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Thursday, March 21, 2019

13: Ex-communicated from a Protestant Church?


            “My oldest brother loved this thing.”  Waiting for lunch, Mindy fiddles with the Rubrik’s Cube Jasmine bought for her from the toy store.  “The problem was,” she adds with a guilty smile, “so did I!”  
“Uh oh,” Jasmine smiles, “What happened?” 
“I was in preschool, and my brother left this toy on the coffee table.  It’s got cool colors and moves in funny ways.  Mine, right?”
“Of course.”
“My brother didn’t see it that way.  He grabbed it out of my hands, yelled some curse words, said he had almost fixed it, and made me promise never to touch it again.”
“Which I’m sure you never did.”
“Right?!” Mindy smiles, “He should have said, ‘Oh, this is a boring tool.  You don’t want it.’”
“Big brothers never think of that.”
“Nope.  So when he was gone, I snuck it away and played with it, and then I put it back exactly where I had found it.  I didn’t know my brother had magical powers.  He had been out of the house, and then came home, and it was placed precisely where he had left it, but he picked it up, scowled at me, and said, ‘You’ve done it again!’”  Mindy chuckles, “I wanted to know if he had an in with Santa.“
“He’s knows if you’ve been bad or good!”
“Exactly.  My brother knew this stuff when he wasn’t even home!”
Jasmine laughs.  She’s always loved Mindy’s sense of humor.  “Your brother will never know if you’ve been playing with this one!”  Holding up her new toy in victory, Mindy exclaims, “I finally get to have one of my own!  Thank you, Jazzie!” 
“To your birthday!  And to Girls’ Day Out!”
After clinking glasses, Mindy gives Jasmine an eagle look from across the table.  You have a story to tell me.”
“Oh no, no, no.  Yours first.  Remember, you can’t stop thinking ‘around’ Justin, so, instead of obsessing ‘around’ him, just put it out there.  Tell me your story with him, start to finish, starting with how you met.”  Might Mindy get so carried away that she’ll forget?
Mindy sighs, reluctantly agreeing. “Of course, ‘Just the way you are’ became our song.  It still plays all the time on the radio, tormenting me, and I listen to the lyrics and think how ironic.  Why couldn’t he think I’m amazing and love me just the way I am?”
            “I know, Mindy.  Romance is so much easier in songs than in real life, huh?”
            “Truth.  In songs, in books, on TV, in movies, and in the theater, they make romance look so simple.  That’s another irony: that’s Justin’s thing – theater.  It was only later that I discovered not only could Justin sing, but he could also dance, act, play the guitar, and, above all, the piano, at which he was especially accomplished.  It was even after learning of these accomplishments that I discovered he played the lead, Tony, in his college’s production of West Side Story.
            “I had already fallen for him before he revealed any of these hidden talents and accomplishments, and these, of course, made me fall all the harder for him.  I then fantasized myself as Maria and let Justin enter his role, for me, of Tony.  That my parents didn’t much like Justin only fueled the fantasy, so the less they liked him  and the more they complained of him, the more deeply I fell for him.  My parents, knowing nothing of my fantasy, couldn’t conceive why their warnings had fallen on defiant ears.  Even their complaints, from my view, reinforced the fantasy, mirroring the irrational prejudices in West Side Story.  “I don’t trust him,” said Dad.  “What don’t you trust?” I asked.  No reply.  Then Mom: “We can’t pinpoint it, Honey.  He sends an air about him that he can’t be trusted.”  Me: ‘Now that’s an unfair judgment if I ever heard one.’ Just like Tony and Maria.”
            Mindy pauses, her eyes welling up.  “Now you’ve done it, Jazzie.  You’ve got me starting to tear up.  I guess I’m thinking more than just ‘around’ him.  I’m stuck in my West Side Story fantasyland.”  Mindy sighs.  “Can we take a break from my story?”  Jasmine pulls a tissue from her purse and hands it to Mindy.  Mindy takes a breath, trying to be brave, and smiles.  “Maybe we can move to yours?  How did Miss Perfect Straight-laced Boots and Buttoned up Shirt get ex-communicated from a Protestant church?  Girl, what did you do?”
            Jasmine can’t stall any longer.  Anything to take Mindy’s mind off of Justin will help her friend.  But how should she answer?
“Uhhhh, be the object of a pastor’s temptation?”
            The silence is palpable.  Mindy’s eyes widen, the revelation clear upon her face.  “That’s why you quit partnering with Davie in Mixed Doubles!”
            The cat’s out of the bag now.
            “You told me you were just too busy to keep up those competitions,” she continues with a teasing glare.  “Right when you two were playing perfect together.  You were so in tune.  I couldn’t believe you’d quit.  I remember thinking it’s too bad you’re both married, since you almost seemed like you were one person playing in two places.” 
Jasmine holds silent, struck by her friend’s insight.
With slow emphasis, Mindy continues, “I’m your best friend, right?”
“I know, I know,” Jasmine replies.  “I didn’t tell.  It’s too much, too big, too confusing.  I can’t even catch my breath, let alone talk about it.”
“I can only imagine.”  Mindy takes care to speak softly and slowly.  “Try to catch your breath with me and take it slow.  When did you notice he had the hots for you?”
“We seemed to share a curious affinity from the start,, almost like you just said, like we were one person divided into two, mysteriously able to read one another’s minds.  On certain things, that is.  Not on everything, of course.  Like not on what we were really thinking about each other.”
“Like he thought you had the hots for him too?” Mindy’s in defense mode for her ex-communicated friend.
“Not quite.  The attraction was mutual, but I’m not sure I’d even call it ‘the hots.’  I mean, that was there, but it was more in the background . . .”  Jasmine’s voice begins to trail off.
Mindy looks quizzical.  “Did I just hear you right?  You had sexual chemistry with him, and that was ‘in the background’.’  Huh?  Girl, speak English.”
As if not hearing her friend, Jasmine slows down her words wistfully, speaking more to herself than to Mindy.  “It was somewhere in the background, behind some mysterious affinity that’s more complicated than sexual energy.”  Gazing out the window into what feels like nothing and everything, Jasmine continues, “I can’t describe it.  I don’t understand it.  But, whatever that was, it was there.  Always there.”
If a picture speaks a thousand words, Jasmine’s eyes speak ten thousand.  Cast out the window far, far away to some remote place, Jasmine’s eyes speak grief, nostalgia, and bewilderment all wrapped up in one preoccupied package.

As if the silence is too heavy, Mindy may have willed her text notification to beep.  “Sorry.  I thought I silenced everything.”  Mindy gasps. 
“What is it?”
“It’s from Justin.” 
“Go on.” 
“Just two words: ‘Happy Birthday.’”
“Interesting.”
“Yeah, what I do with that?  Reply, ‘Thanks,’ or nothing, or what I really want to say?”
Jasmine raises her shoulder, crunches her face, and shakes her head, mystified.  “So what would that be?”
“Uhh, maybe, ‘It’s happy with a text from you!’  Or ‘I’m still screaming mad, but I love you! Let’s go out again!’  Or, nothing but a bunch of heart emojis and those blushing ones that blow kisses?”
Jasmine laughs, “Yeah, that’s it!”
In silence, the girls ponder, wondering over the puzzle of Mindy’s reply. 
A revelation.  Mindy scrunches her face, discouraged and more confused. 
“What is it?” Jasmine asks.
“What if he pre-programmed that text and never took it off?”
“Ohhh!”
“Yeah, he learned when my birthday is, maybe didn’t want to forget to wish me happy birthday, programmed it in, and here we are.”  Mindy’s presses her mouth small and straight.
            “If you were mystified before on how to reply, now you’re really in a fix!”
            “Yeah!” she shakes her head.  “Well, we’re having lunch.  I won’t reply yet.  Maybe something will come.”
            “Something always comes,” Jasmine affirms, “You’ll get a sign.”

© 2019 by karina.  All rights reserved.  Please use only with permission from the author.


Sunday, February 17, 2019

12: Girls' Day Out


            When Jasmine enters the Mall, she catches deep brown, intense eyes looking straight at her.  They’re coming from a young man, about 28, with equally deep brown hair, wearing a tuxedo, and exuding GQ – a model, on a digital billboard standing at the front of the Mall entry.  His eyes draw her in and keep her fixated, mesmerized.  Creepy.  She wonders how the photographer achieves this effect, and how the Mall’s interior designer sets the photograph to have the model looking directly at Jasmine, where she happens to be walking.  She’s both drawn to him and disturbed by him; he’s almost, but not quite, stalking her.  He gazes her way interested, curious about her, confident he’s cool and that she must naturally take an interest to him. 
But the catch, the especially creepy part, is he’s not single.  He’s about as un-single as any man can be.  This almost stalker is a groom, standing with a lovely bride with long, curled blond hair, set under a tiara of blue and white flowers.  Oblivious to his attentions, she is looking upon him adoringly.  Wake up, Bride!  Is she not upset that her groom, the love of her life, the one she is about to marry, is not looking onto her, but onto another woman?  Why is this lovely bride in the photograph not bothered that her man is eyeing Jasmine?
            Beneath the photograph of Almost Stalker Groom and Adoring Bride are the words, “Bridal Show,” followed by the date, time, place, and the bribes: “No Entrance Fee,” “Free Gifts,” “Wedding and Reception Prizes,” and “Free Lunch Follows.”  How can Jasmine spare Mindy from seeing this intrusion to their Girls’ Day Out?  She imagines Mindy will probably enter from the same door and see it too.  Could she distract her before she sees it?  Perhaps she can pretend to be browsing toward the front of one of these shops and call to Mindy before she sees the billboard too.
            Jasmine scans the shops.  Directly in front of her is a jewelry store displaying its own standing ad board by its front entry.  The photo on this board portrays yet another thoroughly in-love young couple, though this couple is not dressed for a wedding, but more likely, a night out on the town.  The young woman is wearing a stunning red dress with a low-cut V-neck; she is sitting on a black suede  leather chair, and, this time, her man is doting upon her, while attaching a silver necklace with a bright ruby pendant around her neck.  This photograph is sweet, feel-good, not creepy.  But, still.  Next door is a cute clothing fashion store for teen girls; next to it is a make-up shop; and next to the make-up shop is another women’s fashion shop called, “The Roaring 20s.” Jasmine knows, of course, that 30-somethings and even 40-somethings shop there too, but would it remind Mindy she has only one year remaining of her own roaring 20s? Better skip that one too.  Next to The Roaring 20s is a shoe store.  Perfect.
            The front display, a pine wood table sporting multi-layered display risers, also in pine wood, that features its latest styles, mostly boots, block heels, and wedge heels on 2 ½ inch platforms.  Jasmine marvels those gaudy new fashions with more sole and heel than shoe and foot could possibly be trendy, but she reasons the fashion won’t last.  She’ll be sure to tease them with Mindy.  Mocking the latest shoe would make a fun start Girls’ Day Out.  Come quick, Mindy, we’re starting here. 
Just then, Jasmine spots an intruder.  To the right of the front display is the shoe store’s ad board.  A young woman with long, sexy legs is sitting in a chair a sporting a spaghetti strap burgundy top, a black mini-skirt, and the store’s latest block heels, also in burgundy.  Could the store not have stopped at that photo with the model wearing its latest release?  Apparently not.  On the floor, kneeling beneath the young woman, is a young man, looking upon her lovingly, lifting up a black, velvet case, shown just above the advertised shoes.  Atop the case is a glistening diamond ring.
            Et tu, Brute?  Jasmine sighs.  She knows her accusation of the shoe store exaggerates.  It’s hardly a co-conspirator out to murder her friend, but seeing the displays through the eyes of her heart-broken friend makes Jasmine resent the mall as an engulfing monster.   Jasmine and her friends have often mocked the multi-billion dollar industry of women and romance, but right now, it’s personal.  Can the mall host any safe place?
Jasmine checks her cell phone for any update from Mindy.  No text.  The phone reads, “10:04.”  Jasmine figures she’ll need to wander for about six more minutes, since Mindy is faithfully ten minutes late to everything.  The two friends have held a Girls’ Day Out together only a few times at random moments in the past few years.  Jasmine recalls her favorite.  It was just after Mindy had started dating Justin.  To Jasmine, the story of how Mindy met Justin belongs in a romantic comedy.  If Jasmine thought Tim’s proposal to a song with the lyric, “Baby I’m amazed by you” was romantic, she found Mindy’s song, and story behind it, with Justin even more romantic.  Still, she smiles, they’re remarkably similar.  Both songs were of men who were either “amazed” by their love or who found their love “amazing.”  Perhaps a girl wants to be more than just “completed” by her man; she wants her man to be “amazed” by her.
 At lunch that day, Mindy told the story: “I met Justin at a Bruno Mars concert.  A group of us friends were all going together and one of the other guys brought Justin.  Most of us were singing along to all the songs, too loudly of course, I’m sure to the annoyance of all the other concert-goers around us.  When Bruno began singing, ‘Just the Way you Are,’ Justin and I were the only two in our group who could hit the pitch on ‘face.’”
            “No one can hit that note,” exclaimed Jasmine.  “Let me hear you.”
            Mindy chuckles, ”I can’t do it as well when I’m singing it with Justin.”  She looks around, sheepishly, at the others in the restaurant.
            “You don’t know them,” urged Jasmine.  ”They don’t care.  Sing it!  You can do it!”
            Blushing, Mindy begins singing.
“When I see your face
There’s not a thing I’d change
Cause you’re amazing
Just the way you are”

            “Beautiful!”
Mindy’s blush turns bright.  “Thanks. But I didn’t hit that note like I can when I’m with Justin.  Even that first time at the concert, we hit that note perfectly, finished it precisely at the same moment, and our voices blended into a lovely duet, even if I am the one to say so.  Our group cheered, we high-fived, and then we stood together and sang together for the rest of the concert.  ‘I sing better when I’m with you,’ he said.  ‘No,’ I replied with a smile, ‘I sing better when I’m singing with you!’”
            Jasmine marvels such a perfect match could have broken up, and Mindy’s been silent about what happened.  Hopefully, she’ll open up today. 
There’s Mindy now.  All Jasmine needed to do was get lost in Mindy’s romance to call her up.   Thankfully, Mindy is not looking at the larger-than-life digital billboards, the standing ad boards, or any of the shops; instead, she’s waving at Jasmine, smiling.  As Mindy approaches, Jasmine spots their salvation starting point: a toy store!  Jasmine picks up her pace, greets her friend, hugs her, wishes her happy birthday, and points to the toy store. “Let’s start here!” 
Mindy looks puzzled.  “I’m turning twenty-nine, not nine!” 
“You want to stay young, right?” Jasmine counters. 
“Yeah.” 
“And this is Girls’ Day Out, right?”  Jasmine keeps to herself her smug pride for thinking up such a great argument on the spot. 
“Yeah.” 
“OK then, let’s start here!” 
Mindy smiles wide.  How did she ever manage to find a friend like Jasmine?
            Whew!  That was close.  Now how do we find something really special for Mindy in this toy store?

Continue to 13: Ex-communicated from a Protestant Church?
© 2019 by karina.  All rights reserved.  Please use only with permission from the author.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

11: The Ancient Obsession


            “You complete me” never came from Steven’s mouth.  Nor did any other words come from him to her, nor from her to him.  It took years, but the pining finally subsided. Then it occasionally burst up again unsummoned.  No matter the years, the relationships, even the marriages, one can never be cured of the loss of one’s first love.  Even now, nine years later, with a sweet husband and a whatever-you’d-like-to-call-it with a hot jock youth pastor, Jasmine feels the pierce in her heart for her first love.
            At least it was a momentary break from the never-ending images of those moments with Davie – their introduction, their one-two punch winning shots, their High 5 slaps, followed by their Low 5 shakes – held barely longer than what’s considered appropriate.
Set it aside.  Steven’s in the past and Davie never really was.  Think on your husband.  You know, that amazing man you fell in love with who is not forbidden?   Jasmine kept the vow she made with her friends after Jerry Maguire.  Mostly.  Her husband Tim might not have fully completed her, but he completed her in the way that mattered at that time: he was a stable force.  Jasmine was scattered, unsure of herself, and felt like she was living on a roller coaster.  But Tim is like a rock, stable, confident, and always certain.
Familiar music breaks her thoughts – the instrumental version of the chorus of Lonestar’s crossover 2000 hit, “Amazed.”  Tim had the song playing during a dinner he made for Jasmine, and he perfectly timed his kneeling presentation of an engagement ring to the lyric, “I wanna spend the rest of my life / with you by my side.”  Then her gorgeous stable rock timed his next move brilliantly.  Just after “Baby I’m amazed by you,” he asked, “Will you marry me?”  
Jasmine smiles.  Her trick seems to be working.  Last month, she found an instrumental version of the song and downloaded its chorus onto her cell phone to set as her ring tone.  Yes, even her phone is helping her rekindle that early, elated spark with her husband.  She almost doesn’t want to answer the phone so she can keep listening to the music.  Can she let this call go?
It’s Mindy.  Better not.  
“Hey Jazzie, are you free for shopping and lunching on Sunday?”
Sunday.  Perfect.  She can idle away her day with her best friend and forget where she isn’t. Sundays usually started at church and then continued with lunch out with her husband and their friends at Quail Canyon – until she not been cast out.  Tim has decided to take a break from church, but says he and Jasmine should think about checking out a new one.  For now, Jasmine wants to boycott church altogether.  But still, Sundays are hard – especially at lunch time. 
“What’s the occasion?”
“I’m turning 29 and freaking out.  Maybe you and Girls’ Day Out at the Mall can save me.” 
“You baby girl!”  Jasmine’s 33.  She can say that. 
Mindy chuckles, but says Jasmine doesn’t get it: “You were married by 30.” After a pause, she adds, “You were even married by 29!” 
By 25.  Jasmine wonders why she married so young. 
“Are you freaking out because it’s your birthday, or because your heart’s still crushed over Justin?”
All of it,” Mindy groans. I tell myself not to think about him, but I can’t stop, so I think around him.  And I think around the break-up.”  Jasmine can relate.  It’s how she was after her break-up with Steven, and it’s even how her mind is working now, thinking “around” Davie -- not that they “broke up” and not that they were ever “together” in the first place.
Mindy continues, “When I’m not thinking around the break-up, my mind returns to the ‘omen’ – that ancient obsession women should be married before 30.” 
Ancient obsession.  Like ‘you will desire your man’? 
“And that ancient obsession that we can’t stop thinking about our man,” Jasmine adds. 
“Yeah, that one.”
Do we women still have to live this way? 
“Haven’t we outgrown the archaic ‘married by 30’ madness?”
“Maybe the other seven billion people in the world have, but not my family,” Mindy groans.
            “Really?  Are you getting pressure from your family?”
            “Maybe it’s just Mom.  Married at 29, she often says she made it ‘just in time to beat the omen.’  She likes to brag about the next part too: she had all her kids by the time she was 40.  I’m the youngest of four, born when she was 39.”
            “Uh oh, you’ve got big shoes to fill!”
            “I do!  Mom reminds me of it too, saying, ‘29: great year to get married!’”
“Uh oh.  You’re deep in the mud.  Do you tell her things have changed?”
“Haven’t mustered up the courage yet.  How do I break it to her that life has changed since the days of eight track tapes, black-and-white TVs, and disco?  I think I need a cheerleader.  You.  So, Girls’ Day Out Sunday morning?”
“To cheer up my bestie?  Of course!  When do you want to start?”
“How about right when the Mall opens?  Ten, at the fountain, in front of Macy’s.”
“Perfect.  I won’t be missing church, since I’ve been ex-communicated.  Ten it is.” 
“Ex-communicated?!  Do Protestants do that?  What have you done, Girl?!” 
Uh oh, what have I just done?

Continue to 12: Girls' Day Out
 © 2019 by karina.  All rights reserved.  Please use only with permission from the author.


Friday, January 4, 2019

0: Jasmine's Discoveries


Spoiler Alert: Given the once or twice a month pace for Just like Eve, this selection is a summary of the discoveries Jasmine is about to make during her quest.  It’s a snapshot of a later section, toward the end of the book – but not the very end, as I’ve already drafted the final chapter.  Perhaps it could also be used as the back cover of a future book.

Jasmine's Discoveries

            How much truth could be contained in the brief story of Adam, Eve, the serpent, and the mysterious plural part masculine, part feminine entity called Elohim?  Upon the conclusion of her quest into her question, “Who is Eve?” Jasmine sits dumbfounded.  Each discovery holds profound insight, yet is entirely different, even directly opposed, to the lessons provided by the church.  Jasmine lists out the astonishing revelations into her journal:  


1.      women were sentenced to a mysterious longing: to be completed by their man (Gen 3:16);

2.      this longing would so burden some women that it would be a curse;

3.      others – those in the fashion, beauty, jewelry and other romance businesses – would profit in multi-billion dollar industries from woman’s burdensome longing;

4.      a woman was also likely to suffer from the most chilling of all curses:
to be “ruled” by her man (Gen 3:16);

5.      the serpent both deceived and told the truth and both liberated and oppressed;

6.      the serpent (nahash: Nun (50) + Het (8) + Shin (300) = 358) holds the same mystical energy of 358 as the Messiah (Meshiach: Mem (40) + Shin (300) + Yod (10) + Het (8) = 358);

7.      the God figure, Elohim, is plural (-im) with a feminine root, but masculine in plural form, suggesting a far bigger, complete, and more mysterious entity;

8.      Elohim would forbid something good, that the God of the New Testament would later call for: knowledge/discernment of good and evil (Gen 2:17 vs. Heb 5:14);

9.      As “good and evil,” the tree would be better called The Tree of Duality

10. Duality involves the illusion of separation, which leads not to death, but suffering;

11.  the woman (an ezer) was designed to be more than merely a “helper” for the man, as the essence of ezer suggests “life-saver” (Genesis 2:18).

While the second to last is the one to most impact humanity, Jasmine closed with the one most astonishing to her.  Into her journal, she asked, “How many English speaking women have had any idea when they've read of the woman’s creation for man ‘I will make for him a suitable helper,’ that a more accurate translation would be ‘I will make for him a suitable life-saver?’”

Start Just like Eve from the beginning

© 2019 by karina.  All rights reserved.  Please use only with permission from the author.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

If My People

Originally written in the G. W. Bush years in 2006, then posted in the Obama years in 2010, I'm re-posting "If My People" as a 2019 New Year's wish in the Trump years.  It's built upon 2 Chron 7:14, "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

If My People
who are called by My Name
will humble themselves and pray
and seek My face
and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven,
will forgive their sin,
and will heal their land

But if My People
who are called by My Name proclaim,
“Our Kingdom is not of this world,”
yet they weep and wail
when their kingdom of the world
goes the way of the world
and, for this, they trust not in My Kingdom,
then My people have not heard My voice

And if My People
who are called by My Name cry out,
”Change their hearts and minds!”
and cry not, “Change my heart and mind!”
and pound their fist in prayer,
“Cleanse their heart, Oh Lord”
and not, “Cleanse my heart, Oh Lord,”
then My people have not heard My voice

And if My people
who are called by My Name say
“If the sinners stop killing babies,
if the men stop marrying men,
if the movie makers dawn modesty,
if Caesar cuts taxes,
if the schools discipline,
and if these people and those people ad nauseum,”
and, for this, if My People think
their marriages will be saved,
their children will follow Me,
and their land will be healed
because those I seek to save
have been rescued by politics,
then My people have not heard My voice

If only My people
who are called by My Name
will loosen the bonds of wickedness,
let the oppressed go free,
bring the homeless into their home,
clothe the naked,
and feed the hungry,
then I will hear from heaven
and will heal their land

But if My people
who are called by My Name say
“We are children of great fathers,
so God is with us,”
and they honor Me with their lips
and claim Me in their hearts,
but they have set up their high places,
and turned My gift into a god
and cry for the right to pledge allegiance to their god,
then My people have not heard My voice

And if My people
who are called by My Name
render more unto Caesar
than the taxes and votes that are Caesar’s
and render less unto Me
than the humility and trust that is Mine,
and with Caesar commit adultery,
and if My shepherds preach politics for salvation
and garner power for themselves
through their flock as a voting block,
then My people have not heard My voice

If only My People
who are called by My Name
will seek and save the lost
not by Caesar,
but by My Power and by My Cross,
and show compassion to the oppressed
and honor to My Creation,
then I will hear from heaven
and will heal their land

But if My People
proclaim My Law
upon those I seek to save
and petition My Law become a shrine,
and if My people do not themselves follow My Law,
and if they weep, wail and whine
when those I seek to save
grumble against a shrine for My Law,
then My people have not heard My voice

And if My people
who are called by My Name
cry out in fear,
“Touch not the wine or the oil!”
and cry out in anger,
“Tax us not!”
and worry not just for bread, but for luxuries too,
and trust not in Me
or My promise to clothe them
then My people have not heard My voice

If only My people
who are called by My Name
will humble themselves
and return to Me,
and trust in Me for all their needs,
and trust they can do all things through Me,
and even obey My Law they seek to enshrine,
then I will hear from heaven
and will heal their land

But if My people
who are called by My Name
see not with their eyes,
and hear not with their ears
the dreams I send them of Caesar's sickness,
warning them to flee adultery,
and tell them in dreams,
“Get out of her, My People,”
and if instead, they urgently tell thousands
to pray for Caesar 
and not for their own repentance,
then My people have not heard My voice

And if My people
who are called by My name
behead My prophets
who say to them,
“Repent! 
For the Kingdom of God is near!”
and if My people keep for themselves
the body of the prophesy,
and cut off the head of the prophesy,
and display the head on a silver platter,
then My people have not heard My voice

If only My people
who are called by My Name
will love Me with all their heart,
with all their soul and with all their strength,
and love their neighbor as themselves,
then they will hear My voice,
and I will hear from heaven
and will heal their land


© 2006 by karina.  All rights reserved.  Please use only with permission from the author.