Archive | June 2013

Potential

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Our daughter is crazy over squirrels.  She sees them as cute, furry, clever, nut eating friends.  I have a very different view.  To me they are rats with bushy tails and are not my friends.

Our daughter sees all nuts as food for squirrels and a few types of nuts as edible for humans as well.  I agree on the fact particular nuts are tasty treats but I also recognize that nuts are at one point, potential trees.  The squirrel sees them as food and security against the lack of food in winter.

Two humans and lots squirrels, all with differing and similar ideas about the potential in a simple nut.  The outcomes for all the nuts from one single tree are limited by what circumstances they are exposed to.  Is it different for humans?

Yes.  As a person with free will we have choices.  Our life exposures shape our thinking, often our physical persons and how we come to think and believe about ourselves. 

But, we can change ourselves.  Even better, we can invite Jesus to change us.  Whatever our circumstances, whoever we’ve become in and with life, Jesus can change us.

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that we are new creations in Christ when He is our Lord. He also tells us in Romans 2:12 that we can be transformed by the renewing of our minds.  Our potential, unlike that of nuts, is unlimited because Christ is unlimited for good. 

I would like to live to my fullest potential in Christ.  Would you?

As a parent I want to teach my daughter to live up to her potential on Christ.  Not to be conceited, but to spread her wings and soar in the grace of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

-Faye

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Lessons from the Knocks of Life

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Life gives us knocks and spills
Mountains to climb,
Deserts to wander,
Even those seeking God’s will
Are subject to life lessons, no frills.

Love comes in all shapes and sizes,
Grace is extended as God sees fit,
Neither man or woman has the upperhand,
Intelligence doesn’t make you the wisest,
Money can buy you things but freedom from bias.

God has no measure of sin
Evil exists in the cleanest of hearts,
Truth can be found if it you seek,
Usually you yourself do yourself in,
Get up tomorrow and do it again.

Time here is wasted in silly pursuits
For when before God’s throne
We face an account of all we’ve done
No secret, no sin will be moot
Our lives exposed to the very root.

It’s not if we live life here perfectly
Or accumulate wealth, do good deeds,
Won’t matter the cost of our toys
Or the house we live in by lake or tree
But accepted salvation humbly
This is the chief matter I see.

I must pursue Jesus at all costs,
Live every moment reaching for Him,
Seeking God’s will faithfully
Finding His spirit in the very air I breathe
Other pursuits have to high a cost
I must have God or else I’m lost.

Though life valleys be troubled
It’s mountains breathtakingly steep
Though it’s path lead to danger
To temptations to sin
I must stand for God unashamed
To God alone I must be named.

Faye

Letters to the Apostle Paul in the Year 2013 – #2


Faye, a sinner saved by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in accordance with the will of the Father, a believer seeking freedom from chains and opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ; to the Apostle Paul who died a martyr for Christ in A.D. 66 and now a resident of Heaven, continually in the presence of God: Grace and peace in the name of our Savior on this 26th day of June in the year 2013.

Though I have no wish to offend you Apostle Paul, or in the least to be disrespectful, I confess I am alarmingly annoyed by the task set before me by God to ask of you answers for questions from a century and time you cannot possibly know or comprehend. How can I adequately express to you the burden the words you penned nearly 2000 years ago have caused and continue to cause for women especially? Can I hold you accountable for the actions of many men and women who have read your letters and determined courses of action that weren’t, perhaps, intended? How can I ask you to explain why you were led by God to pen what you wrote? You? The Apostle Paul?

Am I to dare to question a man who gave his life in the service of God to reach the Gentiles with the message of the Messiah’s arrival, crucifixion and triumph over death for our sins? I, a Gentile and a female to boot, who am I to ask these things? Who am I to seek you out, one who saw on earth the Lord Jesus and reside with Him now in paradise?

Since my letter of yesterday I have been unable to escape the weight of the task I have taken up. It has gnawed at my soul since I hit the publish button yesterday.

See, there in itself is difference in your world and mine that I am without words to help you understand. You, who dictated your letters to a man who wrote your words on parchment and those precious letters were then entrusted to fellow believers to carry to their intended recipient. While I am blessed to sit and use a device called a laptop computer and type my words, go back and edit them, pray my way through them and by clicking on one icon leave them for the discovery of any number of people, in a few seconds?

Forgive me Apostle Paul if what expressed to you by me is spoken so frankly it offends you yet I know no other way to say this; “Did it not ever occur to you to write your own full testimony? I am reeling from the shock of learning you were indeed a man who had been married, if not married after your decision to follow Christ. In all the times you wrote instructions for men and women who were married, single, widowed – did it not occur to you to tell us of your own marriage experience? In your first letter to the Corinthians you wrote, “To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord)…” and just a sentence or so later you wrote, “To the rest I say this, (I, not the Lord)…”. So you were aware of when you were interjecting Paul’s viewpoint when you wrote, and yet it never occurred to you to tell us why you felt that it was best that if a man had a wife who was not a believer or vice versa it was best to remain married if they had no objection? Why not say, “I tell you this from personal experience?”

Instead you chose to remain silent and your bitter attitude toward the female gender as a whole comes shining through while your willingness and gratitude toward individual women you encountered is also apparent. Your choice to not share this information at some point in one of your letters or in Luke’s decision not to include it in Acts – oh the burden it has been!

And yet you never imagined your letters would comprise the majority of the New Testament portion of our Bible today. You were writing to people you had interacted personally with, who would have known your personal testimony more thoroughly. Didn’t they?

The time, the culture, the world is so different now! We are in need of an Apostle Paul among us, although, in fact, we have several though the need for more continues and to fill this need there are women who are stepping up, women who long to step up but feel strangled by your instructions to remain silent and have no authority over a man and time is ticking away! How much longer will God wait to send Jesus to earth again? How long before the antichrist rises to power? How long before more people who wander blindly through life have the scales drop from their own eyes and find themselves deceived?

The time grows short again Apostle Paul and I must close this letter. Tomorrow though I must approach you with your own words again and I pray you do not find me an annoying female stepping outside the boundaries of God’s expectations.

In the service of Christ,

-Faye

Letters to the Apostle Paul in the Year 2013 – 1


Faye, a sinner saved by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in accordance with the will of the Father, to the Apostle Paul who died a martyr for Christ in A.D. 66 and now a resident of Heaven, continually in the presence of God: Grace and peace in the name of our Savior on this 25th day of June in the year 2013.

Your life on earth ended 1947 years ago if my math is correct. Mine would not begin until 1898 years later, in the year 1964. So therefore, Apostle Paul, you do not know me. My name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, which is our common ground, but unless for some reason God would let you know about my life while you are in Heaven with Him you know nothing of me. I state this in what seems an obvious fact to me, for what reason would God have to bring me to your attention? None that I can see.

I live in the United States of America, a country not in existence in your day, but one you would surely want to come and evangelize if you were alive. I am blessed to live here with a freedom still to worship God in the ways taught to me by my parents and through many preachers, teachers and friends in many bodies of Believers. Though I have very specific reasons for writing this letter to you I am led to give you first an overview of how radically different our daily lives are compared to the people in your time.

What I write I realize will most likely be beyond comprehension for you. I am not even sure you can believe me as I describe for you about life on earth today. Simply put we’ve got a LOT more STUFF that is supposed to be making our lives easier than was even available for you to consider having. (However like the people of your time many are caught up in owning as much as possible, whether they need it or not, simply to feel they are better than those who do not have these things and because they find pleasure in owning and using what are indeed, unbelievable and fine possessions.)

There are over 7 billion people on the earth today in 196 countries. Some of those countries are so technologically advanced it is next door to scary and others are not that radically different from those you knew when you were here. Compared to your life of 63-64 years my life of 49 years – well you probably couldn’t even comprehend it. That’s part of the reason for this letter.

All of the issues you had in your world then we have here now. Even in the church. False gods. Idolatry. Charlatans. People in need. People pretending to be in need. Grumbling. Complaining. Lying. Stealing. Gossip. Sexual immorality. Homosexuality. Prostitution. Weak Christians. False Christians. Christians deceived by the lies of Satan who in turn lead others away from Jesus. Hunger. Poverty. Times when everything doctors know can’t keep someone alive and sometimes what they know has them anxious to pretend they are God. Our modern day medicine can heal and there are times it fails. We have this thing called technology and it is threatening to over-run our lives. More needs than we have people willing to help meet those needs. As Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 1:9, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”

See, you wrote a lot of letters to a lot of churches when you were ministering to the Gentiles after God got your attention with being blinded by Jesus on the road to Damascus. We have this amazingly, wonderful book called the Holy Bible, or just the Bible, and it has all of the scriptures you learned from as a boy and man in the Jewish synagogue. The first five books are the Torah. This section of books, which contain the Law, prophecies and the stories of the saints from prior to Jesus being born and it is called the Old Testament.

The writings we believe are God inspired and revealed to men who wrote them down after Jesus began His ministry on earth are in the Bible in the section called the New Testament. There are 27 “books” in this section of the Bible. Matthew, Mark, James and Jude penned one apiece; Luke and Peter authored two each, John wrote 5 and you wrote 14. Over half the New Testament is written by you and most of Acts is about you and your missionary journeys, conversion to Christianity and your life before that.

It is difficult, as I am sure you can believe if you accept the truth of the numbers I’ve given you on the make-up of the New Testament, to study the scriptures within it without studying your writings. Now I know you had no idea over 1947 years ago that any of your letters would survive beyond maybe several years, certainly not for over 1947 years! Life was so different then. Life is so different now.

Which is one of the biggest reasons I have for writing you. To read your writings it can be and has been thought for man that women’s roles in church are severely limited. Honestly Apostle Paul men have used your instructions to “keep women in their place”. Both in the home, in society and in the church. And frankly, it seems to me as I read and re-read the scriptures penned by you that you have a very contradictory attitude toward women.

On one hand you worked with them in new church starts and welcomed their service. On the other you blast them and order them to be quiet. As individuals you seemed to welcome the involvement of women in your ministry but as a gender overall it seems you held us in some distain. It does make me wonder if perhaps a man by the name of John Pollock in his book, The Apostle: A Life of Paul was right when he wrote that one had to wonder if you were bitter towards women. We know from your own writings you were not married, yet we also know in order to have been a member of the Sanhedrin you had to be married and a parent. From this one concludes either you lost your wife in death or that she did not follow you into the life of a Believer of Jesus Christ. In your time Apostle Paul you kept dictating your letters until all God wanted you to say was finished. That is why your letters are referred to as books in our day. However in our day, to send a letter as lengthy as the one I foresee me writing, also led of Christ to do so, would be longer than someone would sit and read in one session. Therefore, I am closing for now, to pick up my correspondence with you again later.

Meanwhile, I hope you will consider replying to this letter to help me understand your mind-set in general towards women.

In the fellowship of our Savior,

-Faye

View from the Pew

 

Having spent altogether 18 years wearing the many hats and shoes of a church staff position I made a decision to not only leave ministry as a vocation when I married my husband, but to make a point of not knowing the “inner circle” information at any church my husband and I felt led by God to be a part of. There were reasons for this decision. Below is the list in no particular order:

  1. Church people can be some of the most difficult to work for and with.
  2. It’s difficult when your place of employment is also your place of worship.
  3. You are never really “off the clock”.
  4. It extracts a fair amount of time from one’s family.
  5. I just didn’t want to know that the man in the pulpit had “issues”.
  6. How the denomination of faith we have chosen views women in ministry was a yoke that didn’t sit well on my shoulders.
  7. Despite my hunger for it, that master’s degree from seminary has always been outside my reach.
  8. I failed to leave the last church I served when God said it was time and in hanging on I hurt people.

I’m going to address the last reason first, because it is the most difficult. The last church where I served in a combination church staff role as church secretary and minister to youth was a church located in the city limits of Norfolk, Virginia that while I was there celebrated its 100th anniversary. It had moved in the late 1950-60’s from downtown Norfolk out to what was then the outer limits of the city. Sadly it did so to avoid integration. Even sadder the church which had been one of the largest in the Tidewater area declined in membership to where it almost died out completely.

When I came in the doors initially I came as a child of God who had made the wrong decision five years previously to leave the life of a Christian behind. I felt God had failed me when I finished up college. Refusing to acknowledge where I had exercised my own will over the will of the Father I sought freedom in the world. I found little freedom and nothing filled up the part of me that hungered for God. The wounds I carried were many and I sought refuge in church content to sit on the pew and not be asked to leave. To my surprise and amazement this congregation seemed to need me. Soon I was working as the church secretary and a year or two later as the minister to youth. I do believe it was God’s will for me to be there. The church needed my gifts and I needed the role of ministry.

After eight years I was exhausted, burnt out, operating on fumes and inwardly fuming as well. I knew it was time to move on. By then I had healed enough to know I couldn’t turn this church around no matter how hard I worked for building a church is God’s business not mine. Still I lingered out of guilt now for having allowed so many to depend on me. In that last year I met and married my husband.

Neither the church nor I could adapt to my being married and no longer being available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I wanted it to be a time to gradually shift the responsibilities I carried onto the shoulders of others but we were to accustom to my carrying them. I resented the weight of ministry, it was no longer a freedom but a mill stone around my neck. I made poor decisions. My hanging on hurt people. It ended badly. I knew I never wanted to be in that position again.

To top it off I was also knowledgeable about the inner lives of the other church members. It was incredibly difficult to cut loose when I knew the things I knew. I never wanted to be in that position again.

So as a church member of the church we belong to now and in the ones since we left Norfolk I’ve had a view from the pews that is sometimes difficult for me. I’m a former church staff member who has a keen awareness of how difficult life for those in ministry is, how much “behind the scenes” work goes into “church” and I still wrestle with having been a female in ministry in a denomination that overall doesn’t approve of that beyond a certain point, a point I crossed.

I’m a Christian. I’m a woman. I’m a wife. I’m a mother. I’m a sister. I’m a friend. Into each of these roles I carry the person I am and who I am has been shaped by every experience. I accept that awareness. I also know I am to give my best efforts to these roles, to fulfilling the responsibilities God has for me including giving of my gifts and talents to His church.

What I don’t yet accept are more difficult matters:

  1. Paul and Peter’s limitations of a woman’s role in church.
  2. Having talents and gifts that I feel are useful to God but unwanted in church.

So I want to explore those two reasons with you my readers and I will welcome your input. I know this is an area God is dealing with me in and I need to be sharpened as iron is upon iron. I have many readers, I have some subscribers, but I have few comments. I need your comments. I need to know if I’m really the only one dealing with these thoughts. I find it hard to believe I am. Please share with us your thoughts.

You Can Because He Can

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Artwork & “wisdom saying” original to the artist, all rights reserved.

We can live life to the best God has, and hey nothing God has is second rate, when we face life with an attitude of surrender and determination in His presence in us!!

Whatever mountain you face…
Whatever struggle before you…
However heavy your load…
However deep is your pain…
Regardless of the wrong done you…
Regardless of the sins consequences you face…
Forget the naysayers…
Forget what the professionals say you can’t do…
Remember yes, you can…
Remember yes, you can because Christ’s strength in you says you can!!

-Faye

Home

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I long for home.
I long for peace.
I long for rest from weariness.
O I long for home!
Not for comforts,
Not for rewards,
Not for streets of gold,
O I long for Home!
To feel again His touch,
To fall in worship at His feet,
To never again be apart,
O I long for Home!
Never again to sin,
Never again to be at war
Never again to be separated
O I long for Home!
Home where my Father is,
Home where my Savior lives,
Home with the Holy Spirit,
O I long for Home!
Home!
Home!
Home!
O I long for Home!

-Faye

Noted and Named! Are They Really Handicap Accessible?

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The American’s With Disabilities Act means well I’m sure. It’s intentions are good and it also means to make prejudice against those with disabilities difficult at least. Businesses, public places, churches, schools, health care facilities, sidewalks-and more are supposed to be handicap accessible. Employers cannot hire or fire based solely on disability, having one or needing accommodations.

The letter of the law may be being met, but reality is that far to few truly are accessible for the handicap. As a wheelchair bound, disabled person it is my personal experience to note and name the following:

-The Gadsden Psychiatric Service office restroom I just visited is not.
-The weight of, and arrangement of, the interior doors of the oldest social services agency in Birmingham, Alabama is not.
-The restrooms at Jim-n-Nicks and Lone Star Steak House in Trussville are not.
-The sidewalks around the corners of 20th Street, 14th and 15th Avenues and Richard Arrington Boulevard as well as others in Birmingham are not.
-The aisles of any Dollar General or Dollar Tree in the Pinson, Remlap, Locust Fork, Cleveland and Oneonta areas are not.
-The parking lot at the building housing the Montclair location of Alabama Psychiatric Services are not.
-The restrooms at Alabama Psychiatric Services on Acton Road are not.
-Over half of the aisles in Big Lots and Michaels in Trussville are not.
-None of the actual rides (though they are for the handicap capable of stepping up, down or over small ledges) but for those needing to transfer wheelchair to seat at Disney World they are not.
-Many bathrooms in the handicap accessible hotel rooms are accessible for those needing secure, stable wheelchair to shower bench transfer are, in reality, accessible.
-Many restaurants in the Trussville, Pinson, Oneonta areas are difficult for the wheelchair bound patron and surrounding diners to have enjoyable seating arrangements including Applebees and Jim-n-Nicks in Trussville.

Doing just the following doesn’t make reality handicap accessibility possible:
-Putting handrails on a bathroom wall.
-Designating a parking place.
-Widening a doorway.
-Providing cheap and/or not replacing worn bath benches.
-Just increasing the stall size in bathrooms.
-Removing a chair at a restaurant table leaving a wheelchair bound person to repeatedly have servers and other diners tripping over wheelchair wheels.
-Providing a handicap restroom in a store.

As a wheelchair bound handicap person I can offer this suggestion to business owners; get a manual wheelchair and try getting through or enjoying your store/facilities for a few days. It will be a true learning experience.

Since I am naming names bravo to:
-Regal Cinemas in Trussville, both theater and bathroom facilities are great PLUS a free pass to the movie for a companion for the handicap.
-Christian Family Store in Gadsden where an employee was already working to make the aisles accessible for the wheelchair bound when we entered.
-WalMart and Target who provide electric shopping carts for disabled patrons.
-Major amusement parks, including Disney World and Dollywood who provide electronic scooters for rent to those needing them.

-Faye

Necklines, Hemlines & Blocks

As a Minister to Youth a couple decades ago I would find myself reminding some of our female youth that when they wore short skirts to church then went bounding up the stairs things would show they didn’t mean to be seen. I always felt as if I was speaking strictly for my own benefit for repeatedly they would say, “Miss Faye in church men shouldn’t be looking!”

I would counter with, “Of course they shouldn’t, but frankly men are visual creatures and when you offer them visual treats their eyes are going to be drawn to them, in church or not. Plus, do you really want males in church or out of church to see what you are displaying?”

Fast forward a decade plus and I am having a similar conversation with my niece over an eighth grade graduation dress, then a senior prom dress. Again, it seemed like a useless conversation.

With our own daughter my husband and I started early to correct behavior and to teach her modesty. We’ve tried to instill in her not that her body is something to be ashamed of or that is “dirty” but that there are special parts of her body that deserve special consideration and that are private. It has not always been easy to teach modesty to a young girl in this day and time.

Fashion has seemed to dictate clothes for girls that are as revealing as their adult counterparts. We often struggle with finding appropriate clothing that is going to allow our daughter to feel good about herself in the way God would want. Low necklines, short hem lines, tight fits and thin material. Plus, the lack of garments such as slips available for girls!

Yet with our daughter the message seems to have gotten through. At least she knows what we will say yes to and no to when it comes to her clothing and when she is looking at what characters on television or what models in magazines are wearing she remarks, “Geez, didn’t their Mama tell them to put some clothes on?” Even the men in her life she expects to be appropriately dressed. When we passed a Jeep full of bare chested males whose bodies boasted tattoos and evidence of working out she yelled (inside the car), “Go put some shirts on! No one wants to look at your naked self or your tattoos.”

Sadly in church this Sunday I wanted to repeat my conversation with the youth of long ago, only with women of all ages.

The young lady who’s long in the back, short in the front dress that was made of material so thin you could see the color of her underwear when she walked across the front of the church.

The mature woman in the choir loft whose breasts were showing.

The lady in the front row of the congregation the men were having to look anywhere but in order not to get an eyeful.

The teens in skimpy spaghetti strapped tops.

The teenage boys and girls in jeans so tight I wouldn’t be amazed to learn that they had to soak in baby oil to get into them.

This wasn’t an unusual Sunday either, which makes it more of an issue. I remember the young woman who came to sing our special music one Sunday whose dress would have more appropriately labeled a sweater and had males all over the church blushing or gawking.

Yes, men have a responsibility to keep their thoughts pure and to not lust after females. Yes, they should be focused on worship in church. Yes they are responsible for their own decisions, actions, thoughts, feelings, impulses and sins.

But we women have responsibilities too and I believe one of those is to be modest in our clothing choices. Instead of referring you to what Paul in 1 Timothy 2:9 had to say directly about women’s clothing choices or Peter in 1 Peter 3:3 I want to draw your attention to I Corinthians 8:9 where Paul in discussing the eating of food scarified to idols but which I think can be aptly applied to my point.

“Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.”

Yes, I propose in the area of lust for the members of the opposite gender we all have our weak points. And knowing that I believe we all have a responsibility NOT to try to be a stumbling block to anyone. For if we are daring to dress with less modesty in the choice of clothing we have to go to worship the Lord our God in, WHAT are we choosing to wear outside the church?

The church is not a body of believers who are perfect, it is a body of believers who are sinners saved by grace who join together to learn about the Word of God, draw strength and encouragement from our church family and then to go into the world and tell others about Jesus and how He has changed our lives and can change theirs.

The world does not share those common goals.

Before anyone gets riled up thinking I am calling for a return to women covering themselves head to toe behind burlap sacks that is totally untrue. All I am saying is that we can choose to dress in ways that are attractive WITHOUT our breasts showing, our underwear being revealed or every curve or lack thereof we have being broadcast to anyone whose eyes happen to look our way. Along with that must also come an attitude change. If we want men to think of us as intelligent, kind, strong women capable of anything why would we want to advertise ourselves as objects for their sexual impulses? If we don’t want people to talk about how our clothing doesn’t fit us well, we might be wise to think modestly and wear clothing in the size appropriate for our bodies EVEN if that number doesn’t make you feel happy or that hemline make you feel young.

Choosing modesty,

-Faye

RIP a Legacy

The group of three siblings, two men and one woman, sat across from the lawyer, realtor and the owner of the chicken ranches purchasing the property soberly. The lawyer explained paper after paper, form after form and someone, properly his paralegal or secretary had thoughtfully flagged each place their signatures were required. Each sibling had a pen ready in hand to sign, two in their right hands, one in their left. One of the first indications th
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ough siblings, they were not completely alike.

The oldest, Clint was only older by a year from his sister, Leigh, but they were evenly matched in how their bodies were handling the approach of their 50’s. Clint stood 5’7 and Leigh 5’4. Both their hands showed the signs of the arthritis they would be plagued with in the years ahead, a genetic gift of their father though their hands themselves physically resembled their mothers. Though both palms showed hardened pads and toughen up skin indicating they were capable of and did some manual labor it was clear also they didn’t earn their living that way. They were close enough in age, just under a year apart, to be twins. Both had dark hair but Leigh’s eyes were dark brown like their father, while Clint’s behind the colored contacts he wore to make them match were one blue and one green. A physical trait that closely came to match their mother’s grey eyes. Both bodies showed evidence of their having been heavier but they were now only stereotypically the body type of a person approaching the downside of middle age. Clint was left-handed and as usual, seriously attentive to each word spoken and each paper signed. Leigh glanced frequently at both brothers. She was the peacemaker, the mother hen and the one in a wheelchair, the legs under the table crooked and useless.

The youngest sibling, Timothy, was thin and a near carbon copy of their father. He was 6’6 with a hard body that showed physical toil. His hands were larger, rougher, the hands of a man who worked hard with them for a living. He was in his early 30’s and the pen in his right hand was gripped tightly. So tightly in fact Leigh worried he would break it at any second. Anger seemed to radiate from him in visual spirals. His dark hair was already receding from his wide forehead and the top of the back of his head already showing a bald spot approximately the size of a half-dollar coin. Tim was a farmer and a one of the few full time farmers left in the county.

It only took about twenty minutes to finish the paperwork and the lawyer passed them their checks, everyone shook hands and the group filed out. The siblings moved out into the parking lot and by unsaid agreement settled into Leigh’s van. No one wanted to part, their times together were few these days for they were scattered across the state now. Tim, was the first to break the small talk with the obvious.

“Guess this is it then.”

Leigh glanced at him in the rearview mirror, “The last bit of physical evidence he was here, except for us.”

Clint sighed, “Yes and notice only Leigh had children and they won’t carry on his name.”

“He was a real piece of work. And this is what we have to show for it, a lousy $4000, Leigh’s handicapped forever, Clint’s off at the end of the state and I’m busting my tail to earn a living on the farm.” Tim punched his palm.

“Guys we have to handle this for our own best. We are what we make of ourselves.” Leigh offered.

Silence fell over the three again. Then Tim sighed, “I just don’t get it. Why did he hate us? What is so great about his other family? Rex is in and out of rehab and has been for as long as we’ve known him. Terri’s been married four times, in competition with her mother. Dana and her brood and her alcoholic husband…and then their black widow mother…he loved them! Them! Not his own sons and daughter. Not his wife!”

“It was his choice Tim.” Clint offered.

“A lousy one!” Tim countered.

Again the silence fell. Then almost as if a signal had been given the three let out a deep sigh.

“All the physical things that bound us to him are over. That little patch of pine laden earth passes on to someone else.” Leigh remarked. “What’s more,” she continued, “we’re correcting the worst of his sins in our own way. We’re not passing on his parenting to someone else, his evil is buried with him.”

“You know how when someone dies people bring in food and gather in the home, talking about the recently departed?” Tim quipped.

“Your way of saying let’s go eat lunch?” Clint chuckled.

“My way of saying let’s have a decent meal, cash our checks and move on.”

“Chinese?” Leigh offered, starting the van’s engine.

“That’s fine.” The brothers agreed.

As the van was pulled into the traffic headed east, Leigh spoke the final words the siblings would speak that day about the man they grew up calling, “Daddy”. “He sure wasn’t a Psalm 1 father was he?”

Again the three nodded in agreement.