A Message for Anna

He: We have a message for Anna.

She: It’s not one that we can simply speak. Because Anna sometimes doesn’t even know who she is. Not that she is mentally incapable. Not that she has some type of ailment or handicap.

He: Anna is simply not easily found.

She: But she’s there.

He: We try not to think about her most of the time.

She: But she can’t help herself. She’s Anna. That will never change.

He: She lives in a town not too far from here.

She: Closer than you may know. She grew up in a fine Christian home. Mom taught Sunday School, and Dad attended worship every now and then. He was a very busy man: a business man . . . business was his life, and life was the exception. He had mouths to feed and bills to pay. He cussed over the phone about missed deadlines and failed objectives. He was, in business lingo, “driven.”

He (as Dad on the phone): I don’t care how many times you’ve called him. Call him again! He’s got to change his mind about this. Visit his office. Woo him! Bend down and kiss his shoes. (Listening.) I understand that, but you’d better understand this: He’s a six-figure account, and if we lose him, don’t come crying to me when you see a pink slip. Call me first thing in the morning.

She (as Anna): Dad, I did it. I won first place in the poetry contest!

(She goes to embrace him, but he turns his back to her and speaks unemotionally.)

He: That’s great, Honey. Go show your mom. By the way, weren’t you supposed to clean up the living room on Tuesday? It’s a mess.

She (as narrator): And so Anna picked up the newspapers and vacuumed to the moon, but nothing on earth was to his liking. Words that were sterile and sharp pierced her.

He (as Dad): I don’t see how you can expect to grow up if you keep treating things like a child.

She (as narrator): Her heart bled.

He 
(as Dad)Poetry is good, but it won’t pay the light bill. Come back down to earth.

She: Her heart yearned to give itself away. This was the first man in her life. He fed her, clothed her. Even tutored her in algebra. But her heart wanted more than food and instruction. (As Anna): Merry Christmas, Daddy!

He: Thanks, Anna. Did you see what your brother gave me?

She: I love you, Dad.

He: Could you hand me the pliers?

She: I love you . . . Daddy?

He: I’m sorry. What were you saying?

She (as narrator)Mind, heart, body, and soul, she searched for something,

He: something that she had never known;

She: a void,

He: an emptiness that echoed throughout the long midnight of her life.

She: Vital signs were weak. . .

He: . . . perhaps almost gone until in the ninth grade when she met Joe.

She: Joe was a junior. Played varsity.

He: He was mildly popular.

She: And for the first time in her life, or so it seemed, someone looked at her as a woman. They talked on the phone. Went out. They laughed.

He: Vital signs growing stronger. She was in stable condition.

She: Was this the thing that would fill her heart—that empty heart that sought a reason to live? Would this fresh bandage stop the loneliness that bled from her soul? She could only hope that it would. She wanted so much to be healed.

He (as Joe): I just don’t understand why. There’s no reason for you to be afraid. I’m not going to hurt you. I’m frustrated. I need you. Why don’t you just give in? I love you. What’s wrong with it? If you truly love a person, you should have the freedom to express it.

She: I was just hoping that . . .

He: Hoping for what? Hoping that I would just stick around and wait for you to make up your mind about whether you love me or not?

She: It’s not a matter of love . . .

He: You don’t even know what love is about! The only thing you care about is yourself. What about me? What about my needs? (He turns away.)

She (as narrator): Anna was an emotional orphan. She had no place to turn; and so like most orphans, real or imagined, she went to the door that was open. But the wound did not heal.

He: Something was wrong.

She: He used words that were as sterile and yet as sharp as her father’s.

He (as Joe): I feel like we’re a married couple. I need some space.

She (a phone conversation): Dad, I thought you’d be around. My birthday was Tuesday, and you didn’t even call.

He (also on phone): Did you like the car we bought you?

She: I don’t want your car.

He: Anna! Anna!

She (as narrator): She hung up the phone . . .

He:
 . . . and went to Joe’s. He wasn’t expecting her, and neither was Joe’s friend. She was sitting on the couch with a smirk that only a 16-year-old can manage. Joe came outside, shut the door, and leaned against it.

She: Silence . . . for moments that felt like years.

He (as Joe): Somehow I knew it would come to this.

She: You lied to me!

He: We grew apart.

She: Why couldn’t you at least tell me about Lisa?

He: Everyone knew.

She: But me.

He: Don’t you get it, Anna? You’re living in a dream world! The thing you’re searching for doesn’t exist. You can’t expect everyone to live up to your fantasies of perfection.

She:
 How dare you! How dare you talk to me about fantasies. You taught me to believe in them. You liar!

(Pause.)

He: Nobody’s perfect.

She (as narrator): And indeed no one seemed to care. She felt like an object used for a season and then left on the shelf.

He: But she kept trying. Looking for something . . . someone to stop the bleeding. She married during her junior year of college; and she wanted to love him, to fulfill his needs and her needs as well. But the voices of those men of days gone by crept in through the back door.

She (as Anna)Why do you keep pressuring me, James? Leave me alone.

He: I can’t take the loneliness anymore. Can’t you see what it’s doing to me? To us? . . . Anna, I love you! Don’t you see? Don’t you believe me?

She: Why should I? You want me! That’s the bottom line. You want me for what I can offer you. Well, I can’t be had.

He: What are you talking about?

She: You’re not my father!

He: You’re absolutely right. I’m not your father. You’re the one who thinks I am!

She: I can’t love you!

He: Don’t do this, Anna! (Pause.)

She (as narrator)Emptiness.

He: Isolation.

She: Unfulfilled desires.

He: Hurt.

Both: Loneliness.

He: Voices that whispered in the dark closets of her past.

She: Voices of the men who sought to use her and then cast her aside.

He: Voices—intentional or unintentional—that cried out: unlovable, insignificant, worthless . . .

She: Unlovable, insignificant, worthless. . .

Both: Unlovable, insignificant, worthless!

She: But in the distance she heard a soft voice. One that was almost drowned out by the rushing noise of circumstance and pain. But it spoke to her just the same.

He: Anna . . .

She (as Anna): Leave me alone.

He: Come here. Come to Me.

She: You can’t help me. Just let me die. I’m tired of my life.

He: I will give you rest. I love you.

She: That’s impossible. If You say You love me, then You must not know me.

He: Anna. Please believe me. I know you. I know your every thought. Every moment I know where you are. I made every delicate cell and organ in your body. I love you. I died for you. If you come to Me, I will make you a new person.

She: I can’t live up to that. I can’t be new.

He: You’re right, Anna. You can’t. Not alone. There is no one on this earth who is righteous. Not even one.

She: Why are You accepting me?

He: It’s not for you to understand.

She: I don’t think I can live up to Your expectations.

He: You don’t have to live up. Just live. I saved you not on the basis of deeds which you’ve done to become righteous. I saved you by My love. Anna, surrender is much different from earning. I’m not asking you to earn it. I just want you to come home. (Pause.) Come home to Me. Come home, My weary child . . . come home.

What Could I Compare You to…

What could I compare you to my old friend?
What could I know better than the memory of you.
The one to see me through
To hide the thought of you
in a small brown paper bag
concealed in my head
the vision of the summer’s shine
the smile so kind
the hopes resigned

You were worth every tear you caused
all recordings of the past you paused
the moon in all it’s glory
knows little of our story and yet there you were
in all things new
survivors few
from the past of your delicate mind
The smile that slew the serpents of shame
and gave me breath again.
And so I remember because I am the only one
who saw certain things about you that no one could claim.
this is my undiscovered fame.

Darlene’s first interview went well.

She had a good interview at a place where Caleb might even get a job.  Things are looking really good for now.   Finished the audio editing for Friday Forum. I’m now about to dive into the David Uth talks.

Last night was really stormy and I woke up late.  A little fatigued from the past few days. Tomorrow I begin my trek to Bogalusa, probable staying at my Mark’s place with Caleb.  Praying for some good father/son time

4.3.14 Wrap

Darlene still on her way. Talked to her about an hour ago. She’s about halfway there. Caleb and I are watching Rocky.

Wrote the following promo treatment for disaster relief.

Disaster Relief Promo

 

Sketch Art Suggestions in BLUE

Let’s face it. Most of us live in an amazing community.  Houses

We have fresh running water.   Faucet

Plumbing

Transportation    Car

Food every single day   Grocery Bag

At least that’s my story

Even my dog doesn’t skip meals.  Dog

But for me, things haven’t always been that way.

It all started on a grey day in the month of May. I knew there was a storm coming to town back but I had never seen a storm like that one.   Storm Cloud

The wind was crazy

Wind Blowing

and I looked about 300 yards away and there was this twister.

Tornado

It felt like a scene from the Wizard of Oz.

Dorothy Looking Girl

Of course without the Wicked Witch or the Tin Man.  However I was someway a cowardly lion. I digress.

 Lion

It sounded like a train and I ran to a storm shelter.

My house was OK. Just a few broken windows and a few shingles. But my neighbor’s house? Completely destroyed. I wanted to help but none of us had water for some reason and the electricity was off for 4 days.  Rubble

But something amazing happened. About 8 hours after the storm struck, this caravan of people from Lousiana Baptist Disaster Relief showed up with food, water, extra clothes.  They even started cooking.

Disaster Relief Trucks

And the meals went on and on! We were blown away, not just by a tornado- we were blown away that these people would give us so much!  They were there long before the insurance adjusters got there.

Hammer, chainsaw, food on plate

And I asked them why they were doing this. This lady said,  “We love Jesus and he called us to help people.  Jesus figure

Why?

She smiled and said again, “It’s because Jesus loves you. We are his gift to you.”

Heart

That’s how I became a Christ Follower.

Cross

God showed up in a big way in the middle of a storm, and in the middle of my messy life as a single dad.

Man with child

Just so you know, disaster relief makes a big difference. They had a message in the middle of the mess.

Words: LBC Disaster Relief

So as one guy who experienced the love of Christ through the work of Louisiana Baptists and Disaster Relief, I want to challenge you to pray for God to use our teams to share the love of Christ.

People Prayer

We also challenge you to give through the Cooperative Program as well as donating specifically to this amazing team that consists of people just like you!

Dollar Sign

And finally we need you.  Whether you can stir a pot of chili,

Soup Pot

Take a Chainsaw to cut down broken tree limbs, paint, or just lend a helping hand, you too can be a hero

Superhero in Cape with “DR” on his shirt or cape

like those who served me. We’ll even provide the yellow t-shirt that you’ve seen in the news during relief efforts.

And then you can say.  We’re doing this because Jesus loves you!

 For more information:

 

DETAILED CONTACT INFOMATION 

Jesus is the Author

…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:2 NKJV

 

Jesus writes a book. Though many debate the genre, it is a love story from cover to cover. Christ is at the center. No other personality shines brighter that the Hero of the Gospel. Often the bride is unfaithful, choosing other personalities and recreations but His voice has never been stronger as He calls out to anyone who is weary of all the noise and chaos.

Grace- the subtext.

Selfishness and fear- the crises

The Fall- the setting

The Spirit- our wise sage.

The Climax- He is coming soon.

Why this story?  Joy

What is the price of such a novel? The blood of the Son.

Darlene Leaves for Nashville Today

Praying for her to find the job that will best fit what needs to happen for Caleb. Once more thinking about selling the house here because of financial strain. God has been faithful to open up new opportunities for me. Next month I’ll be traveling to Odessa to help plan the Christmas Celebration.

Sunday, it’s off to Bogalusa. I have writing to do for disaster relief and a few other treatments.

Yesterday we went to Shelter for a review of the story of Ruth. Caleb got to play the drums and it sounded like things went well although I didn’t get to see him in action.

Lord, guide us today. I pray for safe travel for Darlene and a clear vision of what You are up to in our lives.