Tag Archives: God

Soil or thorns?

Warning: A very long and crappily-written whine sits below. I’m not sure if “crappily” is really a word, but there’s a first time for everything.

I was reading an essay from on Bible.com talking about how to know if you’re ready for the Second Coming. I don’t normally think about the Second Coming at all (which the article said wasn’t a good thing), but I thought of it because there was a “blood moon” last night-a lunar eclipse that made the moon look blood-red. I’m not sure how that happens, but that’s not really important. I’m not sure I’m ready, or if it’s really something I should think about.

Anyway, I got to a part about soils, which reminded me of the parable of the seed sower…some fell among the rocks (didn’t take root at all), some in the thorns (that took root but it wasn’t very deep and could easily be removed), others fell into the fertile soil, took root, and grew. There was a point in my life that I would have considered myself one of the seeds in the soil…hungry for the presence of God, devout in public and in private, taking root and growing. For the past few years, however, I’ve felt like a “thorn”. Or, in keeping with the story, “among the thorns”. It’s not that I lack faith or have stopped trusting Jesus so much as that I don’t think about Him as much as I used to, don’t always keep myself from sin, don’t read/pray as much/go to church/seek to serve.  When I do pray, it’s more of a short babble than anything else. I can’t remember anything in the sermons or liturgy in church, assuming I’ve paid attention to begin with. That bothers me, but what bothers me the most is that I used to feel God’s presence and love very deeply. Even if I wasn’t bouncing up and down in my seat with joy, I felt a deep happiness and peace. Other times, I felt a deep gratitude, a deep feeling of reverence and felt the significance of everything around me.  But I don’t anymore. I don’t feel much of anything. I know that I should appreciate things like that, should be hungry for God, should seek Jesus and put Him first in my daily life. That I should make Him my master. And yet, I sometimes see church or Bible study as an obligation, a duty. I don’t have the excitement I used to, or the deep love and need I see in other people. I don’t feel the “high” I used to…come to think of it, I don’t feel the “low” either. I don’t feel anything.

I spend a lot of time reading online and playing Candy Crush on the couch with Grey’s Anatomy or Bones on in the background. I know I should do more, serve more, write more (for pay or otherwise), but I don’t. I end up wasting time without intending to. I’d say it’s depression, but I don’t feel sad. I don’t feel hopeless or helpless. I don’t feel anything.

Do you see the pattern here?

I know it’s possible that it could be my medications at work. I know it’s possible that I could just be deeply bored. It’s just frustrating that I can’t tell if this is the reason I feel so numb or if it’s become I’ve become a “thorn”. If I have either moved to different soil or never was that deep in the first place.

Is it possible for someone to become a thorn, to be choked by the weeds in the rougher part of the soil when you used to be deeper?

I know I should do something about this, but I know that the moment I get off of the computer here I’m either going to take a nap or go back to watching Dr. Phil while playing games on my iPod. If I start a “program” or whatever, I know I have a tendency to forget about things and never finish what I start. I haven’t finished a book in months.

My friend K told me that the fact that I know I should be feeling something, know that something is significant and powerful means that I’m on the right track. She also says that my bipolar/ADHD could be to blame, since one of the major problems is the inability for anything to “stick”. The Velcro doesn’t work. I wonder, though, if this is true or if it will be seen by God as an “excuse” for an unwilling, seared and stale heart or if this is part of what’s behind my numbness.

So I ask anyone reading this-is it possible for someone to have thought they had taken root when they actually hadn’t? Or maybe they took root, but they weren’t as deep as you thought? Is the numbness something all Christians deal with, or is it just me? I know that my current Episcopal church is nowhere near as emotionally-charged as the Baptist/Pentecostal/non-denominational churches of my past*, but I used to think that was a good thing. Is it really? I have no desire to go back.  Does my lack of thought and feeling mean I’m not really saved, not ready and never will be?

And how can I get that “about me” section below every post to stop showing up? 🙂

Thanks for indulging me.  I’d better give Haley (cat) her pill and let her out before she plots her revenge on me. Assuming she hasn’t already. 🙂

*In fact, the numbness was part of why I left. It was the inability to feel God’s presence, the feeling that He hated me and left me, that pushed me to seek treatment for bipolar. I’d suggest this was the case now, but I’d have to feel something to do that. Oops.

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A Different Look At Being ‘Born Again’

John 3:3-[to Nicodemus] Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (New King James Version)

2 Corinthians 5:17-Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (also NKJV)

Hi, I’m [river in Ireland], and I’m not an addict. I’m not an alcoholic either, although such things run in my family. I’m not a sex addict, since it’s kind of hard to be one of those when you’ve only been with one person. I’m not a criminal, have never been homeless and had a pretty good childhood. And yet, I am what you could call a born-again Christian. In a sense, anyway.

When I first came to know God, I was part of a very small Independent Baptist church. I was fifteen. For most of the [censored] years since then, I’ve traveled in various Baptist and Pentecostal/non-denominational circles. If you’ve been there, you know that those churches tend to be full of ‘born-again’ Christians. One of the biggest things I’ve heard them say is how God brought them up out of the pit of Hell in the form of addiction, sex, abuse, crime, etc. I’m not discounting their conversions at all-in fact, I admire them. I can’t even begin to imagine what their lives were like or how difficult it has been to change. If this describes you, bravo-you are a better woman than I, my friend. Or man. Or whatever.

One thing I also saw, though, was how these were thought of as the only “real” conversions. It seemed that, the more dramatic the change, the more “legitimate” your faith. I heard it said that people who grew up in traditional churches or always lived on the straight-and-narrow couldn’t be really Christians because they couldn’t be “born again”. We weren’t ‘new creations’ because we have always lived the “Christian” life, even if we didn’t call it that. I wasn’t raised a Christian so technically my conversion “took”, but I had always lived like one. Leaving one denomination for another as many of my sorority sisters did counted because their previous churches were “dead” and they needed to go somewhere else for an “authentic” experience of God. I’m not saying that every new Christian I met felt this way or that this is the Evangelical “party line”, but it was something I hadn’t heard before and it made an impression. Some were downright rude about it, but others just spoke from their own experience. I see their point, but I think they’re missing something.

A big part of being “born again” is recognizing your need for God; that you can’t do it all by yourself. People being brought up from the depths of whatever usually acknowledge that a change is needed, that they are on a path that only leads to destruction. The “good kids”, however, usually think they’re doing just fine. That’s how I was, anyway. They might not see their need for God because, to them, He’s always been there; they’ve never known what it’s like not to have Him in their lives. They never “look for” Him because they don’t think they need to.

Then, enter college. I say college because this is a time that many people are away from home for the first time, but it can happen anytime a big change comes. At some point in our lives we will sit back, take stock of what we’ve believed so far and decide where to go from there. We’ll decide which pill to take and whether or not to walk through the door we’ve been guided to.*

For instance, take my friend D. He was raised Catholic, went to Catholic school the whole way and was pretty devout until he went away to college at 18. The first thing he thought when he got there was, “yay, freedom! I can stay up as long as I want, watch dirty movies and sleep late on Sunday because no one will make me go to church! Yay!” He thought he didn’t need to go to church or keep up a relationship with God because He was always going to be there no matter what.

He was partly right. God was there, just as He always is. However, it wasn’t long before he felt that something was missing in his life. Am I homesick? Not really. Friends? That’s what email is for. Is it a girlfriend? Maybe. When all those needs were fulfilled, though, something was still lacking. Then, he came across a Catholic campus ministry, found a church and resumed the observances that he’d been ignoring. The “hole” he’d felt was filled and he went back to the way of life he’d gotten “freedom” from before.

My point is that, despite his upbringing, he still had to make an active decision whether or not he still needed or wanted God in his life, which is the same thing I did when I “got saved” and my hard-living sister did when she found God and got onto a better path. It wasn’t a dramatic change and it didn’t look like the “brought up from the pit of Hell” things we often see, but he was still “born again” because he had analyzed his circumstances and decided that He still wanted to follow Jesus. However, a lot of people I’ve known would say that his experience isn’t “valid” because he didn’t “get saved” and make the 180° turnabout that many think is required. Even so, he still had to make that commitment, he still had to renew his focus on God and accept the charge that is given to all Christians to do God’s work on earth.

When I first learned about God, I was taught that our past wasn’t of concern to Him so much as our present and future. We often take that to mean that He can redeem even the worst of sinners because they are the ones most in need of it. This is true, but perhaps it’s the not the only “right” way of looking at it. Perhaps the past God doesn’t care about also includes our past of thinking we could earn “brownie points” by being good and of not thinking we need Him at all. Like I said before, the people who know they are on a destructive path usually know something needs to change and will do what they have to to make it happen. They’ll turn to God because they will learn that there’s really no other way. Those of us who think we’re okay without God might not see it this way. However, I still think you could say that we’re even *more* in need of being “born again” because then we will come to the realization that it’s Him that saves, not our good works. It’s not about what we do, but what He already did.

Each person has his/her own path to follow. Whether it starts at age four in Children’s Chapel, age 18 when entering a transitory period or age 40 after decades of hard living, each person experiences God and the message of Christianity in their own way. No one else can tell us whether or not our walk started in a “valid” way; it’s following Jesus and giving Him our whole hearts that matters most. I’m not the best at this, but I guess that’s part of the process that is the Christian life.

My cat Toby agrees, which I guess is as much of an ‘endorsement’ as I can expect. 🙂 He probably just wants me to feed him. Typical cat.

*Please forgive me the Matrix references. It was a big franchise when I was younger, back in the dark ages.


A Good-And Long Overdue-Change Of Mind

It’s not *my* change of mind I’m talking about here, although I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. Don’t worry, I’ve got the fire extinguishers handy in case anything starts burning. 🙂

My friend J posted this on Facebook today, and I just felt the need to share it. It’s “old”, but it’s an interesting viewpoint on an issue that has been breaking my heart.

http://www.salon.com/2011/03/27/presbyterian_minister_changes_mind_about_gays/

I for one am glad to see someone change their stance on Christianity and homosexuality. It breaks my heart how hateful I’ve heard some of my ‘co-religionists’ being. Actually, I should probably say, ‘former co-religionists’, because I no longer belong to a church or denomination that would condemn someone for something they can’t control. To be honest, I’m kind of embarrassed to ‘claim’ some of the people this pastor says he used to be and that he mentioned being in his church. I’m including myself here too, since I used to be one of them.  There are even some people I used to know who I simply *can’t* claim. Here is a quote from the article that says a lot of what I feel:

The truth is, I was put out that this was an issue. Feeding the hungry, preaching the gospel, comforting the afflicted, standing up to racial intolerance — these were the struggles I signed up for, not determining the morality of what adults did in their bedrooms.

I don’t really understand why it’s an issue either. Aren’t there a lot more important things we should be thinking about as Christians trying to figure out how to best live our lives in service to Christ? I’m not saying that sexual sins shouldn’t be thought of because a lot of them should-things like adultery that can destroy marriages, pedophilia, etc. I just don’t see why this *particular* issue-the issue of which gender a person sleeps with-is really all that important, or even interesting. I’m not saying that all people who hold to the “traditional” view that homosexuality is a sin are somehow knuckle-dragging bigots; if I did that, I’d have to include some people very dear to me. It just bothers me that so much more attention is paid to this issue at the expense of others.

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What *is* sin, exactly?

I’ve never been very good about reading my Bible or putting time aside for God. I know I should but, every time I start a new ‘kick’ of reading or devotion, I seem to fall to the side as the ‘regular’ pressures and distractions of life come to me. Even if I *do* remember, there’s no guarantee that my mind will stay where it should be for long. One minute I’ll be reading the Sodom and Gommorah story in Genesis…that usually leads to a mental recitation of the scene in Dogma where Loki and Bartleby (Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in all their glory) are shopping for a gun while recounting stories of raining down fire and brimstone. From there, I’ll go over other Kevin Smith movies in my head until I find myself arguing with Jason Lee about whether or not the cookie stand is part of the food court at the mall or playing roller hockey with Dante on the roof of a convenience store. I suck, by the way.

I usually pass it off as a function of my bipolar/ADHD, but that only goes so far. I usually try to fight it, but today I’ve decided that I’m not going to. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

I know so many people who think of religion as a series of ‘dos’ and don’ts’ for life. Some groups such as the Southern Baptist Convention-my former ‘stomping grounds’-put more emphasis on the ‘don’ts’. The Episcopal church, on the other hand, seems to focus more on things like prayer and service-things we ‘do’. That’s how the liturgy in my church looks, anyway. I suppose each group has to teach the Gospel in the way that works for them, but these things greatly affect what kind of relationship a person has with God. For instance, do they love Him or fear Him? Do they pray to praise Him or only pray to ask for things? I’ll admit I do the latter most of the time. Do they feel like a beloved child, or do they feel like a bug who gets ‘zapped’ if they go too far in the wrong direction? Or is it all of the above?

We’re taught that the reason sin and death even exists in the world is because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden. Basically, all of humanity inherited that tendency from them. Maybe that’s true and maybe that’s where the emphasis on sin as an act comes from, but I’ve come to see it in a different way.

My family has been touched with a lot of medical conditions-high blood pressure, high cholesterol, alcoholism, breast cancer, sinus issues etc-that have a strong genetic component. That’s not to say that they can’t happen independent of such things, but those of us who have such conditions in our families have to be especially vigilant to make sure that the negative effects don’t happen to us. We have to eat right, exercise, lay off the liquor and carry tissues around with us everywhere we go and have everyone in school make fun of us. Okay, that last one was just me, but you get the point. It seems pretty obvious that the condition of sin can be better controlled by staying away from things (and people) that cause us to stumble. I’m definitely not disputing that because I’ve had to take such measures myself on a number of occasions. Perhaps you have too.

What happens, though, when the illness ‘hits you’? If you get a sinus infection, you go to the doctor for antibiotics. When you get cancer, you have several treatment options. If you fall and break a bone, you go to the hospital to get a cast. In other words, you deal with it. You don’t sit around and blame God (much) or expect a cure to happen instantly. You do whatever you have to do to get your condition treated and get on your way.

Perhaps we should see sin the same way-a condition that needs to be treated? I’ve heard of churches referred to as a ‘hospital for sinners, not a country club for saints’. Perhaps the treatment for the condition of sin takes place in church among a community of other believers and starts once you begin to trust in Jesus as your savior. When I had the hip replacement surgery to repair damage from an accident about eight years ago, my faulty hip was replaced with a new one that gave me back the range of motion I lost. Perhaps my new hip can be likened to the new heart and new creation we become when we come to Christ, and the damage it repaired to the punishment He took when He died on the cross?

Also like my hip, we can’t stay idle. My surgery was over in five and a half hours, but it took a while before I was able to do much for myself. In order to walk again, I had to do a lot of work. The therapy exercises were painful and difficult at times, but I had to keep at them so that my muscles could heal and get strong enough to support my weight. There was no ‘shortcut’…it took as long as it took. Such is the Christian life…difficult at times, but we have to keep on going and working in order to grow stronger in the faith. The process of becoming more and more like God is like my recovery-it happens over time and takes as long as it takes.

I have recovered very well, but there will always be precautions I will have to take to ensure that I don’t dislodge my new hip. Otherwise, I’ll end up right back where I started and might even do more damage. I have to trust that the doctors know what they are talking about when they tell me how to care for my new hip properly. To give another example, my ‘recovered’ friends will have to keep working their Twelve Steps and live their lives differently so that they won’t fall back into the trap of drugs and alcohol that got them in trouble to begin with. It’s not easy, but the effort is worth it. Maybe the same can be said about our walk with God…we have to trust that He knows what He’s doing? Without this trust, we’re liable to fall even harder than before? This isn’t to say that we’ll never stumble or fall again…in fact, it’s pretty much a guarantee that we will. There’s always the temptation to have just one more cigarette, to put off laying off the junk food and soda for ‘just one more day’ (another issue of mine) etc. With the support of others, however, we can continue on the right path. Could this be likened to the way that we’re always going to have trials and tribulations but, with the support of Jesus and our brothers and sisters in Christ, we can get through them?

I don’t know…I’m probably getting way off track and sounding like a blithering idiot. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time. I guess what I’m getting at is that our faith isn’t just about what to do and what not to do-it’s about a lifelong change, a lifelong effort at a relationship with God and becoming like Him. Sin isn’t an act so much as a condition, a condition that will need to be taken care of. It takes time and work to ‘get better’, and we have to trust that the Person who we’re trying to serve knows what’s best for us. We can’t do it by ourselves or in our own way. The support of a community of believers can help keep us on the right track, and help pick us up when we fall.

Speaking of which, I’d better go eat something before my mind goes and I start typing even more nonsense. Oops, too late. 🙂


I’ve been ‘fixed’!

No, I haven’t been rendered sterile, although the world would probably benefit from that. 🙂 I got my hip replaced!

I know I’m very young for this, but it’s related to the accident I described midway down the page in this https://theprozacqueen.wordpress.com/2009/12/21/lessons-learned-in-2009/ post. Short version-I was pulling out of my subdivision and got hit T-bone style on the driver’s side by a Dodge Ram. I broke my pelvis, spent a month in the hospital, basically had to learn to walk again and got arthritis from hell because of some extra bone that grew in the hip socket. This happened in 2005 November.

Now-2012 October, seven years later-I *finally* get to have this taken care of! I’ve waited for so long because of the costs associated with it; the hospital fees alone are more than $55,000! No, that’s not a typo-it actually costs *that* much, and that’s not even counting the doctor’s fees or the cost of the implant itself! Is it any *wonder* that one of the main causes of bankruptcy in this country is related to medical bills???? My friends from a support group board out of England took up a small collection for me; one of the main points mentioned was how the author was ‘appalled’ by how our health care system in the US handles stuff like this. Yes, I would have had to wait, but not SEVEN EFFING YEARS! I’m glad I live where I do, but that’s just ridiculous.

I have Medicare hospital insurance in addition to the insurance through my husband’s job because I get disability payments, which is the only reason we’re even *close* to being able to afford this. Also, his company is no longer offering insurance next year-some sort of ‘flexible spending account’, but that wouldn’t give us anywhere *near* the amount of coverage we would need to offset the costs. Yeah.

My friends have all told me that I’ve been very patient and strong when it comes to the wait. I’m glad I come off that way, but the fact is that I really don’t have any other choice. I could either sit around feeling sorry for myself (which, believe me, I did), fuss out God (which I also did, but He’s a big boy) or whatever, but that wouldn’t have done any good. Sure, it might get some feelings out, but self-pity isn’t a place you want to remain for very long. I know that from experience, believe me.

I mentioned fussing at God. It wasn’t in the ‘curse God, you’ve had enough’ sense so much as ‘if this is Your sense of humor, it sucks!’ sense. I don’t actually believe that God *does* bad things to us; He might *allow them to happen*, which is what happened in the book (Job) my quote is from, but He doesn’t do bad things to us Himself.

If you think about it, it’s actually a *positive* thing for a person of faith to get mad at God. As I heard on Desperate Housewives, the opposite of love is not hate; it’s indifference. Although we’re hardly in a position to argue with God, the fact that we get upset with Him over bad things that happen to us doesn’t mean that we’ve lost our faith; far from it. It actually means that we *do* believe in Him, that we *do* care about what God thinks of us, that we *do* ordinarily consider Him a good God who cares for us. Think about it-if a really bad person did something awful to somebody or allowed something awful to happen, we wouldn’t be surprised. We might be upset at what they did, but the ‘surprise’ element, the perceived ‘betrayal of trust’ element that gives these feelings their ‘ooomph’ wouldn’t be there. You probably wouldn’t have trusted the other person, but you *did* trust God, and that’s why it hurts so much when bad things happen to us. It’s like the way you felt when you were a kid and your dad spanked you-not only did it hurt, but you’re upset because you thought he loved you, you didn’t think that was something a loving person did. And like the spankings, the bad things happen for a reason. Hell if I know what that reason *is*, but there is one.

I suppose I should probably sign off now before I fall asleep sitting up. I’m doing very well, but still get tired much more easily than before. I have to remind myself that this is okay, that I’m not expected to bounce back right away and start dancing up and down the street. Good thing too, since I’m still wearing the hospital gown. Trust me, nobody wants to see that!


The Ghost Sitting In My Chair

I’m just going to come out and say this because I’ve wanted to blog about this for a while but have no idea how to put it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about death. No, not that I want to die. I’ve had that before to an extent, but I’m doing pretty well now. No, I’ve been thinking about the more ‘philosophical’ questions concerning death.

For instance, I keep unintentionally reminding myself of the sign for the ‘palliative care’ unit of the hospital my mother-in-law was in when she had her stroke this past winter. You know what that is, right? Palliative care is when they can’t do anything else for you and know you are going to die, so they try to make it as easy as possible. It sounds so simple when written out like that, doesn’t it? In reality, it’s anything but. I don’t know if you’ve ever been around a dying person…I have, and it’s not exactly something you can see being summed up by a few letters or words. My church also had a seminar about ‘end of life decisions’. No, I didn’t go. I already had a pretty good idea of what they were going to say. It just seemed so…cut and dried when written out like that.

DNR-Do Not Resuscitate. That was the advance directive my mom signed that was put on the refrigerator when the people from the hospice came to get her. In North Carolina, any form like that has to be put up in plain sight in the house any time you have an ambulance or similar come to get a dying person. They would probably keep something like that in her charts as well, but that’s the law. It basically meant she didn’t want to be hooked up to any machines or be kept alive by any extraordinary measures. She said that that wouldn’t really be living, and I completely agree. That’s not a life. She didn’t seem to have lost any of who she was up until she died, but how could someone really have their personality and basically everything else that makes them them if a machine is doing what their brain should be doing for them? They can’t, and that’s the point. She didn’t want to be here if she couldn’t be herself, and I’m the same way.

Here’s another thing I keep thinking of. When I walked by that sign in the hospital so many times, I kept thinking about how it would feel if you knew you were going to die. Specifically, what would be going through your mind in your last moments, or when the doctors ‘broke the bad news’. Things like, ‘what, this is it? I have so much else I want to do! It can’t just be over, can it?’ How could a person’s life be written up in a medical chart as though it were nothing? Would the world even remember I was here? I wonder if these are some of the thoughts that went through my mother’s mind before she died. There’s no doubt at all that she made a difference, at least to me.

I’m scared to death that I will die, that I will leave this world and it will be as though I was never here. I don’t have any kids, and very well may never have any. My husband is older than I am, and so are all of my siblings. Who would be left to remember me when I died, if all of them were gone and I still didn’t have any kids?

Maybe my nephew Austin would…he’s 21 and really more like my little brother than my nephew. I’m only 12 years older, and he lived with us up until he was about six or so. We used to talk a lot and be somewhat close, but not so much now. Like I’ve said in other posts, I don’t get to see my family that often and he lives up in Virginia Beach. My sister has two stepkids, but they didn’t grow up around me. She also has 4-year-old twins, but they probably don’t recognize me much. They’re still pretty little, but the sweetest little boys you’ve ever met. Sev’s sister has a child who will be seven next month…maybe he’ll remember me. He likes to do art projects and stuff with me. I have friends and their families…several of my friends from high school and college’s families ‘claim’ me as one of their own. LOL “Panda’s” dad actually jokes with me, wanting me to call him ‘Daddy’! So maybe their kids will remember me. But even if they did, would I have made a difference in the world in general? I’m sure there are some people I’m forgetting to mention, and maybe it’s not something I should be thinking about. But here I am. Maybe these questions are kind of conceited of me to ask, but there you have it.

I also wonder, how would someone know when it was time? Or would they? The show Scrubs is hardly a deep and profound series, but one episode sticks in my mind. It’s the one where JD and Turk were psyched and rambling about going on one of their ‘steak nights’. Some time before their shift was over, they found out that one of their patients wouldn’t make it through the night. He either didn’t have any family or his family happened not to have made it there in time, but whichever way, JD and Turk decided to stay with him rather than go out. They were talking with the patient-who was still perfectly lucid and knew he didn’t have much time left. He might of coughed or something, but I don’t think he had any physical breakdowns or anything. All he said was, “I’m ready to go to sleep now”. Except he wasn’t going to wake up. He knew this. He knew that closing his eyes then meant closing his eyes forever. I just can’t help but wonder, how did he know it was time to go? Or did he? When he got to the other side, would he remember that JD and Turk had stayed with him, or what they talked about? Would he have known when-I think it was a nephew or a son, not sure which-got there, even though he’d already died? I know this is a fictional character, but what if this were a real person? What if it was someone we knew or, God forbid, us in the future?

I like to think he would. It would seem to me that you can still talk to dead people and they will hear you on the other side, but they might not actually respond. I remember my friend Binky’s uncle died and she said that she hated that she didn’t get there in time because she didn’t get to tell him she loved him. I told her what I said above, that I believe that he knows how she felt, that now he’s able to know and see more than he ever did on this earth.

I’m not just pulling this out of my ass, by the way; I’m taking it from Paul’s statements in 1 Corinthians, chapter 13, verse 12-
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then I shall know even as also I am known.” (King James Version)

I know Paul might have been talking about something else, and there are other parts of the Bible that imply that the soul of a person who dies is effectively asleep until The Rapture comes. Even so, this spoke to me. Binky said that it made her feel so much better when I said that, even though I thought I didn’t know what to say. I know my viewpoint about people who have died still being able to hear or whatever isn’t the most conventional in the world but I just can’t bring myself to believe that there’s nothing else, or at least not for a long time.

I’m also not at all afraid of ghosts. Yes, I believe they are real, but not necessarily the horror-movie types we’ve grown up hearing about. If you think about it, you’d kind of have to believe in ghosts if you are a Christian-or at least, in one Ghost. I’ve seen my mom physically and in dreams many times since she died about twelve years ago, and I believe I’ve heard and spoken to my friend M after he killed himself three years ago.

One night I heard his voice asking me to tell his wife that ‘this is not her fault’. I just ignored it or thought I was losing my mind…it was in that place where you’re not quite asleep but not quite awake either. I put it out of my mind…until two weeks later, when I heard him again, asking me why I hadn’t delivered his message. I told my husband about this, and some of my friends, and the explanation I heard most often had to do with me being a spiritual person and ‘open to this sort of thing’. I don’t know. Once I figured out it was M’s voice, for some reason I wasn’t scared anymore. Seeing my mom the first time sent me into a panic attack, but seeing her in dreams now is strangely comforting. My sister says she’s seen Mama too.

After my accident, my cousin D told me that I told everyone that I had actually died and seen my mom…I told them that she said, ‘its not your time yet, get back down there’, and so I did. I don’t remember this, but then I don’t remember hardly anything from that time. My husband doesn’t remember it either, but it still makes me feel connected to my mom in a way I can’t adequately describe.

I’ll stop rambling and boring you now, but these are some of the thoughts that have been going through my head lately. Sometimes my mind goes crazy just when I’m trying to sleep, and wanders in weird directions. Judging from a conversation I had with a friend at church a couple of weeks ago, however, it seems I’m not the only one who has these thoughts in the middle of the night. It was just so odd but comforting at the same time that she and I had been having pretty much the same questions and thoughts running through our minds…it was good to be able to talk to someone about this without them thinking that I might be suicidal again like I was about three years ago.

Sweet dreams, everyone! Sorry this is so long, but considering the subject matter, I hope you’ll forgive me.


Satan’s response

As you might have heard, Pat Robertson made a comment about the earthquake in Haiti happening because they ‘made a deal with the Devil’.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/01/13/haiti.pat.robertson/index.html

Video:

In case anyone cares, Robertson is a televangelist who hosts a show called ‘the 700 Club’ . The show is on Trinity Broadcasting Network, a Christian television network that seems to me to cater exclusively to the fundamentalist/evangelical set…if you’ve never heard of either, you’re not missing anything. My ex watched that all the time and even though we broke up in 2003, my eyes are still rolling and my esophagus is still recovering from the excessive vomiting. I’m not saying all f/e-s are like Robertson, but he’s been doing this show for so long that a case can be made that he’s lost whatever marbles he’s had. But I digress. I’m sure he’s done some good, somewhere…I like to think we all have capacity for good, anyway…I’m trying to see all people as children of God just like me, but sometimes it’s pretty hard…

Either way, I found this ‘response’ from Satan that I just *had* to share:

Dear Pat Robertson,
I know that you know that all press is good press, so I appreciate the shout-out. And you make God look like a big mean bully who kicks people when they are down, so I’m all over that action.

But when you say that Haiti has made a pact with me, it is totally humiliating. I may be evil incarnate, but I’m no welcher. The way you put it, making a deal with me leaves folks desperate and impoverished.

Sure, in the afterlife, but when I strike bargains with people, they first get something here on earth — glamour, beauty, talent, wealth, fame, glory, a golden fiddle. Those Haitians have nothing, and I mean nothing. And that was before the earthquake. Haven’t you seen “Crossroads”? Or “Damn Yankees”?

If I had a thing going with Haiti, there’d be lots of banks, skyscrapers, SUVs, exclusive night clubs, Botox — that kind of thing. An 80 percent poverty rate is so not my style. Nothing against it — I’m just saying: Not how I roll.

You’re doing great work, Pat, and I don’t want to clip your wings — just, come on, you’re making me look bad. And not the good kind of bad. Keep blaming God. That’s working. But leave me out of it, please. Or we may need to renegotiate your own contract.

Best, Satan

Here’s the link to the blog I found it in:

http://spritzophrenia.wordpress.com/2010/01/16/satan-replies/

Well, I thought it was funny, anyway.

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