We still have work to do …

(Okay, I know some of you don’t like when this happens. I can’t help it when the blog posts come as stories! See, they are not my stories. They come from a Higher Source.)

“The tide has turned,” he said. “Keep up the good work, my friends.”

The voice sounded like a trumpet, but I couldn’t see its source. I recognized its friendly lilt, though. It called my attention to his world and my eyes were opened.

I’m in the classroom again, although it’s not really the classroom. The student desks are gone, replaced by … well, nothing. The stage where Teacher’s desk used to be holds only a colorfully upholstered wing-back chair in which sits an old man. His right hand grasps the head of a cane. He seems to be a quiet man, sort of like Gandhi but larger, so much larger. And much more intimidating.

His gaze burns through me as he speaks.

From the corner of my eye, I could see the Dragonfly flutter onto a branch respectfully.

His guest continues, “Now, the question is, can humanity learn to find their own truth in the Grand Truth of the Creator? Too many have turned from the words set down for them in that Great Guidebook of their existence.

“They fight against the words because of the person behind the sermon or the judgment, but do they ever study the words? From my experience, I would say the answer is too often in the negative.

They should be encouraged to find their own Truth through the Word before they pass judgment.”

He stopped talking then, his gaze moving from me to a distant spot over my right shoulder. The silence continues. I have no words as my mind runs over the moment, the awe this man inspires in me, the respect he seems to inspire from The Dragonfly.

“You can ask me any question now,” he says.

But I can’t. I have no questions because as soon as one pops into my head, I know the answer. Immediately.

Then the right question pops in and I know the answer, but I have to ask. I have to get the truth in something more verifiable than my own thoughts.

“Thank you, sir. Forgive me for my ignorance, but what is your name?” I say.

His answer comes forcefully, “I am, I am.”

My mind runs this acknowledgement over in my head. I remember the words from the Bible, but I can’t believe my teacher has such Friends in High Places.

He moves his cane in front of his knees and joins his left hand and his right over the head, loosely linking the fingers of both hands.

“There is much to question in your reality, my child.”

I bow my head in shame, “but too many of us don’t question. Too many of us accept and fall in with the crowd or ignore because it’s too difficult to question.”

“Very wise words,” he says.

I glance toward him. He is now leaning back into the chair, holding what looks like a papyrus bible. The cane is leaning against the whiteboard behind him. But it’s not a whiteboard; it’s a wall of white marble.

“You have been taught that speaking about me is wrong and divisive. That couldn’t be further from the truth, although in defending your own truth, many disrespect the truth of others. That is not their place. I ask only that my children respect my wishes. Among those is the desire that they not judge each other. Neither themselves, it must be told. Judgment is only the tool of the Creator.”

My mind is blank. I can’t think of anything else to say. Then I remember The Dragonfly’s words about the tide turning.

“So if we are still wrong in the way we do things, if too many of us are opting for the divisions we see in each other instead of in the unity of the creatures on Earth, why did my teacher blow his trumpet about the tide turning?”

A sly smile sneaks onto his face, “Your teacher is a tad impulsive,” he says. “In a sense, though, he is correct. Humanity is awakening from their sleep. They are beginning to see that tear in the matrix that has become their reality. It is revealing the truth of my promise.”

He cradles the Holy Book in his hands and stretches it out toward me.

Instinctively, I accept his offering, not realizing the significance.

“There are still so many undiscovered truths that must be acknowledged, but something has changed.”

I kneel because that’s what I think I should do, “Will you tell me what has changed, where have you seen the change in humanity?”

He shakes his head, “The questions are over. You will find the answers in the book I have placed in your hands. Now, let he with eyes to see, see.”

The classroom suddenly disappears and I’m in my home again. The book, still in my hands, has become a little more portable. There are bookmarks throughout the book. I turn to one and find the story of Joseph in Genesis. It’s a wonderful one about faith and patience.

I guess I have some more reading to do. I’ll let you know what I learn.

Much love,

The Dragonfly’s Student

A note to my boys about my reality

Aang, the Last Airbender

Last summer, I rebelled from my reality. I went in search of my true self and claimed a Vision Quest was the way to best do it. In this reality in which I lived, though, my personal search was not “right.”

I had two sons, both in their mid-to-late teens at the time. I had a husband, although our goals had begun to change. I had a mother and father, a sister and brother, cousins and one remaining grandparent in this reality. I had a job teaching high school seniors. I had friends and coworkers.

But I was dying inside. I was trying to find happiness in the little things that could help me glue the puzzle of my reality together. But the glue was weak.

My mother and grandmother sensed something was wrong with me. I shrugged off their concern. “What? Me, depressed? Of course not. I’m the happiest person I know,” I said, insisting the unhappiness they sensed was because of the job or because of the political system or because my husband was still unable to find a full-time job after five years on the market. No problem, really. At least he published a novel and received an award for it.

No one knew the truth, though. Not even me.

What I learned during last summer’s rebellious break-out road trip was that I still loved God, despite the annoying, anti-human noise from “Religious” systems that profess love for God, but refuse to love their fellow man or even our planet itself!

I also found that I had so much to learn about myself and my connection with God.

When I was young, I would walk among the butterflies and talk to them. I would imagine walking with Jesus through a rose garden and filling my soul up from His fullness of being. I would see His love in the people around me and I knew the truth behind Namaste –

“I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells.

I honor the place in you which is of love, of truth, of light, and of pace.

When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, we are one.”

But somewhere along the way, my life had changed. I’d lost that connection to Source. My Soul was screaming to get it back again.

And this is why this is a letter to my sons.

Dear boys,

I love you more than life itself. You know that. But there’s one thing that I love more, and that is my connection to my Higher Self and to my God.

I’m sorry I rarely forced you to sit down at church to listen to the word of God. Wil, you could always tell the fakers. Thomas, you seemed so trusting of others that I felt I had to protect you from the same harsh judgments that kept God out of my childhood.

But in hiding from my truth all these years, I wonder if you ever understood what really drives me.

I’m so sorry for not being honest with you. I hoped that the things we talked about helped you get a good idea of where I stood on things, but I never force-fed you my God. You see, I don’t believe in forcing God on anyone. When you need His guidance, you will find it within you.

God is love and peace and truth and authenticity. To me loving God means being grateful for the life I’ve been given and the beauty of nature. Loving God means standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. It means speaking out against Oil Drilling and Fracking and GMOs and Veal and, by now, for any farm-raised animal product. (I don’t eat meat at all, but you guys know that now.) It means representing for this planet, our only home, that many of us seem to take for granted thinking she is just as permanent as God.

So, my guys, I just have one more thing to tell you now that you are no longer little boys. You are men and can speak for yourselves. Now is the time for you to make your own paths. I know you are now self-proclaimed scientists. I beg you to open you hearts just a little bit more.

Remember the episodes of “The Last Avatar” we would watch on Friday nights when you were younger? Aang and Katara and I believe the same things about God and self and the world. The goal was to bring the four nations together in peace, despite each particular nation’s personal goals.

I believe very strongly in that reality and in the Source spirit they hinted at in the show.

How about the Pokémon world where Ash and his fellow trainers worked with the creatures they had captured and trained. I loved the way you learned about nature through Ash and his Pokémon. The creatures worked with Ash to help him. The Professors were all named after trees: Professor Oak, Professor Elm, Professor Juniper, and Ash, you both know, will one day be a professor, too.

In that world, the kids were safe and the goal seemed to be a balance of humanity and nature.

I believe very strongly in that reality.

How about when you wanted to play the guitar or the bass or the trumpet or the cello? (I took you to your lessons every week.) How about when you wanted to join the Boy Scouts and go camping? (We bought a tent and went to the Jamboree.) How about when your personal truth spoke louder than the lessons school tried to silence in you? (I spoke up for you being able to keep your authenticity!)

I believe very strongly that the fire in your soul is stronger than the lessons that try to quiet your truth.

So, as I continue to search for the truth in my own soul, I hope you have learned from the little lessons. I hope you never forget the goodness in Ash and in Aang, and I hope you will one day realize that what keeps you real, what keeps you true to the fire in your soul, is your connection to that God within you.

And that part of you is sacred.

I love you, guys. (And, yes, I’m crying, Thomas!)

Mom

The Dragonfly’s Student

A gift for the Hopi

As we near the end of this part of our journey, my teacher and I stopped to leave a gift for the indigenous peoples of Turtle Island.

On that day, El Juglador played on the location of the Four Corners Monument. Tourist note, our turn took less time than the six pictures posed for by a family who went while we waited! 🙂

Please enjoy El Juglador’s version of The Wayfaring Stranger.The Wayfaring Stranger

The Wayfaring Stranger

I’m just a poor wayfarin’ stranger,
While travelin’ through this world below.
Yet there’s no sickness, no toil, nor danger,
In that bright land to which I go.
I’m goin’ there to see my Father.
And all my loved ones who’ve gone on.
I’m just goin’ over Jordan.
I’m just goin’ over home.
I know dark clouds will gather ’round me,
I know my way is hard and steep.
But beauteous fields arise before me,
Where God’s redeemed, their vigils keep.
I’m goin’ there to see my Mother.
She said she’d meet me when I come.
So, I’m just goin’ over Jordan.
I’m just goin’ over home.
I’m just goin’ over Jordan.
I’m just goin’ over home.

🙂

The Dragonfly’s Student

Reflections on Lot’s Wife

Remember that story? It’s the one all the homosexual-haters spout as to the reason for the decline of society. That’s not the real reason the cities were destroyed. I’ll explain in a little bit …

In Genesis 19, when Sodom and Gomorrah were being destroyed by God because of their sin, Lot was allowed to take his wife and daughters out before the destruction. The only rule was that they couldn’t look back. But Lot’s wife, feeling the pain of all the souls she had known, looked back. Just a quick glance, but it was enough. She was immediately turned into a pillar of salt.

I always thought that was a pretty dramatic consequence for simply looking back at the destruction. I’m getting a better take on that now, though.

There are stories trying to justify Edith’s fate. (The name of Lot’s wife is not in that story, but the Jewish Midrash calls her Edith.) One story says Edith looked back to make sure her daughters were coming. Another says that what turned her to a pillar of salt was the sight of God appearing as he struck down the evil.

But I’ve been thinking about this lately. I wonder if there’s more to it than the scholars have been able to unearth. This is purely my reflection, so take it at face value – a blogger’s interpretation.

Ezekiel 16:49-50 declares, “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me…” The Hebrew word translated “detestable” refers to something that is morally disgusting…” (Read more at http://www.gotquestions.org/Sodom-and-Gomorrah.html#ixzz3cHXYHsPr)

When the story of Sodom begins, two disguised angels approach the city with a task. They had just left the home of Abraham, who, although still recovering from his self-circumcision, welcomed three angels into his home and was a courteous host. They told Abraham that the cities would be destroyed. He knew the town, where his nephew, Lot, lived, and believed there were good souls there. God (one of the visiting angels) promised if there were ten righteous people in the town, it would be spared.

But in Sodom, a wealthy city, their welcome was not as generous as Abraham’s had been. The Sodomites didn’t like strangers, and the people were self-righteous and judgmental. They did not like outsiders affecting the wealth of their city. Kind of reminds me of when Miami hosted a Super Bowl and made certain to clear the homeless off the streets so that the city wouldn’t be poorly judged, but I digress.

The story we’re told explaining Sodom’s destruction is the rampant homosexuality, but several sources agree that Sodom’s main destruction was not because the Sodomites were threatening to rape the visiting angels, rather that God could not find ten people to save the city’s final judgment. The hatred and xenophobic behavior of the residents doomed them, and when Lot and his family showed the visitors hospitality, the mob went after them, as well.

Let me say this again, because the truth behind this story opened my eyes to many things. Sodom was doomed because of their treatment of strangers. They were elitists who could not find enough goodness in themselves to welcome needy strangers into their homes. True Charity was missing.

So, let’s go back to Edith. She had welcomed these guests into her home and she learned of the impending doom. Her family lived there. She had neighbors and friends there who were probably very friendly toward her. She probably had trouble understanding how her best friends or her neighbors could be so good to her but not be good enough to save.

To make it easier to understand, I put myself in her place. So, as Lot’s wife, there’s this understood rule in my town that strangers are not desired because they could possibly bring about a downfall to our society. I imagine Mrs. Howell from Gilligan’s Island scrunching up her face at a visiting native.

So my hubby, Lot, brings these two strangers into my house. I run to the window to make sure no one saw, but someone did. I’m embarrassed, but I sneak back into my house to do my duty and cook for my guests. The next day, after a mob dragged my visitors into the street and threatened to rape them, my family and I escape with the angels. The angels tell Lot that we must not look back at the destruction. I do.

BOOM, I’m a pillar waiting for an ocean to fall into!

But this story is a metaphor. I believe Edith didn’t get cursed because she casually looked back to make sure her daughters were with her or because she was curious about the destruction. Looking back is symbolic, I believe.

A runner who is at the head of the pack looks back to keep ahead of the runners at his heels, but a winner, one who has several gold medals to his name, doesn’t look back because he knows he will win. He looks ahead, toward the finish line, having faith in himself. One who looks back, questions himself. He may still win, but in looking back, he acknowledges there is either doubt or a sense of superiority, neither of which is a healthy feeling to boast.

Edith, in looking back, may have been doubting the angels or fearing for her friends or feeling relieved. We will never know. She has been cursed in our stories for disobeying God by looking back. I imagine she escaped with Lot and her daughters because they were her family, not necessarily because she was worthy. Instead of keeping her eyes on the future the angels had allowed her, she longed for her Sodom family.

See, it’s all about INTENT, as a license plate I saw Tuesday declared. But what does this really mean? If you truly believe something, would the voice of society still ring in your head? Would you be able to go ahead blindly? Would you say, “God told me this, so it is truth” or “God told me this, but is it really God? I mean, maybe I’m going crazy and they’ll have to put me away in a sanatorium.”

When I put it this way, I guess the correct answer is obvious.

I ask you to reflect on this yourself. I’m just a humble writer trying to make sense of a crazy world.

The Dragonfly’s Student