E- Easter Meant Everything

Image courtesy of dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Easter is a very important holiday to me. The first stories ever told to me weren’t fairy tales, but rather stories of friendship like Jonathan and David, or stories of Esther, the girl queen who saved her entire nation, or David and Goliath and how a little guy with insurmountable odds stacked against him could win if he trusted that God was on his side. Those are just a few of the stories I was raised on.

I hear it all the time. “Hey Kitt, don’t you find writing erotica and talking about sex all the time to be contrary to your personal religious beliefs?” No, I don’t. The God I know believed that LOVE was at the core of everything. Loving Him and Loving Everybody. As for the sexuality thing, well, I’ve already answered that question before, but you’re welcome to listen to me chat with the incomparable August McLaughlin on her Girl Boner show entitled: Kinky Christian: Not an Oxymoron?

Most of my life I’ve had a favorite Bible verse. In fact, throughout my life, it has stayed as my hope and focus whenever I felt weak or alone or even like a failure….and it helped me remember my end goal.

“Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. In my father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself: that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:1-3

Can you feel the hope God’s trying to send to us in that message?

Here’s the thing… whether you believe in God or not, it’s not my place to judge. Most, though, will agree that there’s a higher power. Why? Because despite all the hate and bigotry and anger, hope lives on and love remains.

Think about the incredibly powerful story of Jesus for a moment. For those who don’t believe in Christianity, imagine for a moment… What if it were all true. A higher power, God, sent his only son, to come down, live among us to better understand the daily temptations we face. Through it all, he had to find a way not to give in, despite direct taunts, hatred, bitterness, disbelief… And then, he did the unthinkable. He sacrificed himself on our behalf. And his father let him. Because they felt we were worthy of that sacrifice.

Worthy for a chance to go to heaven. Worthy to be adopted into His family. Worthy to be called his children. Worthy enough for Jesus to speak up on our behalf about the sins we’ve committed and the fact that it’s not easy, but he’d already paid our price.

Seriously? How could you NOT be moved by such a loving, benevolent Savior? Does that sound like the same guy who dooms people to hell based on who they love? Does he sound like someone who would turn his back at the first sign that someone might be a little bit different? Or because our bodies, the temple he gave us, designed in His image is flawed? Or maybe because we’ve learned to appreciate the anatomical gifts he’s given us? I think not….

Personally, I’m grateful every day for the sacrifice He made on my behalf. It’s going to give me a chance to see people I’ve loved and lost, like my brothers…. He gave me a way to be reunited with them someday. That, too, is a priceless gift.

Yup! Easter, and Jesus rising up from his tomb, means everything to a sinner like me.

The Final Goodbye (A #MemorialDay Story)

Hey guys! In honor of Memorial Day, I decided to write a little story. As many of you know, I have very strong feelings about our armed services and those who serve. With the story, I included songs that I felt conveyed the sentiments of each moment. I hope you guys appreciate this small tribute to those we’ve lost who have guarded our freedom with vigilance.

He stood alone. As he gazed out at the white crosses that covered the beautifully manicured lawn he felt the weight of his 48 years drag his shoulders down in a way he never had before. It had been a long time since he’d been back to this place, and he’d hoped to never return.

“A parent should never outlive his child.” Grief scratching at his throat.

He blinked back tears that stubbornly refused to fall. Part of him clung to the image he had in his mind’s eye. Full of laughter and vitality, that precious dark head bent over to kiss his young wife’s distended belly, before he turned around to say goodbye. David promised to come home soon.

He shook his head as the pain threatened to suffocate him. Not like this. This had to be a bad dream. He just needed to wake up and everything would be okay again.

Unfortunately, the folded triangle of fabric pressed tightly to his chest told him everything was all too real. His bowed his head, fingers digging into the precious flag. Alone with his grief he dropped to his knees and cried out to the only person who could hear him.

“God, if you’re listening…this is too much. Almost more pain than I can bear! My boy was a good son, a great husband. He was going to be a great father. He loved you. Loved this country. He wanted so badly to follow in his grandpa’s footsteps. Did you really have to take him?”

The hand on his shoulder felt familiar. It had been decades since he’d experienced that touch. He looked up to find his father standing beside him. He wore the same dress blues he’d been buried in 40 years ago and he hadn’t aged a day.

“Dad…” he choked out, blinking, sure this was some sort of hallucination.

There was a wealth of understanding and regret in his father’s eyes.

“Hello, son.”

“I’m finally losing it, right? Hallucinating? A psychotic break caused by grief and stress?”

“No, son. You’re not. God heard you…. So did I. We’ve never been far away. When you called out, I asked him to let me go to you.”

Although none of this seemed real, he decided to go with it. Maybe he was dreaming. What harm could it do?

“It’s all so damned unfair, Dad!” he railed. “First you, then my son? Don’t get me wrong. I’m proud of him. Proud of you… But did the price have to be so high?”

His father wrapped strong arms around him, something he’d missed most of his life. He soaked in the comfort, gaining some strength before he let go. With a bolstering breath, he straightened his spine, threw his shoulders back and raised his head.

“I’m proud of you, you know.” His father looked at him with the same piercing blue eyes as his son. “I’ve watched you grow into a strong, honorable man. I know it wasn’t easy for you to let David join the service. After the way you lost me, it would have been all too easy to encourage him to go a different direction.”

“It wouldn’t have been right. Being a soldier was all he ever wanted.” He shrugged, his smile, bittersweet. “To be a hero, just like his Grandpa.”

“It may have served you better not to paint me with such a heroic brush,” his father laughed. “I appreciate that, by the way. The way you kept me alive in your heart. The way you shared me with your family. It meant everything to me.”

The man shook his head. “I didn’t do anything all that special.”

“Yes, you did,” his father smiled. “It may seem like nothing to you, but it’s what gave your son the courage to chase his dream. He knew the danger, but he also saw your gift. When his number was called, he didn’t worry. His son and wife are in good hands with you. He knows you’ll keep his memory alive, just like you did for me.”

“You’ve seen my David?”

Tears finally flowed, unchecked.

His father nodded. “Of course. You didn’t think I’d let your son get to heaven without a welcome party, did you?”

“He’s okay? My boy. You’ll look out for him, Dad?”

“Of course,” his father nodded his head. “He’ll be loved. Surrounded by family, both military and kin.”

With one more shuddering breath, he clasped his father’s hand and squeezed.

“Tell him, Dad.” He bit his lip as his voice broke. “Tell him I’ll watch over his family down here. I know he’ll be watching out for them with you. And please, tell him I’m so proud of him.”

“I will.” His father smiled one last time before fading away.

As he stood gazing out at all the soldiers that came before, he could have sworn he heard David whisper on the gentle breeze.

“I love you, Dad.”

Squeezing the flag to his chest, he nodded.

“I love you, too, son. I’m proud of you.”