The Story of my Daddy’s Heart

I hadn’t noticed the puppy until now. I didn’t remember my daddy being the dog lover mama was. But, here we are.

Me, almost three with daddy and a puppy following along at our heels. I’m looking down and he must have been watching for roots to trip me up or something that might harm my tiny little feet. I keep this photo on my desk and I cling to the love it portrays, an image of his kind and quiet heart.

Walking by the water

Walking by the water

My daddy’s life was badly bruised by tragedy. His daddy was murdered by a black man over some sort of dispute, at the well drawing water. Daddy never spoke of this, I only know through stories saved for my grown-up ears. The knowledge of my daddy’s pain brought clarity and forgiveness for hurtful and scary words that would come easily when alcohol was salve for his wounds.

The story of my daddy’s heart is a timely story, an important story.

Mainly, for the children I love, grown or still small who need to know.

A story of a friendship between a white man and a black man.

Thomas, my daddy’s friend helped him when no one else would.

Thomas checked on my daddy, had long talks on lonely cold nights with my daddy and drove him home on many nights.

Stood by his friend through cancer and watched him, with us, become kinder and more humble each day. Every day spent in searching conversations centered on ammends making and making right of perceived wrongs.

Thomas and his wife, Mary cried at my daddy’s funeral and then stopped by to sit with, listen to my mama on lonely cold nights in her lonely country home.

Thomas fished in their pond, cut her knee high grass in summer.

Just checked on her, kept her going. And then, when my mama died, we gave Thomas and Mary her car.  They cared for my mama’s best friend, her dog, until it’s grieving and aging heart passed on too.

Thomas and daddy are together again, friends in Heaven.

Thomas was my daddy’s friend. Race didn’t matter. This is the story of my daddy’s heart and of his friend’s heart.

A Father’s Day story, a timely story

A story for a time like this, a time of tragic hate and young people who are both impressive and impressionable. Young people who are paying attention and are standing for something. Maybe deciding  between love or hate.

Choose love over hate.  Love like a Wednesday night prayer meeting prayer. An open heart, open door prayer for someone they thought just lost and seeking. A love shown, freely offered in light of and because of Jesus. A strong love like a mama taught a son. A son who lost his mama at a Wednesday night prayer meeting in Charleston.

For the ones I love, a story you need to know

For the ones I love, a story you need to know

“Love is always stronger than hate.”

Chris Singleton, son of Sharonda Singleton

 

 

 

Clearly, friends

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This morning was blurred by the misty fog of this unending winter.  I have my morning place arranged so that I gaze towards the statue of my Savannah girl  sweet and sullen today.The greenish hue of the face, dulled by the wintry wetness, causing an affect of disdain, a lonely look.

I struggled to write this week.  I worried that my words might bring attention, concern, murmuring about my seriousness, sadness.

I’ve heard comments about the honesty of my writing.

Been told it’s clear I’ve gone through some difficult days.

I thought I should write a silly post.

I should maybe stop sharing.

Maybe just publish on the blog.

“Friends” wouldn’t wonder why I’m so serious, so openly thankful and so compelled to tell of doubt, fear, worry.

And yet, there are the handful who connect, who say Thank you for your posts.

They’re brave. They know the grace of the vulnerable share.

” Grace grows best in winter.”  C. H.  Spurgeon

So, if I write from a place of struggle, a spilling of my story, it’s because of the good that has come; the good that will come…Because God and because of God.

Perhaps, honest and transparent vulnerability is the call of only the few who know the worth of brave and open truth telling.

A friend once said, “Lisa, you write about the things we all fear, feel…but would never have the courage to share.”

My Bible has its pages marked with places that reassure the value of my story, of yours. Tiny notations of “memoir” or “truth”.

Truths, too important to not speak of

Truths like this:

You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to You and not be silent. O’ Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!  Psalm 30:11-12

Honestly and bravely

Because, my steps are directed by the Lord. He delights in every detail of my life. I may stumble, but I won’t fall, for the Lord holds me by the hand.  Psalm 37:23-24

Quietly, confidently…my strength, my assurance.

 

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Waiting Expectantly

 

Expecting Jesus

Expecting Jesus

 

I have a friend who reminds me constantly of the promises of God.  She is firm in her belief and doesn’t tire of my being doubtful or anxious whining in the “waiting to see” period. Even the tone in her voice is laid back, no worries as she says, “Trust the process.”

 

“Well, Lisa” she says, “you know it’s God’s plan, not ours.”

She always calls back and even calls to say “Something told me you needed to talk.”

 

Her advice and encouragement,  consistent and unwavering.

Has she seen something, peeked through a crack in God’s door, discovering what I can’t see?

 

In the Book of Luke,  Mary is young, afraid and dismayed over being the chosen one of God to give birth to our Lord and Savior.

 

Mary, perplexed inquires of the angel,  “How will this be since I am a virgin?” 

The angel reminds Mary of the power of the Holy Spirit and tells her of the miracle of the long-barren Elizabeth being with child.

 

Surely, this revelation would confirm for Mary that nothing is impossible with God. Mary then answers, “I am the Lord’s servant, May it be as you have said.”  

 

Humble and obedient, yet still, I believe, a little uncertain.

 

She leaves and hurries to Elizabeth’s home.
For reassurance, a listening ear, an embrace of acceptance.  A place of love, of one who does not tire of questions,  doubts,  despair, insecurities and beliefs of not being able

At the sound of Mary’s voice, the unborn child, John the Baptist “leaps in Elizabeth’s womb”.

 I picture Elizabeth, overcome with joyous emotion, excited and happy to tell Mary how blessed she is among women, speaking clearly her confident assurance to Mary.

 

“Blessed is she who has believed what the Lord has said will be accomplished!”  Luke 1:45

Mary, then believing God’s plan,  sings her song of glorious rejoicing in God, her Savior and then, uplifted and confident, leaves Elizabeth’s house, convinced of the goodness of God.

She is expecting Jesus.

Do you have an Elizabeth in your life?  A friend who reminds steadfastly of the goodness of God, of his timing, his process?

 

A friend who is certain of God’s plan?

 

A friend like Elizabeth who removed all doubt from Mary as she wondered if God chose her by mistake, saying as my friend often reminds, “God doesn’t make mistakes.” ?

Wait expectantly for Jesus. For His revealing, His time, His good.