Loneliness

From the dungeon of abandonment it ruthlessly came

Gripping my heart with fear

Tormenting my mind

Poking holes in my soul

Why was I chained here

What is my crime

 I must be ugly

Stupid

Unworthy

I just wish I could die

Then I heard His voice

I saw His torn bloody hands

And I cried

Help me Lord

Then He stooped way down

And lifted me up

He wrapped my shivering soul in His love

He calmed my fears

He healed my mind

And turned my loneliness to joy

~ Sandi

I will never leave you nor forsake you

Joshua 1:5

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Dead Heart Beating

Dead Heart BeatingGazing into the starry night, the Creator smiled. “Not a star out of place,” He mused. “And the moon is right where I placed it, beaming down in all its glory across the glassy sea.” As He strolled beneath the canopy of trees, the leaves clapped joyously, their mighty branches lifted toward heaven in praise. Even the rocks and hills cried out in honor and worship to Him. But something was missing. Something not yet created. Something in His own image.

So, like a potter, He scooped up a handful of clay and began His laborious task. Around the clock He labored, His skillful hands intricately shaping the clay. Finished at last, He breathed into the figure’s nostrils and the lifeless form became a living being.

Like a child at play, Heart skipped across the rolling hills, chasing butterflies and climbing trees and basking in the sun. She talked and laughed with her Creator, learning much about the one and only God in her life. She could never imagine her life without Him.

One sunny morning, Heart wandered farther than usual, skipping through the forest, oblivious to the dangers ahead. Suddenly, she approached an iron gate, vaguely remembering God’s warning about it. Mesmerized by its towering magnificence, she was not aware that Evil was lurking in the shadows.

Now, Evil was handsome and charming, with black, wavy hair, pearly white teeth, and a thin mustache above his ruby-red lips. His eyes, like emeralds, gleamed beneath his ebony brows, concealing the evil within. Captivated by his dimpled smile, Heart clung to his every word as they slid off his tongue like silk.

“I suppose you’re wondering what’s on the other side of the gate,” he said teasingly.

“Well . . . I guess so,” Heart stammered. “I really shouldn’t be here. God warned me about this gate. He said if I enter through it, I will die.”

“Die!” Evil laughed. “Now, that’s a good one. You won’t die, dear Heart. God knows that when you walk through the gate, your eyes will be opened, and you’ll be like God, knowing good and evil. If you ask me, you’ve been duped.”

“God lied to me?” Heart questioned.

“Well,” Evil said, his smile becoming a sinister grin, “Since I’m the only one here with a key, come see for yourself!”

Something deep in Heart told her this wasn’t right; that Evil was not what he appeared to be. Still, she wanted to see for herself. Maybe the Creator’s been holding out on her and life is even more splendid on the other side of the gate.

Abandoning everything she ever knew and loved and trusted, Heart followed a complete stranger through the gate and down a steep, narrow path that seemed to lead nowhere. Faster and faster Evil ran, leaving Heart breathlessly far behind.

“Slow down!” Heart panted. “I can’t keep up and I don’t know where we’re going!”

“That’s your problem now, fool! Evil shouted over his shoulder. And in a flash he was gone, his laughter trailing behind like a madman.

Frightened and confused, Heart staggered along the barren path clutching her chest and crying, “What have I done? What have I done?” But she knew. Of her own free will, she chose a lie over the truth, and with one careless jerk, she ripped her heart from God.

Life was hard for Heart, trying to survive in a harsh, cruel world without hope, without peace, without love and protection. Not a day went by that she didn’t cry for mercy, that she didn’t wish she was dreaming, that she hadn’t fallen into Evil’s deadly trap. But the wondrous life she once knew is gone, forever lost in a moment of enticement and disobedience. For Heart, there is no mercy, no forgiveness, no second chances for the mess she made of her life. Just like the Creator warned her, Heart had met her deadly fate. Day by day, bit by bit her life was hopelessly ebbing away.

And there, in the deepest pit of grief and despair, Heart met a Man. Maybe it was the twinkle in His eyes, or the love in His voice that reminded her of her Creator. Whatever it was, His mere presence gave her hope.

“You’ve got a nasty wound there I see,” the Man said with compassion.

Shamefully, Heart hung her head and whispered tearfully, “I know. I’ve doctored it myself, but the infection only gets worse. I can’t fix it and don’t know anyone who can.

The Man smiled, remembering each moment He spent creating her. Now, as her redeemer He comes to her through His crucified, resurrected Son, Jesus Christ.

“I can heal your wound,” Jesus said.

“You can?” Heart asked, her eyes gleaming with joy.” How?”

“Just trust and believe.”

“That’s it?”

“That’s it. Do you trust Me?”

Remembering what she had before she threw it all away and wanting it back again, Heart cried,”Yes!” With all my heart I trust you!”

Tenderly, Jesus pressed Heart against His chest, joyful to have her in His arms again. And from the crimson fountain of His own throbbing heart, He forgave her, washed her clean, healed her deadly wound and gave her everlasting life.

Now, Heart is happy as she laughs and talks with her Creator, ever learning about the One and only God in her life.

“The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7).

“For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life” (Psalm 56:13).

~ Sandi

 

 

Hope in the Darkness

Hope in the Darkness

It was the early sixties, long before computers and cell phones, Facebook and Twitter. We relied on party lines and CB radios to keep in touch with the outside world. Many of our circles of friends had CB’s in their homes and vehicles. That’s how I met Rich.

As he usually did on Friday nights, Rich picked me up at the door, the overwhelming smell of Old Spice reeking from every pore of his body. After three months of dating, he never learned the rule, “less is better.”

We went to McDonald’s for a bite to eat, and while Rich went in to order our food, I sat listening to the CB radio mounted on the dashboard. No sooner did he get in the car with our food when his dad’s frantic voice blared over the CB, “Kenny’s been hit by a car and rushed to the Wilmington, Delaware hospital!”

Suddenly, our pleasant evening turned into a night of horrors.

As Rich raced me home, my thoughts raced back to Kenny before he went out the door that night.

He was six-teen going on thirty. No driver’s license. No car. So he walked everywhere he went. And, from head to toe, black was always his chosen attire. I have to admit that it did flatter his tall, slender frame, and his blonde hair and blue eyes. All he needed to complete the look was a bandito mask and cape.

“I don’t think it’s safe for you to go out looking like Zorro tonight, Kenny,” I pleaded. “It’s foggy and misting rain. No one will see you walking in this mess! You might get hit by a car!”

“I’ll be fine,” he grinned, his baby-blues dancing with confidence. And into the darkness, he fled.

Rich sped into the driveway and before coming to a complete stop, I jumped out and ran up the steps crying hysterically.

Mom and daddy had just gotten back from the hospital and I pleaded with them to take me there. I wanted to see for myself that he was okay.

“No one can see him tonight,” mom said tearfully. “We can see him in the morning.”

“What happened?” I cried. But I already knew the answer.

Her face paler than usual she tearfully explained, “He tried to avoid stepping in the mud along the construction site, so he walked on the road and got hit. The driver didn’t see him.”

She went on to tell me that Kenny had suffered a concussion, and a deep gash in the back of his leg that required several stitches. But the doctor’s main concern was for Kenny’s enlarged heart.

“He may not make it,” she sobbed.

Those fatal words sliced my heart in two.

I went to his bedroom where his bloody clothes lay in a heap on the floor. Burning tears streamed as I sobbed uncontrollably.

Kenny was sickly all his life. Because of a severe case of Rheumatic Fever, his heart was so enlarged that he wasn’t given a life span much beyond his mid twenties. He missed so much school that he was held back and couldn’t seem to get caught up. Playing sports was out of the question. A minor cold was followed by high fevers and excruciating earaches. And a trip to the dentist always meant a shot of penicillin. Eventually, it was notched up to bicillin, which Kenny jokingly accused the dentist of injecting with a square needle.

If his sickness and limitations ever bothered him, he kept it hidden behind his dry wit and devil-may-care attitude.

So many memories flashed before me as I sobbed. Like the times Kenny chased the hens until one finally squatted down, allowing him to pick her up. He was so happy with his prize, hugging and petting her as if she were a cuddly puppy. Victory was short-lived, though, when suddenly, the old rooster jumped on his back, clawing and pecking his head and shoulders. I didn’t know which was funnier, mom storming out the door with a broom, or Kenny crawling on all fours squealing like a pig.

Then, there was the time he stuck his finger in a hole in the ground and a mole bit it. And the times he followed our older sister everywhere she went, even to the outhouse, and waited patiently till she came back out. And the hours we spent together exploring the woods, searching for turtles and lizards, walking along the creek, and picking wildflowers to take home to mom.

We were always together; playing, arguing, competing against who was the sickest when we both got sick. I couldn’t imagine my life without him.

Hysterically, I paced the floor. Mom tried consoling me, but a river of consoling could not have soothed my shattered heart that dark, lonesome night.

The only thing left for me to do was go to my place of refuge. The moment I stepped into my tiny bedroom, I felt more at peace. On the dresser lay my Bible, my source of strength in times like these. Clutching it to my breast, I collapsed on the edge of the bed, pleading, hoping and praying that God would give me the slightest sign that Kenny will be okay.

With all the faith I could muster, I opened my Bible, allowing the pages to fall where they may. Glancing down, like a pilot guiding a ship, my eyes were navigated to Psalms 91. Each verse was filled with promise and hope, a healing balm for my shattered heart. But the sixteenth passage was the rainbow, the peace that passes all understanding, the assurance that my brother will not die for a very long time: “With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Immediately, I stopped crying. The darkness lifted. My heart was filled with hope. I knew God had answered my prayer. Whispering a prayer of thanks, I calmly went to mom and said, “Kenny’s going to be alright.

Before his release from the hospital, Kenny went through a battery of tests. To the their amazement, other than a slight heart murmur, the doctor’s found no heart enlargement, not even a trace of scar tissue. He was released with a huge knot on his head, a bandage on his leg, and a brand new heart.

Since that day, Kenny joined the Air Force, married, has a son and grand-daughter. He gave up his bandito attire, drives instead of walks, and is still going strong at the ripe old age of sixty-five.

I asked for hope in the darkness. God gave me a miracle.

My Guardian Angel

Digi Picture Angel

It was the end of an abusive marriage and the beginning of a new adventure for me and my twenty-two month old son, Robbie. Since I had a few family and friends living in North Carolina, I decided to sell my skimpy possessions, pack my bags and move there.

I bought a one way ticket, and the day of take off, mom and daddy drove me to the bus terminal. After hours of waiting for my bus to arrive, it was announced that it had broken down and a substitute was on its way; a local that would prove to be the longest, most mysterious ride ever from Delaware to North Carolina.

Several hours later, the bus still hadn’t arrived, so mom and daddy called it a night. We hugged and kissed, said our farewells, and I watched as they disappeared down the dim, busy corridor.  And there I stood, feeling as if I had been dumped and forsaken on another planet.

I no sooner turned around to grab my bags, when a tall, handsome young man picked them up and found us a place to sit. Then he bought me something to eat and talked to me as if he had known me all my life. I felt comfortable with him. I felt safe and secure, feelings I was not accustomed to.

Finally our bus arrived and the stranger snatched my bags, escorted me to the bus, found us a seat, put my bags on the rack, and plopped down beside me. He smiled and said he was on his way to a wedding in Virginia.

A wedding, I thought. How wonderful. I was nineteen when I got married, twenty when my baby was born, and now, at the ripe old age of twenty-two, I’m getting divorced. Marriage is not what it’s cracked up to be, I sighed. Life before marriage wasn’t a piece of cake either. Home was a war zone of yelling and screaming, drug and alcohol abuse, lies and distrust. I never saw so many angry faces, glaring eyes, and heart wrenching tears. Eventually my thinking became distorted and my soul felt as if someone had poked holes in it.

I wanted out. So I married a man whose home life was as brutal as mine. Because of our brokenness and immaturity, we were not equipped to honor the vows “till death do us part” unless we killed each other.

And just when I had given up on humanity, this handsome young man appears. This man who doesn’t seem like a man at all, but a guardian of some sort. How could he possibly have known my dire situation? How could he have known how frightened and lonely I was to venture into the unknown with a baby to raise? How could he have known how desperately I needed his help?

Into the wee hours of the morning, Robbie became fussy and restless. Immediately, the stranger took him in his arms, played with him, then rocked him sound to sleep. Then, unable to keep my head from nodding, I laid it on his shoulder and he placed his arm around me. I never felt so safe and protected.

I wished this moment in time would never end. I wished for love and understanding that seemed to permeate from this stranger beside me. But all the wishing in the world couldn’t stop him form stepping off the bus and vanishing as quickly as he had appeared.

Now, forty-five years later the memory is just as vivid, the mystery just as enchanting as it was that night. But the more I’ve thought about the whole encounter the more I believe that the mystery man was a special delivery sent from God . . . my guardian angel.

No More Autumn, No More Rain

Fall Scene ANo More Autumn, No More Rain

Beneath the covers and snow white sheets

her body lay so frail and weak

Wasn’t it just yesterday she was young and strong

laughing and singing a happy song

I don’t like Autumn she told me one day

because everything dies and withers away

Into the night the angels came

with the Autumn leaves and falling rain

Now it’s Springtime forever in heaven so grand

as she strolls with the Savior hand in hand

She’s happy I know where she’s free from pain

and there’s no more Autumn no more rain

Sandi Staton

Don’t Know Why

Winter Scene Cowboy

Don’t Know Why

Don’t know why the twists and turns

Our paths so often take

Don’t know why blue skies turn gray

And cause our hearts to break

Don’t know why when a babe is born

It’s left alone in the dark

With no one to love and hold it close

And comfort its fearful heart

Don’t know why love comes and goes

Like the changing of the wind

Don’t know why our time on earth

Is over before it begins

Don’t know why the if’s and but’s

That oft come into play

Don’t know why a loving word

Is oft so hard to say

I guess it’s not for me to know

The why’s of every day

But to walk in faith and trust that God

Will lead me all the way

Sandi Staton

I Believe in Miracles

 

Desktop Designs Miracles

I Believe in Miracles

Battered and bruised was my bleeding heart

embittered by Satan’s poisonous darts

Anger and rage consumed my soul

like a blazing fire burning out of control

Fear and anxiety battled within

waging a war I could never win

I can’t take it anymore I cried to the Lord

then like a rag-doll I crumpled to the floor

God knelt down beside me and I felt His touch

I never knew that He loved me so much

He changed my life forever that day

when He cleansed and washed my sins away

Once I was blind but now I can see

because God worked a miracle in me

Sandi Staton