Sunday, August 31, 2014

"When you pray
Do not pray to change that
which is about you...
or around you...
or surrounds you
Pray to change that
which is within you...
and the sin you refuse to accept;
God has already
forgiven you."
                                                                                   GML  30 Aug 2014

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Both Sides of the Story
(We need to hear...)
Last Sunday was a long run. For me, anyway. Twelve miles or so.
The Twin Cities Marathon is only a short six weeks away. Got to build up some miles and get the benefits of all these darn hills around here. I can rationalize those 12 miles comping out at a good 15 or more on the flats somewhere. So goes the mind of a distance runner...
About three miles to go, and with a mind-set that's generally focused and intent upon finishing, I realize I'm coming up upon two teens down the road a half mile ahead. Black, male teens... baggies, one with a ball-cap askew... and soon the smell of those relatively fragrant cigarillos getting stronger as I get closer...
They have no clue I'm upon them until I come aside. They get startled! What? Tall, White guy... fluorescent yellow singlet and red, white and blue flag shorts... Whoa!?!  Got the visual?
My mind goes to Ferguson. I realize it went there 100 yards prior and I was in a zone.
We're all connected...
One of the boys had head phones on. (nice ones) He said something. Some words of surprise with a street inflection. I turned and back-pedaled for a few steps...smiled and gave a hand wave of sorts..."Didn't mean to scare ya fellas.."
"Nice to see ya... have a nice day"... as I turned back around to see where I was running, trying not to wander out into the roadway and the Sunday morning church traffic.
I felt the tension. I wanted to. I needed to.
I can't speak for the boys. After a couple hundred yards, I was regretting not stopping to walk with them; engage them and see if they would respond. Maybe ask them about Ferguson. I decided to do it and turned around.
They were gone.
So this morning's run was a baby one. Four miles. The Tuesday run after a long Sunday run is a pretty good indicator of how the body is responding. Lactate build-up/dissipation stuff. The hips, soles of my feet, general snap to the muscles... I was pleased about how it started off. Got spider-silked (running through those proverbial bridge-strands across the path; usually between two trees or some areas of shrubbery) a couple good ones down along the path. That's part of the ritual now.
Nice and cool and since I would not drown out the ear buds with sweat, ran with tunes too. Nice time of year where the mornings are getting cooler and a bit less humid so music becomes an option again.
Phil Collins... a favorite...second tune comes up; a classic story anthem:
"Find yourself in the gutter in a lonely part of town
Where death waits in the darkness
With a weapon to cut some stranger down
Sleeping with an empty bottle
He's a sad and an empty hearted man
All he needs is a job and a little respect
So he can get out while he can...
We always need to hear both sides of the story"

 My mind-set is formed for the next 40 minutes. (And the rest of the day)

There's a vision that becomes a part of a deep need I feel to bring healing...

There is Officer Darren Wilson. He is one of two who know the truth. He is one of one that can tell it.
I'm feeling compelled after a mile and a half to reach out to him. To tell him, implore him, support him... to Tell the Truth... for all parties involved. And him. We need truth...

"A neighborhood peace is shattered
It's the middle of the night young faces hide in the shadows
While they watch their mother and father fight
He says she's been unfaithful
She says her love for him has gone
And the brother shrugs to his sister and says
"Looks like it's just us from now on"
We always need to hear both sides of the story"

Officer Wilson is approaching the seated mother of Michael Brown. She is in a long rose-colored dress draped to the floor. Their eyes meet... and their souls connect...from different sides of the story...opposing ends of the universe...
He drops to his knees like the weight of the world is rested upon his shoulders... the ground rumbles... and after a moment, drops his head into the mother's lap, the mother who just buried her son.
He begins to sob... and tells her how sorry he is... He had not intended to kill anyone that fateful day. Or any day. He only desired to do his job and make it home.
She is at first indifferent...looking upward and uneasy about the scene, the others surrounding her, the onlookers and amazed... Then her mothering instincts take over; she releases an eternal sigh as she looks down upon the grief-stricken man. As her entire body gravitates downward to his, as if through some resonant force, her hands move to each side of his head; they move down to each of his shoulders and she grasps then releases her strong hands in a way that tells him the hate and anger are being released... for ever... her fingers stroke the hair he has alongside his head and then caresses his neck. He feels the weight of the world lifted from him.
And  she tells him it's going to be ok...'its going to be ok...thank you for telling me you're sorry'...She tells him she is sorry too... And a tear runs down her cheek and continues down the side of his face.
The world around them stops for a moment...bewildered, amazed and awe-struck...
And re-connected.
And the lights are all on, the world is watching now
People looking for truth, we must not fail them now
Be sure, before we close our eyes
Don't walk away from here till you hear both sides
no no no...
In the vision, a mother and her son... above and behind...

It is about mothers and sons...

Here we are all gathered in what seems
To be the center of the storm
Neighbors once friendly now stand each side
Of the line that has been drawn
They've been fighting here for years
But now there's killing on the streets...
We always need to hear both sides of the story
And the lights are all on, the world is watching now
People looking for truth, we must not fail them now
Be sure, before we close our eyes
Don't walk away from here till you see both sides
oh no no no
We always need to hear both sides of the story

 both sides of the story...
Finishing the run this morning, there was a woman on the sidewalk coming toward me. Power-walking. Headphones on. a Black woman... Our eyes made contact as I approached and we both smiled and waved. Not enough.
I needed interaction. Engagement. I ran across the street in a non-threatening way. Smiled again. Put out my hand. And she took it. We connected. That's all. Both continued on our way.
Thinking how Nature's grandest storms begins with a flutter of a butterfly's wings... a ripple from a wind-blown grain of sand that initiates a tidal wave of amazing proportions... and how over 50,000 miles of running were always dependent on just a small step at a time... and then another.
I'm confident that the few cars that passed me before I turned onto Broadview to finish this morning could not distinguish the sweat... from the tears.
I could.
And if I could get a million people to share the vision, we could change the world forever. Maybe even 100,000 would do it. Could only take 1000...
Maybe just a little flutter. Can you feel it?
Can you hear the wind...


Friday, August 22, 2014

Portals to Heaven

Happened to bring the camera the other morning on the trail walk with Keeli. There was a special presence in the air... some late summer blooms and a magical interplay with the light and the mist...
Like tears of grace, the dew clung to the special places... of light and of love.

Found out later that morning that a very dear friend's mother had just passed. CJ was blessed with being at her side, joined by her daughter.

The last few months had been challenging. CJ cared for her mother in a beautiful way with dignity and grace. And faith. I'm quite sure her mother was so grateful and proud of the daughter she had raised and nurtured. Now, the cycle had come complete.

The revolution became the evolution.

These pictures are dedicated to you, my dear friend.

And to you, as well.

For we are all connected.

Forever and today.