Into the Wilderness

Come into the wilderness with me to the
Dark places that
Christians don't share
Which is most unfortunate.
Jesus, Himself showed us
That the wilderness is
The place where the truest
And most real testimony hides

The Cross Thing
What is this thing called the Cross
Most of my life
I've been taught
To focus on the cross
Of rigid rejections,
The Cross of
Never ending negativity
Hurts, pains and failures.
Isn't there more to the cross?
Doesn't God also
Bless us with the cross
As a symbol of righteous resurrection
The cross as a symbol
Of everlasting joy,
The cross as a symbol of victory
And of enlightened empowerment?
I was taught
We all have a cross to bare
A cross linked with
Illness,
Skin color and gender
Lack of brain power,
Lack of beauty,
Lack of finances.
I've heard people say their one lazy eye,
Or having one foot
Shorter than the other
Or their lisp or stuttering
Or wheel chair
Was their cross to bare
I grew up and centered most of my life
On the pain of Jesus' stripes
And
The hurt
Of being a Christian rather than
Recognizing them as a mechanism for
healing
Or
I just end up ignoring healing when it comes
or I just boldly bask in it
With a sense of entitlement.
When I think the Cross
Very rarely do I focus
On the walking on water,
Water to wine miracles,
Forgetting the feeding of thousands
With one little boys lunch box meal,
Forgetting the raising of the dead,
The sight given to the blind,
The ability to walk for the lame,
Ignoring all of the miraculous healings
Of this cross thing
At the cross, at the cross
Where my Savior died
Where the blood was applied
What is this thing called the cross?

What Is Wrong With Me?
What's wrong with me?
God whispers that I have the same power
Available to me through my praise and the Holy Spirit
That He used in the resurrection of His son,
The same power that splashed
The vivid crimson paint on the petals of the rose,
The same passionate power of thunder,
The searing power of lightening,
Yet I sit depressed,
Rocking in my recliner,
Surrounded by miss-matched Salvation Army furniture and d├ęcor from the Goodwill
And watch reruns of Oprah.
What is wrong with me?

Nudging
I feel the nudging of God saying,
“YOU CAN, YOU CAN, YOLANTHA”
But will I?

Stick mentality vs Cross Mentality
Am I carrying my cross or am I just dragging a stick?
Am I giving my all to God or
Just tossing him a stick and expecting Him
To chase it and bring it back as a mansion?
No one but God and I can honestly say
When I've given my all and
When I've done the best I can do.
It seems to operate on two plains.
One plain is my human best,
The other plain is my spiritual best.
When I manage to marry the two,
Synchronizing them,
Something phenomenal happens.
I step off into the extraordinary on the human side
And the supernatural on the spiritual side.
Whew, that's scary talk.
It's things like this that have turned me
Into a peculiar person.

Hiding From God
It is very frustrating
When a woman
Doesn't know
God's will for her life.
You flit around experimenting
With the latest religious fad.
You live in stagnation out of fear
Of doing the wrong thing, or
Fear of not being equipped enough.
You live in denial,
Out of fear of not wanting to go through the fire
In order to have all of the
‘unwilling' parts of ones life
Burnished away.
You take the easy way out
Letting the will of others
Control your life
Make your decisions for you.
Perhaps you even confuse
The busy-ness of serving others
With the business of serving God.
But…but…but…
I've found that
The worst thing for me
Is knowing
God's will for my life
And
My
Not
Being
Willing to do it.
It's horrid.
My conscious nags at me constantly
Attacking me at the most inopportune times
When you think you're hiding from God
Your friends expose you
Your coworkers
Your husband
Your children
Expose you.
Your bank
Your boyfriend
Expose you.
Avoiding
Or evading God
Is like trying to hide from the water
By taking refuge in the ocean.

The Children
The summer of 2006, our translator, Francois told me about a poor preacher who is a baker and is trying to feed some children. Francois gave me a letter from his friend to give to our missionary leaders. I presented the letter to the other missionaries, they quickly glanced at it and tossed it aside. So I too dismissed the letter.

The following summer of 2007, 365 days later the Mayor of the area greeted me the moment my feet landed on the mountain.

“Did anyone tell you about the children? Didn't anyone give you the letter? Did you get the letter?” He grew impatient.

I stammered out, “Yes” remembering vaguely about the letter from the year before.

“I must take you to see the children. The local baker would bake bread and at night the abandoned children would come and pick up the bread crumbs left at the market at the end of the day. The baker then tried to bake a loaf of bread for these children but when the abandoned children heard, they came from all around. There are too many children for the baker to feed. So he tries to feed them 3 times a month. “

“How many children are there?”
“Here, they are here.”

We enter a room the size of my front porch about 30 feet by 12. I am overwhelmed I count approximately 76 children. Some laps are holding 2 and 3 smaller children and the children keep shifting, so 76 was the best I could do. Many of them are without clothes. I reach in my Wal-Mart back pack knowing that I don't have enough and begin to hand out “lil Debbie Crackers. But to my astonishment, God sees that every childe gets fed. The back pack seemed bottomless. And then, to my human amazement, after every one had their crackers, I was able to dump out even more from the backpack for the children to have crackers again on tomorrow. I whisper a thank you that is insufficient for such a sufficient God.

“I need you to help me, help me to feed these children. They live on the mountains, abandoned, many of them naked like wild animals.” the baker said.

“Where are the parents?”

“Some dead from disease, the fever, aides. Some have left them with family and friends while they go to the Dominican Republic to find work, never to return or be heard of again. The families and friends are too poor to take care of the extra mouths, so they are made to leave. Can you help us?”

My heart wrenched inside of me. THESE CHILDREN MUST BE FED, HAVE CLEAN WATER, BE CLOTHED, AND HAVE ACCESS TO AN EDUCATION.

Tantrum
I yelled and argued loudly with God,
“I answered as you asked in the bible.”
I said, “here am I send me.
Now what am I suppose to do?
I went,
I saw,
I ministered.
Now what am I suppose to do concerning the dire need of abandoned children
Living on the mountain side like wild animals?
What am I suppose to do
About children going blind from pink eye?
What am I suppose to do about all of this?
In America I'm a nobody.
I can't even afford a dentist.
I'm missing 6 teeth,
2 in front are loose and ready to fall out
I am unable to heat my home properly in the winter
I've got newspaper stuck in window cracks and under doors.
I'm suppose to say, “I am rich,
My father owns the cattle on a thousand hills
And I am His daughter, His joint heir”
So God, I need to collect
On a few of those promises.
God? Are you listening to me?”

“Thank you my dearest Yolantha for going and doing.”

I froze in mid tantrum.
Have you ever heard God say thank you?
A calmness came over me that surpasses all understanding.

God continued,
“Thank you for going where no one else would go,
Touching folks, no one else would touch
Speaking the words no one else would speak
Kissing the unkissable
Hugging the unhuggable
Swatting flies off of dying babies.
Thank you”

“What am I suppose to do now?” I whimpered.

“I want you to tell. Tell of what you have seen and I will then bless tremendously those who bless you by blessing the children of Haiti. Thank you for going and telling it on the mountains, now I want you to go tell it FROM the mountains”



Prayer
Dear Jesus, thank you for this opportunity, please, please, please I beg of you let me pass this test. You let me see some things and now the test is what am I going to do about it? My testimony is not about money, it is about solutions. My challenge has now become GOOD WORK versus GOD'S WILL. Help me Jesus, help me.
Help me pray like you
Father God, Father Daddy
Thy will be done.

(b class="sc"But What Do You Do?
I've seen and experienced a lot in my more than 55 years,
But what do you do when you discover 76 abandoned children
Living naked, like wild animals on the mountainside?
I've rubbed elbows with 2 Heisman trophy winners
Earl Campbell and Franco Harris
I've won beauty pageants
I've seen the Rocky Mountains by the light of the full moon
Touched a stalactite in Carlsbad Cavern
I've seen the Niagara Falls thrice
But what do you do when you discover 76 abandoned children
Living like wild animals on the mountain side
I've been stuck for over an hour on the 16th floor of an elevator
I've broken my arm
I've been called the “N” word and had folks talk about my mama
I've been the victim of a murder attempt
But what do you do when you discover 76 abandoned children
Living like wild animals on the mountainside?
I've lived on food stamps and government cheese and WIC approved milk
The most I've ever had in the bank was $2000 and that was for only about 2 weeks
I've eloped and got married in the courthouse
I've jumped on my bed and eaten cold pizza for breakfast
I've fallen asleep saying my prayers on my knees
I've had tumors removed and tested for cancer
Shucks, I've ridden in a helicopter
But what do you do when you discover 76 abandoned children
Living like wild animals on the mountainside?
You run back to America and get help.

The sharing of this book is me running back to America for help. It is the testimony, rants and raves, prayers, essays, conversations and poems of a woman chosen by God (surely by Him, cause if I was doing the interviewing and hiring, knowing all that I know about me, I never would have employed me). If I were David, this book is my book of Psalms. And like David, I've written about my life with God, the joys and tribulations of a woman who desired to dare to be called a woman after God's own Heart.


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