The Soul Releaser

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Never, in the history of the town, could anyone recall something like this happening. He just showed up one day, walking down the tracks and walked straight into the grocery. He asked for the manager and then he asked for a job. He said he would do any job and work any hours. The manager so happened to have a position open no one wanted so he hired him on the spot and told him he could start in the morning.

He left the grocery and walked down the tracks again before veering off to the woods. Sure enough, he was right on time. The grocery manager had to ask his age and before he said, “18”, the manager had a feeling he would stretch the truth a little. Not that it mattered. He needed a worker. Manager guessed him to be 15 at most and homeless.

On pay-day, the strangest thing happened. The boy went to the bank and cashed his check. That Sunday at church before service, he gave out all the money he made the previous week. Every cent.

He did this without stopping for five years and then began to take sick. The bought him to the house where the doctor lived where upon he immediately sent for her. She was a half a day away and the doctor knew she would be needed soon.

She was there by noon the next day. “Not yet” and slowly walked upstairs, holding the rail she had held hundreds of times before. All night from  the bedroom everyone could hear her pray, even though she had a soft voice.. They had no idea when  she would sleep.

The next day, she said, “the Lord is preparing his place.” They didn’t see her until the following morning. “Likely  tonight, but it ain’t up to us.” In the corner of his room, three women from the church sang hymns from memory, some of which we still sing today although not as beautiful.  Sang a beautiful gospel harmony which is alsmost lost save for a few remaining places in the south. She went to her bedroom and told everyone he would pass in the morning.

That morning, the doctor, the pastor, the women and the soul releaser gathered round his bed. He looked the same as the day he come into town. Rail thin, hollow eyes, and always so quiet. The elder said he would be buried in the potters field since he had nothing, however, the pastor stood up and said he has something to say about that.

When the church heard what was happening, they voted him to be buried in a fine casket near the entrance to the church so the bricks would go around him to the left or right. He would have a flat marble headstone with  reading about his life and his name.

The soul releaser drew her chair next to his bed, close to his face, so he could hear her whisper. She held one hand and put the other hand over his forehead covering his eyes which were closing. The singing notched down to a whisper. No one ever knew what the soul releaser said, but just like always, in a matter of minutes he had passed.

She went back upstairs and at sunlight, you could see her walking down the dirt road. Long dreadlocks, long skirt that stirred up the dust as it hadn’t rained in months. Workers began the burial site and for the first time, the women continued to sing  until this work was finished.

We know, there is a lot in the Bible about how to live. About how to give. About how to go about one’s life with respect and honor. You can read those verses on his headstone if you ever visit that church. Listen for the singers and perhaps you could leave all the money you had with you that day.

Alonement

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~ Never One For Him ~

 

Each morning before the opening of the store

Sidewalks not swept, drunks still dreaming

He arises early to see them, he lives alone

Silent, he writes to no one in particular

Each has a name, so he wants to arrive early

Hospital scared and scarred him just for talking to no one

He greets each with a pleasant “good morning” and

compliments them on the slightest change especially on days

when he is convinced they even changed their make up

Old theater, down the street, somehow still open

Since he knows their names, he asks them out on dates

one by one of course

Then, on every Friday night, he buys two tickets

but always sits alone while he imagines

how nice it would be

to have a real person in his life

Before the street cleaner arrives

He has talked with each of them

Compliments more than questions

since mannequins don’t murmur

Back to his apartment he waits

for the post man to arrive just before one

he hears letters slide into receptive slots

Never one for him

Not once

Never one for him

Joy To The World

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Don’t worry, this is not one my posts where I announce I spotted the first item out for Christmas. Although, it could happen….it is the middle February and our shopping days are dwindling!

Simple post. For what it means for you. For whom it reminds you of.

Joy To The World!

Joy

Joy

and a little more Joy!

In The Heart

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Thank you to everyone who has visited and commented and shared “our”  site as we continue to discover and share God’s love and grace. While at the same time, learning together, how to be a gentle witness.

God and I talked about my spiritual journey this week. I often write about our walk of faith and the importance of helping someone take those first, possibly hesitant, steps.

It is always springtime in the heart that loves God.”

– St. John Vianney

My prayer for us this week is to talk with God about the season of our heart. The above quote reminds us of how we can feel if our heart loves God. I pray we can also assist, as a gentle witness, in guiding a spiritually seeking person to this point. In addition to our individual prayers, I ask us to communally pray for this understanding. Not only an understanding but a wonderful goal on our walk of faith. Let us ask God where He would like us to be and Who we could be with. Let us talk with God about the level of love in our hearts….is springtime on the horizon?

Change Of Seasons

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Thank you all for being here! For continuing to comment as we discover and share God’s grace and learn more about being a gentle witness for Him. I also appreciate how you share this ministry with a wider group of people!

Recently, God and I have been talking about changes. Sometimes, we refer to those changes as seasons of life.

My prayer for today, is for us to talk with God, no matter our season, and ask what it is He wants us to do? Who does He want us to be with? How do we carry out His will for our lives? I believe the answer is in conversational prayer, where Dan reminds us to listen for “God’s Whisper.” In my season, I am learning to be quiet and listen during prayer. Prayer is not a one-sided wish list like it was early in my walk of faith. Now, it is a longing to be closer to God and hear His Word and carry out His Will.

It is always springtime in the heart that loves God.”

– St. John Vianney

Comment On Comments With A New Post

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As you know, I have always replied to every comment, as I am so honored and humbled by our community of discovering and sharing grace. Since I’m not posting as often as I used to, going forward for what I hope is a short time, I will not be replying to each comment. Be assured I read each one, some of them several times!

That said, please keep comments coming as I will always believe they can complete a post in a most awemazing way or give us more to mediate on in our prayers. Please continue to read the comments and lift one another up in prayer as we continue to seek God’s direction for our life. Thank you so much!

SIR

For several months, the young man at the convenience store and I got in to the habit of referring to one another as “sir.” Not disrespectful, just an easy way to say hello or good-bye or thank you.

While standing in line, the other day, God whispered to me, “Rick, he has a name.”

When I got to the counter, I mentioned that we had been calling each other sir for a really long time and introduced myself. Turns out, since this simple effort started a conversation, that he has a three and a half month old daughter with some medical problems. I assured him I would be praying for her and his family.

Then, something else amazing happened. The other young man who works there had overheard our conversation and walked up to introduce himself! Although I’m not great at remembering names, I have made it a point to remember these two!

Gentle witness. Simple act of introductions. All from being able to hear God’s whisper!

My prayer for us is to have conversations with our loving God. As part of our conversation, I pray we quiet ourselves so we can hear God’s whisper. He often has wonderful and unexpected words for us. I pray with this example, we can see what meeting one person at a time can do! Please join me in making God-guided introductions and getting to know even the people we may see every day. Let us ask God for His will and direction for our lives and continue to pray for our world in need.

Cast yourself into the arms of God and be very sure that if He wants anything of you, He will fit you for the work and give you strength.”

– St. Philip Neri

Give In Up Thanks

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I am very humbled by all of the recent comments. Thank you so much! I will continue to believe comments can complete a post in wonderful ways or give us something to consider and meditate upon.

I miss being here and for the first time, I am going to write a new post without replying to the previous comments. Please know how much I appreciate you! I know you have only so much time each day and to think about the four trillion (note: this might be an alternate fact) blog sites, you decide to be here as we continue to discover and share God’s grace. Here, where we encourage one another to be a gentle witness. Here, where I want everyone to feel accepted regardless of where you are on your walk of faith. A community of acceptance and not judgement! A community of lifting up one another in prayer. Discovering and sharing God’s abundant and truly amazing love and grace.

We are all at different places on our walk of faith and here, my goal since day one, when I received in prayer: “Introduce people to Jesus.” Here is a place for the person who might not yet have been introduced or hesitant to take that first step….that heart decision and what I call, the miracle of faith.

One of my favorite denominational messages is: “God is still speaking!”

The purpose of my writing today is to let you know what I have been receiving constantly in prayer. Every day. Every night. Every prayer: Give thanks in all things.

Five words. God’s Whisper: Give thanks in all things.

It is starting to change my life as pray and meditate on what this means.

Again, my heart-felt thanks to you! I hope we will communally pray for one another and for our leaders during what seems like a very fragile time. I hope we will communally pray for our pastoral leaders of all denominations to encourage us to listen to God’s whisper and will. Where does God want us to be? Who does God want us to be with? What work with our hands, does God want us to accomplish for Him?

Be not anxious about what you have, but about what you are.

– St. Gregory the Great