work on this Christian holiday.  They may simply have to.

Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

An Incident of Joy

(Posted previously on the blog, Stronger Than Death)
As Scrooge said, Somehow or other, it came just the same.

Thursday in the Book of Common Prayer lectionary it was the Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle.  The Psalm for the day was Psalm 126.

May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.  Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves.  -- Psalm 126: 5-7 

It was a work day for me.  We've received shipments in large volumes recently.  To such a degree, we don't have enough room to stockpile it all on shelves in our storage areas.  Its been a strain on me.

Surprisingly, I got down to the next to the last pallet and found myself reciting playfully the lyrics of Winter Wonderland.  It caught me by surprise.  This has not been the week marked by spontaneous outbursts of happiness, on the contrary.  I laughed out loud and kept up the recitation.

This was an incident of joy for me.  It came upon me, even overtook me.  I'd been overtaken by the duties of labor this week.  Such prolonged drudgery would often cause perfectionism to arise in me accompanied by anger.  It isn't that I approach perfection in my work. My brand of perfectionism points me to what is required by some parental imposed standard in my soul. Such mythical expectations could never be met.  This is where the anger lies in wait. This arises when the tasks are overwhelming, and I'm physically and emotionally tired.

Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy.

This is why the joy coming upon me was so surprising.  I'd been wrestling with the anger, frustration and weariness all morning.  One might say my knowledge of nearing the end was enough to spark joy in me.  I'm not convinced.

When I found myself uttering Winter Wonderland in a playful manner I was also aware a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and my mind.  My eyes were brighter.  My energy level grew.  I was happy, happy lifting cases, happy printing inventory labels without a curse word or dark thought approaching my consciousness.  I was captured.

In a funny cartoonish accent - Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? In the lane, snow is glistening. A beautiful sight, we're happy tonight, walking in a winter wonderland.  Gone away, is the blue bird. Here to stay, is the new bird. He sings a love song, as we go along, walking in a winter wonderland.

It caught me.  It slayed me.  I was lifted and refreshed with hope.  I'd encountered grace from a heavenly Father who wanted me to know his promises to me were true.  Recently, a prophet had declared over me I'd be branded with joy.  Yesterday was a taste of what grace can do through joy.  It comes as a gift not warranted by good behavior or perfection accomplished.  In Daddy's eyes, I'm already perfect.  Joy blanketed me with love.  Its an incident only God can orchestrate.

Gracious joy does not make itself known by virtue of accomplishments or perfect thinking or believing.  Gracious joy comes to the world by virtue of a heavenly Father that loves the world so much.  The Lord wants to make himself known even surprisingly.

May joy come to you in surprises, in gifts, in weights lifted, grace experienced.  You are loved.

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Unless the Lord Writes . . .

Unless the Lord builds the house,
    those who build it labor in vain.

Unless the Lord guards the city,

    the guard keeps watch in vain. - Psalm 127: 1

God seeks covenant partnership with us, partnering with his will and way.  Are we to partner with God in building the house?  That's the question. Then, we ask, "Who's house and why?"

For us, its learning what it is for the Lord to build the house, guard the city, and what it is to partner with the Lord. 

Is it predominantly hearing his voice?

I know what it is to take the lead, initiate the action, follow my heart first.  I know what it is to labor in vain.  I know what it is to be rescued by a merciful hand and what it is not to be.  

On my way home from work yesterday, I listened to a live album of Bob Dylan.  There came a rendition of Like a Rolling Stone.  Back in my youth, it was the first Dylan song that touched my soul. 

How does it feelHow does it feel
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

I'm so familiar with it I'd compare it to an old pair of jeans.  Nothing could compare to the comfort of wearing them.

As I sang or spoke along with Bob, something was stirring up within me.  It was an artistic feeling, a creative arousal associated with writing.  I'm not a painter or sculpture or cinematographer, but I've felt the calling to document feelings, impressions, testimonies and encounters.  The artistic bent arose in me again yesterday as I listened to a favorite song.  Its hard to describe.  I venture to say what is growing in me artistically is a kinship to how I feel about Like a Rolling Stone.

As I slipped into the comfort of this pair of pants metaphorically, I sensed my personal history with this song, the joy of singing it, and a familial linkage between it and what will yet come forth in the future from my calling to write.  This may not make sense.  It may even sound boastful or arrogant, but the song has a sibling-like connection to me.  What has yet to emerge in my writing but is embryonic within me feels like family to Dylan's piece.

Putting Psalm 127 in the story, which was the evening psalm yesterday in The Daily Office, it dawned on me the significance last evening of that first verse and my emerging creative sense.

Unless the Lord builds the house, the labor is in vain.

The irony of this verse in light of my experience can only be attributed to the work of the Holy Spirit.

I've known for quite a while my writing will only be what its meant to be if it is surrendered to our God who inspires how I express myself on paper and computer.

Unless the Lord builds the house, the labor is in vain.

My ability in expression is limited.  My writing has not matched the work of those of far less life experience but much more skill.  Simply said, I can't compete.  My business isn't to compete but to follow the inspiration and the passion and labor accordingly.

Psalm 102: 18-22 is the keystone to it all, and anything I compose must first be measured in how close it comes to fulfilling the mission in those verses:  write what will inspire praise for God who will first and foremost set the captive free.

The Lord does not mystically guide my hand in writing like so many have imagined the authors of the biblical record composed scripture.  The Lord building this house has been done and will continue to do it through inspiration and passion evoked out of me.

What is to come, I believe, will be of God's building.  I'm a partner with the Father in what will yet be composed, built, created.

I thank you, great God, for your gifts of grace and mercy in these days.

Build what you want in and through me.

Guard what you build.  I trust you first,  Alleluia.


Monday, October 9, 2017

I Know Your Heart (Send In the Clowns)

You speak to me in languages I understand.

When the Lord communicates to me in words, notes, impressions I value, I've come to trust it is God speaking.  The Lord loves me and speaks to me in media I get, frequencies I receive.  If its in forms I don't get, I'll have to pursue such.  I'm trying to keep my eyes and ears open so I can be healed.  Alleluia.

One night last week at the banana table in the grocery area in the store where I work, Ronnie, one of the vendors who I prayed for and declared words over a couple weeks ago, approached me.  He told me how much he appreciated my prayer and prophetic declaration I voiced over him another night at a Walmart in Anniston.  He'd been having a hard day.  The word was on the mark and helped him a lot find peace and hope.  I was thrilled he told me and experienced what he did.  I told him I was glad.

During my shift, bits and pieces of one of my favorite Bob Dylan songs floated around in my head.  I never bit the hook and recollected the whole song in my soul like I do so often when something triggers my mind to cite a piece I know.

The shift ended, I headed for the car, tapped my Spotify app and started the shuffle play function on my oldies play list.  The song that floated in my mind started to play through the car's speakers, Desolation Row.

I've known this song like an old friend since I first heard it in the '80s.  I sang along with Bob as I drove home, and it made me smile.  Amidst the music and lyrics filling the car, I came to a relevant discovery that evening.  I was loved by God.

Ronnie came to me out of the blue and thanked me, telling me how much my prayer meant to him on his long, tough day when I was simply moved by compassion when I saw him in Anniston.  I'd been bating around phrases and lyrics from a familiar song at work.  I then clicked the shuffle play button on a 55 song playlist and the same song in my soul played immediately.  I'm sorry, but I believed our God spoke to me in a language I value.  By so doing, I knew I was loved by Ronnie's testimony and a song from Bob.

As DR neared conclusion, I considered reaching for my phone to strike pause on Spotify.  I couldn't do any better than that, but curiosity convinced me to wait and see what song would crossfade into my hearing.

My mood was inspired.  Another song could ruin it.  Perhaps, God would not speak to me in the next cut.  That would be OK, but ya never know.

I let the song begin.  DR was a joy from my young adult years.  It was like a gift to hear it in random fashion.  My Father knew what would please me.  I'm loved.  The second song, a live performance, I found on a suggested album.  It's beautiful rendition and a classic and quite a surprise when it began.  Send In the Clowns performed by Judy Collins.  It came as a surprise like a gift.

I've considered the thought of admitting I was in a faith crisis these days without acknowledging it.  DR was an old friend coming to my door, coming in and giving me a hug.  Send In the Clowns is not a song I'm familiar with, though beautiful and melancholy.   Its more mature, more serious, and more to the point of how I've felt these recent weeks.  It was as if I opened the gift wrapping and found a panting of a still life scene that left me speechless as if God told me, "This is how you feel.  I know your heart."

"Where are the clowns?  Send in the clowns."

These lyrics depict a relationship of lovers going in different directions.  I've felt maybe I'm missing God; maybe he's somewhere I'm not.

Where are the clowns?  Send in the clowns.  I'm waiting and hopeful for the child-like frivolity and unbridled joy of days past as I trusted what God had promised us to return.  The clowns symbolize the carefree air of a relationship with God that was fun and silly and without restraint.  I long for it.  Where is it?  Daddy God, where have you gone? Where am I?

"And, where are the clowns?  There ought to be clowns.  Well (Jeff), maybe next year."

He caught me.  God set me up with a gift of simple love in knowledge of what I value followed by a word from one adult to another and conveying a knowledge of how I feel that words can't adequately express. 

Send In the Clowns conveys the feeling of separation I know these days from God, but my Lord still spoke to me.  That evening at work it was told to me through a testimony, an old song like an old friend and a surprising piece of music as a gift how close to me God really is.

My Lord knows me and heard me.  The Lord loves me and speaks to me in a language I understand. Despite my feelings, the Lord is not ashamed of me.  It was important for the Lord to say that to me.

Yes, my Lord can be trusted still.  Alleluia.