A Hiding Place – Notes on fear and safety

“There are no ‘if’s’ in God’s world. And no places that are safer than other places. The center of His will is our only safety – let us pray that we may always know it!”
Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place
Image Credit: 2sad-eyes

Safety is a relative term, as I can feel safe in places others can’t. The reverse is true as well, there are common things that cause me to feel threatened. Losing the feeling of safety is one of the effects of being the victim of a violent crime, especially a sexual assault. I despise this fear, and long for safety. Knowing better than to place my trust in a relationship, a group, a law, or even my own devices, I find that there is only one place I am completely sheltered, in the arms of my Father. When I am spending time with Him, He protects me and holds me, comforting me in my fears. There the feeling of safety is irrelevant, for in that moment I am truly safe. Who can touch me when His strong arms wrap my soul in warmth and his unending love comforts my conspiracies laden mind? Feelings of being safe will come if I discipline myself stay in that place where no man and no obscure terror can prevail. In that place I will sleep and laugh at the derision of men.

Also published in Broowaha Magazine 


Seven Faults Of Foolishness – Fault #2 Starving Your Spirit

“My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.” – Albert Einstein

Spiritual starvation is just as sad
Every man consists of a body, soul, and spirit. The fool feeds his body with food, his soul with pride, but even in the basest of applications, refuses to acknowledge his spirit. Spiritual food is required for spiritual life. The food comes from God. If my idea of God leaves me wanting, it benefits me to seek that God which satisfies my needs. I cannot define God, I can only tell where the food that feeds me is found. The point is to seek God. Whatever that may be, however that expresses itself in my life. To deny my need of a power greater than myself and human wisdom, is to starve the most essential part of my being. 

If I am hungry, if I am thirsty for something that satisfies, I must go to the source of spiritual life, that being God. Continuing to exist and perform day after day, giving more and more of myself to pleasure and surviving, will eventually wear me out. Just as my physical body depletes its resources and begins to tap those things which are vital to my survival, so it is with my spirit. I must find a source that strengthens, that pours into me, replacing the energy used in the act of living. 

There is no other option, I must find and acknowledge God. I give no opinion on the God I must find, only that I must go in that direction. I need not defend my God, who will show himself to those who look for him. I encourage myself only that I must seek and apply that which I find to my living choices, I must feed my spirit.

A Whispered Confession – Exasperation of temptation

A friend called the other day, confiding in me some very deep thoughts. I thought I would share them with you, point blank, and in the first person. Here is his voice…
A soul is born with certain, shall we say, tendencies. Some good, some bad, but it behooves us to know which way our inner man leans. Myself, I lean toward dark and violent. That’s all I was exposed to growing up. Love, acceptance, belonging, and positive thoughts were not part of my environment. My sails are now set, with this nurture of darkness, to be driven on seas were men ought not find themselves. My struggle forever set to battle not against ordinary tendencies, but against hugely deviant and depraved paths. 

In my adventures I’ve come across souls such as myself, they brought me huge pleasure as I saw the wake they made through their blackened seas. I conferred with one, telling him how I admired the fear he inspired in any crowd. He looked at me with forlorn eyes, “I wish to be like you” he confided. Tired of being feared, tired of being constrained by the course his sails set him on, he wished to be compassionate and feel, to engage normally with strangers and innocents. But, he said, telling me the way to path I wished, “if you wish to be like me, you only need touch the hate in your heart. You can be the baddest, if you hate.” At that time, I denied and refused my hate, my whole being swallowed up in the religious pretense of love. I knew what I was destined to be, but I hid it in the grand facade of religion. His words stuck with me. Now, I have a contradiction raging in me. I should be, an abuser, a murderer, a violent and unmerciful man engaged in many other criminal activities. But, I encountered God. I embraced Him out of fear of my path. Still I hold on to his hand, knowing what I can be, what I was supposed to be. Swinging way past center, I find myself soft, and complacent, letting people go when they should be punished and resisted.

This is where I find myself, the hate rising, demanding my attention, telling me to act according to my destiny, but, God stops me, guiding me in a different way. I am so tired of the battle. Tired because people don’t quit, they keep pushing, disrespecting, and teasing, mocking me. The expression, “going postal”, bears relevance. There are persons in society who finally snap. They seem mellow, gentle, placid and weak. Then, they flip the script and kill. Kill many, kill few, but kill nonetheless. Everyone shakes their head in disbelief. How can this happen? I know how this can happen, it happens in me every day. Having not killed, not pillaged, does that make me weaker? Or stronger? Having resisted those impulses and being kind and forgiving, where does that leave me? 

This argument is moot at this point. My breaking point is near. I can stand no more insults to my manhood. No more disrespect to my humanity. No more glaring down the nose, daring me to act looks. I’m shoved, and it builds. I’m ripped off and it builds. What they don’t understand is, is, that, I am nothing like how I look, how I have made myself appear. I am evil, violent, malevolent, and disgusting. How much more Lord, will you make me bear before I come apart. I can stand no more. Be prepared you sly cons who think you have me pegged. Something evil this way lurks.

Those Thoughts Again – The ravages of shame

 “Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change.” 

Shame, a burning feeling in my cheeks, in my mind, in my skin. I feel like everyone knows my mistake. I can’t believe I stooped so low; that I wouldnt listen to the voice inside that keeps me safe, (or so I thought); that I would betray myself by being in that position. It wasn’t always me. I didn’t ask for that situation or do anything wrong. But still the shame persists. A constant nagging burning feeling that makes me feel less than, less than anything. It burns through all my identities, creating a self hating monster inside of me. I can’t stop the negative thoughts about me. About how I look, about how others must see me, about how I am, about how I behave. It takes away my feeling of safety. I’m no longer comfortable in my skin. How can I forget it? It comes at me when I’m unguarded. Driving down the road, in the middle of a party, walking to my house, praying, when I’m kissing my mate, when I’m making love. It always hits me hard, the burning feeling almost taking me completely out of the game, making each breath painful. It takes all I have to stand up, to continue forward; all I have to resist the feeling of apathy, of not caring anymore about anything. If I don’t feel, I won’t have to bear the shame. But it keeps coming, never ending, in fact, it grows. Negative thoughts breed and feed off each other. Where will I hide?

God, my creator, is a hiding place for me. He can restore me, heal me, and remove my shame. My heavenly Dad, can give me the strength to hold my head high once again, without the support of drugs, alcohol, music, gangs, belongings, or anything I have unsuccessfully leaned on. I need to know that God my father, sings over me. He sings because he loves me and has created me for great things. He understands my shame. He wants me to be whole again, to live without being affected by that incident anymore. Sure the thoughts may come, but He gives strength to me, words of affirmation, and most of all, power. Power over my feelings and thoughts. Power to believe contrary to whats been said about me, by others, by myself. A chance to truly start over. A chance to breathe without heaviness. A chance to be me, rising above the ashes of shame with wings of confidence and power.

Also published in Broowaha Magazine


Brokenness – No pain, No gain

“A broken soul is not the absence of beauty, but a cracked and torn soul reeks of the sweet incense it contains.” – C. JoyBell C.

Broken. A pervasive and hopeless sadness following a loss or traumatic experience. There is another side to brokenness, a side that is beautiful. When my mind snaps, when my heart breaks, when I’m left alone, when I’m betrayed, I am cast down on the stones of life and the shards of peace and hope scatter everywhere. In the aftermath, when all I’m left with are pieces, there lies a hidden gift of recovery. The process of healing and restoration initiates a change that, if I were left whole, could not occur. For brokenness to help me, for it to begin surprising and wondrous changes, I must take my mess to the Creator. He formed the grandeur of the universe from chaotic clutter and He will bring awesome galaxies of restoration to the darkness of my broken soul. When I yield to Him, a resurrection of hope reaches from the grave. I find real beauty in brokenness, it allows me to be an understanding and compassionate companion to the many that lay in ruins. Brokenness, it allows me a chance to be a healer, and as I heal others, I restore myself. 

Also published in Broowaha

What I Did Last Week

“I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and 
a great fear of shallow living.” Anaïs Nin
“Live to the point of tears.” Albert Camus  

I laughed with new friends and old. I cried with some who were sad and lonely. I spent time, energy and money to help people. I paid bills. I meditated, prayed and listened to a few sermons. I read poetry and wrote some to. I wrote essays and took photographs. I gave advice, encouraging my friends and acquaintances, giving them something to think about. I ate healthy and exercised. I listened to new music and enjoyed old. I played my guitar, wrote a song and a few new licks. I went to the beach, put my toes in the sand and myself in the water. I hiked up a mountain, stopping to hear the birds, feel the wind, and watch the grasshoppers scurry into the bending grass. I took a couple new paths in that venture, stepping out to explore my world. I gave thanks to God, my strength, and talked to my family telling them all, I love you. If I had done only half of these things my life would be hugely successful, having done them all, I am not only successful but absolutely happy and content.