Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"how easily could God,
if He so willed, set back the
world a little turn or two! correct
its griefs, and bring its joys again!"
edna st. vincent millay

just a turn here and there.
so the sorrows can be undone. the
failures. and life be as before. beautiful
and fresh and untarnished.

a graduate of whittier college.
summa cum laude..
young. vital. handsome.
his future planted with vastly-
promised possibilities. a job
waiting in san francisco. the
sky clean and blue. the pacific ocean
out his window. the world knocking
at his door.

one, gentle, cool evening.
he asked a beautiful, young , indian girl
to go out. maybe the third date, they
had protected sex. until the condon broke.
strangers. her culture a world away from his.
how much can you really know someone
over THREE dinners? how much?

she called and told him she was
pregnant, and positive it was his baby.
she was wild for nash the first night she
saw him. thought he was the most gorgeous
creature she'd ever laid eyes on.

pregnant?! a BABY?!
in one conversation, EVERYTHING nash
had going for him...freedom and the beginning
of the rest of his life...was obliterated.
shattered. leaving him naked. exposed. and
he withdrew deeper and deeper into himself.
the sky was no longer blue. the ocean a
million miles away.

lying in bed,
he would look over at this strange,
beautiful woman. pregnant with his child,
and he hated her. an unknown object.
blasting his peace. his joy. his soul!

he went to all the doctor's visits.
tried, in every way, to be honorable
and shoulder this weight. and he
sank lower. to depths no one else
knew or could understand.

the baby was born.
a beautiful, tiny girl.
i could not see a drop of nash
in this precious child we all
treasured.. none of us could.
but we embraced her. the
ground unstable under our feet.

the young mother
became more and more
distraught and demanding. nash
lost his bonus because of missing
so many work hours because of
her screaming orders to come home.

finally, secretly,
nash ordered a paternity test.
to be delivered to a private p.o. box.
without the mother knowing. he
swabbed the baby's cheek. then his
own. and mailed the package.

it was the same day....
the baby turned 6 mos. old...
nash had his birthday, and his mother,
my twin sister, jan, was diagnosed with
cancer. the DNA results came.
99.9% positive the baby was NOT his.

he went in, quietly, and picked up
this little girl we all loved. fed her.
talked to her. put a dry diaper on,
and laid her back in her crib.
with self-contained rage
boiling just under his skin.
behind his eyes. on the bottoms
of his feet, he handed susan the DNA
results. picked up a few things, and
walked out.

nash isn't about sitting behind a desk.
raking in alot of money for the sake of success.
he's a visionary. a dreamer. wanting to build a
better world. spain. china. anywhere. one brick
at a time. a banner here. five thousand there.
world, dance with me. believe with me. innovate.
create. expand.

like all of us,
maybe he forgot that the
Creator of the universe is the ONLY
One who can lead us to the music.
and direct the orchestra.

for weeks.....and months,
nash has been battling an internal war.
day after day, curled on his bed in a
fetal position. the hole too deep. the
wall too high. sometimes, he's sat at a
bar. drunk a martini. annihilated.

then, last night.
rock bottom. the place we all
must get to before we can rise out
of the ashes.

"God, i'll go. anywhere.
do anything. ANYTHING.
take my life. all of me. Jesus,
lead me out."

in its own way,
the sinner's prayer.
the arm
reaching out of the
wreckage, and God's arm
grabbing ours, and lifting us out.

"oh, joy,
you seek me through the pain.
i cannot close my heart to Thee.
i trace the rainbow through the rain,
and know the promise is not vain that
morn shall tearless be."

hey, nash,
your aunt ann treasures you.
believes in you. and i'm watching
as God turns the corner of your life.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

to tomorrow.
fresh dreams.
higher mountains.
greater impossibilities.
wider sunrises.
stouter courage.
braver risks."
because Jesus is the divine YES.
because He changes everything.
He is my highest fulfillment.
He made me whole...
takes the bad and turns it to good.
He is my Song.
my Reason to live.
"for to me to live is Christ"

i stand before Christ and the world.
my heart shouts an affirmation:
Jesus, i am a lowly servant woman.
take me. all of me.
add anything. take away anything.
at any cost. with any price.
make me Yours. completely...wholly.
may i not be remembered for how
i wear my hair
or the shape of my face
or the people i know
or the crowds i've addressed.
may i be known for loving You
for carrying a dream.
for building bridges
to the hurt and broken and lost in the world.
make me what You would be if You lived
in person where i do.
may everything accomplished through my simple
life bring honor and glory to You.
for carrying a dream.
to the hurt and broken and lost.
take my human failures and flaws,
and use them to remind those who know me
that only You are God.
and i will always just be ann.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

i can spot a single mother
across walmart or the grocery store.
or fixing sandwiches behind the counter
of subway.

all of us doing double time
to make ends meet. to keep the
roof over our heads. making sure
our children eat. that the electricity
isn't turned off.

the other night,
i went to celebrate recovery.
taylor, my oldest, to the gym.
all of me itched for a solid, two-hour
work-out, but keeping my sobriety
wooed me more than the other.

thinking taylor would be home
before i was. i left the house key
on the chest in the living room.
when i got home, the door was
locked. no key under the mat.

i got back in the car, to the gym.
and while waiting for my son to
answer the page (had ear phones
in, listening to his music so didn't
hear), i was visiting with sandy behind
the counter. handing out towels. etc.

finally, she came over,
and just the two of us were talking.

ann, i've worked here for seven years,
and still get $9 an hour. isn't that pitiful?!!
no benefits. nothing.

i found taylor.
he handed me the house keys.
as i was driving home, God

ann, remember all the cash
at home that you got out for the
rent? give her $100 in My name.

these are my most glorious moments!!
the THRILL of helping Jesus in my
neighborhood. my face gets flushed
with excitement. heart pounding.

grabbing $100, and zooming back
to the gym. pushing through the front
door, i found her standing alone. wrap-
ping up for the night.

i rolled the bill
so she couldn't see
the amount. opened her
hand, and closed her fingers around
the money.'

sandy (fictitious name),
i give this to you in the name
of Jesus. i don't care what you do
with it.

a glorious God.
radiance on her face.
she began to weep.

sandy, this is not mine.
but God's. He knows ALL your
needs. covers you when you
are in pain. when you have run
out of all your resources.

she kept crying.
hugging me. kissing my face.

sandy, are you
a single mother?

yes, three children.

whoa! we were sisters.
leaning hard on Jesus to
keep us afloat. i know because
i have four as a single mother.

oh, ann, i love you.
you'll never know what
this means. miracles really
do happen! you have no idea
how much i needed this.

soaring with the angels.
the Divine. joining in God's
kingdom efforts on earth.
as fresh as the early morning
sky. as quiet as the sun stretching
lower and lower across the horizon.
single parents. alone and difficult,
yet NEVER alone. NEVER abandoned.

"guide me, oh, Thou great Jehovah.
lead me through this barren
i am weak, but Thou art mightly.
guide me with Thy powerful hand.

bread of Heaven,
feed us 'til we want no more.
bread of Heaven,
feed us 'til we want no more."