Something Completely Different!

He quickly dried himself and tossed the towel aside. Wrapping the soft white bath robe around his waist he tied the belt around his waist making a knot in the front. He then exited the building into the warm afternoon sun. It seemed to be a normal spring day with the sun shining amongst billowy clouds floating across the canvas of a cerulean sky. He quickly spotted her standing a short distance away with her back to him. She was wearing a similar white bath robe and her long brown hair hung down over her shoulders. She appeared to be having a conversation with a man who he did not know seated in front of her in a lawn chair. The distance between her and the man appeared to be about two yards and he seemed to be listening intently.

He began to walk towards her and this stranger, covering the distance quickly as his instincts raised the hairs on the back of his neck. The area was the grounds of a campus of some sort with people milling about amidst numerous large brick buildings. As he drew closer in his approach to the two figures he heard her voice. She seemed to be replying in response to a question from the strange man. Others passed by ignoring them both.

Coming from behind she was unaware of his approach and his nearness allowed him to hear her say the word ‘cancer.’ At that moment her hands quickly untied the knot at her waist holding her bath robe closed. Grabbing both front seams she tore open the robe her arms outstretched to her sides.  Shocked, he quickly covered the last few yards to where she was standing. Without hesitating he placed himself squarely between her and this man sitting there with an almost deliriously evil grin on his face. He was able to block the man’s view of her with his body. As he had moved to intersect the sight line between the two he was even more surprised to catch sight of bare skin and the swell of a breast. The realization that she was completely naked beneath the bath robe and had exposed herself to this strange man sent his mind into a free fall.

Catching his breath he quickly grabbed the edges of her robe and pulled them together to cover her nakedness. She did not resist and others passing by seemed not to notice. He then grabbed her by the shoulder and turned her away from the stranger. They began walking away as he guided her with his arm around her shoulders. As they walked, his legs felt as if he had just ran a marathon and only kept moving on instinct. His mind was reeling, his heart beating loudly in his chest. Minutes pass as they walk in silence before he is able to speak.

“What are you doing?” he asks incredulously trying to hide the anger and dismay. Her response is short and clipped with very little emotion, “You do not understand.”

“I do not understand?” he questions her.

“No, you do not,” she states simply.

She pauses before calmly adding, “I am the one dying.”

~Mark Schutter ©2014

Dying 2014(This story came to me in a dream, I have written it down here verbatim from what I recalled the next morning upon waking.  I have tried to add no extra details and if I have it is unintentional.  The mind has dreams of its own, of which in the light of day the reasons behind the dreams are chased away with the rising of the sun. ~M)

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FEAR vs OBEDIENCE – Saturday Night Thoughts

Have you ever been presented with an opportunity or given an invitation that you absolutely know with every fiber of your being that you should accept from the moment it is given; but you hesitate and worse still say no, turn your back and walk away? Why? I believe because of …

Fear_July2014I find myself at that very crossroad of life. God is opening doors, presenting possible opportunities for my poetry, writings, art and photography that are outside the confines of traditional venues.  A venture that pushes me way out of my own created and self-imposed comfort zone. 

I am scared, yes I admit it I am scared

Scared of where this could possibly lead and worse to subject myself to the possible criticisms, ridicule and even failure?  Isn’t the greater failure to not even try?  I do believe there is often so much more awaiting on the other side and we may never know we have wings until we leap off the cliff and find ourselves flying. I pray that God gives me the strength to move forward despite my fears.  This new path that seems to lie before me has the potential to impact lives in monumental ways.  However, like Saul in 1 Samuel, I find myself fearing people more than God.

Stay tuned for further updates as this all unfolds.  For now I will just believe that God is leading in this. I may share those reasons why I believe that in a future post but for now my obedience is more important than anything else.  God bless! ~M

A Father’s Lament

Staring at the ceiling as
silent tears from the corners of my eyes
roll quickly down, leaving tracks of memories.
A new day is dawning
bright and beautiful full of promise and hope.
I lay quietly in the moment
as gratitude fills my heart.
Mixed with the sadness of loss,
I think of the past and ponder the future.
Between what was and might have been.
What is and what could still be,
I am often trapped on this knife-edge of uncertainty.
I am blessed and have been given so much,
each thing taken away replaced.
Still a spot in my heart that lies cold and alone.
I don’t understand the meaning of this,
I don’t understand the what, the why.
I am here, my life in the midst of this.
As confusion beats within my heart,
to live this life for all it’s worth.
To chose love and lose, the joy and pain
that follows us each day.
I am blessed, the people who care,
the world that promises so much.
But deep within it feels something is amiss,
a small part that forever is missing
from my strong heart.

~Mark Schutter ©2014

(This was the result of 5 minutes of free writing shortly after waking on Father’s Day.  My feelings were a mixture of emotions upon waking and this is what poured out onto the pages of my journal.  ~M)

Lost in Illusion

Lost in illusion, inside my head.
Faking a smile, while feeling dead.
Voices that scream, make not a sound.
Feeling alone, with everyone around.
Cloaked in blackness, a hidden heart.
Do I trust God? Willing to do my part?
Memories may fade, but sadness remains.
Hope for tomorrow, choked by the pain.
Lost in illusion, that the enemy creates.

What good is a life, so goes the debate.
Others encourage, words go unheard.
The journey continues, however absurd.
The light is there, but makes not a sound.
I believe and trust God, as I fall  face down.
The memories remain, as the heart cries.
Hope for tomorrow and love, is not a lie.
~Mark Schutter ©2014
(I stumbled across the first stanza above, written in my journal in November of 2003, 10 years after the death of a loved one. At that time I was struggling and trying to ignore the pain.  It struck me how the grief had and continues to color and impact everything I was and did, everything I am and do.  Over the past 11 years I have made strides to deal with my loss and to right the ship on this journey called life. Thus, I have written a second stanza, remembering that our experiences make us who we are.  I continue to #JustBelieve ~M)