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The Measuring 

I was standing in a line. To my right, I saw an endless amount of people also standing. Same thing to my left.

If you can imagine a fence with faces, it will help you to see what I saw.

Only this fence was made up of people who were all different heights. Some were so tall you couldn’t see their faces and some were so short you might have missed seeing them altogether. The rest of us were everywhere in between .

We were all just standing there not knowing why when I saw a couple of people coming and standing in front of individuals in line. They would stand there for a minute or two, laugh uncontrollably, then move on to another person in the fence, leaving the one behind in tearful, loud cries.

I thought to myself that this must be a shaming of sorts. So much laughter from the two coming and going. Profuse tears from the fence with faces. I began to fear the two would come my way.

As soon as the fear came, they turned toward me.

Oh shit.

I turned away. I no more blinked my eyes and they were before me. I stared at my feet. I could hear all the weeping going on in their wake and wanted to run away, but found myself unable.

Then I heard my name.

And almost fainted.

“Michelle. You are experiencing the measuring.”

Shit, I knew it! I know who I am, what I’ve done. This is going to hurt. I could feel tears coming. I was told to lift my eyes, at which command, I did do.

The two stood together in front of me and I noticed they were glowing — one so much so he looked like just a glob of yellow light. The other was smiling at me.

What the? I felt somewhat calmer — yet, still afraid of the voice, the words I was about to hear, the shaming I knew was coming…

Michelle,” — again, I felt as though I would faint — I couldn’t turn away though, even if I wanted to. I seemed planted. The one speaking had something in his hand. He opened it and in his palm was yet another glowing man. Full grown, but the size of a pixie rose. He was comfortably sitting there smiling too.

Okay, this is almost unbelievable.

Almost.

He put the little man down in front of my feet and stretched him upward, until he was just my height, like he was a measuring tape.

And then I saw his face!

The one speaking said, “You have been measured and found lacking NOTHING at all!” He could hardly get the words out for laughing.

Then I got the uncontrollable giggles, and could barely catch my breath. Tears were streaming down my face and I found myself wailing loudly in laughter with them — as had all the others.

…………………….

(photo credit: Pixabay) 

Note: originally published in The Weekly Knob on Medium.com – a writing prompt group. As soon as I saw the prompt “measuring tape” this happened. 

Sweet 

They taste sweet to him, you know.

All lack, disease, death… they are his to eat. Not ours.

His joy is in devouring our plague. Have your fill, Lord.

He gives us himself to eat – the bread of life. 

Humble meal.

Requires us to be still.

Take, eat.

Take, be fed.

Like baby birds.

Sweet.

…………………….

(photo credit: Pixabay)

Make-up Remover 

Life had mostly been a bitch to her. 

She lay on her back, unable to cry anymore. The frilly, white lace pillow sham had countless hollow eyes, like hers. 

“There, there.” A voice like a grandmother came into the room, followed directly by a person. 

She was too exhausted to be startled by it and lay still, seeing. 

The person had a damp napkin the color of crimson and patted her forehead with it. “Let’s get this beautiful face cleaned up, hmm?”

There was so much comfort emanating from the grandmother person that she closed her eyes and floated on the verge of sleep. 

She could feel the cooling damp cloth patted across her forehead, and down and around her face, “I remove the foundation of fear and give you peace. Now the eyes, I remove the darkness painted around them, the edging of terror. Now the lips, I remove the blood red stain of stolen guilt. Now the nose and ears, I remove damaging leadership and dangling pride.” 

She could feel relief being laid upon her like as a blanket and with each pause, another blanket.

The person began gently brushing her hair. “I remove the tangles of years and recent moments passed, child.”

She then felt a hand holding hers and no more words.

…………………….

(photo credit: Pixabay)

And A One… 

​If I think we are not in the same place, you and I will forever be caught in an exhausting do-si-do. 

Tired of the dance, tired of the performance, embarrassed by my awkward moves and ill-fitting shoes that always point to you and your exhausted self too.

Sitting this one out. 

Religious dance marathon…over.

……………………

(photo credit: Google search “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?”)

Father’s Day 

​Our Father, who is in heaven and on earth, yes in all of creation, above and below, hallowed is your name. 

Your kingdom is blatantly surfaced, the will of your heart is being done, on earth as it is in heaven, for there is no separation. 

Thank you for giving us our daily bread – Jesus, the bread of life, the Savior before the world was formed. 

And thank you for forgiveness at every turn; already done. 

Thank you that you don’t lead us into temptation and never have, yet you deliver us from evil. 

For thine is the kingdom of peace and all grace, to which there is no end. 

Thank you that yours is the kingdom, the power, the glory in us; Christ…your heart…in us…your heart…forever and ever.

Tasted

​Flat-liner

Take your first breath

God-forsaken

Already died your death
Already coughed your cough

Already endured your pain

Already limped your limp

Already bled your veins
Flesh-wound

Marrow-minded

Soul-split cry
Take my yoke upon you

You don’t have to die
Eat my flesh, drink my blood

Give me what is mine
I died for you, as you

Together, we do dine
I eat your plague

And feed you Life
Trees walking in the distance

How’d you know, being blind?
Now you see clearly

Through my own eyes
Given to you freely

Humble flat-line

…………………….

(photo credit: Pixabay)

Minus Religion 

child-2086910_1920

 

​The child was sent away by religion but Jesus said bring him to me. The child rested in Jesus’ lap. Jesus laid his hands on the child, blessing him without speaking a word.

Can you see it? A little boy, dirty from little boy adventures, rambunctious, barefooted and running up to Jesus, happy?

Then dejected as the religious gripped his shoulders with spiny fingers, pushing him out.

Then feeling most important when those same fingers are forced to give him back to Jesus.

Climbing on top of Jesus’ knees, feeling so accepted, and then those arms wrapping around him. The best hug ever.

His dirty face looking into the face of God’s heart. Can you see that little kid smile? Maybe he traced Jesus’ chin, maybe they wrestled in play for a bit, maybe Jesus kissed his cheeks and nose and forehead and ears and fingers and rocked him, maybe he swung him high in the air or round and round.

Kingdom way.

…………………….

(photo credit: Pixabay)

In 

​In placing the full armor of God onto all creation, we honor its Maker and the finished work of Jesus: Grace. 

(helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, belt of Truth, shoes of peace, shield of faith, sword of the Spirit)

In doing this, we count all creation worthy, just as he does. 

Take a knee.

In this, death is swallowed up.

Well Enough 

She’d had enough of his bullshit and he’d had enough of her not falling for it anymore. Wasn’t that long ago they’d found each other amongst the other men and women who also had been searching. 

But it already felt like they’d been together too long, that’s for sure. Her passion died out on a whim, it seemed. That and his intolerance for mind games constrained any thoughts of reconciliation. 

But here they were, stuck together anyway with nowhere else to go. Actually, there were plenty of places, but neither wanted to risk going through it again – you know, the high of connection and then the long low of sticking with it. 

They were tired.

One day, seemingly on the same day, they both settled for what they had. Settled for less than they’d dreamed it could be. Settled for each other – as is.

And you know what? It was kind of beautiful. 

……………………

(copyright 2017 Kelly Hood) 

(photo credit: Pixabay) 

Okay 

Willy always road a few minutes ahead of his friends. This day was no different except his friends saw the car that didn’t see him. His motorcycle lay crumpled in the street. Willy too.

He lay in the hospital ten days, then got up in glory. I was in a different town, almost two hundred miles away, not accepting the news that he had passed away. I was yelling at him to get up in Jesus’ name through tears and snot and flailing hands. 

All of the sudden, he’s standing next to me. He looked like a holographic image. His arms were folded like a playfully adamant child. He speaks four words to me:

“I don’t want to!” (with the inflection on the word ‘want’) and shrugs his shoulders up and down real fast and non-chalantly. 

He was happy and unmangled, better than I’d ever seen him before. Tangible peace radiated from him. He smiled at me some more for a moment and then vanished. 

I sat down, my tears having involuntarily stopped as soon as he appeared. I didn’t know what to think. I still don’t. 

That was almost two years ago and is a very true account. 

I often look at the spot where he appeared to me that day on my back porch. Sometimes it feels like it just happened; others, it seems so long ago. 

One thing’s for sure – I know he’s okay. 

…………………….

(copyright 2017 Kelly Hood)