Category Archives: Story

Lady is Born

An old woman sits under a tree, eyes closed.  Her long silver hair catches the moonlight and holds it like a cool fire.  She looks asleep, but her mind is alive and awake.  

She murmurs under her breath.  To anyone listening, to the chipmunk and the deer, it sounds like gibberish.  But her spirit is calling forth dreams and visions.  Her eyes flicker under her eyelids.  Her blood makes a humming sound in her veins.

As though it can hear her, the sky responds.  Not an ending, not in brimstone and fire, but a beginning, in shimmer and in stardust.

Lightning flashes, and a nearby tree blazes.  The old woman comes out of her trance, and the flames reflect in her eyes.  She stares hard into the tree and then removes her outer robe. 

As the flames die down into smoldering coals, the tree opens up, and a younger woman walks out, all muscle and bone and shining.  She wears a blanket made of night, but it will soon fade.  She needs the clothing of this world, and the old woman wraps the robe around her.

They look at each other.  The old woman reaches out her hand, and the younger woman takes it.  “Lady,” the woman says, and points to herself, and then, to the girl.

The girl nods and looks up at the sky.  The woman looks too.  And the moon smiles back at them.  

***

One day I sat praying about horrible, horrible things.  And I got really, really mad.

Mostly about people hurting kids.  But other things too.

I sat on the  floor, and I told God, “Ok.  So, now I’m really mad.  Here’s what  I’ll do.  I’ll get a machine gun and go to Thailand and get some kids out of some brothels.  I will fight human slavery.  I will do it.  Don’t think I won’t.  My kids can live with Grandma.  Just say the word, God,  and I’ll get a machine gun, and I will go.”

And I heard this:  “Start a blog.”

And I said, “God.  I don’t think you heard me.  I said I would get a machine gun and go save some kids!  Don’t you want me to get a gun and go save some kids!?!”

And I heard, “Um, yeah.  Go start a blog.”

I was like, seriously?  I said I would go!  Doesn’t the Bible say “who will go??”  I’m telling you, I WILL GO.

Machine guns?  Blog?  Seriously, Lord?

“Yes.  Start a blog.”

I have only touched a gun twice in my life.  I have no idea how to shoot a gun.  And, if memory serves, guns are heavy.

My kids are young.  And I was sick for a long time.  I’m just now getting back to normal.

God knows what we can do.  He knows what is ridiculous for us.  He will show us our paths, especially when we pray hard and get serious like I was that day.  And I was serious.  I was just out of my mind with grief.

I will probably never be a machine gun preacher.  But, I do have a degree in English.  I can blog from my bed on my laptop.  I can write while I help my kids with their homework on the couch.  It’s realistic for me.  It fits into what I already know and what I already do.

Blogging makes sense for the life that I have.  It is something I can do right now, wherever I am.  I still don’t exactly see how I’m fighting human trafficking from this blog, but I trust Him to show me at the right time.

The Fearless part came later.  I’ll tell you that one another day.

Thanks for being here.  I saw you in a dream.

We are fighting together.

What is the issue that makes you weep?  What is the issue that makes you want to scream?  What can you do about it with the skills and the life that you already have?  What could God send you from Heaven right now that would help you get started?

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.  Eph 2:10

 

Deception. The Adversary Hatches.

The egg cracks, and a forked tongue flicks into the night air.  Fragments of the shell, thick and dark, fall into the moldy soil below.  A tiny serpent, grotesque and deformed, oozes out of the broken mess, one long and writhing body, two heads.

In a room high above the nest, a woman sleeps.  The castle walls are too smooth for the serpent’s slick belly, but the vining ivy proves a perfect pathway to her window.  The double-headed snake slithers its way along the vines and over the window sill, down the heavy curtain, across the floor, and up into the bed beneath the coverlet at her feet.  It pauses a moment, basking in the warmth of legs covered in filmy white silk.

The brains of the tiny snake, vague and primitive, see thoughts in images, and something like firelight plays through its consciousness.  The tongues flicker, and it continues on, following the warmth of her body, leaving the covering of her sheets, and,  finding her head covered in shining curls, it slithers into her ear.  She stirs, but sleep is sweet.

It more thinks the lies than speaks them, and the woman hears its thoughts louder than her own dreams. And, so deep it goes, hiding itself inside her head, that she believes its thoughts are her own.

Each head sends a different message, one of fear and one of pride, and it feasts on the confusion it breeds. The woman holds her head in her hands and cries tears of indecision.  

Her soul opens to Deception.  The little beast settles in, and without waking, she gives it a home.

***

Every good story needs a terrible villain.  Lady the Fearless?  She battles lies.  Fear and pride.  Dream stealers.  They come in when we believe deceptions about who we are, when we dozily accept any thought that wanders through our minds.  Too bad the sleeping maiden left that window wide open.  Too bad she doesn’t put up much of a fight.

If she would jerk herself awake and slap that little two-headed snake, it would fly across the room and crack its tiny skulls.  And the maiden?  She would find herself that much closer to Lady the Fearless.

So many things in this story could be different.  What if someone were on snake patrol, getting the eggs before they could ever hatch?  What if the castle had a more conscientious gardener?

The window could be guarded.  There could be snake traps in the bedroom.  The little maiden could jump up, throwing back the blankets, kicking like a ninja!   She could protect her ears before she slept, some barrier the lying creature could never breach.

What lies do you need to slap, right across the room today?  What barriers could you put in place against lies?  What fears are trying to take you down, infiltrate your thinking, and steal your dreams with thoughts of failure and risk?  What prideful nonsense is invading?

Every healthy person I know deals with lies and fear and pride; it’s an ongoing matter of what we accept and how proactive we are, how often we go on snake patrol, take inventory.  How sleepy are we when lies try to creep in?   Because they are sneaky, and we do love our slumber.

We have got to get control of ourselves, for heavens sake, and give the little beasties a slap.

I’ll share some of my strategies for slapping fear out of my head in the next post, but would you share some of yours in the comments?  What does courage look like for you in those moments of choice, those moments when you could choose to believe a lie or step out on truth?

Lady the Fearless. What a Character.

“Lady the Fearless.”  People are starting to call me by her name, and I’m happy to answer for her, though I have not arrived.

Sometimes, the minute I conquer one fear, another one seems to take its place.

I’m learning.

Lady the Fearless is not really me.  Or, maybe better, she’s not only me.  Lady the Fearless is an essence, a zeitgeist.  She’s a character.

And, what a character.  She is every woman or girl in fiction or in truth who ever fought any battle.  She is courage.  She is grit and joy and abundant life.

I want to know her well.  What she looks like, what her bravery  requires, how she’s punished for it, and how she inspires.

I’m hoping that her bravery, like fear, is contagious, and I’m praying for an epidemic–bravery in the air, in our lungs, pumping in our veins.

I look at the next generation of young women and men coming up, the teens, the young 20s, and I’m blown away by their beauty and their depth.

The glossy viciousness of the world they are growing up in, the world we are all growing up in, is stunning.  But, the one thing I will not do for them or us, is fear.  I choose hope.  I’m putting my trust in the bigger thing at play, the greater thing happening as we run into a fierce world, and it sharpens us into warriors.

It is a dark and stormy night.  

Lady the Fearless steps to the edge of the cliff and lifts the heavy helmet from her head.  She holds it out to collect the rain coming down in sheets.

 She brings it to her mouth like a goblet and drinks.  

“Lightning water.”  She sighs and smiles down at the full moon reflected in the river in the canyon below.  

She is not afraid of death or of the battle raging in the darkness; she will ride into it on her white horse like she has done before.  She will fly planes into it.  She will carry children into it.  She will show them how it’s done.  

She will shine.