Welcome to any new visitors to my little corner of the world.
There is a time to be silent and a time to speak. For me, now is the time to speak. There are various offerings here, like the Psalm 139 Project. The Warrior Bride project is a bit longer, but worth the read. Romans 12 is ongoing (and has been for a while!) Reverberations is a new addition, reflections of my daily reading. Feel free to let me know what you think. Thanks for dropping by.
Taken from 'In Her Own Special Voice' written by: P.S. Ferguson
The 'Heaven' poem was the third that came at the beginning of writing Wendy's story.
When we were children, most of my memories have a backdrop of home renovations. I have recollections of plastic sheeting over doorways as my father added an addition to the back of the house, to enclose a wheelchair ramp. Another home had an enclosed elevator to allow for Wendy's wheelchair to get in and out of that house at ground level. I remember walls being knocked out, rooms opened up,.....all in an attempt to accommodate life with a wheelchair.
When we talk to Wendy today, it is clear that this earth is not her home. This earth is only a temporary dwelling, as is her chair, and her body. Her very alive hope is what awaits her when she sees Jesus face to face. More than anyone I know, she lives that hope every day. Even this morning, I met her at the church for bible study. She was all smiles for those she hadn't seen in a long time. She has a bothersome tooth and a back that is still irksome. Somehow though, everyone gets a smile. This never ceases to amaze me.
When this poem started coming to me, I was remembering all those renovations to accommodate her paraphernalia and apparatus. Her 'Heaven' home, however, is not being designed for wheelchairs. There will be no ramps, or hospital beds to fit in. There will be no need for any restructuring to that dwelling.
What there will be, is room to run. What there will be, is a choir to join. What there will be, are people to be held and touched and felt at will. There will be no more waiting until someone touches her. No,...those arthritic-ridden hands will reach out, all on their own, and touch the face of the one who prepared this place.
Perfectly designed for her,.....perfection.
Heaven is my home
Heaven is my hope
He is there
Waiting for me
My home is being prepared
Not for a chair
Or a lift
Or a hospital bed
But for me
Me and my new body
He is there
Waiting for me
To walk with me
And talk with me
Using my new legs
Using my new voice
He is there
And He will tell me
You have cried enough
There are no tears here
He will tell me
That I don’t have to sit
That I can stand
With my new body
I have sat long enough
Heaven is my home
It is where I belong
He will let me sing
With the angels
With my new voice
He will let me dance
With loved ones
With my new legs
He will let me
Touch and hold everything
With my new arms
Heaven is my home
He is my hope
Are only for a time
Heaven is my home.
Available for purchase on Amazon.ca
In Her Own Special Voice
by Pamela Ferguson
As I mentioned in the previous post, two men showed up for me today, to teach me about humility. In my reading through the Pauline writings, I have come to 2 Peter 1. It's really a powerful chapter, but what got highlighted today, and is mixing in with all these thoughts, is Peter's recipe for life.
I am paraphrasing a bit here, but in verses 5-8, this is how we are neither useless nor unfruitful. Applying all the diligence we can muster, in my faith supply moral excellence, and in my moral excellence, knowledge, and in my knowledge, self-control, and in my self-control, perseverance, and in my perseverance, godliness, and in my godliness, brotherly kindness, and in my brotherly kindness, love.
When I read these words, I am struck by this progression. Faith to moral excellence. Then knowledge. Then self-control. And perseverance, and godliness, and brotherly kindness and then finally, love. Okay. I can get behind that progression for spiritual growth. Because in my heart of hearts I really don't want to be useless or unfruitful for God. So, that's great. What is incredible came for me when I was finishing up my reading plan for Lent. I was a day behind, and the last reading came today instead of yesterday. When Jesus rises, and speaks to the women, He specifically asks them to tell the disciples and Peter. Tears started flowing down my face as I read that. It speaks volumes of love to me. Knowing what I know about Peter. Knowing Peter's progression. From stepping out of the boat, to his denial, to Christ revealing Himself and asking Peter specifically to 'Feed my sheep'. The progressions of Peter's belief system are amazing to watch. Lots of people have mentioned it and written about it, but today, what is like a loud church bell ringing in my heart is how much love Jesus had for this very human, humble man who made many mistakes. Peter's last encounter with Christ was to deny Him. And yet, speaking to those faithful women, Peter is singled out. I almost felt like Jesus was saying....'Make sure Peter knows.....don't forget to make sure he knows....I have risen.' Maybe it's just me today. Maybe I'm just feeling the strain of the times I have let Him down, but I can feel His love in that statement. 'Tell my disciples....and Pam'. This moves me beyond words. This same day, I am reading from this man, Peter, who God loved so very much, about how to not be unfruitful and useless, I am so reminded of Christ's incredible love and patience with a man who had this giant learning curve. Gratitude doesn't even begin to cover that feeling. I don't know how Peter felt that day, when those women came to him. I don't know how he felt in the great disappointments of his own weaknesses and humanity. But when I read this letter, from this same man, I see his journey. I see his progression. I see his humility. Powerful stuff. Father, continue to lead me on this journey with you. Continue to remind me that it's not in my perfection that you are pleased, it is in my trying, my wanting to not be useless. Continue to show me how to walk humbly with you.
These days, I have been reading a variety of plans. Two, in particular, seem to be interesting to be reading together. They are strictly just reading scripture. One is called 'As It Happened', the chronological Bible. The other is called 'New Testament Epistles and Acts'. The assignment is usually 2-3 chapters from each plan each day. No devotional attached to either. I wanted to read through the Bible chronologically, but I also wanted to read the Pauline writings as well. Reading them both simultaneously has been interesting. In todays offerings, two very different men have showed up for me to learn from. I am mid-way through Numbers right now. So much depth, so much richness in the journeys of the Children of Israel once they leave Egypt. Their responses. Their quarrels. The miracles. The unbelief. The jealousy. The unhappiness. All on the shoulders of one man. One man who had to stand in the presence of The Almighty, but also face all the thousands of people who just didn't 'get it'. How did he do that? What was inside him that gave him that kind of strength? Here's the funny thing. God took the vast multitude of people around Philistine specifically so they wouldn't get discouraged when they saw war. He took them another way for their own sake. They got discouraged anyway. They took it out on the man God chose. Railing against him, casting blame, cursing God to him. Over the last few days, I've been settled into Numbers 11-17. What speaks to me is just what kind of man Moses is. Not perfect. Certainly frustrated. But seemingly content to believe the God who was doing the work. When confronted with the angry mob, it says on three different occasions, he fell on his face before them. (14:5, 15:4, 16:4). Twice with Aaron and once on his own. He also begged God to be merciful. Seriously. He begged God on their behalf. This stuns me. In his leadership position, he had every right to call on heaven to rain fire down on those he was frustrated with. He could have asked God to wipe them out, leave them to die, forget them all. After the release from Egypt, the miracles, the protection....after everything, nothing was going to be good enough for them or make them happy, ...not ever. But he didn't. What he did do, was stand up for them in front of the Almighty. He prayed for them. He asked for mercy for them when they didn't even understand that they needed mercy. In his humility, he saved them. Now, I understand that he is given to us to be a 'type of Christ', and clearly he is. Many very good scholars have written at length about that. But what strikes me today, what is pinging so loud in my heart is he was just a man. A human man. In my humanity, I wouldn't have responded that way. I don't respond that way now. When someone insults me, when someone doesn't respond the way I think they should, when someone is less than I think they should be, .....whether they know what effect they had on me or not, it is probably my LAST thought to plead on their behalf. In my thinking that I am okay, or that placing my bitter and angry judgements over someone, I am actually placing myself in the midst of that crowd of Israelites. I am actually putting myself in with those who need mercy. When I am thinking that I am more spiritual than so-and-so, because of this-or-that,....all I am really doing is removing myself farther from where the voice of God is speaking. I wonder what would happen in my heart, in my life....if I was humble. What would happen if when met with disappointment in others, I very quickly turned to lift those very ones up to Him who loves us all. Because the truth is, I actually am just one of the crowd. How many times I have forgotten God's mercy and grace? How many times have I preferred to complain and moan and become bitter, instead of embracing the truth that God is a good, good Father. Father.....please embed this in my spirit. Humility speaks loudly in Your ear. And when I bring those who have also forgotten Your grace and plead for mercy on OUR behalf, this is what saves both of us from our endless wanderings.
This is what it has begun to feel like for me during my daily reading. Reverberations of His Word, throughout the day, within that closed space that is my heart, and my mind, and my spirit.
I've been itching to write about it all.
All the reflections that turn into reverberations. All the nuggets that turn into full meals I'm feasting on through my day. Not really connected, per se. But...connected indeed, for me.
So, I turn to this place. This place where I've posted writing. Poetry. Essays. And now, reverberations. I have resisted this for quite some time, as there is already plenty of noise 'out there'. There are scholars and wise souls who provide much in the way of daily living offerings.
Me? I just need a place to record it. I find my reading has become my imperative. Every day. And every day something new surprises me.
My treasured Bible is locked away in a storage locker thousands of miles away. I have become dependent now on my tablet and YouVersion to be the place where I am heading these days. It took me a very long time to embrace reading that way - Electronically. I only wanted my Bible. It was a gift, given to me when I was 18 and I have cherished it ever since. I love the feel of it, the notes in the margins, the underlined passages from years back. Dated promises, highlighted passages. All locked away.
So, I forced myself to start fresh.
I must say, I have become very dependent on my 'electronic' version of the Word. I can read it anywhere I am, anytime I want - day or night. Lighting is not an issue, although power sometimes is, but I try and plan for that. I love the fact that I can highlight passages, and then transfer them to a beautiful and meaningful backdrop. New images are added and inspiring me daily. I browse those images sometimes, remembering what God showed me through them. Those scriptures have become a lifeline in these days. I love that there are reading plans embedded right in the system. Not ever having been one to embrace daily devotionals, I am loving where these plans take me. All over Scripture. Seriously, I have many plans on the go at the same time usually, and read from all of them every day. Some days they all dove-tail together amazingly. Those are amazing days.
So, these new offerings here are just that - offerings. Ramblings really. Thoughts on what I'm reading, and how it's speaking to me.
No polish. No biblical scholars here. No perfectly designed posts.
Taken from 'In Her Own Special Voice' written by: P.S. Ferguson By way of introduction, this is the first poem that came to me for this new project. I wanted to share some of the initial thoughts that settled in my spirit surrounding how it came to be. A few years back, my mother and I were spending some time with Wendy, working on a presentation for the church. We spent a couple hours together, chatting back and forth. Actually, we were asking questions, and she was searching on her Blissboard for symbols that might actually present the answers she was looking for. Throughout this process, I had been talking to Wendy about worship, about how she thinks God feels, about how she feels in relation to her worship of God. More about the Bliss Symbol language
Her answer was 'I'm sorry'. After many 'yes and no' questions trying to get down to the meaning behind her choice, it was clear that she felt that because she could not stand with the congregation, because she could not raise her hands in worship during the singing, because she could not sing.......she felt her worship was less than what God deserved. It truly was one of the most monumental moments of my life, hitting me very hard. To know Wendy is to know someone who loves God. She loves worship. You can see it in her during every worship service she's ever been in. I just expected that she understood how precious she was to God. It showed me that we are all the same. We are just simply broken people, coming as we are, however we get there, to the foot of the cross. This poem, written years after that encounter with Wendy, was written to try to convey that brokenness that Wendy has felt. That insufficiency of her own worship attempts. Half-way through writing it, came the picture of Christ on the cross, also unable to move, to worship, to stand......the Christ who completely understands hands and arms and legs that are not free to do our bidding. I had hoped that when Wendy, or any others like her, read the Broken poem, they would see Him. And how He understands. And how He was broken too.
When I speak, I waste no words
When I pray, I have no perfection
I am broken
My God deserves better
My arms won’t rise in worship
My legs won’t stand to revere Him
My voice cannot utter one syllable – even of halting praise
I am broken
I am not stupid or blind or deaf
I am not unfeeling
I am not careless with my emotions
I see and hear and feel
I am a woman
A broken woman
In days past
The pain was not constant
In days past
My body’s betrayal
Was quick and jerky and spasmodic
My body wars with my soul
The pain screams to drown Him out
My soft, fleshy heart is torn into a
Million pained pieces
In days past
My hope was in
Down the road
As my angels
Have gone before me
The fragile hope is
Release must be
For I am broken
My body betrays me
Every waking minute
My hope is
Him – who has loved me
Him – who has seen me
Him – who has carried me
Him – who cares not about voices
Him – who cares very little about flailing arms and legs
Him – who cares a great deal about my hope
I cannot speak – therefore I waste no words
My prayers are little more than noises
But my heart …my heart is Him
He is the One
Who has been broken too
He is the One
Whose arms were nailed and could not lift in praise
He is the One
Whose legs were nailed so He could not rise in reverence
As was mentioned in a previous post, the beginning of this year marks the beginning of a different kind of journey for me.
For the first time in a very long time --think back to grade school days-- something I have written will have some permanence, other than this world wide web.
For the first time, something I have written will stay around longer than the story itself.
This blog was specifically created to be a place to house some writing.
Writing that I had worked on previously...The Warrior Bride.
Writing projects that I had assigned myself....Psalm 139 Project.
So far, it's lived up to its intended use. There have been some visitors who come and go, visiting from all over the world.
And now, a new phase.
I have self-published a book. ...Can I get a soft drum-roll, perhaps a slight clinking of glasses, maybe a modest cheer?? :)
It started with poems. Poems that poured out of me, on one random day, in the voice of my middle sister. My middle sister who is non-verbal and quite disabled. Four poems....one by one. Emotional things, they were. I cried through the writing of them.
Then came a fictional story to cushion the existence of emotional poems in my sister's voice and become a vehicle to tell a bit of her story.
So now, in this new leg of the journey, I am an Amazon author.
I have a shiny book, with my picture on the back, saying that the words created inside came from my pen.
These are incredible days.
I am proud, and excited. Hesitant and cautious. Optimistic and praying.
Over the next few days, I will share some of the poems from the book. I want to give account to the process that happened over listening and writing and crying.
Hopefully you will find this new chapter in this writer's life meaningful and intriguing.
Please feel free to comment. I welcome the new voices here.