Lonely Looking Sky

In a remote grassy hillside, outside the city…

Hushed hearts all around as you melt away into the heavens. Tears that fall from my eyes are the only rain on this cloudless day. I think my heart is going to burst with sorrow. I don’t understand why you had to go. Faintly, I recall a whisp of a promise you made to us: “But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” Who is this ‘Advocate’? Where will he come from? All I know is that I miss you. I need you and the security I felt when you were near. Right now, I can’t think of anyone else but you. Still, in a remote corner of my heart, there is a tiny hope that somehow, someway, you will return. You said you would.

What was it you said when we all met with you in Jerusalem? It was something about waiting there until you sent a ‘promise from on high’. That sounded strange then as it surely does now. Yet, I want to believe what you promised. I know I need to believe it.

And so I stand here with the others, looking into the sky. I can’t see you anymore. I strained my eyes and my neck to see until you were little more than a speck against the harsh blue of heaven. Wait. What is it? There are two men dressed in white approaching us. I wonder what they want?

From a prison in Rome…

The memory of that blinding light is still so fresh in my mind these many years later. It’s dark in this jail cell, and the smells make my stomach queasy, but he promised me persecution, and he knows I’ve had plenty of it before now, Only he knows where this will lead. Still, my heart is full of concern over the brethren in Ephesus. I want them to live their faith with the same ardor I possess. They are so gifted – all gifts of the Spirit. He did ascend only to give those gifts to his children. Ah, it’s all about unity, isn’t it, Lord? You are the template. You are the power. And yours is the authority to distribute you gifts as you will. Thank you for Tychicus. May you keep him safe as he takes this letter to Ephesus and all around that region. He is an eager one!

These chains, they chafe me so. But I am unchained in you alone, Lord. As you reign at the Father’s right hand, you so generously give grace to us all. I pray even for this guard who seems to be eyeing me suspiciously. He’s only doing his job, and what a job it is! It’s almost time; Lord Jesus deliver me, I pray!

Today, in a quiet suburban house…

Waiting For Dad – 1964

The wind blows through me. The

pungent sea smell arouses my nostrils;

sunlight glinting off my eyes.

The starchy smell of my mom’s

dress, white and crisp against my cheek as

I lean tightly against her, anticipating him

from within my own prelapsarian Eden.

We were waiting for Dad.

Three months gone on a ship,

away in his Ultima Thule, a

sailor of my 7-year-old imagination;

soon he comes. Now, the carrier sits

lodged on the horizon, imperceptibly

cutting a lazy moiré in the mid-Atlantic

quilt of the ocean

We were waiting for Dad

After the turgid passing of time, the

great, grey bulk docked, its gargantuan

mass blocking out the sun. Across the

flight deck, stood row upon row of

seamen, ghostly white in their Good

Humor outfits. Which one was him?

We were waiting for Dad.

Still sweating under the unforgiving July sun,

until steams of sailors began to frantically

bleed from the gangplank like so much

melted ice cream. Mom and I, hand

in hand, plunged media in res, into

the pulsating crowd. Was that him?

No. How about that one? No. Not him.

We were waiting for Dad.

At last he showed! That familiar,

lanky, striding, bouncy gait, and

silly smile. And his face, my dear and

precious Holy of Holies, radiant

as Moses from the Mount. My heart leaps

within my sallow breast as I bounce into his arms.

More smells of starchy whites, as he hoists

me onto his bony shoulders. Now I’m the one

who sits on high!

No more waiting for Dad.

Still He Remains

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