Every couple of weeks, the group will be issued a
"challenge entry". The site will post a excerpt from the challenge entries, as
well as the link to the complete entry found on the journaller's own journal site.
WALKING WITH GOD
November 13, 2000
Hi, God...its me. Bev...
Its been awhile since we talked but today seemed like a good day. Walt is off with Tom and my mother (and others) seeing the 49er game. Im home supposedly working. But were out of coffee and now that Im into this walking jazz, I decided not to take Davids clunker car, but would just walk up to Peets to pick up our latest stash of French Roast.
I left the house with the camera because I was going to photograph anything that looked interesting. The weather was beautiful. Youve really outdone Yourself lately, God. Its been so clear and clean and I keep marveling at the vivid fall colors. Has it always been this beautiful in the fall, or is this an exceptionally glorious year? Have I just been blind to the beauty around me and am I now feeling calmer in my soul and taking time not only to smell the roses, but to examine the rest of the flora as well?
Anyway, I passed by a church and there were folks standing there after services. I dont even know what denomination it was. But it made me think that You and I havent talked much lately. We used to talk all the time. Today is Sunday and so it seems a good day to reestablish communication. Im sure Youve been sitting there waiting until Im ready. Im ready. I feel the need to talk with You again. But I dont know what to say to You, God. There is so much on my mind. Im trying to figure it all out, You know?
I was still trying to figure out what the purpose of Davids death was four years ago when You decided to take Paul too. Im not angry with You. Im trying to remember that there is a purpose to all things, but sometimes the purpose gets a little difficult to see.
The thing is, God, that so many new and strange things are happening to me that I believe there is a grand plan that You just havent revealed to me. Im thinking that we need to talk a lot like this so I can start to figure it all out.
That was a pretty big door You closed, twice, when You decided to take David and Paul. But so many little windows have opened up that it makes me realize that You havent gone off and forgotten us. No, You have something in mind. My job is to figure out what it is. But I want to thank You for giving me the tools I need to decipher Your plans.
If David hadnt died, I never would have heard of The Last Session and if Paul hadnt died, I never would have met Steve. While that sounds like a little thing, how do I ever thank You for Steve? People who read my journal may think--A show. A singer/songwriter. Big deal. But its so much more than that. Steves the reason Im here talking to You, you know. I gave up organized religion--or at least the one in which I was raised. I was so upset with the way my religion was contributing to the persecution and marginalization of gay people, many of whom are people I love so much, that I turned my back on my church.
I didnt mean to turn my back on You, God, because I dont think these churches are representing what You intended. But when I left church, I kind of forgot about You too. Steve is the son of a preacher and, while not religious, is definitely on his own spiritual journey. He has opened my mind to so many thoughts and feelings about You, and helps to keep me grounded. He's taught me tolerance, acceptance and love for all people, despite their weaknesses and foibles. Through Steve, Ive been reading more and thinking more and beginning to shape my own type of personal relationship with You again.
Thank You for leading me to Breaking Barriers. The opportunity to work with and for clients who are HIV+ has opened a whole new world to me. I hope that it has given me a greater understanding, not only of the disease, but the problems facing low income people who are sick with any debilitating condition. Its also given me wonderful role models like Priscilla, who lift my spirits whenever I spend time with them. And its given me wonderful friends in the two women for whom I am supposedly providing emotional support but who, in reality support me as much as I support them.
And, dear God, how do I ever thank You for Peggy? Thats another one of those door/windows things. If Paul hadnt died, I dont think she would ever have come here. And again, I can tell people might think--a vacation. Big deal. But, as with meeting Steve, the impact of meeting Peggy cannot be underestimated. Not only did we forge a lifelong friendship, but she set about systematically changing my opinion of myself. Not boldly, but subtly, bit by bit, day by day. The fact that I walk every day now is completely due to Peggy. She didnt browbeat me for never exercising. She just took me out for walks. And showed me that I can get out and move. And proved to me that I would enjoy it.
But it was more than just walking. She taught me greater respect for non-human creatures (I even almost like Kimba). She brought day to day female companionship back into my life, something I have not had here since my friend Lynn moved to Texas. We laughed together, we enjoyed so many things together. She refused to let me put myself down in any way and she built up my self esteem so much that I find that even after her departure, I am feeling much better about myself. I can never thank You enough for giving me the experience of Peggy, God.
With all these new experiences and new things to think about, it feels like Im just at the start of something. Like seeds have been planted in all sorts of different ways and that the seeds are struggling to make their way to the light. Problem is, I dont know what kind of seeds they are yet and Im struggling to figure it all out
On the way home today, I ran into Tony and his friend. They were sitting outside the supermarket and they asked if Id take their picture. Walt talks with street people all the time, but I have always been more reserved. But I remembered watching the interactions that Peggy (who claims not to like meeting new people) would have with total strangers everywhere we went, and so I stopped to talk with them. Tony smelled of alcohol and cigarettes and he told me he spends his day on the bench outside the supermarket. He was so excited that I took his picture and asked if Id make a copy for him.
We talked about the homeless shelter (where I used to work and he goes to have a shower every day). And it was nice. I thought, when I left, how pleasant that had been...and how easy it was to open up to someone rather than to remain closed.
God, I know Youve given me the tools to reshape my life despite the losses in our family. I think You and I need to continue these discussions so I can begin to understand whatever it is that You have in mind for me. It feels kinda good to be talking to You again.
PS....One more note, God. Thanks for letting me know that I have a
10-day vacation from transcription coming up this week! Please let me be able to finish
all I have to do in the next three days so I can really enjoy it!
|created 11/13/00 by Bev Sykes|