There are many things about God that are incomprehensible. I’d like to know why we can’t see the wind. How is it we can taste and feel water, but are unable to see it except through its projection upon other objects? Or why is the dark only projected by the light instead of the other way around? I can’t explain any of these things. I’m not spiritual enough. My flesh depends too much on what I can see instead of what I can’t.
Yet, there are many inexplicable things about the Father that attest to His greatness. You know, those things that make you tongue-tied, or leave you in awe. In your state of confusion, you want to dismiss it, but can’t.
I woke up one dreary morning fighting for my life. Despair and loneliness seemed endless. I can’t tell you what set this turmoil into motion. All I know is that I felt like dead leaves swirling around in the wind, landing any and everywhere. My soul felt drenched in someone else’s sweat, then tossed in a dryer and spun around until I couldn’t see straight.
As a distraction, I drove to the bookstore—a place I love. The sky was heavily overcast, dreary, damp, and cold. I didn’t have an ounce of anticipation of finding a book and returning home to snuggle under the covers and read for the rest of the day. I didn’t anticipate seeing anyone I knew. I didn’t anticipate engaging in conversation. I seemed to want everything—companionship, coffee with a friend, to laugh out loud. And yet, I seemed to want nothing at all.
As I waited at the red light before entering the Barnes & Noble parking lot, I saw a tall woman cross the street several hundred yards away. I thought, “That’s odd. Why would she be out in this weather?”
My light turned green and I drove into the parking lot, got out, and went into the store. I had no intentions to go to the café, yet, I followed the woman inside. In a quiet stupor, I stood in front of the cashier then slowly went through my wallet and pulled out money to pay for something I hadn’t purchased. I felt as though I was dreaming, but I wasn’t.
“Would you like something to eat?” I heard myself say to the woman. She wanted a hot drink, but I insisted she eat something, too. I instructed the cashier to give her whatever she wanted, give her the change, and to please treat her with dignity. Unmoved by what I had done, I left the counter as quietly as I had appeared and moseyed through the store not knowing why I was there or what I wanted. Eventually, I drifted from one table to the other, searching through books, searching for what life couldn’t give me.
A man appeared. I can’t tell you where he came from or how he left. He was happy. He had a huge grin on his face. He never spoke and neither did I. After one quick glance at him, I went to another table. There he was again. Smiling. I remember he wore a white shirt and what looked like khaki pants. Again, I glanced at him then went to another table and continued browsing through books.
I never wondered about the man or the woman. I was on auto-pilot. I never felt threatened. I was never afraid.
I went home, propped myself in my chair, and read the book I purchased. I found it peculiar my heart felt a little lighter. After all, not much of my day had changed. I continued to drift from one moment to the next then eventually went to bed and fell asleep.
During the night, in my dreams, the revelation of the day unfolded. Tears streamed down my face. I propped myself on one elbow, and I whispered “Oh, my God.” These souls who I had come in contact with weren’t human. I can’t prove this. I’m sure I sound crazy to most. Ridicule won’t change my experience or the explanation for it. The Holy Spirit revealed this to me and I do not and will not deny this truth. God had chosen to bring me comfort by offering me an opportunity to serve others. I’d like to think He wanted to see if, while in my darkest hour, I could still serve Him.
Hebrew 13:2 reads: “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” It is truly amazing that as low as I felt that day, God provided me an opportunity to serve Him even though I wasn’t fully aware of what was happening to me.
God’s presence in your life does not depend on your knowledge, but on your willingness to serve. Will you . . . serve?
Donna B. Comeaux
Freelance Writer, Poet, Author
Shine Like The Dawn – Psalm 37
WILL SHINE LIKE THE DAWN
I remember our youngest son’s senior year in high school and the dilemma we found ourselves in. In his eighth grade year, I began a diligent search for the best colleges. I think my entire office floor was filled with pamphlets and applications.
One of the colleges we focused on was the United States Air Force Academy (“Academy”). My son, Aris Joseph, had decided he wanted to be a pilot. I thought, “that’s great.” With his GPA, I declared, “we can do this.”
I’m not one to put all my eggs in one basket, so, I made a concerted effort to apply to other schools. I must admit, we had our hearts set on the Academy. By December of Aris Joseph’s senior year, we hadn’t heard a word and we began to worry. Aris and I are cut from the same fabric. Neither one of us wanted to show how anxious we were about his being accepted to the Academy.
Aris took sick one day and stayed home from school. He had the flu. I made him soup, pampered him, and hoped I wouldn’t catch it. That same day, about 11 a.m., we received an Air Express letter in the mail from the Academy stating that Aris had been accepted. A week later, we found out he had not. See, the Academy’s left hand had no idea what its right hand was doing. Aris had been diagnosed with asthma as a child. We disclosed this on his application. The Academy became skittish, backed out, and left my child disappointed.
Our anxieties were tremendous. In the back of my mind, I wondered before the Lord, “if this is not to be, then why the drama?” But when I knelt before God, I said, “I don’t know how you do what you do, but I know that you will somehow fix this.” Still, I wondered.
I did everything I could to encourage my son, emphasizing that God would make a way. In the meantime, February was approaching, and the school would soon have “Signing Day.” I wondered what would happen. Here we were, not intending for the Academy to mean so much, but it did. All other college acceptances didn’t mean a thing to us. We ended up trapped in our own desires.
A couple of weeks before “Signing Day,” I got a call from a recruiter from the United States Military Academy at West Point (“West Point”). The guy went on and on about how one of Aris’ football teammates had declined West Point’s offer for admissions, but highly recommended Aris. In the teammates words “Aris is your guy.”
I was skeptical. I said to the recruiter, “Look, my son has already been disappointed by the Air Force Academy. I’m not letting you guys do the same thing. Aris has asthma. The Academy wouldn’t take him, so, if you’re coming to my home to throw around some half-cocked promises you don’t mean, forget about it.” He assured me he was serious, so serious that he had already looked up Aris’ transcript and was very impressed. He couldn’t believe the child hadn’t made a “C” in his life.
After visiting West Point with his father, Aris was hesitant at first, but quickly realized West Point was where he was supposed to be. My husband and I couldn’t believe we hadn’t considered West Point, especially since we’re an Army family. My husband served in the Army, then the Army Reserves for many years.
“Signing Day” arrived before we got word if Aris was accepted into West Point or not. He had to go through a battery of test because of his asthma. Anxious about Signing Day, Aris asked me this question: “Mom, should I attend ‘Signing Day’ and do a ‘mock signing’ in hopes I get accepted?” He and I thought about that question very deeply. I told Aris, you could, but how will you feel if you aren’t accepted. How will you live with the aftermath of that? And more importantly, have you really been accepted? Aris decided to attend Signing Day, but only to congratulate his teammates on their accomplishments.
What a bummer. I felt happy and sad. Happy that Aris made the right decision. Sad because here was a hardworking young man having to deal with life’s defeat, and he wasn’t even 19 yet.
This emotionally drained me. After all, I had prepared for four straight years and in every way possible for my baby’s senior year. I had no intentions for it to end up like this. Besides, we still had to make a decision on another college. We had applied to Columbia University. That was my next big hope. We got a letter from Columbia saying they had a record application year and had to decline many for admissions. I could have kicked myself for not applying a year earlier. I kept the letter to remind myself all my efforts weren’t in vain. After all, I thought, they weren’t rejecting Aris because he had bad grades or because he had not met their school criteria.
Aris was and still is a very diligent young man. He had put a lot of effort into his school work and on the football field. As a wide receiver, he caught unbelievable passes in the end zone and gained more yardage than we ever expected. When he first started in Tulsa Union’s football program, he was little. Coaches thought he’d do them a favor and quit so they wouldn’t have to cut him. They underestimated Aris’ drive and determination.
“Hash Mark,” a nickname the coaches gave Aris because he was so tiny, hit the weight room and never looked back. He was on a team with unbelievable talent. Competition was fierce. And yet Aris made his mark, taking his place on the Wall of Fame at Union High, and winning the State Championship in hurdles. When the college of his dream didn’t come through for him, you can understand his quiet disappointment.
But one day, we not only got a telephone call, we received a letter in the mail. It happened in April, long after Signing Day. Glenn, my husband, went to football practice and waited for Aris to take a water break and he broke the news to him. Aris Joseph had been accepted into “West Point.” I wasn’t there. I let Glenn have the honor of telling his son the news. But I will never forget what Glenn told me Aris’ response was: “Can I be happy now?” Wow! He had held all that pain, anxiety, anticipation, and hope deep inside his soul and now he wanted permission to let it out. What jubilee!!
Waiting on God can be taxing on your nerves. He waits too long to answer prayers. Sometimes, we misconstrue His silence, thinking He has not granted us all that we’ve asked for. Too many times we lose hope and take matters into our own hands only to mess it up and create more grief for ourselves than necessary.
Psalm 37:6 tells us: “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.” You think Aris Joseph’s ‘cause’ ended up resembling “the noonday sun?” You bet it did! West Point was the very best choice for Aris. And the amazing thing about our journey is, though West Point wasn’t on our radar screen, God knows best. The only thing required of me and my family was to wait on God.
When you are called to wait on God, don’t dare think you know how it’s going to play out. We don’t. We only know that we will be victorious through Christ Jesus. That’s it! We don’t need to know what God knows. We don’t need to know ahead of time what we should say, where we should go, or who we should meet. We only need to walk in the ways of our God and let Him handle the rest.
During stressful trials, sit still and remember all the sticky situations God has pulled you through, instead of filling your heart and mind fretting over what should and could be. Fretting will only open you up to sin.
So, relax, and let God. He, after all, has your best interest at heart. Ask my family. We can testify to this. Though all things will pass away, God is kind, in this life and the next. Pray for what you want. Be prepared to wait. And expect a blessing.
Donna B. Comeaux
Freelance Writer, Author, Poet
NOTE: To get a better feel for Aris Joseph’s journey to West Point, scroll down and read the article below. It’s a great testimony of God’s goodness!!!
Writing Tips – Saving Money – No. 2
Keep Your Money In Your Pocket
Whether you want to increase the size of your library with reference material for your writing career, want to purchase a music CD, or want to purchase a novel, these writing tips will help you save money.
This list is short, but I will post additional saving tips as I run across them. If, however, you have saving tips you wish to share, please write them in the “comment” box below and I will include them in my next update.
- Never buy a book new. It has been my recent experience that used books work fine. I’ve discovered that buying “used” books through Amazon.com has saved me money. I recently bought a book for $.01 and paid $3.99 for S/H, making my total price $4.00.
- Don’t pay over $5.99 per book. If the book is sold for more than $5.99, I don’t feel I’m saving enough to warrant my buying the book used. You will sometimes run across books that are pricey even at a discount price. When that happens, you will need to decide if the purchase is worth it.
- Never buy Writer’s Market or Literary Market Place books new. The listings in these books are so fluid (the information in these books change prior to publication) that I find it hard to justify the asking price for them.
- A new Writer’s Market book cost $29.99 on Amazon.com; $8.97 used.
- Literary Market Place cost $341.51 new on Amazon; $379.00 on Bookstore.com. Amazon.com – $20.48 in paperback; Kindle – $14.99 – all for the 2013 issue. You can even rent this book for $61.00.
- I suggest you take a break from writing and go to your local library and use these books. Getting out of the house will do you good.
For my next update, I’ll explore how you can sell books in your personal library on the web. With the money you earn, you can purchase more used books.
Until next time . . .
Donna B. Comeaux
Freelance Writer, Author, Poet
Every July before the school year began I’d go through my children’s closet and have them try on last year’s clothes. I’d give away clothes that were too small and make a note of what new ones they needed. I’d also go through their toys, assessing which ones they played with and which toys they never touched. My youngest son hated to throw any of his things away. He and I would go back and forth, never agreeing on what should go and what should stay. In secret I would laugh about it. One day I sat down and wrote this poem. Though it is many years later, I still smile when I read this. Where in the world did those years go?
All my things are valuable
All my things are storable
Mom thinks it’s laughable
Keepsakes I deem adorable
It’s funny how we go
through all my things so slow
and choose the ones that show
signs that they should go
As soon as she departs
I go back and start
to go through all my things
my keepsakes dear to heart
Two weeks it takes for her
to return and renew her search
and find that I have kept
my keepsakes that she left
In depth I try to explain
conveying all my pain
that is stirred deep inside
when my keepsakes aren’t retained
She says, “It’s a pile of junk”
I say, “Buy me a trunk”
“There’s no room,” she insists
“You must get rid of this!”
So here we go again
sifting through all my things
but with a strategy in mind
I intend to keep all that I will hide.
Dedicated to my son, Aris Joseph
Written November 15, 1995
Revised September 10, 2013
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