“pOINTS oF pAIN”……….. Do you hear the Lord? Do you have your Gotham?
Posts Tagged With: Mission
THE ENCOUNTER III > The story is written as if fiction, but it is not, I am living this every day. Signed: Don.
The bus stop was just outside a Wendy’s hamburger place and after about twenty minutes of waiting, Don saw the lights of a bus dancing in the distance, working its way up 10th street, coming his way. Standing there alone in the dark he wondered about this unknown world he was about to enter, and his heart began to beat just a little faster. No longer a young man, pushing 59, he was about to enter a realm mostly experienced by those considered to be “less fortunate”. Would he be welcome there? He had his $1.75 clutched tightly in his hand. He did not want to slow the bus down anymore than possible, but just exactly where did the money go?
His moment was upon him, the bus quickly hissing to a stop and doors flying opening. He thought he saw the floor drop a few inches in the dark. Did he really see that? No time to figure it out, the driver is waiting. Stepping on, he sees a metal box waiting to take his money, but exactly where does it go in? The bus driver is looking at him.
“This is my first time,” he quickly informs while trying to spot the right slots in the dim light. The driver points and then says, “Just pull the cord when you’re ready to get off.”
Inserting the bill and change, he then walks away wondering what the driver meant by pulling a cord? Pulling a cord? But again his thoughts are interrupted as the bus quickly accelerates before he has found a seat! He grabs the bar overhead and hangs on, regaining his balance and fighting off the G-forces! “Woe! So that’s what that bar is there for.”
There are plenty of empty seats. Before he knows it he is on the bus and sailing down the little narrow street. This bus driver flew! He felt like a spy rushing into the unknown. Would anyone see through his cover? Was someone watching him even now, speculating if the old white guy had a wallet full of money? Did he dress right for riding the bus, to blend in and become one with them? He had already shown he didn’t know what he was doing, and as he looked out the side window into the dark, he saw the poor areas of Haughville beginning to pass. He wondered at how fast the huge bus could move on this narrow street. As an ex-truck driver he had knowledge of such things, and it was exhilarating! As he sat there undercover, headed to downtown Indy, he was on his way, no turning back now, it was happening!
It was not the busy time, only a few were on the bus and they were mostly quiet, everyone in their own little world, but he did take note he was the only white spot in the small group. Looking around he saw the yellow cord running just above the windows. “Oh, pull that cord?”
Someone pulled the cord, “Stop requested…10th and Tibbs…hold on while bus is moving.” It was a female voice, a recording, and it announced upcoming streets and anytime a stop was requested. “This is pretty cool,” Don thought to himself as the bus hissed to a stop. He noticed the back half of the bus sat higher, an elevated floor, and wish he had gone farther back. Next time he would. There was also a middle door, not just one up at the front, but in the middle, and it opened when the front one did. He would be able to jump out the side from the middle, but exactly what might he jump into?
It was hard to see clearly out the windows. It was dark outside but the bus was well lit on the inside. Did he know downtown well enough to jump off at a good place, or might he end up walking a mile, or worse yet, land in a bad area? He would soon find out as the adventure continued.
“THE ENCOUNTER III” > The story is written in fictional form, but it is not fiction, I am living this every day. Signed: Don.
Don was anxious to get a feel for downtown, but it was Wednesday and there was Church tonight. Nevertheless, he still felt led to do it, and if he was going to, then he had to do it right. “It’s not by might, nor by power, but by thy Spirit, Lord.” Have we forgotten what that means? I think we have.”
His coffee was half gone as he pondered, still setting in the dark and journal by his side. “I had forgotten, Lord. I know you have your remnant. You always have your remnant, but I don’t think they are around me. Who’s preaching it? I don’t hear them anywhere. You had to almost break my back to slow me down enough to hear. I hear ya, Lord. Push the plate back. Fast. I’m going out tonight on a spiritual walk-about. I will fast this whole day until sometime tonight…downtown…I’ll know when it is right. By thy Spirit, Lord. Have we forgotten what that means? If anything supernatural is going to come of this, I’m a Priest. I’m gonna do it right this time, Lord. I’m bringing back the ‘old ways’. The devil is going to know a ‘caped’, a ‘covered’, an ‘anointed’ crusader has come to town.”
“This is war, Satan. Yeah, that’s right, I’m talking to you. It’s no secret. You’ve heard my prayers. No sense being bashful about this. God is sending me into the streets of downtown and you already know it, already planning your devices and setting your traps. We might as well be honest about this, I see your face on a ‘wanted poster’ on every wall, and I’m God’s Bounty Hunter. I come in the name of the Lord, in his priesthood, and there will be sacrifice. I’m not the fool I used to be, Satan, when I used to fight you on your terms. I’m coming in the name of Jesus, and I’m coming for you. There will be sacrifices, and I will remember who the real enemy is. It is not my fellow-man, but it is you Satan. It is you. The evil running rampant in the streets is you. My fights not with them, my fight is with you. I fight ‘for’ them, to see you defeated in their life, and so I pray, and I fast, and I come to you in the power of a Priest, for what is a Priest of Christ about if it is not sacrifice? And what is love if it is not sacrificial? Have we forgotten, Lord? I think we have. Thank you for reminding me, Holy Spirit.”
Church service ran later than normal that night, and as Don climbed into his black 1990 Dodge Ram pick-up, it was already dark. He slammed the door, and then slammed it again because it did not always catch the first time. He sat there for a minute listening within, to his soul. He had not expected Church to run this late, did he still feel led to catch a bus downtown? He had studied it out on the Internet. He needed exact change, $1.75. The 10th street bus stop was closest to his home and it ran straight downtown. He would be walking the streets after dark, but there would still be plenty of lights and activity. He could pray at Monument Circle, get a feel for things, set on a bench in the Garden Center and watch people below, assuming he survived the bus trip.
“Yes, I still feel to go. Grab the lion by the throat and don’t look back.” He turned the key in the ignition switch and duel pipes rumbled to life. He liked the sound of that thunder, because that is the way he felt.
“THE LITTLE BIRD THAT COULDN’T” > CHAPTER THREE
That night Flapless snuggled up in a pile of leaves that were trapped against a fallen tree. As he stared up into the starry sky he began to question the events of his day. “Did I really hear the wind talking to me? I passed several trees today and never heard the voice even once, not even a peep! What if I’m wrong? Will I find food up in the mountains? Do worms live there? Is the ground too hard and cold?” his thoughts continued in endless chaotic circles of fear and doubt.
“I never knew the wind could speak, even though, like the wind had said, have their not been Prophets who have said it is so? And have we not ignored them because we thought they were imagining things? Have we not laughed at them, just like some have laughed at me?”
“What is a Prophet, anyway?” he considered. “The Book of the Ancient Ways says they are a person who hears the voice of God, and speaks of invisible things of another kingdom. Sometimes they even tell us the future! Wait a minute, if I’m hearing such a voice, does that make me a Prophet? Or possibly a Prophet in training? Could the mountain be my great test?” Flapless was very lost in his thoughts when a voice from above suddenly interrupted!
“Hey, bro! What are you doing down there? You want to get eaten?”
“A voice!” Flapless shouted to himself, but then he thought, “Hey, bro? What kind of voice is that?” So as he looked in the direction of the voice, he spotted a small bird, a very small bird, much smaller than he, for it was a wren, and the little bird was perched on a limb above him.
“Oh! Hi, up there! I did not know you was there.”
“Yeah, I get missed a lot, but are you planning on sleeping down there?” the little wren asked.
“Yes. I have no choice. You see, it’s kind of a long story, but my wings do not work and I cannot fly. My name says it all, they call me, Flapless.”
“Flapless,” the wren repeated, “OH, I get it! So sorry for your condition, but since I am perching here tonight, I will try to keep an eye open for danger, and I can give you warning.”
“That is very kind of you, little wren. And what is your name?”
“My name is, Goliath, because I don’t like thinking small. I drove my parents so crazy with my wild ideas that they just started calling me, Goliath, you know, the giant?”
“Yes, I know of whom you speak. It is one of the stories in the Book of Ancient Ways. The same book that speaks of Prophets and hearing voices in the wind.”
“Yes, the same book,” the wren agreed.
Flapless noticed that Goliath seemed to be studying him closely, before finally asking, “Are you a starling, or a raven?”
“I’m a raven,” he answered.
“Hmmm,” the little wren sounded.
“I’ve heard that before,” Flapless thought.
“You know, I’m a bit of a student of the Ancient Book, and it is unfortunate that your kind has gotten such a bad rap in our times.”
“What do you mean?” Flapless asked.
“You know. All that stuff about witches and sorcery.”
“Oh, yeah, all that. I’ve never even seen a witch. I probably wouldn’t know one if I saw one.”
“If people studied the Ancient Book more, they would know how silly it all is. Just because ravens are listed as one of the unclean birds, I mean, aren’t we all? That is what salvation is about, right? And people seem to forget that our mighty eagle brother is listed as an unclean bird, too.”
“Actually, you ravens have a pretty good record in the Good Book of Ancient Ways. Noah sent one of your forefathers out of the ark first, because you are a stronger bird. The dove couldn’t handle the hardship. But your forefather bravely went forth, and stayed out much sooner than the dove.”
“Also, God chose another one of your forefathers to feed a very special man named, Elijah. And they faithfully took care of Elijah for as long as possible. And Jesus even used the raven when he spoke of taking no thought for your life, and what you will eat or wear, but seek first the kingdom of God.”
“Wow, you really do know the Ancient Book of God’s Word! Can I share with you the details of my journey? Perhaps you can help me have a better understanding, because earlier today I heard a voice in the wind, and that is how I ended up on the road to the mountains, for I was going to take the other path.”
“A voice in the Wind? Oh my. Yes, this will be very interesting. Please tell me all!”
“Well, starting from the beginning, I left home because I did not fit in, and I decided to go on a great quest in search of answers.” And so Flapless began to share every detail of his story with his new friend, Goliath.
The crickets chirped in the background as he described his great torment of having wings that do not work, and all his fellow birds who had hurt him with insulting names. He told of the owl who who who could not help him, and his many weeks of walking, walking, and walking. Until he finally had his encounter with “the Voice”, which he thought was the tree talking and he had gone crazy. But thank goodness it had turned out to be the wind speaking to him as it blew through the leaves of the tree. Then there was the turtle and his advice to listen to the wind and take the road to the mountains. Now here he was.
“I think I saw your turtle friend on the way here,” the wren said. “He was camped at a rock by a big tree.”
“Yes, that would be the one, but surely he was not right by the tree?”
“Well, it was a few feet away,” Goliath confirmed.
“Yes, that would be him. He is old and only has three legs.”
“Three legs?” Goliath repeated. “You know, I have seen something called a wheel. Some one should attach a wheel where his missing leg is, and it would probably help him a lot.”
“A wheel?” Flapless thought. “You really do think outside the box, don’t you.”
“Oh, yes, I guess I just did it again, didn’t I. Birds are not supposed to think of things like that.”
Goliath’s last statement was followed by a few minutes of silence, as both were lost in their own thoughts. The crickets never stopped chirping, and the stars never stopped shining as the two kept each other company. But finally, Goliath began to talk again.
“So the Wind spoke to you, huh. That is not a small thing, Flapless. And he said your condition is a great blessing?”
“Yes, but I’m afraid I don’t agree with that part. It has brought me a lot of pain and sadness. I have left my home. I have no friends. No place to lay my head. And I weary of all this walking. Now it is about to get even harder as I begin hiking up the side of this great mountain. I am afraid I might give out. What if I do not have the heart to make this great journey?”
“Hmmm, but you are a raven,” the little wren pointed out, and then added, “A bird for hard times. A bird that was first to leave the ark into the new world, and the bird that fed a Prophet during a time of famine and drought. Perhaps the Wind knows that you do have the heart?”
“He said he was All-Knowing,” Flapless added as he considered the little wrens words.
“Yes. That would seem to agree with the Book of Ancient Ways, but I never thought about it before. If this is true, then why do I fight the Wind?” Goliath asked out loud.
“What do you mean?” Flapless asked.
“Well, my wings work, and I use them for a few things. One, to get off the ground. Two, if I am flying with the Wind, I use them to go faster. Three, I use them if I decide to go ‘against’ the Wind, or in any way ‘counter’ to it. But I am beginning to ask myself, if the Wind is All-Knowing, why would I want to go faster than the Wind carries me, or counter to it in any way?”
“Hmmm,” Flapless found himself saying. “I think I see what you mean.” Then he considered that he could not believe he had just said, “Hmmm.”