Forward in Going Back to Uruk, Kheba

Wind blew slew of sand around us, between us, engulfing us; then the Watcher was gone … but still I felt eyes upon me. So now would it be that he and I should travel together? But why not attack? Was someone holding him back? If so, why let him so near? To cause fear, perhaps; to see if the man be sincere? Such divine test seemed almost grotesque! Had I been blessed only to be made an heavenly jest? This was too much to ingest as I slowly, painfully progressed, possessed with determination. But would Watcher now molest me along the way, and that, perhaps, at God’s behest? There was no reason to express my distress. Who would hear my voice, or see my tears? I’d made my choice — I alone — though now I could not rejoice.

Then the eyes again, spies of hell, guise of lies. But only the eyes, sweeping in, keeping watch; sweeping out but ever about me. I knew, so surely as the wind blew. And who slew the Giant? I was no David, and stones would not fell one with no bones anyway. Or was the Watcher now made of flesh and bones, so freshly thrown from heaven? Had he known what it is to groan, to be disowned and wander alone with no throne for such might and power and beauty, now confined to obscurity of earth? And what do you know of heaven and earth? Your own birth upon dirt so recent, so indecent? What do you even know of the place of your birth; your own lack of eternal worth? Whisper questions to my mind, but I was in no bind to answer. Instead, unexpectedly, I laughed and sang, played the part of happy dancer, fool prancer to throw off the cancer-thoughts!

Angel2“Meleği, my meleği, remove this blight; slow down the fading light of candle of hope; give my heart greater scope!” I swirled and twirled in the burning wind and churning sand. “Even still … even still, my sweet meleği, thank you for the light now by which I may plow ahead. And when the dark comes again, as surely it shall, mark my place and with you beside me it shall be not so stark, and when the sun rises again, as surely it must, we will again embark on our journey … on our journey home, and not on gurney, but our own two feet to the beat of victory won and, yes, in dignity! No longer in captivity, I’ve been given ability to walk in freedom with no chain to fetter; I’ve been given the better part of me, my sweet meleği, so bid the crotched Watcher turn his eyes elsewhere to burn some other sight, for there is nothing here for him, save spear of divine defense!”

Ah! Plenty of faux courage, yet how many times have I heard this cry to deny my power! You dance and sing like a fool, woven from the spool of Dyēus, divine ghoul seated upon his celestial stool! You believe you have received blessing, but you’ve been deceived. Dyēus only means to interweave you into his slave-service, but do you perceive his help here, now. You are naïve and will achieve nothing! Nothing! No matter the ‘new’ life you conceive, you will only bereave yourself.” In his words I heard something of the well-honed tone of Bast, cast again in disdain to profane all goodness. Oh! Goodness? S/he heard my thoughts, which brought a bit of a chill. Does the thought of ‘goodness’ thrill you, then? But what is ‘goodness,’ really? Isn’t it silly for you to assume by the spume of your mind filled with fume that you know ‘goodness?’

“I may be limited, and even ill-fitted to be philosopher or guru; no astronomer, prophet, or scholar; yet I am a man, and though short be my span of life, I began my journey in flurry of confusion and profusion of pain and stain of guilt; this much I know and will gladly show. But this man I am now has been somehow changed, rearranged, no longer deranged. And I can see with heart and soul as well as with my eyes, and this is the better part from the very start. Of this I have been convinced amidst much trial and terror, so no one need question in deceitful tone. But rather heed what I say: Goodness is life and bright light, and star-filled night; rain to wash away the pain; the gentle breeze that sings through the trees; everlasting hope by which to cope; beauty and serenity, duty to family and friends; peace that gives lease to quiet harmony; charity without disparity … and so much more. Yes, even I know what is good and it is food for my whole self… But you? You left all of this and are now bereft and starving for even a farthing’s worth of this banquet.”



Meleği  —  means angel (der. from Turkish)


It Rains, It Pours

First, we lost our Internet service here at home. I had to use a friend’s cell phone to post a note on Face Book on the 20th. Accessing the Internet elsewhere was problematic, to say the least, especially with everything else going on…

Such as a close member of the family being admitted to the hospital for evaluation and much-needed treatment. This particular trial (and everything leading up to it) was, of course, a shared burden … but burden, nevertheless.

Then came the bombshell, which I cannot bring myself to describe. Suffice it to say, it was decidedly explosive, cutting me to the quick and certainly something well outside the bounds of propriety ~ bitter, angry, judgmental pompous…

And I might have been consumed by all this had I not been side-swiped Friday on my way to work by a car crossing the Ross Clark Circle. The driver, an exceptionally nice woman who honestly just wasn’t paying attention, plowed right into the driver’s side of my car.

Quite a jolt, to say the least, and I’ve been in some pain ever since. Thank the Lord, there were no broken bones, lacerations, internal injuries … nothing serious, in other words. My car was totaled, though.

This led to out-of-pocket medical expenses, which we could scarcely afford, lost hours at work and, well, no car! And working through all the insurance stuff is no fun no matter the particular circumstances.

This might have been enough, but my dear sister, with whom we presently live, found out that the transmission in her daughter and son-in-law’s only vehicle is going out, which means they’re close to being without transportation, too!

Anyone have a couple of spare cars???

All of this within one week, and I could add to the list ~ various other trials within my larger family, the state of the nation, the economy, cut hours at work ~ but it all just strikes me as being something rather expected. Expected? Yes, expected.

You know, God blesses and reassures and reminds me of his promises. The feeling is good, and there is joy and peace and then … boom! The bottom falls out and all hell breaks loose. The experience is not unique; in fact, it is rather common and recurring.

It reminds me of the lament of the 42nd Psalm:

My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival.

In other words, there were better times. I remember the good days ~ and those days were good because of the goodness of the Lord ~ but now I cry and ask, “Why have you forgotten me, O God? Why do I go about mourning…?”

It’s enough to make one cynical, or Calvinist, or both. (Or are the two the same anyway?) Definitely one can be excused for being a little apprehensive when God does bless and things are going well, like, “Does this mean catastrophe is just around the corner???”

Of course, the Psalmist talks to himself in his lamentation and says twice, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”

Perhaps it is precisely during such times we ought to say ~ no, that we need to say ~ to our dark adversary and all the unseen forces of hell, “No! In the Name of Christ Jesus my Lord and only Savior, no! You will not overcome!

“No, this is not the total scope of reality! No, this is not the end! No, this is not the sum total of my life; this is not the defining moment of my days on earth; this is not me and certainly not all that God intends! No!

“Get behind me, Satan, for I will hope in God and I will again praise him, my salvation and my God.” Difficult, for sure, but I guess the question I face at this point in my life ~ and not simply for reasons listed above ~ is this:

Will I simply accept things the way they are, or appear to be, or will I believe the God who is Creator and sovereign Lord, who is Light and Life and Truth, who is the Redeemer and Upholder of my life, who is the Promise-maker … and Promise-keeper?

I think I’ll choose to hold on a bit longer and believe, to say to my soul, “Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God… For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.” Amen.