At least for today, let us lay aside our differences and become as one. One human to another, one global citizen to the other, one God-breathed soul to the next, one American all.
I had kept myself–a present both to the one who would be my husband and to me, and now on June 27, 1956, as in the bathroom I made myself ready, my mind whirled: a man, I’m getting ready to be in bed with a man, I don’t really know him . . .And I did not know him, my Jerry. For who of us in truth know the one with whom we have partnered. Indeed, who of us scarcely know ourselves.
I was incredibly young as I entered into my marriage–for in a few days I would reach the wise, noble age of 18 years. No, I did not know Gerald R. Buxton, nor did I comprehend the magnificent path on which God had directed me, as on that significant day I became his wife.
He was a darling.
Of a gregarious nature, he gathered and maintained a wide circle of friends.
Chosen, and set apart, his hands were laid on thousands.
Four of them. This one is called Michael. Stephen, Rebecca, and Andrew rounded out the four. Four excellent humans, gifts of God.
Andrew was the photographer.
Then came the day. We were there, all of us. We had prayed, invited in visitors, talked long, had his hands laid on grandchildren, held hands, and made plans. “We’ll take care of Mom,” the sons said when he expressed concern. We wept in private and on the necks of our dear ones.
. . .then came the moment Jesus took him home. He was 86.
Today is another June 27th. I’ve tried to write this all day, have planned and wanted to do it, but again did not want to, and if I dig in my heels much longer, midnight will come and I will have missed. On that other June 27 I was seventeen with only a microscopic understanding of the magnificent, rare man who asked me to be his wife. Today, 66 years later, I believe it is not possible to truly comprehend the profound grace with which God favored me. I will never get over it. How blessed I am.
A Sunday morning somewhere in the world saw the woman being signaled by another. “Please pray for these children. Lay your hands on them and pray.”
The woman looked and took in an image of three huddled children; two girls and one boy. Their ages appeared to range from six to 12 years old.
“Who are they? What is their story?”
The woman was told . . .told the ugly story that resonates with countless other children who are accursed, disrespected, and tossed headlong into the societal rubbish that is strewn about our globe. Deeply troubled, the children have no set point, no guiding star, no clear direction for their raw baby lives. Physical, mental, and sexual abuse have been their instructors. Confusion, loss, and black abandonment are daily companions.
The woman grieved as she learned the little boy has never known his father. Never. The mother of the children are dead. The man who fathered his daughter, then had erotic activities with that child now fights for custody.
With stretched forth arms, the woman circled the three. “Come here,” she said to them. “I want to pray for you. Jesus loves you. I want you to always remember that. No matter what happens, do not forget that Jesus loves you. He’s on your side.” She prayed aloud as was her custom, the children standing still and huddling close to her. “Jesus, be the guardian of these dear children. Protect them. Keep them from harm . . . ” After the prayer, the conversation was of distances, and churches, and hope.
The woman did not sleep well that night.
Once upon a time, a person who is dear spoke sharply in response to something I had said. I was puzzled, as my “offending” words seemed innocent to me. I said nothing, but closely examined the conversation, for the relationship was important to me. In replaying the incident in my head I listened to my tone of voice and asked myself if there had been any snippet of innuendo that had tagged along with my words.
Within the last hour I watched a video of the late Rev. J. T. Pugh being interviewed by Rev. Paul Mooney. During that hour or so as Brother Pugh was reciting some of his ministerial experiences, he mentioned the book, I’m OK.–You’re OK. then went on to explain that the real truth of life reveals that I’m not okay and you’re not okay.
My mind reverted to the scenario I mentioned in the first paragraph here, and I resolved to continue my quest. Although I know I am a bitter example of such, I truly want to reflect Jesus. I want His mind. I want Christlike responses to be those that come automatically to my lips. I pray my tone of voice will be clear and kind, and that accusing or indicting innuendo be absent from my vocabulary.
They are spectacular, these four children of mine, and I am one blessed mother. This past Sunday that has been designated a time to honor mothers did not find them lacking as they gave me attention, love, and respect.
Flowers flooded my place. Some by florist delivery, others carried into my home and placed in my hands.
The mailman delivered written greetings and sometimes a gift card would be inside. Telephone lines transported their sweet voices into my ears. The internet, not to be outdone, spouted accolades, memories, and joy. On Saturday evening Rebecca drove down from San Bernardino tugging along her gift to me. A large wicker basket was loaded with all the paraphernalia needed to make sour dough bread. A scale, a knife to make perfect slash marks, special flour, two baskets with liners in which the bread would rise, two varieties of starter yeast, a special beater . . .more tools . . .and a beautiful loaf which she had baked at home. (Sorry to say there is no picture. The camera was too slow, for after she had unloaded her car we prepped ourselves lush salads. We cut thickly from the loaf, spread the slices with yellow butter, then grilled them to crispy perfection in a black iron skillet.) A finer supper cannot be envisioned.
The starters have names, which I believe are pronounced by each owner. Rebecca concocted the loaf she brought with a starter she procured through an internet source. The yeasty mixture is reported to have come from stock that is generations old. She named that one Basil, and gave the other starter the moniker of Willa. I won’t rename either, so residing now in my refrigerator is Basil. Awaiting activation in my cupboard is Willa.
My granddaughter Chloe called me. “Granny I want to cook a shrimp boil on Mother’s Day for all of us. May I cook it in your kitchen?”
Well, of course she could, and it was outstanding. I admire Chloe for several different reasons, one being that she is brave about tackling elaborate cooking tasks for a lot of people, learning as she goes.
When the huge pot of shrimp boil was ready, she cleared the island, spread layers of parchment paper, and with lots of help dumped the delicious pottage right into the middle. We filled our plates, then found an eating spot either at the table, sitting at the couch ready to dig in, or at a place on the outside patio as a couple of people did. The food truly was outstanding. Delicious. Perfectly cooked and seasoned.
From morning to evening, the day splashed itself wonderful. As we had arrived at the church for morning worship, we were treated with muffins and coffee, then as we left we were gifted bottles of fine lotions. “Happy mother’s day” rang through the air as we smiled and greeted each other. Families grouped and friends grouped as cameras snapped. I remembered the cards and calls that throughout the week I had received from friends, and I thought of my own mother who died when she was only 39. One day in Heaven, I will see her again. That, my friend will be the happiest of all mother’s days!
Our home sets at an altitude of nearly 5000 feet in the San Bernardino Mountains of southern California with winters that are typically mild with only three or four significant snows in a season. Around 40 inches of rain fall during an average year. This has not been a typical year. We’re at 60 inches, and the winter–which season I generally love– hatefully drags on, as persistent as the ring of robocalls. The fog–since first light to this hour of early evening–has been as thick as cowboy coffee, and the thermometer hanging just outside my kitchen window refuses to stretch to the 40 degree mark. Within the last hour I saw a report of tornados touching down in central California, an extremely unusual situation.
So, for the second Sunday in a row, we did not go to church. We just don’t do fog. Last Sunday on my Facebook account I mentioned what a blessing internet live-streaming of church services is to Jerry and me, and how it provides the opportunity of being with groups of people all over the United States as they worship God. First thing this morning we went to church in Indianapolis with Pastor Mooney, then to Alexandria, La. with Pastor Mangun. We watched both Brother and Sister Larson minister in San Diego, then this afternoon Cherie Wilkins texted me a link to her church in Texas, pastored by Brother and Sister Tuttle.
Because we couldn’t go to regular church, we ate. Splurged. Indulged.
We’re now a bit on the lethargic side.
We’re warm and cozy.
Weather forecast: Rain all night. Possible snow from 1 to 3 am. Rain all day tomorrow.
Hmm. . .wonder what I can whip up!
. . .and to our dying days, both Jerry and I want to Bless our Lord. May my final moment breathe out His praises.
Our ministries now are limited, our aging and abilities affecting what we can do for Him. But on occasion–as during Easter morning 2019–we lift our voices in praise to our Savior.
While you Wait . . .
. . .While you wait for the Library of Congress to catalogue your book you can squat and hold a stick like his in your hand and draw lines in the dirt and steal a glance at his little face, and if you do it long enough he may turn his head sideways and look back at you.
. . .While you wait for them to know you should be their pastor you can go in the wee hours. Go to a hospital, to the back entrance where blood drippings will steer your feet. Trudge through the wide doors and look. See. By chance a person on a green plastic chair may haul up his eyes and latch onto yours. While you wait to be a pastor you may see into his soul or hers. It is probably dark down in there.
from my WIP Dream Shards
“You don’t leave racism at the door (of a church), you leave it at the altar.” Rev. Johnny King NO LIMITS CONFERENCE Sacramento, CA.
I’ve had this beautiful piece of glass for many years; so many years that I don’t have a memory of buying it. Many of you will recognize it as being a specimen of slag glass.
Production of slag glass originated in late-19th-century England, where glass manufacturers are thought to have added slag from iron-smelting works to molten glass in order to create a range of effects—from tortoiseshell to marbling. Among other uses, slag glass was a popular material for lampshades. This purple and white is one of the more common colors and swirled design.
Slag. Depending on where you’re from, it may be an insult, a term meaning trash. Slag is typically an iron calcium silicate type material, which is liquid in the furnaces and is poured or siphoned off the top of the molten metal. When it cools it forms a solid glassy looking substance and when added to molten glass creates such beautiful pieces as this one of mine.
When I came to Jesus, I was little more than bits and pieces of humanity–as are we all. My mom and dad told me about giving my life to Him and it seemed right to me, and I knew I wanted to do that. So this scrawny straggle-haired child knelt at an altar in a store-front church and surrendered up, and Jesus took me. He accepted my pitiful offering, scooped up the slag of my life, and added His spirit to what I had handed him. I was transformed. That’s why I can look at my life–now exceeding eighty years–and say, “Thank you sweet Jesus. Thank you for vision, for abundance, for a beautiful life.”