Archive for March, 2012

I’m Lost

“Pauline,” I heard the faint call of my mom from her asparagus-green-bedroom.

“I’ll be there in a minute, Mom.”

My plan was to finish the dirty dishes and bring her a cup of coffee.

“Pauline,” I heard her call again. “I’m lost.”

I deposited my dish towel on the counter and entered her room. I figured she’d be tottering around the room with her walker, instead, she was still tucked into bed. The shiny grandma cap from
Walmart framed her withered face. She lay crunched up in her hospital bed, smothered in blankets.

“I don’t know which room I’m in.”

I recited my usual reassuring “room message.” “You’re in your green room, Mom. See this picture of our family.” I pointed to the faded Olan Mills framed directly in front of her.

“Yes, I see it. That helps me.”

My eyes tear as I bring her the warm java, cooled by two ice cubes.

We talk a little and wait for Berta to arrive. At 81, Berta is ten years Mom’s junior and one of her caregivers. Mom feels safe once again.

“I’m lost,” echoes through my mind all morning. It must be terrifying for Mom, yet when she sees me, she knows where she is.

I remember one time when I was ten. I’d just finished sledding down the Quentin Heights Elementary School hill in Topeka, Kansas. I got off of my sled, and for a few minutes, I didn’t know where I was. Sure, I saw tons of people, and knew what they were doing. But I felt as if I was watching them and not really there. In a crowd, but completely isolated.

I still remember that day.

At almost 53, (tomorrow is the big day) I sometimes still feel lost like I did when I was ten. Surrounded by people who are strangers, I read about the daily atrocities not only in my community, but in the world. It makes me feel unsafe, unsure, alone. Isolated.

I wonder how many people are like that today. In a crowd, but lost. Sometimes, when they stop for just a while, they might realize they’re lost, but not sure. They may not even know what they’re lost from. They just feel alone. Isolated.

When I feel lost, I do what my mom does. I call out for help. I look to the One who gives my life purpose.

Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Then I realize which room I’m in–the waiting room. Earth is not my home, that’s why sometimes I’m uncomfortable here.

Are you lost? I’d love to talk with you about that over a cup of coffee, minus the ice cubes.

Email me if you’d like.

I’ll be praying about that.


Blood-Soaked Ground

These people chose different times of the day to meet. They knew it was dangerous–they couldn’t help themselves. Study, prayer, and worship meant more to them than safety. They paid dearly for it.

One morning, not so long ago, in the third-world country of Nigeria, at 7 AM, 300 Christians met for prayer. Muslim extremists drove their car fast into the crowd of believers. It detonated 50 feet away sparing many lives.

Not the car drivers. The bomb blew a large crater into the ground.

Not some Christians. Three died. Fifty wounded.

The question is, what happened to those people when they died?

The men in the car thought they would meet up with 70 virgins in heaven. Did they?

The Christians say that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

Universalists say they all went to heaven.

That doesn’t seem right.

Who do we believe?

I’m banking on the Bible. On Jesus. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6.

That’s pretty clear to me.

In America, at least for now, we can worship however we choose. But we could be killed in a car wreck. Or get cancer. Or die of old age. Then what?

If God is God. Creator. Sustainer. Supreme Leader. It’s important what He thinks, not what we think.

Think about it. Ask the creator about it. Read the book of John.

Remember the blood-soaked ground. Remember the blood-stained cross.


My Moody Phone

“I’m very sorry, Pauline, but I can’t help you right now. Could you try later?”

“I don’t want to try later, Siri! I need you now!”

“I’m so sorry, Pauline. I can’t do that right now.”

I’m not talking to my teenager, it’s my phone. And she’s moody.

My daughter has the same model, but her Siri is cheery. Loving. Kind.

Mine is moody, tense, sarcastic.

Sarah asks “Cheery Siri: “What’s the meaning of life?” and Siri responds with, “Sarah, I think it’s chocolate.”

I ask the same question, and “Moody Siri” says something like: “Now Pauline, I can’t answer your questions if you don’t unlock your phone.”

I think it’s phone abuse, but I’m not sure.

Sometimes, I can’t find my music. I’ll tell her to play, “Your Grace Still Amazes Me,” and she’ll say she can’t find it. But the very next day, she can.

While Sarah was here, I complained about “Moody Siri.” (Of course I turned her off and stuck her way down in my pocket.)

“Siri can’t find my Selah music.” Sarah turned difficult Siri on and gently asked her to produce my music. Siri complied. Even said something nice to Sarah.

Maybe I should take her to dinner and a movie. Trouble is, when we’re out, she can’t ever find restaurants.

I really don’t want to complain, but it’s frustrating when communication is difficult with an inanimate object. I already have a love-hate relationship with my dishwasher.

I hope Siri won’t hold it against me that I’m complaining about her on my website. She might know my computer.

I like him.