Anointing My Head

Can’t stop the restlessness
No, not at all
Up on this rock face
Where I might fall
Bugs all around me
Eyes, throat and ears
Gone to distraction
Brings me to tears.
Shepherd is coming soon
Bringing the oil
Sweet-smelling savour
Ending turmoil.
What is there in it
None of us knows
Simply apply some
And how trouble goes!
Then comes the comfort
Then comes the calm
Doctor and guardian
Helps us along.
Special His words seem
And settling too
Kindly our Shepherd
Who helps us come through.

Mysteries

There are various things recorded as mysteries in the scriptures. “I tell you a mystery…”

The mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven

The reconciliation of Jew and Gentile in time through Christ

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit

The rapture of the Church

The mystery of iniquity

The mystery of godliness

Refer to a concordance and see them there.

I love a good mystery. Just got finished reading again The Hound of the Baskervilles with Sherlock Holmes. Eerie territory. Pathways through quagmire. Obscuring fogs. Terrifying sounds. Sulphurous smells. Lurking threats. Folklore through the ages. Curses. Villains and deceit. Distinctions of nobility and service. Wrong paths. Re-tracing of one’s steps. Half thought out clues. Poor judgments. Providential information hitting like a clap of thunder. New eyes given to see.

It all took time for Holmes and Dr. Watson to solve the story.

Revelation takes time for each one of us. The ones gone on a little bit before must show and exercise patience with those following. It is not immediately as clear to see “as the nose on one’s face”. There is a patient and benevolent timing to the clues. And lest I be misunderstood it is not a matter of intelligence, but rather of mercy and providence. My dear Watson.

God is the One laying out the clues, lovingly, and in His perfect timing, heart by heart.

Behold, He cometh with clouds (Revelation 1:7a)

The Looping Pigeon

A little bird takes credit

For one particular night

His family all made fun of him

For his peculiar flight

With one wing short

And one too long

He looped and curved mid-air

And moreso when excited

No straight trips anywhere.

And that Night something special

A stable perch for all

Behind the Inn

With lodging thin

For travelers come to call.

The call had been a census

To count the simple folk

A weary inconvenience

Beneath a Roman yoke.

And in this barn a couple

The woman large with child

Their only chance at nursery

The Mother sweet and mild.

And pigeons strained to witness

A wondrous birthing sight

Celestial music beckoned

This clear and chilly night.

The shuffling on the rafter

Each bird pressed to his friend

Until the looping pigeon

Was pushed right off the end!

The launch so very shocking

Then out the window too

And flapping, arching, curving

Was all that he could do.

Beyond the Inn, across the square

And down through lane-ways tight

The misdirected pigeon

Was sure a curious sight.

And sight even to shepherds

Down from the hills to see

A babe of royal promise

To set their people free.

Some angels had directed

Some stall in Bethlehem

The place of His arrival

And so dispatched the men.

And here they were

The Town for sure

But where the Hope of men?

The wee bird held the answer

As he regained his poise

And made his straightest homeward flight

To happy manger noise

The sheep would bleat contentment

The cattle mooing peace

The pigeon gained his rafter perch

The World, a soul’s release.

Church Mouse

Call me a church mouse

Yep, generations of ‘em

Here, under the oaken arches

And that golden and blue glass.

Long quiet pause

Day after day

We like that

Place all to ourselves

Except for one singing woman

With a mop

And a quiet man in black

Sits on a bench with open book

Drops to his knees often

Down where we are.

Couple a’ times he near

Squashed me

But he didn’t know.

Seems gentle and trustworthy

Others before him

Mostly the same, my folks tell me.

…No, I take that back!

Couple of them struck real fear

Into some of the women and kids.

Those few with the nasty smirk

Never looked at the picture windows

Never sat in the bench

To get real quiet.

Sometimes I climbed

All the way up to that

One picture with those fluffy critters

And the kindly man with the staff

(Bearing subscription Ezekiel 34).

Did it twice when

The place was crowded.

Loud sounds, blended voices

Clapping hands, fun apparently.

Then all got real quiet

And the man with the black coat

Spoke, spoke long

And hard, and raised up that Book.

My siblings were busy out back

Sampling the cakes and fruit.

But I had the better portion

In this lovely quiet and focus

And that Book seemed to be

So very important.

He even pointed up

To the glass picture behind me

Thought I might get noticed.

Crouched down real low.

Nice people, mostly.

Somewhat confused.

They might come more often

If you ask me.

Moshe of Mars Hill

It’s all coming apart. Here I am in the City of Wisdom. Fairly successful dry goods shop. A few cousins recently arrived from the coast of Phoenicia. Putting them up until they see their opening.

I manage the noon hour talks about four times a week. They are about everything. Restless, intelligent men. Recently they have been trying to take strips off Paul, messenger of the new sect of Christ followers.

It is quite something to watch. He was once a religious leader of the Jews. Interpreting. Distinguishing. Rule making. And hounding non-conformists to prison and death. But he says that he had a revelation. Stopped him dead in his tracks and showed him the majesty of Jesus the resurrected one.

Released from the grave, just as He promised. Walking through Roman justice as if it were a mere inconvenience. Right around Passover. Now that IS majestic and other-worldly.

And this Paul, almost convinces me. The prophecies. A Virgin birth. In Bethlehem. Steeped in the wisdom of Torah. Rejected by His peers. Crucified. Placed with honour in a rich man’s tomb. Saved from corruption on the third day after burial. And it is said that He was true to the Law, Prophets and ceremony.

How brilliant of God. Taking a major detractor and turning him into the Chief Apologist for the life and teachings of the Galilean. And His incredible victory over death, fear and hate.

I am tired. Never a sense of conscience clean; of merit to stand before God free from shame. I want to get beyond culture and stifling repetition. What if the real Passover Lamb has now appeared ONCE to put away sin? Precious blood message.

A little group meets with Paul in the evenings. I intend to show up.

Open my eyes Lord. Make me undeniably free. And yours. And show me what to do about my own people, the Jews.

Come Here. I Want to See You*

Small-town Coldwater Michigan has been hit with an unthinkable phenomenon. People are reporting that they are getting phone calls from dear, departed ones; that they are getting insights into Heaven.

A real estate agent, a building contactor, a police chief, a day-care director, a dentist. All of them thrilled by repeated Friday phone calls expressing that Heaven is wonderful…no need to fear. Love is the grand pre-occupation.

Imagine what happens when the media gets hold of this and the internet. Churches, politicians and businessmen prepare for the onslaught. There is also a single Father grieving over the death of his wife while he was in prison. He can hardly tolerate these reports. Oh how he would thrill to hear her voice again. And so would his young boy Jules. But enough of that; just harmful sensationalism. “Sully” launches a mission to disprove the whole phenomenon. Some prankster with a strangely cruel streak.

I am only part way through the book “The First Phone Call From Heaven” by best-selling author Mitch Albom. In my estimation he scores another Grand Slam in inspirational writing.

I was sitting reading this very early at a McDonald’s. A well-dressed Englishman sat down beside me and flipped open his morning newspaper. Very business-like. Articles full of a recent provincial election.

I attempted to engage with him about this fascinating book before me. His demeanour indicated that he did not desire conversation, and particularly about some silly fable. After two attempts, I wished him good day. Pity. There was more of redeeming value in my read than in all of that rag of half-truths and advertising that had him so mesmerized.

Ears to hear, my Lord. Ears to Hear.

Next over to Walmart for some breakfast items. I mentioned the book again to the woman at the cash register. She listened through a good synopsis. No people in line behind. And then her response:

“Sir, I was in a coma after a car accident. Vehicle totally flipped over. Should have died. While unconscious I distinctly heard my dead Mother’s voice saying it is not your time Sweetheart. You will return.”

Her face indicated that she was somewhat stunned at having shared the treasured experience with a total stranger. But it felt good.

We thanked one another for the shared thoughts, and went about our business.

…how much Coldwater had changed since the miracles. There were complants, head shakes, more complaints.

But there was also talk about heaven. And faith. And God. There were more prayers said than in years past. More requests for forgiveness. The volunteers for soup kitchens far exceeded the need. The mattresses at churches far outnumbered the weary. (at page 178)

(* first words by telephone from Alexander Graham Bell)