The Biggest Battle

(Finally finished this thought from our trip to Gettysburg last April 2, 2018)

Walking through the grounds of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on a cold day in April, I read inscriptions on monuments about blood-puddled ground, rocks slippery with blood, and bodies of men and horses everywhere, dead or wounded.  Like at Little Round Top, where about 330 men were told “to hold at all hazards”–and they did, even after they ran out of bullets; and the 1st Minnesota, 262 men, fighting until only 47 remained when help arrived; and of course, Pickett’s regiment was wiped out.  I cried often, walking among all the graves.

Beyond this very real history, though, I kept thinking that this horrible battle was nothing compared to Satan’s forces against me and you, right now.  He uses all the canons (government, wars, invaders); snipers from the hills and trees (luxuries, hobbies, laziness), and the screaming hordes with all their rifles and bayonets (TV, News, work, school, tragedies, health).  I sometimes see the fallen around me among spiritual blood and gore, splattered everywhere, and think…do I run?  General Jesus says, “No, stand firm and defend your soul and your right to go to Heaven at all hazards!”  I sigh.  This is where real bravery, commitment, and trust come into play.

Falling Stars

(August 13, 2018)

The alien called Skid-loader noisily arrived in the dark, its bright lights blinding us

beckoning us to put our folding chairs in its yawing mouth and sit on its upper lip

Lifting us up a few inches, it backed up and slowly, bumpily

took us behind our friend’s farm in northeastern Ohio

its lights bounce-playing on the rows of tall corn as we passed

I screamed when the alien tilted and tipped on uneven ground

The Husband kept manfully-quiet but hung on tightly

Skid-Loader stopped close to the folding-chair-reclined figure of our friend’s wife

near an open field

highlighted in the alien lights

staring up at the dark, starlit sky

We stepped off Skid-loader’s mouth, thankful to be safe, and unfolded our chairs as

it moved around beyond us and shut down to rest

Our friend appeared from behind and reclined on his own folding lounge chair

We all stared up into the gorgeous starry sky

Glossy clouds tried to cover our monitor into space but stayed away just

enough for us to see past them

Many airplane lights flashed, heading in different directions, then

what we came for happened!

Here… over there… down there…

“Oh!  Did you see that!!”

“Huge flaring arc!”

“Yeah!  A long one!”

All this to see meteor showers or as we enjoyed calling them

Falling Stars

But Not Here

A conglomerate of wild flowers desperately guards the normally exciting, noisy stream

Large and small flowers, bushy, grassy, single stemmed, all drown the senses with amazing colors, all lean over the stream, embracing it for themselves, choking, slowing down the lively gush

Streams must pass and that is life

Desperately hoarding the lively, babbling water or a life’s running course only creates dammed up, silent, stagnate pools fit only for unwanted things

Streams must pass and that is life

The selfish plant life must be trimmed back, allowing the happy creek to bubble and babble on its way to God knows where…but not here

The selfish refusal to let go must be trimmed back to allow an aged father, who used to be a lively, bubbly human life, to flow on to God knows where…

but not here

From a beautiful but sad morning walk August 31st, 2017… I can’t stop my loved ones from flowing around the next bend and the next, any more than they can stop me.  That’s what makes streams and creeks so beautiful to us.  Enjoy the music of life while you’re in the presence of the magnificent rush…

The Present in History

(I had this experience back in May 7,  2016.  Just discovered it in my notes)

“Anything else for you? Okeedokee. If you need anything you be sure to let me know, ok?” The waitress made comments and asked questions at all the tables throughout the historic wooden stable room-turned dining area.

I watched her and the other diners, while I soaked up the clatter of plates being cleared off tables, feet thudding across the ancient wooden floors, voices and laughter drifting over from the different booths and tables in the Spread Eagle Tavern and Inn. I imagined hearing Lincoln’s voice chatting with people inside the inn proper, on his way to be president of the United States.

“Did you save room for dessert?” asked the waitress at one of the booths that used to be stables for horses underneath the hay loft.