Visits From A Man Named Nobody 51

Visits From A Man Named Nobody 51

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“That’s a different problem, but repenting before God is only the highest form of repentance. You sought forgiveness from Stacy, which, apparently, she gave, at least to some degree.”

The car continued along the freeway as Paul considered what his mother said. Was that what he was after? He didn’t think so. “I wasn’t after forgiveness, Mom.”

“You were probably trying to be punished because you know what you did was wrong.” Her already normally soft voice was whisper quiet. She was sad about something. It was probably because Paul wanted punishment.

“I think people should pay for what they do,” Paul said. “I think they should get what they deserve.”

“I sincerely hope not,” his mother replied. “I want to give mercy, and I want to receive mercy. I know exactly what I deserve, and that’s why mercy is so wonderful.”

“You deserve to be happy!” The comment came out in a sort of muttered growl.

“And I don’t deserve to be punished for letting your father do what he did to us?” Paul’s head jerked at the question, which came out much more like an accusation.

“You were the victim!”

“And yet I let him do as much to you.”

Paul shut his eyes and took a deep breath. He hadn’t forgotten how he’d treated her as a child. He did whatever he wanted and expected her to let him. Then he got angry at her for giving him exactly what he wanted. It never made any sense. It only got better when he and Jordan became friends. 

“That’s not the same,” Paul said.

“It can’t be both ways, Paul. We either all get everything we deserve, or we all need mercy. But I’m of the opinion that if everyone got exactly what they deserve, we’d all be in a great deal of agony. And before you make some crass extreme counterargument, I acknowledge that some people are far more evil than others, but that’s not my point.”

“There is no one who is good,” Paul said.

“That’s,” she paused in shock. “That’s exactly right. Have you been reading the Bible?”

He’d never even considered telling her before this moment. It never came up. “I read the whole thing around the time he was arrested.” Paul refused to speak his name, and he’d die a million times over before he acknowledged that man as his father. 

Not that it worked. He was literally just like him, and he deserved exactly what that man got. 

A memory flashed in Paul’s mind. It was the night of Nobody’s first visit. The bastard had passed out drunk, and a bottle had tipped over. Paul set it right to be positive the alcoholic wouldn’t trip and hurt himself.

“Paul, are you there?” He’d been years away in the past and hadn’t heard his mother.

“Sorry,” he said. “I zoned out for a second.”

“I was asking why you read the Bible then?” 

That answer would lead to a lot of other questions. Paul had eluded to Nobody once or twice, but he’d never told the whole story. As he thought, he figured he should have lied to his mother, saying he’d read the Bible after he got close to Bill, but he couldn’t bring himself to lie to his mother or about Bill.

“I was looking for answers.” That was at least a part of the truth. “I didn’t find any. I read the whole thing. I think I’ve read it two or three times, but I don’t believe any of it.”

“Because of what happened to Bill.” She said it as gently as she could given her tone, but talking about Bill was always a way to get Paul angry. 

“Yes.” Maybe by being curt, she’d know to change the subject.

“We can’t accept just part of the Word,” she emphasized the capital. “It’s all true. It’s true that he’s sovereign. It’s true that he’s loving. It’s true that he’s the righteous judge, and it’s true that he calls us when it’s our time. We don’t get to pick when, and, to be honest, I don’t know that we’d ever accept the explanation even if he bothered to give it to us.”

“That part is for certain,” Paul muttered. 

“I’m going to ask about this girl now to shift the subject.”

Paul laughed. She could have just done it.

“I’m not doing it because I’m afraid or unwilling to debate or discuss this with you,” she explained. “I doing it because I’m trying to be patient. You’ve been patient, hearing what I’ve had to say. I think any more on this subject would just be an argument neither of us wants.”

“Yeah,” Paul admitted.

“I imagine Stacy is willing to allow you this chance to change,” his mother said. 

“But why? If I’m capable of doing what I did tonight, what else am I capable of?” And there it was. The last part of his question came out in whine of agony. He was a monster. He should be locked up before he hurt anyone. He wouldn’t be sorry if a bolt of lightning struck him down.  He needed to be punished. He needed to be stopped before he became that man.

“We’re all capable of horrible things, Paul,” his mother said. He couldn’t know for certain without activating the holographic feature of his PID, but he thought he heard a smile in her voice. “But you’re every bit as capable of becoming a kind, loving, patient man. If she’s ever willing to talk to you, maybe ask her why she was so willing to give you such precious gift as her own body. Why was she willing to be your girlfriend? I imagine it’s because she saw the man you could be, the other man you could be. I just wish you’d focus on becoming that man instead of avoiding the other.”

Paul glanced out the window as he ran a hand down his face to dry his tears. He caught the exit to his school from the corner of his eye, but he needed to admit something to his mother. “I’m so afraid of being him.”

“But if you focus on him, so that’s your target,” she said. “You have so many better options to focus on.” 

“Bill is the only better option I have, maybe Jordan or his dad,” Paul said. “I don’t know about so many other options.”

“I do,” his mother replied. “You’ve read the Bible. You have Enoch and Noah, Moses and David, the apostles and, most importantly, Jesus.”

“I thought you were changing the subject.” Paul muttered.

“I did, for an entire minute.” She sounded pleased at her quip. “And before you argue about it for the sake of arguing, go back and look at just one of those people. Would it really be so bad to be like them?”

Paul opened his mouth to say, “yes,” but that lie wouldn’t form on his lips either.

“Then there’s Paul,” his mother said. “Now there’s a case I think you could study. You could ask yourself why he called himself the foremost sinner, and yet he was still chosen to be an apostle to the Gentiles.”

Paul didn’t know what to say that wouldn’t either start an argument or get more Bible references. His contemplative moment turned into a period of silence.

“I’ll leave you to think on it now, but I hope you will,” his mother said. “We didn’t name you after the apostle, but you seem to focus on the punishments people deserved. It would do you some good to see the value of what mercy can do.”

“Ok,” Paul said.

“Thank you.”

Wait? Did she take that as a promise to look into it? “Mom —”

“I’m sure you’re near the school now, and you should see if Stacy is willing to talk to you,” his mother said.

“Mom, I —”

“I’ll talk to you later. I love you always, my son.”

She hung up. That was a dirty trick! She hung up before he could explain he was only acknowledging that he’d heard her. He shook his head. He didn’t actually promise her anything, and she knew it. He wasn’t obligated to study any of that stuff.

The car indeed pulled off the exit and started to pull around to one of the campus’s entrances. 

… to be continued …

Visits From A Man Named Nobody PT 7

Visits From A Man Named Nobody PT 7

PT 1 // PT 2 // PT 3 // PT 4 // PT 5 // PT 6


May 1, 2021, 9:31 p.m. 

26.5 Years Ago

Paul woke up in a hospital bed. His leg and arm each had a cast. Despite his grogginess his eyes darted around for his mother. Instead, they found Nobody, sitting in a plastic chair next to his bed. 

“Your mother is fine,” he said. “Or at least, she will be.”

He was dressed exactly the same as he was moths ago. The same gray slacks. The same black pea-coat. As messy as Nobody’s black hair was, Paul wasn’t sure a single strand had moved from when he’d last seen him. The opaque mask Nobody wore still made it hard to see any details in his face.

“So dad stopped?” Paul’s father had come close to killing him twice, and the man nearly killed his mother at least three times. They’d get rushed to the hospital and treated for what was always somehow described as an “accident.” They’d move after the “accident” to be sure the hospital didn’t have an accurate record of how many times the family had visited.

“No,” Nobody answered. “The police showed up. By the grace of God there was an officer near the house when you called. Your father is in holding. He’s been charged with domestic abuse, assault, and attempted murder.”

“I don’t think he was really trying to kill me,” Paul said. He was confused just an instant after he asked the question. Why was he defending the man who’d just beat him and his mother to within an inch of their lives?

“He had a knife on him when the police entered your home,” Nobody said. “Apparently, he saw the phone you used. One might debate if he really intended to use it or not. Even your father claimed he had the knife to attempt suicide.”

Paul’s father had done that five times that he knew of. His mom would threaten to leave, and he’d pull out a knife and threaten to kill himself. A part of Paul truly wanted that to be the truth. It was one thing for his father to pull one of his typical self-threatening displays, but another part of Paul knew that the knife was meant for him. 

“How do you know all this?” Paul asked.

“The same way I know everything else.” Nobody said it as if it were an actual explanation. 

“And you didn’t do a damn thing!” Paul yelled.

“Please don’t use that language around me,” Nobody said.

“Fuck off!” Paul shouted. “You appear in my bedroom and hand me a Bible when you could have knocked on the door with a police man.”
“The language you use is a reflection of your own heart,” Nobody said. “And you’re trying to make me angry and defensive. It won’t work. Tell me honestly what would have happened if I had shown up with a cop? If you hadn’t had called the police and your father didn’t actually kill you, what would  have happened?”

Paul opened his mouth, but no words came out.

“I imagine, if he hand’t killed you, he would have taken you to get patched up. He’d have claimed there was an accident. Then you’d move.”

Paul’s mouth remained open in shock. It was almost exactly what Paul thought his father would have done.

“Did God just magically teleport the Israelites out of Egypt?” Nobody asked.

Paul jerked his head. The question felt like it came out of nowhere. On moment, we’re talking about my dad, and the next moment he’s asking about Exodus? 

“Moses led them out of Egypt,” Paul said. “I’ve been reading like you asked.”

“Why?” Nobody asked.

“Why what?” Paul asked. Why did Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt?

“Why have you been reading?” Nobody slowly rubbed his hands against one another. It seemed like a habit. The room wasn’t particularly cold.

“I don’t really know,” Paul admitted. “I mean you asked me to, but a part of me was just curious.”

“And your other reading? Any luck finding out how I do it?” Even through the mask, Paul heard Nobody’s amusement.  

“I think you found some way to teleport,” Paul said. 

“Have you considered perhaps that God moves me?” Nobody asked.

“No,” Paul said. “What you’re doing is real.”

“And the Bible isn’t real?” Nobody asked.

“No,” Paul replied. “Science has proven there isn’t a God.”

“Really?” Nobody cocked his head. “I should like to see that scientific evidence.”

“The world wasn’t made in six days,” Paul said. “We didn’t descend from just two people. There aren’t miracles.”

“There aren’t miracles?” Nobody asked. “How then, do you explain the fact that you’re alive right now?”

“I’m alive because I called the police,” Paul said. 

“And what were you thinking when you made this call? What was the last thought you had right before you pressed that emergency button?” 

It was unnerving looking at the man’s opaque mask. Paul couldn’t really see the man’s eyes even if they were as intense as Paul felt they had to be. More strangely unnerving was the last question Nobody asked. 

I asked for help.  

“And who were you asking for help from, Paul?” Nobody asked as if Paul had spoken out loud. “After you asked, who helped you?” 

“I did it myself!” Paul said angrily. No all-powerful being gave him the strength to press a button. He’d pressed buttons all the time. There was nothing supernatural about a phone call.

“And what about every other time you could have done it?” Nobody asked. “Why this time? Why did you gain the strength and courage this time?”

He emphasized the words, implying he knew exactly what verse was running through Paul’s mind when he made the call.

… to be continued …

Sonnets For My Savior 25

Sonnets For My Savior 25

The Word

Sit and discuss the Word.

Read every chapter and verse.

Reflect on what you heard.

However, the meanings of the Word are not diverse.

Too many seek what they desire

rather than what the Word means.

Do not lead yourself astray and conspire

to alter the Word to fit your own routines.

Read to discover the author’s intent.

Do not look on the truth with fear.

For the Word is truly Heaven sent,

and the wise consider its literal meaning dear.

Do not sully the Word with your own interpretation,

for that is the path to heretical deception.


Why Come

Why do you come to Him?

Was it because he filled your bellies?

Do you think he’ll cater to your whim?

What you feel in your heart, he sees.

He can provide sustenance.

He can heal our illnesses.

Yet we should seek Him for repentance.

We should act as His witnesses.

Indeed he came to serve,

but serve as a ransom.

That service was already more than we deserve,

for the gift of His grace is handsome.

Indeed people call to Jesus for a great many things,

but the first thing we should seek is the salvation he brings.


Moses the Witness

Moses saw Him, but not then.

He was the scepter who rose from Israel.

Though Moses knew not when,

he knew Jesus would come to save his people.

Moses told the people God would raise another like him from among them.

He said, “It is to him you shall listen.”

But when Jesus came and spoke to them,

they did not listen to a word that was spoken.

They claimed to obey the law,

but they refused to come to Him.

Despite every miracle they saw,

they chose instead to cling to sin.

Whoa to those who ignored Moses’s testimony,

for it is written, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me.”


Bad Leaven

They replaced the word

with their own traditions.

They did what they preferred

forsaking the Lord’s commissions.

These men strained out a gnat

but ate the whole camel.

They knew exactly where their hearts were at,

but they chose pretense while being hypocritical. 

Their teachings and actions were done for the sake of men.

Their desire was to be praised by others.

Their eyes had drifted down from the Lord in Heaven,

allowing people to dishonor their fathers and mothers.

Leaven like this should always be rejected

lest the paths of those who eat of it be misdirected.



With faith as small as a mustard seed,

mountains can be moved.

Through faith, we receive all we need,

and, through faith, all obstacles can be removed.

Trust in the Lord, for he is faithful.

Trust in the Lord, for he is generous.

Don’t let time lead you to think Him forgetful;

for his timing is perfect, and his deeds are wondrous.

Faith can heal the sick.

Faith can protect us in dangerous situations.

True faith stays through thin or thick.

Faith can turn people into nations.

Our greatest reward shines like the sun,

for those who have faith in Christ, receive His salvation.



His grace is sufficient for all.

It is the way we are justified.

Blessed are those who hear His call,

for all who are justified are also glorified.

It is good for grace to strengthen our hearts.

For we are saved by grace and not by works.

Christ is the one who, to each, imparts,

the grace that brings light like sparks.

His grace is a gift

we do not deserve.

Yet His grace can lift,

all who are called to serve.

We are free from the oppression of sin

because of the grace we received from Him.


Approach With Humility

They came to bring Elijah to account,

One captain with fifty men.

They thought their number was a large amount,

but fire came down and consumed all of them.

Again another captain came,

and again, they made demands.

Again, fire did rain,

and consumed each and every man.

Finally came a third,

and he fell to his knees.

This captain feared what had already occurred,

so he approached Elijah with fear and unease.

So do not approach the Lord and expect to impress with your power or ability,

instead approach him always with the utmost respect and humility.

Testimony: My Trial of Faith as My Mom Struggled With Cancer Part 9

Testimony: My Trial of Faith as My Mom Struggled With Cancer Part 9

See Part 1 here.

See Part 2 here.

See Part 3 here.

See Part 4 here.

See Part 5 here.

See Part 6 here.

See Part 7 here.

See Part 8 here.


Mom got pretty sick the last week. One of the treatments was causing her some problems. None were, to my knowledge, immediately lethal; but it caused the doctors to roll back some of the treatments at least until things could level out.

My parents lived in a hotel for the bulk of the week, and since my mom isn’t doing all the treatments, they even let her go home.

No one is panicking in any way, and most feel that the most important part of the treatment is still under way. But where I had more confidence this battle would be over soon, I’m wondering how these changes to the treatment affect the chances that the tumor will be small enough to pull out completely.  It’s not a setback with her prognosis, but we’re not fighting with the number of weapons we thought were available. The truth is the only thing we need is God. He’ll work through doctors, but if he doesn’t want this to work, it won’t. I’m just hoping my mom’s sickness (the illness caused by the treatment) passes, and we can get back to using the whole arsenal of treatments. We’ll just have to see.  Nevertheless, I’m thinking about her progress in the battle as I think about my progress with living a more Godly life.

The fact is, I slipped. That word has a kind connotation that I’ll let stand, but it’s a term worth investigating in yourself.

I think some people believe a person wakes up and openly declares, “I’m going to sin today.”

First off, every person sins every day. We’re human; it’s what we do. As humans, we rank offenses to create morals and societal codes, but God doesn’t have such a measuring stick. Sin is offensive to him.

I’ve always been hyper aware of most of my shortcomings and a good number of my sinful habits I need to turn from. The thing is, I think temptation, and in some cases the devil, work in ways each person has opened themselves up to. I don’t know about you; I can only speak about me and my shortcomings.

Sometimes temptation hits me like a hammer.

It can be a dream. I happen to believe that we’re accountable for our dreams as we are for our random thoughts. I don’t pretend to say I have control of my dreams, but God ordained it so the Jews would crucify their savior. Even though God made it happen, they’re still responsible for their actions. This was something the church I attend actually spoke about recently.  I’m also big on responsibility. I declare that everything in my life is somehow my fault. I may not be completely (or even mostly) to blame, but for me to deny any blame for my situation is for me to admit I have no effect on the world around me.

Temptation can be an unexpected conflict. I’m at my worst when conflict comes without time or preparation. That’s when I feel the desire to be angry or judgmental, two things at which I’m particularly good.

Those, let’s call them, sudden battles are often more visual. I’ve had friends approach me and tell me they were proud of how I’d handle this situation or that.  I’ve even woken myself up a time or two. While more visual, I’m not certain they’re the more dangerous types of temptation. I wish I could tell you I overcome sin more than I don’t, but I’m just not sure. I’m afraid (which means it’s probably true) I succumb more often than I don’t. That said, I think I’m far more victorious in those more-intense, short term battles than I am against the thing I want to discuss in this segment.

Temptation can be a combination of whispers and time. Again, I can’t pretend to know what it’s like for others, but for me, I can go on a huge streak where I feel I’m doing well (relative to the Bell curve that is humanity).  But have you ever felt like temptation was metaphorically whispering gently in year ear for a whole day? A week? A month? While I might say I’ve won a victory or two against those sudden, visual battles with temptation. I don’t know that I’ve ever won against this particular form of temptation.

I think people hear on occasion that they need to keep their eyes on God. I’ve even spoken about one of my favorite little catch phrases, “Orient on God.” The fact is though, this takes consistent, vigilant effort. However, when temptation is whispering in my ear, like a dripping faucet or a song I can’t stop humming, it only takes one instant of a glance for temptation to take hold of me.

Once temptation gets a foot in the door, regardless of whether it’s a hammer that cracks your frame or a whisper that seeps from under the door, it’s all the more difficult to expel because you’ve already let it in.

So how does one shore up that door? I’m aware of the passage regarding the armor of God, but I don’t actually recall it.  It’s all well and good to have armor, but if you put on the breast plate after you’ve already been stabbed, how effective is it?

For me, I’m constantly aware of my frame of mind and my triggers. The thing is, I’m human. This is egotistical to say, but I’m pretty good at thinking about a lot of things at once. So it’s hard to focus all my attention on any one thing. This leads me to my point.

We glance from God all the time.  Perhaps you don’t like that accusation.  Very well, I glance from God all the time. I don’t do it maliciously. But the moment our motivation for what we’re doing isn’t “glorify God,” we’re turning from him. Setbacks happen from time to time. Those setbacks can’t be how the devil pulls us from God. It’s an odd compromise, knowing that you’ll always be a sinner forgiven by God because of Jesus’s sacrifice, and feeling like if one were going to sin anyway, the may as well.

I’m not claiming to be saved because I don’t sin. I’m claiming to be saved because Jesus died for all my sins — past, present, or future. The point is we can’t simply let sin creep in simply because of our savior’s sacrifice.

So how do I respond to setbacks? I usually take it as a sign I’ve turned from God, and I need to turn back. I’m most alarmed when some of my more-continuous battles are lost.

Please don’t think of it like a meter. I think that’s the wrong idea at least.  I don’t want to present the idea of, “Oops, I sinned! Guess I need a few more gallons of God juice on the way home.”

What I do think is, “Wow! I’m not keeping my mind on God, much less pleasing him.”

In his book, The problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis asserts pain is a reminder to focus on God. Could that be what’s happening with my mom? Honestly, it could be that. I don’t know that it is. To claim such knowledge would be to claim to know God’s plan. I’ll never do that. The action I take is the only course of action I can think to take.

While I can’t kneel in prayer every minute of every day, I can increase the amount of things I do. I can read more of The Bible. I can memorize verses. Some people do that, I’m not sure how I feel about the concept, and to ponder this would take a lot of time and distract from this train of thought. One thing I’ve started doing is listening to Christian music. I’ve been a huge fan of Flyleaf for years. So when I work out (which is another good thing to do regularly), I listen to that. I find that I think of sin less when I have a great song stuck in my head.  While I’m a fan, this isn’t a direct endorsement of Flyleaf. It’s an endorsement for Christian Rock, and (more importantly) Christian media.

These scares and setbacks can work to bring us closer to God so long as we don’t stop the actions that helped us. Don’t take the armor of God off to begin with. Sleep in it. Live in it. Fight in it. I imagine most people take that metaphorical armor off on occasion.  That’s when I think temptation attacks. When it does, win or lose, I’ll get my armor back on, and see what I can do to remember to keep it on.

The more I do so, the more likely I am to keep my mind focused on him, which is the point.



Questions and Revelations

Does God really “hurt” people to bring them to him?

Again, Mr. Lewis asserts so. A recent sermon at church said sometimes pain is given to teach. Sometimes it’s given to punish. Sometimes it just is. This life isn’t meant to be perfect and good all the time. I don’t have any scripture to back up each statement (I’d be grateful if anyone offered some). However, the punish and teach boxes are checked. I’d spoken about David. God hardened the pharaoh’s heart, leading him to keep the Jews, causing God to take all the first-born children of Egypt. That miracle was one of many to prove God’s existence and his power.

The short answer is yes. So remember that each time you sin. I’m not declaring every sin is brutally punished with Biblical amounts of pain. I am stating that God has the sovereignty to punish sins as he sees fit. That makes me wonder though, am I the only guy who’s immediately afraid right after sinning?

Think about your parents. You ever do something, and feel a huge sense of relief after you get away with it? What about when everything goes south, and you realize your parents are going to find out. How afraid do you get in those situations?

Now, consider the fact that God already knows everything we did, are doing, and will do. So I’m afraid a large amount of time.

Why doesn’t it stop you from sinning?

First, I don’t believe  that anyone, saved or not, is without sin. I need to say that because my honest answer to the above question is, “Because I’m human.”

I just don’t let that give me a free pass to sin more or more egregiously as measured by society.


If you have other questions regarding my faith or thoughts or actions at this point, feel free to ask, and I’ll add them to the blog.  I try to ensure these passages are self reflective. My chaplain told me to take this opportunity to look at myself, but at the moment, those were the only real thoughts going through my mind. Questions might help me remember other thoughts or parts of The Bible I’d overlooked while typing this post.

Thanks for reading


Testimony: My Trial of Faith as My Mom Struggled With Cancer Part 8

Testimony: My Trial of Faith as My Mom Struggled With Cancer Part 8

See Part 1 here.

See Part 2 here.

See Part 3 here.

See Part 4 here.

See Part 5 here.

See Part 6 here.

See Part 7 here.

Trust With Burdens


Today I find myself thinking of Moses. This was a man who literally sat and spoke with God. The thing with him though was from that moment on the burning bush, he was a man who tended to want to explain why he couldn’t.

God told Moses to help his people. Moses gave a list of reasons why he couldn’t. The funny thing is, while it’s one thing to know yourself, would you have any doubt if you knew God wanted you to do something?

For Moses, it was leading the Israelites to the promised land. For others, it might be something else. None of us have the benefit of a burning bush or singing angels these days.

In my mind, the task is to help my family through this ordeal.

What helps me? Faith in Jesus. Seriously, I don’t know how I’m going to pull of half of the things I think I need to. But I know anything is possible through Christ, and I know that if God wants something to happen, it happens.

Previously, I spoke about my sister. I’d mentioned she was struggling to balance her children, her life, and caring for our mother. We spoke on the phone about it.

It’s hard to think about what others feel or think when we’re focused on our labors. I feel this in a lot of areas. It’s easy to think no one is doing anything when no one is helping you. That’s not actually the case. They may indeed not be helping you, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have reasons for what they’re doing.  Alternatively, when someone is working on something, it’s easy to forget how hard it is. Have you ever decided not to look at something or worry about something because it wasn’t your job? It’d be nice to think a portion of that is born of the trust one has in the other to do the job, but isn’t it possible that person might just be grateful it’s not something they have to do?

My sister felt the toll of two-and-a-half weeks of care for our mother who has cancer. We spoke about how hard she was working. We spoke about what the rest of the family was doing. As I’d mentioned, my family isn’t prone to supportive action in crisis. But how do I help my sister and keep things from losing focus?

Even in that moment on the phone, I felt nervous. I worried this might be one of those moments where our family complains about one another or lashes out.

Here I was wondering what would have happened differently if Moses had simply said, “Yes, Sir.”

That thought gave me a bit of clarity. I could be mad. I could sympathize with this person or that person. None of that conversation would have resolved the issue. Instead, I put my eyes on what I felt mattered most.

What does my mother need? Sure, that’s easy for me to ask seeing as though I’m pretty powerless to do anything on the other side of the country.  Then again, that didn’t mean I couldn’t be supportive or offer a different viewpoint.

My first need was to put the focus not on who wasn’t doing what and who was, but instead focusing on what needs to be done.

My sister felt responsible for a few complications that came up during the week.  She was tired. She was stressed.

“I’m just one person, and I can only do so much,” she said.

“Lucky for us God is infinite, and he can do anything,” I replied.

We talked about what options were available to ease some of the tension. Once I knew what all the issues were and the obstacles, I offered what help I could: Money. I’m not rich. I’m not even as stable as I was before I published my first book.

“Can I afford it? No, but God will take care of it.”

Low and behold, a few days later the family has a new plan that gives my older sister a break and helps my mom get care and help when she needs it. How much did it cost? Nothing. Of all the plans and things I considered options, the thing that’s happening doesn’t cost my family anything (at least not that I know of).  I’m not sure if the explanation is protected by some sort of agreement, so I can’t offer it here, but that doesn’t matter. The point  is, when you trust in God, things work out.

I don’t think everything’s settled.  For starters, my mom still has cancer. But the more I trust in God, the less I even have to do. It’s kind of ridiculous lately how true that is. A few chapters back, I gave my formula, and I think it still holds true. We mortals have to put in the work. If we do so, and we keep our faith in Christ, it’ll work out. I think it’s all the easier when you’re doing God’s will.

That’s a touchy subject to be honest. For now, I just feel confident that when one is doing God’s will, whatever that may be, it’s pretty simple if you trust that God is with you.

I remember somewhere in 1 Chronicles (also in Kings if I remember correctly), David was threatened by enemies. He asked God, “Should I attack them? Will you deliver them into my hands?”  God replied, “Attack them, and I will deliver them to you.”

Man I’d like to be able to converse with God on that level. I’d do it for pretty much everything. “God, should I have Raisin Brain?”  “No, have Fruit Loops.”  (No intended recommendation is made here. It’s just a metaphor.)

We don’t have that sort of luxury, but every now and again, we feel a moment, a calling. I say when you feel that, go with it.



Questions and Revelations

Does this mean if something is hard we should stop because it’s not God’s will?

How the heck should I know? I mean, it might be a trial God wants me to learn from. It might be the right thing, but the time might be wrong. Or, I could be going against God’s wishes, and he’s trying to dissuade me. All of these are possibilities. I just don’t know.

I do trust that if God absolutely didn’t want me to do something he’d either stop me by closing that door, or hold me accountable when I do it.

How do you know you’re doing God’s will?

I don’t. I sure hope I am though. In some things, I’ve felt called. On the phone that day, I felt frustrated and angry because of my own powerlessness.  Imagine how my sister felt? We could have lamented on all the things we couldn’t do or couldn’t face. I realized, however, that was an opportunity to praise God for his limitless power. It didn’t obligate him to do anything, but I swear to you all I felt something telling me to stop making it about what we couldn’t do and start driving the conversation toward God and His grace. I’m normally someone who wants to talk about a problem, as if doing so will make the problem regret existing. In this case, I felt a calm I don’t typically feel. It felt right. Praise, don’t fret. Pray, don’t dwell. It’s much easier said than done, but when you do it, it works.

Does that mean you’re never worried?

Oh if only you knew me better. I worry (or at least I’m know to worry) so much. I wonder how many people have noticed a change. I’ll say this much, my boss mentioned it to me. I confessed my feelings aren’t nearly as clear as my actions have been of late, but it felt truly wonderful to have him recognize I’m handling this well.

My mind is constantly working through things. What needs to happen? How difficult is it? What could go wrong? What can I do to prevent this?

If I’m 1,000,000,000 times closer to God than I was when this started, I (and all of us) still have an infinite number of miles to grow. We’ll never approach his grace and virtue. I think each time I accept a situation for what it is and trust God to help me through, I’m a little better.

Like Moses, there’s still a lot to actually do. But if you trust in the Lord to help you through it, the work becomes easier.

If you have other questions regarding my faith or thoughts or actions at this point, feel free to ask, and I’ll add them to the blog.  I try to ensure these passages are self reflective. My chaplain told me to take this opportunity to look at myself, but at the moment, those were the only real thoughts going through my mind. Questions might help me remember other thoughts or parts of The Bible I’d overlooked while typing this post.

Thanks for reading