hidden treasures……

Recently on a walk around the block, God’s grace moved over me as the breeze of the wind moved my hair, waved the leaves, rustled the air.

Scattered among the remnant of summer in the midst of crunched up leaves, variegated colors and left over summer clover, I stood taking pictures of God’s breath-taking canvas and works of art.  The perspective of the palate met me…moved me…overtook me.  I clicked the camera…looked at leaves, lowered myself on my knees at the altar of the world’s sanctuary.  I snapped and oohed and ahhed!

Later in the evening, as I reviewed my pictures of the day…..I was surprised to find a hidden treasure.

I gazed at the above picture and was amazed at the wonder of hidden clover, sun shining and one bright red leaf.  I laughed…

perhaps..

just perhaps,

as I knelt under the canopy of sky, on bended knee, grace jumped out and covered me with God’s pixie dust and changed me a bit if you will.

Hidden behind the cast of the sun, against the canvas of a red leaf, Tinkerbell jumped out to greet me and

say…

go on southern girl…

you got to believe in the wonder of the universe, the gift of love and a special kind of hope that jumps out to grab you and

for all of that day…

for my hidden treasure of a fairy…

I say Thank you.

there a nip in the air………….

Life is changing according to the natural way here in the south.  The leaves are changing, falling off trees, coloring the horizon in ways that make us southern girl stand in awe with our mouth open and cool morning smoke blowing out our nose.   Mattie Mae would also caution all southern girls about one other calamity about cool weather…not only does the nip cause the color to change on the leaves….it also causes something she calls….”the nipola effect”……..I can be walking anywhere–and she will say….omg….you are nipping..how embarrassing.   I suppose she wants me to walk around with band aids on my charmers so that her friends can’t view my girly jewels.

i love the fall in the south.  love the crunch…love the nip in the air….and even the nip of my jewels at the right moments (to tease big daddy).    Off color son….he just ignores all of us……doesn’t say much about the nips….thinks we are all a bit off……..

so ladies and gents, boys and girls and freaks from the south…..take a look

breath in the air, hear the crunch and enjoy the cool nip in the air…it won’t last long…fall ain’t for everyone , but we here in the south…we love it.

Happy fall……….

weathering it out…

I may appear to be all worn out, tuckered out, faded out.  My ears may be pinched back, pieces of me lost along the journey.  I may be older, wiser or not, my color is muted and faded and changed…but I’m still beautiful.

I wrestle with the energy inside.  I contemplate letting it go, but don’t want to just die. I hold it, waiting for just the moment….

when

I will be free…

to

let

go!

Shall we gather at the River……

The Pentecostal Holy Rollers gathered along the banks of the muddy river on that icy cold night.  The women were in their high stacked beehive hairdo’s and long straight cut skirts down to their ankles and the men stood in their solid colored pants with their white starched collared shirts.

I was but a kid, but I stood there with my hand in fatmamma’s ’cause number one:  I was afraid of the dark and

number two:  I was equally scared of some of those Holy Roller women and what they could do with their jumping and screaming as the Holy Ghost jumped into them.

I still remember their off-key nasally singing, if I close my eyes,

I swear it is almost like i was back there:

“Shall we gather at the river…the beautiful, the beautiful river….gather with the Saints at the river that flows from the throne (sang….Thro one ) of God.”

As they sang,  Maggie Sue and Jessie Bell lined up and headed with the preacher Bro. Georgie down at the muddy banks of the river.

It was a cold, cold night.  If I blew out my breath it kinda looked like I might be smokin’ one of them long camel cigaret that the deacons would light up on the way home from the baptizing….

The started walking,

the preacher first,

then my friends holding hands.

The crowd started humming….

and

then there was dead silence as

I watched them stand there in the cold water

in the light of the full moon.

The preacher started talking…

something about washed in the blood of the lamb,

and

my mind got to thinkin’ about that

and

next thing I knew

Bro. Georgie

had

one of his hands on Maggie Sue’s back with his other hand raised to the sky….

“I baptize you, my sister Maggie Sue, in the

name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost”…

then

he put a white handkerchief over her mouth and nose and

dunked her down all the while

saying,

dead, buried and resurrected….

the crowds started clapping and a saying Amen, hallelujah and the shouters, they held their hands in the air and spoke in them scary tongues that was a jabbering language that only God understood.

Maggie Sue came up holding her hands up and trying to catch  her breath….

same thing for Jessie Bell.

The night was freezing and I kept thinking that they probably was gonna get sick but they didn’t.

The crowd started singing Amazing Grace

and they all came out of the water.

Bro. Georgie prayed

and

we went home.

That is the story of the first baptizing that I remember….

Now as an adult….we don’t baptized like that in the church I’ve been attending.   So what is that thing…that baptizing thing…..does it really wash away our sins,

wash us in the blood of the lamb,

clean us up,

shine us off,

renew, restore,resurrect us?

Rituals of all kinds serve their place….

initiate us if you will into some kind of special group or and make us feel special.

I still don’t understand it…

I’ve been baptized,

water from ancient ancestors has rushed over me,

water that flowed over Jesus…..over my fatmamma, fatpa, littlepa, littlema, mama and daddy and finally over me….

and

it still flows…

that water,

that renewing water….

over time…

and

each time we step into it,

each time we gather around the river,

be it the banks of baptismal font,

God comes too us,

atoms of water,

cool renewal,

and

congregational acceptance.

Shall we gather at the river?

I’d do it again,

would you?

Just a swingin’….

In the south, problems are wrestled out, talked about and thought out while sittin’ on the front porch.   Typically, this is done in the cool evening breeze, lemonaid in hand, grand ole opry playin’ on the radio.  Life is slow here and folks can take time to do those kinds of things.  The kids are often off runnin’ barefoot in the dirt, catching lightening bugs and playin’ tag, so the chaos of the day suddenly halts and there is time for a bit of  thinkin’.   Lots of life problems have been solved moving to the rhythem of the porch swing, the clank of chains, the slow moving zone inducing rhythm….it is meditative in itself.   Sometimes, there is talkin’ and arguin’ and solving the worlds problems, sometimes good friends–they just sit there all day, moving and thinkin’ and listenin’ and never havin’ to say a word….cause with good friends..there ain’t no need to use words…..there is a way, a movement in the air….and they just know.

Way down in the south, there is a place to think and be….it’s called the porch swing…so if you are heavy, down, or just tired.   Take off your shoes, feel the cool breeze on your face and let he rhyme of the swing take you on a holy journey.   I’ll see you on the porch swing.

Seeing through the glass darkly….

I stood at the window gazing through….I questioned time and time again whether it was you who calls me, keeps calling me, beckons me to come a little closer.   So full of love, so tangibly mystical that I often don’t see you, sometimes if I am brutally honest, somedays…well…i don’t believe in you…….help me in my unbelief.   But in the same sense, I know I have known you, felt you, sensed you, am a part of you and no matter what I try to do, how I try to run………….there you are, pulling me back.

So Here I am……………Here I am……………..Here I am………….I listening even if it scares the hell out of me.   Help me see with a clearer vision O God of my understanding.

 

Letting my true colors show….

Let your true colors show…..(sang by Cyndi Lauper)

For all my life, I’ve been afraid…afraid to let my true gifts out to the world, even as I write, I write under the alias of gracie rae.  It seems at the place where I earn my living has the right to monitor what I write and say.  It seems they can misconstrue my intentions.  They….the proverial they…can think what they may.  I’ve made a decision, felt the rising up of my color and I’ve held it in as long as I am going to…..I’m gonna be me and I don’t give a fuck what anyone else thinks or feel.  I am a sexy hot southern born and bred minister who is too liberal and edgy for the traditional church.  I continue to feel called.  I continue to be beckoned by the divine but my experiences have caused me to feel cynical and be filled with some disbelief that the church might become what it was intended to become–will the church ever let out any true color or will they always live within the framework created by a bunch of crotchety old men.

I am listening..wondering…thinking…..The other day I met a wise healing woman who told me….”your supposed to start a church”.  I’ve wrestled with this and thought about this many days.  I’ve talked to my gay friends about it and spoken to my liberal edgy friends who say they will come.

I am listening God.

I am listening.

Isn’t it time to let my true colors show….

like a rainbow filled congregation?

what do you think?