Monday, May 10, 2010

Snakes, they are everywhere

(click to enlarge)

5/10/10 Monday
Snakes, they are everywhere, both reptilian and human. We killed our first rattlesnake for the year yesterday. I really hated to do it because snakes help keep the rat and mouse population in check. In fact we could see the swollen spot in the snakes belly where it had eaten such a rodent. But this snake was at the base of the house and because they are poisonous and will kill our dogs, much less possibly even us, I had to get rid of it. Then this morning we found a baby mouse trapped in a bucket and in the last few weeks the cats have killed, or at least found, a few more.

The one that was found still alive we noticed through the commotion of Gracie cat and both Rascal and Trixie as they chased it from cover to cover in the house. So I joined the chase with a broom as Cherie watched from safe distances. It was nuts because the mouse would end up underneath Gracie and Gracie didn’t seem to have a clue what to do with it so would sit there with a mouse hiding between her paws. That’s the one I talked about flushing down the toilet.
This picture shows the fence we put up and you can see on the far side where I'll be building a double door gate.
Now to the human snakes. Someone has been planting poisonous words in the old man’s ears, indicating that I’ve been taking advantage of him and perhaps even stealing. So last week he blew up at me when I went to get the railroad ties he told me I could have. I don’t lose sleep over much and work hard to live a life that I am proud for the whole world to see, but this hurt. There’s a lot of people who have never talked to me but talk about me. I don’t know who all of them are (oh, I know a few by name) but I see the results of their words in the attitudes of people we meet. The old man has been my hope at acceptance for he’s the only one who has spent any time with me and thus should have an idea of the level of my character. Evidently that led those, who’s desire is to tear down, not to build up, to seek him out and tell him what a bad person I am, I’m sure with the veneer of looking out for his own good and protecting his interests.

This hurt deeply. I enjoyed the friendship and company of the old man and would drop everything anytime he called for help. Wrote him a long letter and dropped it off at his house yesterday. Cherie and I have prayed about it and must leave it in the hands of God, in whom we trust. In the meantime I will do my best to fulfill what I consider to be my obligations to the old man and perform the tasks I told him I would do. To me that’s part of being a man and the creed I live by. I will say what I mean and to the best of my ability do what I say. The last part has become hard for me because I find myself making promises that end up being difficult to keep. My world is full of unfinished projects, things I started but seem to never finish.

The scripture I read with Cherie this morning for the start of our day relates to this. Most of us have heard John 3:16 hundreds of times, you know “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” but I like to read all of a verse and not just pick out part. It amazes me that Jesus told this to the disciples early in his ministry and it’s clear that Jesus always knew He would be killed, but they couldn’t quite grasp it till after His death. Down in verse 19 it says, “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

I live my life as an open book, exposing myself through this blog and working to live a life that there is no shame in. But it seems that very openness is one of the main reasons some of the church people reject and shun me. I was told clearly that they didn’t appreciate me keeping this journal, and I guess I understand that but at the same time find it sad that they should be ashamed and in their shame act in ways that are clearly contradictory to their stated beliefs. My desire is that all would come together in the Love of Christ and for their forgiveness for what I saw as honesty. Like it says in 1 Corinthians 13 “Love is patient and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, things no evil; love does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

So there are snakes, and they cause pain, but I choose to love them despite that. I’ve reached out to those I’ve offended but even that was not received. That’s ok, God judges and takes care of things.

I went back to the prison Saturday. It was great to see the guys we met last week and see how they are doing. Here, in prison with all kinds of evil and hate around, we found love and even joy. What a wonder it is to see these men, who live with so much pain and the results of bad decision making, caring for each other and coming to deeper walks with God. Unfortunately there was a fight in a cell block and an inmate was killed so we were “Locked down” for a bit, but that’s ok. It just illustrates the difficulties these men must face every day. I was asked to give a talk on loving those whom are hard to love. Not sure how well it went for I didn’t have any time to prepare, but it’s a subject I know well.

Building the farm moves on, little by little, with constant setbacks. Mike and I were able to stretch fencing last week and got one plot done. I still must build gates and fence in two more plots, especially in order to grow melons. I fear that this year will be like last year was for much of what I planted did not come up and I am so behind on things. We no longer have funds to pay for the help I was so grateful for. They say it might rain Thursday or Friday so I must rush to get some seeds in the ground. It’s a shame that the well water is so bad for I must depend on the rare West Texas rains now. But I’ll keep plugging along.

The railroad ties I got from the old man would have helped greatly but that resource is apparently gone. Here’s some pictures of the damage the wind causes. One shows how it exposed my onions and left them bare. We covered them back with dirt and the wind promptly exposed them again. The next picture shows two rows. One I had just built back up and the other had at one time looked just like it but is now flat with the drip tape exposed. That tape had at one time been buried deep in the ground.

I’ve got work to do and it’s going to be close to a hundred degrees so I must get out there while it’s still cool. The wind will be back today, predicted to hit forty miles per hour at points. Be blessed my friends and have a good day. Remember, God loves you.

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