Tuesday, March 30, 2010

She Stood Alone by Jaye Lewis

As we come to the week before Easter, we commemorate the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That is my belief, and it is the belief of all true Christians. Without taking away from this sacred tenant of my faith, that I am lost without Him; that He is my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I tiptoe into another view of that night.

I am no theologian, nor a scholar, nor a traditionalist, nor a Catholic. I aspire to the Evangelical creed that began hundreds of years ago, with the Protestant Reformation. My faith, however, is more compassionate than the originators, but certainly just as passionate.

It is easy, as a Protestant, of any faith, to forget the other “players” in this Divine production: God, Himself, on the Cross, dying so that I might be forgiven, washed by His cleansing blood, alone. But there is one whom we either forget about, or we deify. Both are wrong. She was only a woman; only a mother, and very much alone. This is her story:

She Stood Alone by Jaye Lewis

She stood, alone, with broken heart,
Upon a rocky hill.
The sky was dark, the voices harsh;
Eternity stood still.

She saw His eyes, so full of hurt;
His blood upon her hand;
But, though, He was the Lord of love;
She couldn’t understand.

For wasn’t He just a little boy,
Just a moment before?
Didn’t he cry, when he stumbled and fell,
As she helped him through the door?
Didn’t she wipe away his tears,
And wash away the blood?
Didn’t she lift him safely up,
As he tripped into the mud?

Wasn’t he all the world to her,
Just a baby in her arms?
Cooing and laughing, contentedly,
With all his baby charms?

Didn’t she hold him in the night,
When he ‘woke from terrible dreams?
And didn’t she promise she’d keep him safe,
As she hushed away his screams?

Yet, there she stood, beneath a Cross,
Helpless to ease His pain;
Trusting in God, yet, shuddering so,
As she heard His screams again.

Friendless, alone, abandoned,
Far from His mother’s breast;
A mother’s tears, wet the holy ground,
Where her Son passed His final test.

“It’s FINISHED!” She heard his valiant voice,
As with one, last burst he cried.
His broken body, collapsed on a cross,
She watched as her baby died.

At that moment, the heavens broke,
Redemption had its start;
But the mother remembered tiny hands,
Entwined within her heart.

So, as I await on my own bleak hill,
As my world seems tempest tossed,
I remember a mother, silent and still,
Beneath her “baby’s” Cross.

Jaye Lewis © 2001

At the time that I wrote this poem, my own child was very close to death. While sitting on the back deck, looking at the night sky, I had to ask the question that every mother asks. Why? My answer, and my peace, was this poem. In a strange way, with my own motherly fear, I felt connected to another mother, who stood, not at the Cross of the Savior of the World, but beneath the Cross of her baby. Yet, just as she saw her Son restored to her upon His Resurrection, I, also, received back from God, my own child, who was miraculously healed.

Some may call this thought, and this poem, blasphemy, but I call it the compassion of God, who knows and cares about all mothers.

With love, and Happy Easter,

Jaye Lewis

Monday, March 15, 2010

Leaning On God's Promises By Jaye Lewis

My hardest job as a person with numerous medical conditions is overcoming my mid-winter blues. Sadness and despondency have haunted me in the last few weeks. It seems like forever since I’ve seen the sun for more than a day. Our climate is changing; that’s obvious, but I don’t think it’s getting warmer. We’ve had three summers in a row, that have been cooler than I ever remember. Last year, it rained all summer, and our garden was trashed so hard, that we now have a greenhouse and garden seedlings in the basement. Winters have been harsh and bitter cold. We can no longer get out into the garden in February, even wearing our warmest snuggies. Digging new beds for spring seems like a distant memory.

Having lived much of my younger days in the deep south, with ocean breezes and sunny days, these winters have been particularly depressing. On top of that, my mobility, due to fibromyalgia and neuropathy, has been marginal, and I fall frequently. So my days of skipping over hills and dales are over, and this, too, makes me sad. Oh, how I long for the sun.

My health has, actually, been pretty good. My asthma has finally come under control. I can now lay down to sleep, instead of nearly sitting up. My diabetes is also under control, due to my Lantus® Insulin, a timed release insulin shot, that I give myself once a day. I can eat normal things without worrying that my blood sugar will shoot up to dangerous levels. This should make me happy, but often I am nearly overcome with sadness.

Probably the hardest thing for me to accept is my lack of normal mobility. I seldom go anywhere, unless I’m taken, and my eyesight is so poor that I would be a danger on the road, to myself and everyone else. So what can I do?

Here we are, you and me – you with your problems, and me with mine. We are much alike. Perhaps you have only a few friends, just like me. It may be for a number of reasons. My reasons for so few friends, is because I can’t do the things that friends do – going here and going there. It’s an old story. “We’d love to have you come along, but…” There is always a “but.” You fill in the blanks.

Each of us, no matter who we are, no matter our position in life, has struggles. Health, whether physical or mental; family, whether loving or hateful; depression, whether temporary, like mine, or enduring like others — all these things, and many more, can be profound burdens, and heavy to bear.

I know of only one way to alleviate my suffering. I throw myself into the arms of the Lord. He is my Savior. He is the healer of my problems. He is the One person who never leaves me. He knows me better than anyone, and He loves me in spite of all the times that I let Him down.

I see myself as a little child, who has slipped into a raging torrent. He comes for me, and He finds me. I’ve been calling, and He’s been coming to solve all that assails me.

“Here I am, Lord. Please take my hand and save me!” Suddenly, I feel His strong hand clasping mine, as He lifts me out of the creek. Sobbing into his shoulder, He wipes away my tears.

“Come, child,” He says. “You are safe with me.” And I am…safe with Him.

Because of You

I walk through this day because of You, Lord.
No personal power of my own gets me out of bed and onto my knees.

You are the One Who gives me the desire to look up,
To open my eyes,
To push myself up off of the floor.
By Your strength, I walk.
By Your grace, I keep going.
When I stumble, You catch me in Your arms,
And when I fall, You carry me.
When I laugh, in the midst of my day,
It is a gift;
For You have shown me the ludicrous
In my situation.

Because of You, when tears come to my eyes,
I know that it is You Who have placed that seed
Of compassion, in my heart, for others.

You are my light,
My strength,
And my shield.

Without you, I have no life;
No peace;
And no joy.

Because of You and Your grace,
And Your love for me,
I take joy in every lovely thing I see.

You hold my breath in Your hand,
nd You own all my ways.
Because of You, I feel no self pity,
And I am thankful beyond words,
Just to be alive!

© Jaye Lewis, 2002

"God who holds [my] breath in His hand and owns all [my] ways." Daniel 5:23 NKJ

"Prayer is weakness leaning on omnipotence." W.S. Bowden

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