Thursday, August 30, 2012

His Voice

I sat at the Grand Ole Opry a couple of nights ago listening to the various voices of country music singers as they belted out familiar tunes of the past and present. Tenor voices, bass, baritone, raspy, wheezy and clear voices. It got me to thinking about how unique our voices are to us and how unique Christ's voice is. You know the passage in the Bible where it says, "My sheep shall hear my voice..."
Maybe you don't look to the heavens when you contemplate speaking to the Creator, but I always do. When I see the clouds with their billowing overlapping shades of white and blue, I think of Jesus's voice and wonder what reaction my heart will have when I hear it for the first time.

 Can I be honest with you for a moment? I'd like you to know of a younger version of me that believed of the things I'm telling you now, but didn't really understand the relationship part of Christianity. I often felt confused, lonely and isolated from God, even while serving Him.
In my advanced age, I often have days of such clarity about my beliefs and am so secure in my relationship with my Saviour that I feel compelled to fall to my knees and praise Him.  I doubt my human self could withstand knowing any more about God than He is willing to show me at any one given time.

I know He wants me to search for Him, to pursue Him.

The funny thing is, when I least expect it, that's when I feel myself rolling on the floor from what can only be described as a punch of instant knowledge of God as it nearly knocks me off my feet.

That was me a couple of nights ago, one minute listening to various voices sing honky tonk tunes and out of nowhere I felt myself yearning to know the pitch, cadence and sound of Jesus's voice. My heart raced as I contemplated hearing Him say my name...and then I realized...

Even though I can not explain it to you and I don't know why He wanted to me to be certain, my heart already knows the sound of His voice.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

You Think About That, Sir!

I may seem fine to you now, but if you'd seen me this time last week, you would know how close I came to kissing this world goodbye. A bout with heat exhaustion is nothing to sneeze at. It's taken me a complete week to regain the use of my right arm and leg (just teasing.) Cheating death, now a past-time, I consider who's life now hangs in the balance...

The record hot temperature (of 113 degrees) was nothing compared to the heat coming off of Interstate 35 as I stood in the roadway waving traffic to move to the left as I shut down the east bound on-ramp to the Turner Turnpike as fires raged across the already sun-scorched state.

For over an hour, I flapped my bingo-wings (arms) in the excruciating heat furnace we call Oklahoma summertime. Cars, trucks and semis passed, their speed not stirring any cooling breezes my direction. With the sweat no longer pouring and the rhythmic sounds of my heartbeat increasing in my eardrums, I began to feel light-headed, dizzy and confused. I knew I was over-heating, but dedication to duty had me hunching over and guarding my post. Projectile vomiting soon followed. Tomato basil soup and garden salad (with apple vinaigrette dressing) covered the interstate. Yes, I was still standing in the roadway. Did I turn away so no one saw my retching? Nope, if I'm suffering, everybody's suffering...

A quick trip to Mercy Hospital, four bags of intravenous fluids, numerous embarrassing moments where friends, coworkers and strangers saw me in various stages of undress and distress and I was discharged. The only thing I remember clearly about the entire harrowing ordeal was the moment the paramedic untied my Gortex boots and began removing them, then started pulling on my holy socks...

Panic stricken, gasping for air, stomach heaving/cramping and all I could think about was my toes. MY TOES! That was the near death experience.

For those of you with beautiful feet, I hate you.

You can never understand the agony that is the ever-present curse of a person with hideous, monkey toes in summer time. You in your colorful flip-flops, cute sandals with beads and intricate designs, open-toed heels, flats, sneakers of all sorts and make me sick! You, with your colorful toenails painted red, blue, yellow, florescent make me want to puke!

When those boots came off and everyone saw my famous curly, "you can hang her in the closet by them feet" toes...a collective shriek was heard. High above the highway noise, louder than the gagging sounds coming from my aching throat, still louder than all the radios squelching at the same time, was the piercing cry of the on-lookers who saw, "The Toes!"

A friend, that shall go unnamed, said he was getting me a pedicure for "them feet" (as a gift I suppose.)

Go on, laugh at my pain. That's fine. I can take it, but know this...somewhere tonight an innocent, unsuspecting pedicurist's life threatens to be forever altered by my unnamed friend's generosity. Consider that the next time you frivolously threaten someone with a pedicure. You think about that, sir.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Keep your hands where I can see them...

I've been meaning to post this story for quite awhile now. Some of my fellow gun-slingers may have heard this tale before. If you're one of them, please allow me the artistic liberty of embellishing the story for entertainment goes...

      A couple of years ago, while working as a road trooper in Logan County, Oklahoma (the Guthrie area), I stopped a guy in his 50's for failure to wear a safety belt. As I approached the suspect's vehicle on the passenger side, I noticed the man favoring the left side of his body. He leaned close to the steering wheel and turned only his head to speak with me, but hid his left arm
and hand on the left side of his body.

As I spoke to him about why I'd stopped him and asked him about his seat belt usage (or lack thereof), my eyes scanned for threats while my gun hand slid to the pistol grip of my Sig Sauer .357. A cautious thumb unsnapped the leather hammer restraint securing my weapon in the holster that lay against my right hip.

"Sir, I'd like to see your left hand," I said with authority. I pulled on my pistol and had it coming up out of the holster when he just stared at me, not budging.

"Sir," I repeated, this time with heat, "I want to see your left hand, now!"

I had "cleared leather" (pulled the weapon out of the holster) and was ready to use it, when he finally spoke up.

"Ma'am," he began with a slow southern drawl as if he had performed this routine many times before, "I'd like to see my left hand too, I haven't seen that hand since 1976," he said, laughing. He brought both arms up slowly and stuck them high in the air as he spoke. Obviously pleased with embarrassing me.

Appalling seconds passed as I stood there unsure of how to reply as I looked at the stump on the man's left arm. The hand was completely gone, it had been severed just below the wrist.

I didn't ask why, I didnt' ask what happened or even attempt to apologize, I just asked for his driver license and insurance and stomped back to my patrol car, cursing him and his missing hand as I went. When I returned to the one-handed man's car, I HANDED him the citation for his
seat belt violation and instructed him on how to take care of the $20 citation. Before clearing the traffic stop, I reminded him to, "buckle up." I stood waiting to see if he would comply.

Silently, I fumed as I watched him struggle for several minutes with the shoulder harness and then the seat belt buckle. I couldn't tell if he was really having a difficult time or if he was jacking with me some more. With a smile on my face and maybe just a teeny weeny bit of meanness I asked, "need a hand?"