Father

Print This Post Print This Post December 31, 2009 on 5:34 pm | In Courage, Death, Love, Relationships, Spiritual | Comments Off on Father

Father

Deep in slumber,
Cradled in the heart of darkness,
The silence parts to cellular music
Inviting me to awaken
And dream no more.

From the far side of the planet
My sister’s soft voice
Conveys in tones and pauses
An immensity
That mere words cannot capture:

Our father has died. 

Alone in my bed I breathe:
Slowly and deeply in, filling my chest with the promise of life;
A pause then, as I consider my destiny
And the gap between my dreams and waking life;
And finally release, as I surrender to the moment:
Broken, empty, and utterly spent.

As the tears begin to pool
In eyes that search the ceiling, the heavens, the stars,
For answers to an elusive, lifelong quest
I blink and the rivers begin to flow
For my father, for me,
And for each precious, sacred child
That dares to dance and sing
With its heart split wide open.

And as the rivers flow
I know that I am loved
That I have always been loved
And that this chest is being hollowed out
To contain even more love, more tears, more joy
Than I have ever known or can know.

Where the rivers meet the sea
The Earth is soft and pure and clean
And our footsteps leave their temporary imprints
On the sands of time.
 
Father, when I was young you always led the way
Discerning the trail that would carry us to the mountain’s top –
Our next adventure, our continuing quest –
And I was glad to follow.

Again you lead the way
But here on the beach
We walk side by side
With the luminous Nazarene ahead
Beckoning us forward

And as we are met
His embrace enfolds us
In a peace that blossoms from deep within –
A soft explosion of white rose petals
That gently settle and carpet our hearts
With the fragrance of love.

Placing his holy hands upon my shoulders
He looks into me with loving eyes that pierce my every defense
Then holds me again as his unspoken message sinks in:
I can follow no further,
It is time for me to return.

As he takes your hand and turns to lead the way home
You glance backwards with tears of joy
Streaming down your stubbled cheeks,
With the light of love shining in your eyes,
And smile at me.

At last I turn to face our footprints in the sand
While gentle waves dance and foam along the shore
Washing away every trace of our passing.

I love you, Father
And I receive your love:
A love for which there are no words:

Unconditional, unbounded and eternal.

In loving memory of my father, William L. Scott
December 26, 1935 – December 2, 2009

A Lesson in Faith

Print This Post Print This Post November 20, 2009 on 7:49 pm | In Intent, Love, Spiritual, Truth | Comments Off on A Lesson in Faith
Amy and Poppy
Amy and Poppy – Christmas 2006

Christmas 2006 was a celebration that my youngest daughter, Amy, will never forget.  That was the year that I finally capitulated and decided to get her what she had begging for over the past several years: a kitten of her own to take care of.  One week before Christmas my middle daughter, Lindsay, went with me to the Houston SPCA shelter to pick out a kitten, only to find that all of the kittens had already been adopted.  What to do?  Lindsay and I went from cage to cage, and each time we seemed to be drawn to a young gray Tabby named “Gladys”.  Although she wasn’t really a kitten (I believe she was about 8 months old at that time) Lindsay and I asked to see her and after a few minutes alone with her we were hooked – she was extremely affectionate and had a sweet but also mischievous and playful disposition.  We had to leave her at the shelter to get her shots and have her neutered, so on Christmas Day Amy was very perplexed when one of her gifts was a big bag of cat food.  “What’s this for?” she queried as she continued to paw through the wrapping paper to see if there was a real present hidden within.  “Read the card”, I said.  I can still remember the tears that came to Amy’s eyes when she realized that we had adopted a young cat for her and that she would soon have a new furry companion . . .

When we brought our new cat home after Christmas, the girls immediately renamed her “Poppy” and she soon became an indispensable part of the family.  Not only was she warm and affectionate, but she was also extremely clever and more than a little devious.  She always delighted in hiding in our cupboards and springing out to frighten us at the most unexpected moments.  On top of that she eventually learned how to open a closed door and was notorious for sneaking out of our apartment whenever the door was not double locked.  When we moved into a house earlier this summer, her playful ways continued, but we did grow concerned that on occasion she would stay away from home for a day or two before returning home.

Then on October 2nd of this year Poppy dashed out the front door and did not return the following morning.  Nor did she return the following day.  Nor the following.  Nor the following week, nor the week after that, nor . . . well, you get the idea.  The entire family realized that with each passing week the chances of her returning dwindled and by the beginning of this month our hope was really starting to fade.

During our church service last Sunday, I noticed that Amy was filling out a prayer request form and although I didn’t read the entire form I couldn’t help noticing that she was asking for the church to pray for Poppy’s safe return.  At the end of the service she asked me where to deposit the request, and as I was not 100% sure I told her to place it in the offering box, where I was sure it would be appropriately routed.  To be honest, by this point I did not hold out much hope of Poppy ever returning.

Yesterday evening, we were calling our other cat (Mindy) inside after dinner without much success.  After I tried a couple of times I asked Amy to try, but she didn’t have any more success than I did, so we went about our chores – clearing up the dinner table, putting away dishes, and cleaning the kitchen.  Just as I was finishing picking up, I heard a familiar “meow” in the back yard so I opened the back door to let Mindy in and in strolled . . . Poppy!

At first I could not believe my eyes.  She was incredibly emaciated, but even in her skin-and-bones state there was no mistaking that this was Poppy.  I called to Amy who was equally dumbfounded.  All that either of us could do for a few moments was hug each other and cry for joy as we witnessed a miracle in our own kitchen: our cat that had been missing for almost 7 weeks had returned!  Her collar had somehow gotten wrapped around her neck and her left forepaw, and it was clear that it had been stuck like that for quite some time: so much so that the buckle had abraded into her skin and made a fairly deep wound.  I cut her collar off and gave her some food: then Amy and I held hands and stared in a disbelief at the ghost in front of us.  I am certain that some of Lazarus’ friends and relatives felt the same way as he emerged from the tomb: Can this be?

Poppy is still very fragile, but the vet has checked her out and although she was suffering from massive dehydration and weight loss (she went from 11 pounds to 7 pounds), her abrasion seems to be healing well and we are hopeful that she will have a complete recovery.  Most amazing of all in this entire episode was the simple lesson of faith that my 11 year old daughter taught me:

Never give up hope.  And never, ever underestimate the power of prayer or question the reality of Divine intervention. 

We truly are blessed to live in a world alive with Spirit!  Or as they say at our church: God is good . . . all the time!

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