Archive | August 2011

Jeanie’s House

Years ago the movie “Forest Gump” was a huge hit.  It was a decent movie. When I read the book all I could wonder was how the screenwriter got the movie from the book!  Two scenes from that movie punched me in the gut.

Jeanie, Forest’s lifetime love, had come home following a binge of bad choices and consequences and found refuge at Forest’s house, in the realness of who he was and had always been.  They take a walk one day and come upon the house Jeannie grew up in.  If you’d been wondering before then why Jeanie had been so determined to get away, run away there is little doubt after this scene.  When she begins to hurl rock after rock after rock at the small now abandoned shack the fact Jeanie had been abused growing up there was clear.  She falls to the ground, weeping and I believe knowing there just aren’t enough rocks to pound away the scars, the pain.  Forrest just simply holds her.

I suppose it doesn’t matter what abandoned shack calls you back repeatedly to remind you of how someone’s words and/or actions repeatedly told you how worthless you were.  I have mine.  You surely have your’s.  Some of us bear scars easier to see.  Others are far more adept at hiding them.  Doesn’t erase them, the hiding, the visibility doesn’t make them easier for others to understand either.

Jeanie eventually makes peace with her life but does so apart from Forest.   She reminds me a bit of the Woman at the Well and the Woman Caught in Adultery,  to the first Jesus says,

“…Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life,” (John 4:13 NIV) 

To the other Jesus says after she has been publically accused of adultery and Jesus tells her accusers, “…If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”  One by one they dropped their stones and walked away.  Jesus stands up and looks at the woman and says,

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared.  “Go now and leave your life of sin.”   (John 8:11b NIV)

Jeanie needed living water to drink, to be cleansed of not just her sins but the sins of others against her.  She also needed to find a way of life where she honored the good things (God) not the bad (Satan).  There have been many times I’ve sunk to the ground exhausted from throwing rocks at my own abandoned shack and many when I’ve deserved the consequences of my actions.  Yet God had been merciful…I’ll never be rid of the shack of pain and hurt but God and I have been able to dismantle it enough I see progress…I’ll never be where I don’t deserve the consequences of my sins either…but Jesus will be with me and use it for good in some way.   “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV)

Whatever your abandoned shack that keeps calling you back, that you are angrily hurling stones at I pray you find comfort in God and that you’ll allow Him to help you dismantle it.  Whatever the consequences of your actions I pray one day you see how God uses it for good.  Care to share about your shack?  Consequences?





Hiding from the reflector would not help me

Truthfully, there is nowhere to escape

The words, Holy, God inspired reflect the heart

Held themselves before me and I was to see.

He promises a way to bypass temptation

I fail to even look for the door

He promises to walk through the valley with me

I panic and let go of the foundation.

He tells me not to worry about tomorrow

I lay awake worries heavy on my heart

He promises to always be with me

I feel only overwhelmed in the sorrow.

He bids me put on the whole armour of God

I find each piece too heavy in my weakness

He calls for me to cast my net

I remain rooted on the familiar sod.

I am called to be like Christ

To strive to be perfect in Him

Yet the reflection tells me

Who and what I am -so far from Christ.

Thank You Father, that Your forgiveness

Wipes my soiled and sour soul clean

And with Your help, Your aid

Promise rises through my mess.



I walk leaving footprints

For you to wipe away

For you to overcome.

How worthless I feel

Compared to you His mass creation

Compared to your power.

You are waves crashing in

Black as the night

Blue as the sky.

Reminder of how weak I am

How silent my praise

How small my mind!

Swiftly I’m reminded

That you are God’s creation

And so am I.

O ocean you remind me of His ways

Endless and eternal

Cleansing and strong.

As your waves sweep the shore

In a rhytym God ordained

You never question, “Why?”.

I crave God’s redemption & grace

To purge as powerfully in my heart

To accept without asking, “Why?”.

Tybee Island, November 1984

First glimpse of you ocean creation

Black and white against black sky.

I wade in, jeans and all

Awed by God’s gift

Laughing with sheer joy.

Surely this is what God meant

That perfect love casts out all fear

I laugh in sheer joy.

You are an ocean

He is God the Creator

I am what He has made.


Footnote:  Even living in Alabama with Gulf Shores within easy driving distance the first time I saw the ocean I was a junior in college and it was pitch black outside.  I was on a S.P.O.T.S. (Special Projects Other Than Summer) Mission Trip, my first experience with mission work and for whatever reason Uncle Bert drove us out to Tybee Island where I got my first glimpse of the ocean.  It sounded huge.  Tide was high.  The waves were black, the foam white and I waded knee deep in those waters so excited I astonished those with me.  I’ve seen the ocean many times since then but I’ll never forget this first time.

The Tower of Babel?


Following the great flood, Genesis 11:1-9 and with some help from the NIV study notes on this passage I just meditated on the story of some of those who survived the flood waters and ended up settling on a plain in Shinar. We’re probably all familiar with this accounting but in a nutshell the citizens were building a really tall tower.  According to Genesis verse 4…”let us build a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth”  These were descendants of Noah, I can see they, or their fathers and mothers, had gotten on board the ark in one place and ended up in a completely different location later so a place to call “home” was understandable.  I’d always believed the men wanted to build the tower to reach the Heavens to be on the same level as God and I grant you, given the reasons the study notes give, I can see that interpretation.  Yet another motivation reigned in their hearts for they wanted to rule themselves along with everyone else.

God wasn’t fooled, He saw into their hearts, read their evil intent and knew rebellion when He saw it in mankind’s hearts.  So He caused them to all speak different languages.  No one could understand what others were saying.  Communication ground to a halt.  The people scattered.


Seems we humans are at it again only instead of baked bricks of mud and tar our bricks for our tower of Babel is all our electronic methods of communication.  Our computers, smart phones, iPads, iPods, electronic readers, instant messaging, email…all meant to help us communicate better and with more people.  Yet I can’t help but wonder if instead of bringing us closer if it doesn’t push us further apart.

Who hasn’t sat in a room and watched as someone in that room texted someone else in the same room or received one from one of the room’s occupants?  We’re so busy talking or worse texting, on our cell phones we can’t put them down to drive.  Now that we can Tweet and Facebook we can share the most mundane or intimate happenings of our lives with a few keystrokes (and we don’t need to spell anything correctly either).

Don’t think me a hypocrite for I am as plugged in as anyone.  I love my cell phone that is also a phonebook, calendar, alarm clock, camera, photo album and provides quick and instant internet access wherever I am.  As I’ve been recovering from surgery I’ve felt little like web surfing and weeks went by without my pulling my laptop out of its case using the smart phone to update my FB page simply because it was the easiest way to do so and my energies were directed to getting well.

But, I’ve been far more UNplugged than plugged and I’ve enjoyed actually painting again.  Playing board games with my daughter.  Praying.  Even becoming more aware of my body and what it is telling me.  So something tells me I may be on the right track about this – all our “electronic communication” is our “tower of Babel”.  There have been days I’ve longed for true conversation, someone to verbally express my struggles and fears to.  FB just wouldn’t cut it.  Only I wasn’t sure who to call – I was too accustom to communicating electronically.   I’ve also come to realize comments on FB, Tweeter, in email and texts can be misread and misunderstood because we can’t see a person’s face or hear the tone of their voice.  Babel, Babel, Babel!!!!

So I challenge you to unplug a bit and become more involved in your own life.  Can it really do any harm?