WATCHING AND WAITING

By Lisa Huddleston

Some days feel exceptionally raw as though you are being forced to walk around on sharp, pointy gravel in your bare feet. It hurts, so you have to walk gingerly pretending you are lighter than you are and are in no hurry to get where you are going.

Fall days are (sometimes) like that. The sun is over bright, and the colors hurt your eyes. If you are driving down a wood-lined road there is a good chance you’ll get a migraine before you’re even halfway to your destination. If you are riding in the passenger seat, you can close your eyes and cover them with your hands to block out the light. That can be a good thing.

Today I am definitely in the passenger seat, but I cannot block the flashing light. I am doing my best. I have watered the mums and other beautiful fall flowers. I have turned on the sweet sounding waterfall in the birdbath. I have opened all three doors between the screened-in porch and the inner sanctum of the house. And it is an absolutely wonderful day. Golden-lit, water-splashing, wind-chiming, dog-snoring, perfectly-perfect day. And I am trying to feel it all. To cover my overly sensitive eyes with creation beauty and to prevent the spiritual migraine I sense hovering in the waving periphery.deer-master1050

But last night while driving home in the dark my eyes were peeled. Deer with death wishes stood just outside of my headlights’ glare. They probably didn’t really want to die, but they just didn’t understand how fast and heavy my Outback was. I had to drive very carefully on the roads home. It would kill me to kill one. Death wishes all around.

Just last week, Chuck stood at my bedside in the early morning dark and said, “Lisa, I need to tell you something.” My heart jumped to just one million conclusions before he said, “I hit a deer by Miss Millie’s house. My airbag went off, and I came back home. Should I go back and look for the deer? He actually got up and walked away. He was huge! I hate that I hit him.”

I told him no. I held his head against my chest. I felt his deep sorrow and fear over his close call. But I knew we’d never find that deer and that there was nothing we could do if we did.

For the past week we’ve both seen deer everywhere we go. Dead ones lying on the sides of roads. Live ones standing at the edges of woods anxious to leap into traffic. Worst of all, deer you never see until you hear the thud and feel the bag against your chest.

Chuck said he thought about shrapnel from the bag. Was his one of those? Had the metal pierced him, and he was too shocked to feel it? Thank God it was just a thought. But the deer was real. At least a six-pointer. Beautiful and wounded. He probably died alone in the woods.

And so we keep our eyes peeled, knowing all along that another one is coming and knowing just as well that there’s nothing we can do about it. Raw, tender, we keep tip-toeing down the gravel road of life.

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MORNING MEDITATIONS

By Lisa Huddleston

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Thy will be done … Thy will be done, Lord … Oh Lord, Thy will be done.

Love me with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.

And how do I love thee, Lord?!

Love your neighbor as yourself.

Oh! But who is my neighbor, Lord?

The people who live on my street?

Yes

The people who live in my town?

Yes

The people who live in the city?

Yes

In other states? Other countries?

Yes

Those who hate me, Lord?

Yes

Those who hate You?!

Yes

Oh, Lord …

Yes? 

 

And now these three remain: Faith, Hope, and Love. But the greatest of these is Love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)

SEXUAL ASSAULT IS INDEFENSIBLE

By Lisa Huddleston

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Okay. I have finally reached the point in my life where I simply cannot believe what is happening to this country. And I lie on the liberal side of conservative thinking–I tend to be less shocked than many.

But what?! Did a Republican presidential candidate actually brag about sexually assaulting women, “apologize” for his “locker-room talk,” and that same candidate is being defended by the so-called Christian conservative Right? Surely I am having some kind of waking nightmare?!

As a graduate of Vanderbilt University, I am sadly familiar with the term, culture of rape, as it applies to college athletics. If such a culture is reprehensible for young men of 20, how is it okay for a grown man who was 59 years old at the time to brag about groping women and walking into women’s dressing rooms to see them unclothed? Sexual assault cannot be defended.

If you are a woman, I’ll bet that many of you can recount times when you have been sexually threatened, assaulted, or even actually raped. In high school I was grabbed in a manner that Mr. Trump described, and it led to my smacking a young man’s head nearly off his shoulders. I have also been put in other situations in which I didn’t know how to defend myself against someone who was in a position of authority. One was a particularly humiliating experience which to this day makes me shake with rage and shame over not reporting it.

Mr. Trump, an apology that leads to a “but … it was locker room talk” is not an apology. He believes he has done nothing wrong, and it is humiliating for our entire country to have the world seeing him lifted up as our possible president. I am ashamed all over again–by Donald Trump, by the RNC, by conservatives who refuse to see their hypocrisy. But this time I will speak up!

Sexual assault and rape are never acceptable, never funny, and never ever understandable. Please, vote to protect women from being objects to be used by powerful men. Vote for a candidate who is qualified, prepared, and respectful of the civil rights of all people.

And, thank God, no matter what happens, my hope is not in chariots or horses or politicians. My hope lies in Christ alone.